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Undergraduate Program

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Class of 2017
Sibley School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering  B.S., Mechanical Engineering  Class of 2017 - click for larger image.

MechE Undergraduate Blog

Undergraduates earn a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering. A flowchart of the Major Program in Mechanical Engineering as part of the Common Curriculum requirements for an engineering degree at Cornell is available on the Forms page. The Major program is inside the dashed box; the overview shows the requirements for a student who has no advanced placement credit. An example is provided to show how this basic program can be modified to meet Pre-Med requirements. Detailed descriptions of the requirements for the BSME degree and an Engineering Degree Checklist are also provided.

The Major Program is designed to provide a broad background in the fundamentals of Mechanical Engineering as well as to offer an introduction to the many professional and technical areas with which mechanical engineers are concerned. The program covers both major streams of the major of mechanical engineering.

Mechanical systems (structural analysis, dynamics, and control), and materials processing are concerned with the design, analysis, testing, and manufacture of machinery, vehicles, devices, and systems. Particular areas of concentration are mechanical systems, vehicle engineering, biomechanics, and materials processing and precision engineering. Other topics covered are computer aided design, vibrations, and control systems, and dynamics.

Fluids, energy, and heat-transfer systems are concerned with the experimental and theoretical aspects of fluid flow and heat transfer; the sciences of thermodynamics and combustion; and the analysis and design of related systems. Specific areas of concentration include fluids/aerospace engineering; thermal systems engineering; and vehicle engineering.

The technical portion of the overall undergraduate program consists of four parts: required mathematics and science (Terms 1-4), fundamental engineering science (Terms 3 and 4), required courses in Mechanical Engineering (Terms 4-7), and upper level electives in Mechanical Engineering (Terms 7 and 8).

The required mathematics and science courses are described in the Common Curriculum for the College of Engineering (see the Course Catalog or the Engineering Undergraduate Handbook).

Engineering science courses are taken during the sophomore year. All students who plan to enter the Mechanical Engineering (ME) Program take ENGRD 2020 (also MAE 2020)  as an engineering distribution course during Term 3. It is strongly recommended that students take ENGRD 2210 (also MAE 2210) in term 3.  Engrd 2210 is a major requirement which may also satisfy Common Curriculum requirements as an engineering distribution course. Students considering affiliation with another major,  in addition to ME, usually take the required engineering distribution course for that major in Term 3, rather than ENGRD 2210. In such cases students may delay ENGRD 2210 until the Summer (if offered) or the following term this course is offered. Throughout the program, students are required to take courses that emphasize the engineering design aspects of Mechanical Engineering. These courses include Introduction to Engineering (taken as a first-year student), MAE 2250 Mechanical Synthesis (taken during the sophomore year), MAE 4300 Professional Practice in Mechanical Engineering (taken as a senior), and the required Senior Design elective. Introduction to Mechanical Engineering, ENGRI 1170, is not required to affiliate into Mechanical Engineering.

The required upper level courses include MAE 3230, 3240, 3250 (not offered after Fall 2016), 3260, 3272 (not offered after Spring 2017), 4272, and MAE 4300 and Supervised Senior Design Experience.  MAE 3270 and 3280 will be required for students after 3250 and 3272 are no longer offered. The upper level program also includes a large number of electives (five Major Program Approved Electives and two Advisor Approved Electives) that can be used to build a program with particular emphasis for individual students.

Student Spotlight

Lucy Wang, B.S., Mechanical Engineering '17

When I first got to Cornell, I had no idea what I wanted to study because I wanted to study everything. read more

Anshuman Das, B.S., Mechanical Engineering '18

I decided to join Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering because I wanted to apply my skills in mathematical analysis and very basic knowledge of physics to a broad range of phenomena involved with spacecraft. read more