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MIT Admissions

Mechanical Engineering

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MIT Undergraduate Departments
Mechanical Engineering
Course 2
Programs Offered: Major, Double Major, Minor
Department Head: Mary Boyce
Department Headquarters: 3-173
Undergraduate Administrator: Brandy Baker
Undergraduate Office: 1-110
UROP Coordinator: Derek Rowell

Mechanical Engineering is a department in MIT's School of Engineering, otherwise known as Course 2.

It is considered the most awesome of the courses.


Undergraduate Programs

Our undergraduate programs combine a broad-based education in the engineering sciences with a strong grounding in quantitative, problem-solving, design, and communications skills. By emphasizing both analytical and creative methods, MechE gives students the broad skills set they need to pursue their goals - whether that means working as an engineer, founding a company, continuing on to graduate study and research, or going to a professional school to study medicine, business, or law.

MechE majors may choose from three SB degree programs, and undergraduates from other majors may pursue a minor in mechanical engineering to enhance their academic portfolio and broaden their knowledge base.

All three undergraduate degree programs prepare students for professional practice in an era of rapidly advancing technology. They combine a strong base in the engineering sciences (mechanics, materials, fluid and thermal sciences, systems, and control) with project-based laboratory and design experiences. All strive to help students develop independence, creative talent, and leadership, as well as the capability for continuing professional growth.

SB in Mechanical Engineering (Course 2) is the traditional program leading to the bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering. Course 2 is a structured program that prepares students for a broad range of career choices in the field of mechanical engineering.

SB in Engineering as Recommended by the Department of Mechanical Engineering (Course 2-A) is intended for students whose career objectives require greater flexibility. Course 2-A allows students to combine the essential elements of the traditional mechanical engineering program with study in another, complementary field.

SB in Mechanical & Ocean Engineering (Course 2-OE) is a structured program for students who wish to combine a firm foundation in mechanical engineering with a specialization in ocean engineering.

Course 2: SB in Mechanical Engineering

The program in mechanical engineering provides a broad intellectual foundation in the field of mechanical engineering. The program develops the relevant engineering fundamentals, includes various experiences in their application, and introduces the important methods and techniques of engineering practice.

Students are urged to contact the ME Undergraduate Office (Room 1-110) as soon as they have decided to enter mechanical engineering so that a faculty advisor may be assigned. Students, together with their faculty advisors, plan a program that best utilizes the departmental electives and the 48 units of unrestricted electives available in the Course 2 degree program.

This curriculum has been accredited by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology as a mechanical engineering degree.

Course 2-A: SB in Engineering as recommended by the Department of Mechanical Engineering

Course 2-A is designed for students whose academic and career goals demand greater breadth and flexibility than are allowed under the mechanical engineering program, Course 2. To a large extent, the 2-A program allows students an opportunity to tailor a curriculum to their own needs, starting from a solid mechanical engineering base. The program combines a rigorous grounding in core mechanical engineering subjects with an individualized course of study focused on a second area that the student designs with the help and approval of the 2-A faculty advisor. The program leads to the degree Bachelor of Science in Engineering as recommended by the Department of Mechanical Engineering.

This curriculum has been accredited by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology as an engineering degree.

A significant part of the 2-A curriculum consists of electives chosen by the student to provide in-depth study of a field of the student’s choosing. A wide variety of popular concentrations are possible in which well-selected academic subjects complement a foundation in mechanical engineering and general Institute requirements. Some examples of potential concentrations include biomedical engineering and pre-medicine; energy conversion engineering; engineering management; product development; robotics; sustainable development; and architecture and building technology. The ME faculty have developed specific recommendations in some of these areas; details are available in the 2A blog and elsewhere on this site.

Concentrations are not limited to those listed above. Students are encouraged to design and propose technically oriented concentrations that reflect their own needs and those of society.

The student’s overall program must contain a total of at least one and one-half years of engineering- topics content (144 units) appropriate to the student’s field of study. The required core and second-level subjects include approximately 75 units of engineering topics. The self-designed concentration must include at least 69 more units of engineering topics. While engineering topics are usually covered through engineering subjects, subjects outside the School of Engineering may provide material essential to the engineering program of some concentrations. For example, management subjects usually form an essential part of a engineering management concentration. In all cases, the relationship of concentration subjects to the particular theme of the concentration must be obvious; the concentration subjects must be letter-graded; and the concentration subjects may not fulfill GIR requirements. A thesis (2.ThU) of up to 12 units may be included in the concentration, if desired.

