Mechanical Engineering Program

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2015-16 Mechanical Engineering UG Program

  • UG Director: Sheri Sheppard, Bldg 550-119,
  • Student Services: Kelly Guerriero, Bldg 530-125, AND Indrani Gardella, Bldg 530-125,
  • Dept Chair: Kenneth Goodson,

Mechanical engineers create products, machines, and technological systems for the benefit of society. Building on a foundation of physical science, mathematics, and an understanding of societal needs and responsibilities, they develop solutions across a wide range of fields from energy to medical devices, manufacturing to transportation, consumer products to environmental compatibility. The undergraduate program in Mechanical Engineering at Stanford exposes each student to intellectual and practical experiences that form a basis from which to develop solutions, and provides an environment that allows for the accumulation of knowledge and self discovery so as to extend the domain within which solutions can be formulated. Graduates of the program have many professional options and opportunities, from entry-level work as mechanical engineers to graduate studies in either an engineering discipline or in another field where a broad engineering background is useful. Regardless of the ultimate career choice, graduates leave the program with a solid grounding in the principals and practice of mechanical engineering, equipped to embark upon a lifetime of learning, while employing new concepts, technologies and methodologies.


The Mechanical Engineering department offers a Summer Undergraduate Research Institute. The 2014-15 SURI program will include student research training in team settings (e.g., students working together on larger projects directed by staff and faculty), and in individually-directed research settings (e.g., the student will work closely with a faculty advisor or senior graduate student).

The program is open only to Stanford undergraduate students. Students do not necessarily have to be declared ME majors. There is no formal application for participation in the ME SURI. Students who are interested in participating in the ME program should seek out research opportunities directly with ME faculty and secure a commitment/position for the summer by the end of May. Sponsoring faculty will contact the program administrator once a commitment to a student is made. Students can also contact the program administrator, Perry Thoorsell at directly for more information.


Professional licensing is an important aspect of professional responsibility. Although civil engineers may find professional registration more important in securing employment, mechanical engineers should seriously consider pursuing licensing as well. A professional license can be important if you work as a consultant or at a small start-up. An engineer working for a start-up or small technical company must fill a much wider spectrum of professional roles than would be the case working for a larger company. Those roles would typically include certifying drawings and other technical materials that require a license as a professional engineer.

In addition to certifying the accuracy of technical materials produced by yourself or your company, a professional license is important if you have to testify as an expert witness or perform other functions related to the legal system. In many states, including California, you cannot legally use the title “engineer” unless you are a licensed Professional Engineer. In fact the California law requires that “…only a person appropriately licensed with the Board may practice or offer to practice mechanical engineering.”

To attain a professional license you must take the Fundamentals of Engineering (F.E.) examination administered by the California Board for Professional Engineers and Land Surveyors ( or equivalent body in the state in which you plan to practice. The examination may be taken at any time, but most people find it easier to pass when completing their undergraduate work and more difficult later on. After passing the F.E. examination you will be eligible to receive an Engineer in Training (E.I.T.) certificate. At least two more years of practical experience and a further examination are required for a full license.


Program Educational Objectives:

  • Graduates of our program will have the scientific and technical background for successful careers in diverse organizations.
  • Graduates of our program will be leaders, and effective communicators, both in the profession and in the community.
  • Graduates of our program will be motivated and equipped to successfully pursue postgraduate study whether in engineering, or in other fields.
  • Graduates of our program will have a professional and ethical approach to their careers with a strong awareness of the social contexts in which they work.

Student Outcomes:

  • Technical Skills
  1. an ability to apply knowledge of science, engineering and mathematics including multivariate calculus and differential equations
  2. an ability to design and conduct experiments, as well as to analyze and interpret data
  3. an ability to design a system, component, or process to meet desired needs within realistic constraints
  4. an ability to identify, formulate, and solve engineering problems
  5. an ability to use the techniques, skills, and modern engineering tools necessary for engineering practice
  6. experience in both thermal and mechanical systems including the design and realization of either type of system
  • Professional Skills
  1. an ability to function on multidisciplinary teams
  2. an understanding of professional and ethical responsibility
  3. an ability to communicate effectively
  4. The broad education necessary to understand the impact of engineering solutions in a global, economic, environmental, and societal context
  5. a recognition of the need for, and an ability to engage in life-long learning
  6. a knowledge of contemporary issues


Mathematics and Science

The program requires a minimum 45 units of Math and Science combined; choose additional unit from either math or science

Mathematics (24 units minimum)

  • MATH 41/42 or AP/IB Calculus credit, 10 units
  • CME102/ENGR 155A or MATH 53 Differential Equations, 5 units
  • Statistics; must be calculus-based (CME 106, STATS 110 or STATS 116) 4-5 units
  • Plus additional course such as MATH 51 or CME 100, 5 units

Science (20 units minimum)

Must include both chemistry and physics, with a depth in at least one (a depth is defined as three courses). The general chemistry course requirement is met by taking CHEM 31X, or ENGR 31, or by taking both CHEM 31A and CHEM 31B. Students who choose to take CHEM31A/B should note that, though it is allowed to count all 8-10 units toward the science unit minimum, these two courses combined are considered one quarter worth of chemistry: A depth in chemistry is fulfilled by taking CHEM 31+33+ a higher level course. See the Mathematics and Science Requirement on pages 6-9 of the 2015-16 UG handbook for details.

