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Mechanical Engineering Program

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2023-24 Mechanical Engineering UG Program

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 theoretical and practical experiences that form a foundation 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 other fields 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.

Research Experience for Undergraduates

The Mechanical Engineering department offers a Summer Undergraduate Research Institute. The 2023-24 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). Students who are accepted into SURI will receive a summer fellowship stipend sufficient to cover on-campus housing or the equivalent.

The program is open only to Stanford undergraduate students but students do not necessarily have to be declared ME majors. The application process includes completing a form online, with submissions due by the end of March. Students are strongly encouraged to seek out and obtain a commitment from a faculty advisor before completing the online application. Students should note that SURI enrollment is capped due to funding limitations and preference is given to students with faculty commitments. Students can also contact ME Student Services  directly for more information.

Professional Licensing

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.

Objectives and Outcomes for Mechanical Engineering

These outcomes are operationalized through learning objectives, which students are expected to demonstrate:

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

Learning Outcomes (Undergraduate)

The department expects undergraduate majors in the program to be able to demonstrate the following learning outcomes:

  1.  an ability to identify, formulate, and solve complex engineering problems by applying principles of engineering, science, and mathematics
  2.  an ability to apply engineering design to produce solutions that meet specified needs with consideration of public health, safety, and welfare, as well as global, cultural, social, environmental, and economic factors
  3.  an ability to communicate effectively with a range of audiences
  4.  an ability to recognize ethical and professional responsibilities in engineering situations and make informed judgments, which must consider the impact of engineering solutions in global, economic, environmental, and societal contexts
  5.  an ability to function effectively on a team whose members together provide leadership, create a collaborative and inclusive environment, establish goals, plan tasks, and meet objectives
  6.  an ability to develop and conduct appropriate experimentation, analyze and interpret data, and use engineering judgment to draw conclusions
  7.  an ability to acquire and apply new knowledge as needed, using appropriate learning strategies.

4-Year Plans and Flowchart

ME Program Sheets



24 units minimum; see Basic Requirement 1 1 
CME 102/ENGR 155AOrdinary Differential Equations for Engineers5
or MATH 53Ordinary Differential Equations with Linear Algebra
Select one of the following:3-5
CME 106/ENGR 155CIntroduction to Probability and Statistics for Engineers 
STATS 110Statistical Methods in Engineering and the Physical Sciences 
STATS 116Theory of Probability 
Plus additional math courses to total min. 24 
20 units minimum; see Basic Requirement 2 1 
CHEM 31M (formerly 31X)Chemical Principles Accelerated5
Plus additional required courses 1 
Technology in Society 
One course required; TIS courses should be selected from AA 252, BIOE 131, COMM 120W, CS 181, ENGR 131 (no longer offered), HUMBIO 174, MS&E 193, or ME 267 (if taken in previous years; no longer offered)3-5
Engineering Fundamentals 
Two courses minimum; see Basic Requirement 3 
ENGR 14Intro to Solid Mechanics3
CS 106A or 106BProgramming Methodology or Abstractions5
Engineering Core 
Minimum of 68 Engineering Science and Design ABET units; see Basic Requirement 5 
ENGR 15Dynamics3
ME 1Introduction to Mechanical Engineering3
ME 30Engineering Thermodynamics3
ME 70Introductory Fluids Engineering3
ME 80Mechanics of Materials3
ME 102Foundations of Product Realization3
ME 103Product Realization: Designing and Making4
ME 104Mechanical Systems Design4
ME 123Computational Engineering4
ME 131Heat Transfer4
ME 170AMechanical Engineering Design- Integrating Context with Engineering 2,34
ME 170BMechanical Engineering Design: Integrating Context with Engineering 2,34

Core Concentrations and Concentration Electives

In addition to completing the core requirements, students must choose one of the concentration paths below. Each concentration has 2 or 3 required courses. If the chosen concentration has 2 required courses (the "Dynamic Systems and Controls" and “Materials and Structures” concentrations), then 2 of the elective courses must come from that concentration. If the chosen concentration has 3 required courses (the “Product Realization” and “Thermo, Fluids, and Heat Transfer” concentrations), then 1 of the elective courses must come from that concentration.

Additional Technical Electives

Students must select additional electives such that the combination of concentration and elective courses adds up to a minimum of 18 units. Additional Technical Electives must come from the selected concentration or another area of concentration. Up to 3 units of ME 191 (Independent Study) may be petitioned as one of these electives. Petitions should include a copy of the research contract that describes the research activities and deliverables

