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Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering

Mechanical engineers may choose from among many different activities in their careers, according to their interests and the changing needs of society.  The BS in Mechanical Engineering prepares students for work in many fields including energy transport, design of machinery, and manufacturing.

The curriculum leading toward the bachelor of science in mechanical engineering combines a broad base in mathematics, physical sciences, and the engineering sciences (mechanics of solids, materials, dynamics and fluid, thermal and electrical sciences), including laboratory.  Special emphasis is placed on the practice of modern Integrated Product Development, combining state-of-the-art computer-aided design and manufacturing methods in a business oriented framework.  Several specific application fields are chosen toward the end of the program in the form of four or more courses elected from a wide variety of 300-level offerings.  Courses in mechanical engineering and engineering mechanics are equally available.

The course requirements for a B.S. degree in mechanical engineering are listed below.  In addition to required mathematics, physics, chemistry and basic engineering courses, the program includes a minimum of seven courses in humanities and social sciences (see humanities/social sciences), two free electives and five approved electives.  The total graduation requirement is 129 credits.

We strongly recommend that all graduating seniors register for the Fundamentals of Engineering (FE) Exam to begin the process of becoming a certified Professional Engineer. More information regarding the FE can be found here.

Note: Our BSME program is accredited by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET).

Undergraduate Curriculum in Engineering Mechanics
as listed in the Course Catalogue.
Detailed course descriptions are available here.

Freshman year, first semester (14-15 credits)

  • ENGL 1 Composition and Literature (3)
  • MATH 21 Calculus I (4)
  • Science: Required natural science course*
  • ENGR 1 Engineering Computations (3), or
  • ENGR 5 Introduction to Engineering Practice (3)

 Freshman year, second semester (14-15 credits)

  • ENGL 2 Composition and Literature: Fiction, Drama, Poetry (3)
  • MATH 22 Calculus II (4)
  • Science: Required natural science course*
  • ENGR 1 Engineering Computations (3), or
  • ENGR 5 Introduction to Engineering Practice (3)

*The required science courses, one taken fall semester and the other taken in spring, are:

  • CHM 25 Introductory Chemical Principles and Laboratory (4)
  • PHY 11, 12 Introductory Physics I and Laboratory

 Sophomore year, first semester (16-17 credits)

  • ME 10 Graphics for Engineering Design (3)
  • MECH 3 Fundamentals of Engineering Mechanics (3)
  • MAT 33 Engineering Materials and Processes (3)
  • MATH 23 Analytical geometry & Calculus III (4)
  • elective (3-4)

Sophomore year, second semester (17-18 credits)*

  • ME 104 Thermodynamics I (3)
  • MECH 12 Strength of Materials (3)
  • PHY 21, 22 Introductory Physics II and Laboratory (5)
  • MATH 205 Linear Methods (3)
  • elective (3-4)

*Co-Op students must take ME 21 sophomore year, second semester (18-19 credit hours).  Co-Op students will take ME 231 (3), MECH 102(3), and two HSS electives (68) during the summer after the sophomore year (12-14 credit hours).  See Co-Op program below for details.

Junior year, first semester (16-18 credits)

  • ME 21 Mechanical Engineering Lab I (1)
  • ME 231 Fluid Mechanics (3)
  • MECH 102 Dynamics (3)
  • ME 215 Engineering Reliability (3) or MATH 208 Complex Variables (3) or MATH 230 Numerical Methods (3) or MATH 231 Probability and Statistics (3)
  • elective (6-8)

 Junior year, second semester (17 credits)

  • ME 121 Mechanical Engineering Lab II (1)
  • ME 211 Mechanical Engineering Design I (3)
  • ME 240 Manufacturing (3)
  • ME 242 Mechanical Engineering Systems (3) or ME 245 Engineering Vibrations (3)
  • ME 252 Mechanical Elements (3)
  • ECE 83 Fundamentals of Electrical Engineering (3)
  • ECE 162 Electrical Laboratory (1)

 Senior Year (30-34 credits)

  • ME 111 Professional Development (1) [Fall only]
  • ME 212 Integrated Product Development II (2) [Fall only]
  • ME 207 Mechanical Engineering Laboratory III (2)
  • ME 321 Introduction to Heat Transfer (3)
  • electives (22-26)

The total number of credits required for graduation is 129.  A total of 38 credits in electives must be taken.  These electives are of five types:

Mechanical Engineering Electives

  • Humanities/Social Sciences: A total of 17 credits of electives in humanities and social science, which must include ECO 1. (Note that these electives are in addition to the 6 hours of required freshman English.) See description of HSS below.
  • ENGR. Elective A: One, 3credit course selected from the following: MECH 302, MECH 305, ME 304, ME 322, ME 331, or ME 343
  • ENGR. Elective B: One, 3credit course selected from any ME 300 or MECH 300-level course, excluding ME 310
  • ENGR. Elective C: Three, 3credit courses selected from any ME 300/MECH 300-level course or an engineering/science/ mathematics course, as approved by the department chair. ME 310 may be taken once to satisfy this requirement.
  • Free electives: 6 credit hours in any subject area are required.

Cooperative Education (Co-Op) Program

Co-Op is available for undergraduates in the P.C. Rossin College of Engineering and Applied Science; the program provides eight months of paid, full-time work experience, bridging the gap between engineering theory and application and allowing students to graduate within a four year timeframe. Because of the rigorous academic schedule, the program is selective.

The Co-Op schedule provides for interviews and selection by the companies in the spring semester of the sophomore year. Those students selected attend Lehigh for a challenging summer schedule of junior-level coursework, then begin their first work rotation with the sponsoring company in mid-August. This rotation will last until mid-January when the student returns to Lehigh for the second semester coursework of the junior year. The Co-Op experience is completed with a second work rotation the following summer (mid-May through August). Students earn 3 free elective credits per successful work assignment for a total of 6 free elective credits.

To participate in the Co-Op program you must rank in the top third of the engineering class after three semesters of study and attend a summer program between the sophomore and junior years. See your advisor or contact the Co-Op Faculty Liaison for further details.

Humanities/Social Sciences (HSS)Requirement for all Accredited Engineering Majors

Basic Requirement: English and Economics. Three courses totaling a minimum of ten credit hours: Students must complete English 1 (or 3), English 2 (or 5, or 11) and Economics 1. Students with advanced placements in English 1 usually take English 11 to complete the English requirements.

Advanced Requirement: Breadth and Depth. 13 credits in courses designated as HU (humanities) or SS (social science), with the following restrictions:

  1. Depth: At least eight credits must be in a common discipline and from the same department or program. At least three of these credits must be at the 100-level or above, or at the intermediate level or above for a single modern foreign language.
  2. Breadth: At least three credits in a discipline different from, and not cross-listed with, the discipline employed to satisfy the concentration requirement above.
  3. At least three credits must be designated as HU.
  4. None of the courses used for HSS can be taken Pass/Fail.
  5. None of the course can be one-credit courses.