Physics Depth: Students without advanced placement in Physics take PHYSICS 41, 43, & 45. Students with advanced placement should refer to the AP chart in the Stanford Bulletin for placement details. Note that only a score of 4 or 5 on the AP Physics C exam (not AP Physics B), will place a student out of a 40-series class requirement.
Chemistry Depth: Students opting to take chemistry as their science depth must also take one quarter of physics from the 40 (calculus-based) series. Courses from the Physics 20 series are not allowed.
Score of 4 or 5 in Mechanics (AP Physics C) Take Physics 43 & 45
Score of 4 or 5 in Electricity & Magnetism (AP Physics C) Take Physics 41 & 45
Score of 4 or 5 for both Mechanics and Electricity & Magnetism (AP Physics C) Take Physics 45

The program requires a minimum 68 units of ENGR Fundamentals and ME Depth combined

Engineering Fundamentals

Three courses required (Fr, So, Jr year)

  • ENGR 40 Introductory Electronics, 5 units, W; OR ENGR 40M. Making Stuff: What is EE (req’d) 5 units, A,S; So,Jr
  • ENGR 70A Programming Methodology (req’d) 5 units, A,W,S,Su; Fr,So
  • Fundamental Elective* -- CS 106B or X not allowed; See Approved Courses page for list of approved alternatives

 *ME fundamentals elective may not be a course counted towards other requirements. Students may opt to use ENGR 14, 15, or 30 from the required depth courses as the third fundamental class. However, total units for Engineering Topics (Fundamentals + Depth) must be a minimum of 68 units. Additional options courses may be required to meet unit requirements.

Technology in Society (TIS)

One course required from SoE approved list; see Approved Courses page.

ME Depth Requirements

(55-56 units from the following list)

Note: A minimum of 68 units consisting of a combination of ME Depth and Engineering Fundamentals courses must be taken in order to satisfy ABET and SoE graduation requirements.

  • ENGR 14 Introduction to Solid Mechanics, 4 units, A,W,S (Fr,So year)
  • ENGR 15 Dynamics, 4 units, A,S (So, Jr year)
  • ENGR 30 Engineering Thermodynamics, 3 units, AWS (So,Jr year)
  • ME 70 Introductory Fluids Engineering, 4 units, W,S (So,Jr year)
  • ME 80 Mechanics of Materials, 4 units, A,W,S (Jr,Sr year)
  • ME101 Visual Thinking, 4 units, A,W,S (So,Jr year)
  • ME 103D Engineering Drawing, 1 unit, A,W (So,Jr year)
  • ME 112* Mechanical Systems Design, 4 units, W (Jr,Sr year)
  • ME 113 Mechanical Engineering Design, 4 units, S (Jr,Sr year)

or ME 114 Consumer Analytical Product Design, 4 units, S

  • ME 131A* Heat Transfer, 3-5 units, A (Jr year)
  • ME 131B Fluid Mechanics: Compressible Flow and Turbomachinery, 4 units, W,S (Sr year)
  • ME 140* Advanced Thermal Systems, 5 units, S (Jr,Sr year)
  • ME 161 Dynamic Systems, 4 units, A
  • ME 203* Manufacturing & Design, 4 units, A,W (Jr,Sr year)
  • Two or three courses from the following: AA 283, ENGR 105, ENGR 110, ENGR 240, ME 210, ME 219, ME 220, ME 227, ME 250, ME 257, ME 260, ME 314, ME 324, ME 331A, ME 331B, ME 345, ME 348, ME 351A, ME 351B
  • Writing in the Major
  • Taking all of these three courses (ME 112, ME 131A, and ME 140) fulfills the “Writing in the Major” requirement. ENGR 102M is no longer offered.

1. The Undergraduate Curriculum Committee of the Department of Mechanical Engineering Student Services Office must approve any deviation from the Engineering Depth (ME) requirement. Such petitions must be prepared on the School of Engineering petition forms (see the Petitions page on this site), approved by the advisor, and submitted by the third week of the quarter before the expected graduation quarter. For example, for a June graduation, a student must submit the petition by the third week of Winter quarter.
2. It is recommended that students review prerequisites for all courses before planning their course sequence
3. Petitions to deviate from School of Engineering requirements (i.e., math, science, Engineering Fundamentals, TIS) must be approved by the Dean’s office in 135 Huang Engineering Center.

Instructions for Declaring Mechanical Engineering (ME-BS)

1. Print a copy of your transcript from Axess.
2. Download and complete an ME program sheet from the Program Sheets page; you may use any PS from a year in which you are enrolled as an UG at Stanford. Please include courses you plan to take as well as those you have already taken. You may pick up a major declaration form from the Mechanical Engineering Student Services Office (Building 530, room 125).
3. Contact the ME Undergraduate Peer Advisor at for an appointment to go over your program sheet and select an advisor.
4. Discuss the program with your advisor and have him/her approve and sign your completed program sheet and major declaration form.
5. Return all completed documents and transcripts to the Student Services Office, Building 530, room 125.
6. Attend the quarterly ME Declaration meeting to finalize the process. For more information on the meeting, please speak with Kelly Guerriero.

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