Dynamic Systems and Controls Concentration 
ME 161Dynamic Systems, Vibrations and Control3
ENGR 105Feedback Control Design3
Dynamic Systems and Controls Electives 
ME 327Design and Control of Haptic Systems3
ENGR 205Introduction to Control Design Techniques3
ME 210Introduction to Mechatronics4
ME 220Introduction to Sensors3-4
ME 331AAdvanced Dynamics & Computation3
ME 485Modeling and Simulation of Human Movement3
Materials and Structures Concentration 
ME 149Mechanical Measurements3
ME 152Material Behaviors and Failure Prediction3
Materials and Structures Electives 
ME 234Introduction to Neuromechanics3
ME 241Mechanical Behavior of Nanomaterials3
ME 281Biomechanics of Movement3
ME 283Introduction to Biomechanics and Mechanobiology3
ME 287Mechanics of Biological Tissues4
ME 331AAdvanced Dynamics & Computation3
ME 335AFinite Element Analysis3
ME 338Continuum Mechanics3
ME 339Introduction to parallel computing using MPI, openMP, and CUDA3
Product Realization Concentration 
ME 127Design for Additive Manufacturing3
ME 128Computer-Aided Product Realization3
ME 129Manufacturing Processes and Design3
Product Realization Electives 
ENGR 110Perspectives in Assistive Technology (ENGR 110)3
ENGR 240Introduction to Micro and Nano Electromechanical Systems3
CME 106Introduction to Probability and Statistics for Engineers (see Note 4)4
ME 210Introduction to Mechatronics4
ME 217Engineering Design Analytics: Design for Manufacture and Value Creation3
ME 263 or ME 298The Chair or Silversmithing and Design4
Thermo, Fluids, and Heat Transfer Concentration 
ME 132Intermediate Thermodynamics4
ME 133Intermediate Fluid Mechanics3
ME 149Mechanical Measurements3
Thermo, Fluids, and Heat Transfer Electives 
ME 250Internal Combustion Engines5
ME 257Gas-Turbine Design Analysis3
ME 351AFluid Mechanics3
ME 351BFluid Mechanics3
ME 352ARadiative Heat Transfer3
ME 352BFundamentals of Heat Conduction3
ME 352CConvective Heat Transfer3
ME 362APhysical Gas Dynamics3
ME 370AEnergy Systems I: Thermodynamics3
ME 370BEnergy Systems II: Modeling and Advanced Concepts4
ME 371Combustion Fundamentals3
AA 283Aircraft and Rocket Propulsion3



Math and science must total 45 units.

  • Math: 24 units required and must include a course in differential equations (CME 102 Ordinary Differential Equations for Engineers or MATH 53 Ordinary Differential Equations with Linear Algebra; one of these required) and calculus-based Statistics (CME 106 Introduction to Probability and Statistics for Engineers or STATS 110 Statistical Methods in Engineering and the Physical Sciences or STATS 116 is required.
  • Science: 20 units minimum and requires courses in calculus-based Physics and Chemistry, with at least a full year (3 courses) in one or the other. CHEM 31A Chemical Principles I/CHEM 31B Chemical Principles II are considered one course because they cover the same material as CHEM 31M  Chemical Principles Accelerated but at a slower pace. CHEM 31M Chemical Principles Accelerated is recommended.
2ME 170A and ME 170B fulfill the WIM requirement.

ME 170A and ME 170B are a 2-quarter Capstone Design Sequence and must be taken in consecutive quarters.

Senior students who have completed the capstone course (170A/B) may enroll in ME 191 for up to 3-units to continue work on their capstone project and petition those units to count towards their technical electives



 A course may only be counted towards one requirement; it may not be double-counted. For example, CME 106 units may not be double-counted in both the Math Requirement and Product Realization concentration. Students must have 24 unique units in math and science, and 68 unique EngrFund+ME Courses, respectively. Students may need to supplement additional SoE/ME-approved coursework if CME 106 is taken.

All courses taken for the major must be taken for a letter grade if that option is offered by the instructor (except for Covid year 20-21). Minimum Combined GPA for all courses in Engineering Topics (Engineering Fundamentals and Depth courses) is 2.0.


  1. PETITIONS: The Undergraduate Studies Committee of the Department of Mechanical Engineering Student Services Office must approve any deviation from the Engineering Depth (ME) requirements, and must give initial approval for any Petitions to deviate from School of Engineering requirements (i.e., math, science, Engineering Fundamentals, TIS). 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 3rd week of Winter quarter. SoE deviation petitions must also be approved by the Dean’s office in 135 Huang Engineering Center; the ME department will forward any petitions approved by the department.
  2. It is recommended that students review prerequisites for all courses before planning their course sequence.
  3. Senior students who have completed the capstone course (170A/B) may enroll in ME 191 for up to 3-units to continue work on their capstone project and petition those units to count towards their technical electives.

Coterm Application Information

Mechanical Engineering

10/6/23 for Win 23-24

01/12/24 for Spr 23-24

04/12/24 for Aut 24-25

Jessica Ray

Instructions for Declaring Mechanical Engineering (ME-BS)

  1. Download and complete an ME program sheet from the Plans & Programs webpage. Please include courses you plan to take as well as those you have already taken. If you plan on applying AP or IB credit to your program, review the School of Engineering Transfers-Ap-Exceptions webpage. Credits must be approved prior to declaration. ).
  2. Complete the “ME Declaration: Advisor Assignment” Google Form if you have not already identified an advisor and need one assigned to you. 
  3. Arrange a meeting with your Major Advisor to discuss your program and have them approve/sign your completed Program Sheet and ME Declaration form.
  4. Complete the “ME Declaration” Google Form. The following documents must be uploaded: Signed Program Sheet, Signed Declaration Form, Unofficial Transcript. >>Students can find the ME Declaration form and updated links to the necessary Google Forms on the Mechanical Engineering Student Intranet at Declaring Mechanical Engineering site.