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BS in Mechanical Engineering

Mechanical engineering involves the design, analysis, testing, and manufacture of mechanical and thermal systems. Mechanical engineers are employed in nearly every industry, from basic research through mass production of energy systems, computer software/hardware, robotics, and vehicles of all kinds. Due to high demand for mechanical engineers and the excellent undergraduate program at UT, the mechanical engineering degree is one of the largest degree programs.

Mechanical engineering is a versatile and broadly-based engineering discipline that also provides pathways into many exciting fields of specialization. Its foundation is in the basic sciences, but mechanical engineers must further understand such subject areas as mechanical design, solid and fluid mechanics, thermodynamics, heat transfer, vibrations, manufacturing processes, instrumentation and automatic control. Design projects throughout the curriculum develop student skills in handling practical real-world problems. Because of the broad engineering foundation and design training in this program, graduates are found in nearly every industry and at different levels of research, design, and management.

Visit the course catalog for academic policies and requirements.


Below is the list of courses for each of the four years of the mechanical engineering program. 128 total credit hours are needed.

Term 1 Hours Milestone Notes
CHEM 120* or CHEM 128* 4 MATH 130 or MATH 131 or higher or one Arts and Humanities*, Cultures and Civilizations*, or Social Sciences* Elective
EF 105 1
EF 151* or EF 157* 4
ENGL 101* or ENGL 118* 3
MATH 132* or MATH 141* or MATH 147* 3-4
Term 2
1Cultures and Civilizations Elective* 3 MATH 130 or or MATH 131 or higher
EF 152* or EF 158* 4
ENGL 102* 3
MATH 142* or MATH 148* 4
ME 202 2
Term 3
ECON 201* or ECON 207* 4 EF 151* or PHYS 135*
EF 230 2
MATH 241 or MATH 247 4
ME 210*, ME 231 5
Term 4
1Arts and Humanities Elective* 3 EF 152* or PHYS 136*
MATH 231 or MATH 237,  MATH 251 or MATH 257 6
ME 321 3
MSE 201 or MSE 207 3
PHYS 231* 3
Term 5
AE 341 or AE 347 3 CBE 201 or COSC 102* or ME 202 or MSE 201
ECE 301 3
ME 331, ME 366, ME 391 or ME 397 9
Term 6
2Departmental Elective 3 No milestones
ME 344, ME 345, ME 363 or ME 367, ME 466 12
Term 7
1Arts and Humanities Elective* 3 No milestones
Cultures and Civilizations Elective 3
ME 365 or ME 463, ME 450, ME 475 or ME 477 9
3Technical Elective 3
Term 8
2Departmental Electives 6 No milestones
ME 449*, ME 460 6
1Social Sciences Elective* 3

* Meets University General Education Requirement.
1 Choose any course from the University General Education list.
2 Any 300-level or above courses in aerospace, biomedical, or mechanical engineering that are not already required.
3 Must be pre-approved and petitioned by the advisor and department head.


The College of Engineering offers a minor in mechanical engineering to those undergraduate students whose academic history provides the prerequisites for the courses required by the minor. The minor requires the completion of a minimum of 21 credits. Some of the courses used in the minor may also satisfy requirements for the student’s major.

Students may enroll in the minor program by completing a form in the advising office, 316A Dougherty Engineering Building. A copy of the completed enrollment form and information on the minor requirements will be forwarded to the student’s home department advisor. The minor consists of 21 hours.

ME 344 – Heat Transfer
ME 345 – Mechanical Engineering Instrumentation and Measurement
ME 363 – System Dynamics
ME 466 – Elements of Machine Design II

Select one course:
AE 449 – Aerospace Engineering Laboratory
BME 430 – Biomedical Engineering Laboratory
ME 449 – Mechanical Engineering Laboratory

Select one course:
ME 365 – Mechanisms
ME 463 – Mechanical Vibration

Select one course:
ME 451 – Control Systems
ME 475 – Thermal Engineering

Honors Mechanical Engineering Concentration

In addition to satisfying the requirements for the mechanical engineering major, candidates for the honors mechanical engineering concentration must also complete the following  requirements.

  • Maintain an overall GPA of 3.4.
  • Four 100- or 200-level honors courses* (14 hours minimum, at least two courses must be from Materials Science and Engineering, Engineering Fundamentals, Physics, Math, Chemistry, Biology, Statistics, or MSE 207).
  • Complete two upper-division honors courses in mechanical engineering (ME 367, ME 397, ME 477).
  • Satisfy the Breadth Requirements for the Cook Grand Challenge Honors Program.

*While most students fulfill this requirement with 100- and 200-level courses, students may substitute upper level courses on approval of the Honors faculty.

Five-Year BS/MS Mechanical Engineering Program

The department offers a 5-year BS-MS program for qualified students. The primary component of the program is that qualified students may take up to 9 hours of approved graduate courses for their senior undergraduate electives and have them count toward both their bachelor’s and master’s degrees at the University of Tennessee. This program is designed for students attending the University of Tennessee for their Master of Science degree because other universities may not accept these courses for graduate credit since they were used to satisfy requirements for the Bachelor of Science degree. Significant components of the program are:

  • Students must have an overall GPA of at least 3.4 to be admitted to the program. Conditional admission may be granted after completing 64 hours of required course work while full admission is granted after completing 96 hours of required course work with a minimum overall GPA of 3.4 in required course work.
  • Students must at least have conditional admission before taking graduate courses for both their bachelor’s and master’s degrees. All courses taken for graduate credit must be approved by the departmental chair of the program. Students admitted to the program must request permission from the Graduate School to take approved courses for graduate credit. Students admitted to the program must also follow the normal procedure for admission to the Graduate School.
  • Admission of students into this program must be approved by the department and the Graduate School.
  • Students will not be eligible for graduate assistantships until they are enrolled as graduate-level students in the Graduate School.

Click here for more information on the Five-Year BS/MS Program.