Students who wish to pursue this degree must advise the department’s Undergraduate Office during their sophomore year to allow enough time to plan a complete program. Registration for this degree program requires approval in writing from the ME Undergraduate Office. Registration forms are available in the ME Undergraduate Office or from the link below; they should be submitted within one term of entering Course 2-A.

Course 2-A enrollment form:

Read the feature story Course 2-A: Customized Curriculum on this site to learn more.

Course 2-OE: SB in Mechanical and Ocean Engineering

This program is intended for students who are interested in combining a firm foundation in mechanical engineering with a specialization in ocean engineering. The program includes engineering aspects of the ocean sciences, ocean exploration and utilization of the oceans for transportation, defense, and extracting resources. Theory, experiment and computation of ocean systems and flows are covered in a number of courses, complementing a rigorous mechanical engineering program; a hands-on capstone design class allows the student to master the design of advanced marine systems, including autonomous underwater vehicles and smart sensors.

This curriculum has been accredited by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology in both mechanical engineering and ocean engineering.

Graduates have exciting opportunities in the offshore and oceanographic industry, the Navy or government, or further study in graduate school.

Read the feature story Center for Ocean Engineering: Anchors Away to learn more about ocean engineering at MIT.

Minor in Mechanical Engineering

About the Course 2 minor:

Graduate Programs

The Graduate Program in Mechanical Engineering brings together faculty members and post-baccalaureate students into a community of scholars with a common interest in innovation, creativity and advanced professional study. It seeks to provide, in the atmosphere of a professional school, the widest possible opportunity for advanced study and investigation and for intimate association among workers whose common objective is to extend the boundaries of their profession.

The Mechanical Engineering Department offers the following graduate degrees:

  1. Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering (SMME)
  2. Master of Science in Ocean Engineering (SMOE)
  3. Master of Science in Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering (SMNAME)
  4. Master of Science in Oceanographic Engineering (SMOGE, joint MIT/WHOI degree)
  5. Master of Engineering in Manufacturing
  6. Mechanical Engineer's (ME) degree
  7. Naval Engineer's (NE) degree
  8. Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) or Doctor of Science (ScD), which differs in name only (this includes the joint MIT/WHOI degrees)

The department also participates in the dual-degree Leaders for Global Operations Program (LGO).

Persons interested in applying to the Graduate Program should start by reading the Guide to Graduate Study in Mechanical Engineering at MIT. This document contains essential information about entrance requirements, application procedures, financial support, and thesis supervision. It also provides detailed descriptions of the many graduate degrees that are available.

The Guide to Graduate Study is available in PDF format at this website:


Research in the department may be broadly divided into seven so-called "thrust" areas. The links below provide descriptions of departmental research laboratories and centers. Descriptions of the research interests and activities of individual faculty may be found in the faculty personal pages.

Mechanics: Modeling, Experimentation, & Computation Computational Mechanics, Fluid Mechanics, Mechanics of Solid Materials, Nonlinear Dynamics, Acoustics, Transport Phenomena.

Design, Manufacturing, & Product Development Design theory and applications, computer aided design, product design, design for manufacturing, axiomatic design, manufacturing systems and processes, precision engineering, applications.

Controls, Instrumentation, & Robotics Control theory and application, modeling, system theory, optics, quantum computing, information technology and applications.

Energy Science & Engineering Engines, propulsion systems, power generation, combustion and reaction, wind power, solar energy, electrochemical energy storage, thermoelectricity, fuel cells, thermodynamics, heat and mass transfer, cryogenics, nanoscale systems and processes.

Ocean Science & Engineering Marine hydrodynamics, ocean acoustics, marine robotics, naval architecture, offshore structures, naval construction and engineering, ship design.

Bioengineering Biomechanics, bio-instrumentation, imaging and image analysis, tissue engineering and modeling, human rehabilitation, bio-fluid mechanics.

Micro & Nano Engineering Creating new engineering knowledge and products on the micro and nano-scale.

External Links

For more details about Mechanical Engineering, visit the MechE website: