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Department of Mechanical Engineering

Mechanical engineering is a broad field primarily concerned with the principles of motion, energy, and force. Mechanical engineers are called upon to design machinery, mechanisms, and systems that function safely, reliably, and efficiently to serve needs of society. To accomplish this, mechanical engineers apply scientific principles to problems that involve the motion of heat, gases, fluids, and solid materials.

Mechanical engineers may be found in nearly all segments of society. They work in industry, consulting practices, government facilities, and universities. In industry, mechanical engineers work for equipment manufacturers, utilities, material processing plants, environmental firms, and companies that deal with aerospace, transportation, petroleum, biomedical products, and others. Mechanical engineers employed by the government and universities contribute to the betterment of society by conducting research to solve present and future problems. As technology becomes more prevalent in daily life, mechanical engineers are increasingly called upon to apply that technology to develop devices that improve the standard of living.

Mechanical Engineering Major

The Mechanical Engineering program at NDSU is accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET ( The curriculum is designed to produce baccalaureate-level graduates who are well prepared to accept engineering positions in industry and government or to pursue advanced degree studies.


The Department of Mechanical Engineering at NDSU will contribute to the aspirations of a land-grant university in the three primary components of education, research, and service. In support of these endeavors the mission of the department is to:

Educational Objectives

Within a few years of graduation, alumni of the mechanical engineering program at NDSU are expected to have:

    1. Maintained an ability and willingness to adapt to emerging technologies through continued professional development
    2. Provided contributions to the engineering profession in the field of their choice
    3. Demonstrated a commitment to uphold high ethical and professional standards in the practice of engineering
    4. Exhibited their ability to function in a team environment and interact with people of diverse backgrounds
    5. Shown a commitment to be engaged and conscientious practitioners who understand the context in which their designs are implemented and the corresponding impact of their activities on society

      A complete listing of the student outcomes associated with these objectives can be viewed on the department’s web site.

      Strong program emphasis is placed on engineering science, laboratory, and design. The use of modern computer tools and techniques in engineering practice also is incorporated throughout the curriculum. In addition, liberal arts education is included to prepare graduates for becoming concerned and productive members of society.

      Students transferring into mechanical engineering from other departments or institutions are encouraged to do so no later than the beginning of the junior year if they wish to complete the degree requirements within two academic years.

      Graduate programs leading to Master of Science and Doctor of Philosophy degrees in Mechanical Engineering are offered by the department. For more complete details, see the Graduate Bulletin online.

      Selective Admission

      The Department of Mechanical Engineering has a selective admission policy. To be admitted to the basic program (freshman and sophomore level), freshman applicants must either rank in the top one-third of their high school graduating class or have received a score of 26 or higher in the math portion of the ACT. Transfer students, whether from another university or from another department at NDSU, must have an institutional grade point average (GPA) of at least 2.80.

      To enter the professional program (junior and senior level), students must complete the basic program with an institutional GPA of 2.80, and a core course GPA of 2.80, with no grade below 'C' in any one of the core courses.

      A minimum institutional GPA of 2.50 is required for graduation from Mechanical Engineering. No course grades less than 'C' are acceptable to fulfill a program requirement.


      All Mechanical Engineering majors choose a minimum of five technical elective courses. These courses cover a wide range of topics and students may tailor their choices to reflect their special interests in solid mechanics and design, thermal sciences, materials and nanotechnology, injection molding, biomechanical engineering, or other areas as added in the future. For a complete list of technical electives available in each area, students should consult with their adviser, the department, or the curriculum guide.


      Coatings and Polymeric Materials Minor

      Students wishing to prepare for a career as a mechanical engineer in the plastics and coatings industries, or for a career in a manufacturing industry as a mechanical engineer with expertise in the fields of plastics and coatings, are encouraged to pursue a minor in Coatings and Polymeric Materials (CPM). Numerous career opportunities for mechanical engineers with this specialized training are available in the coatings industry, which manufactures paints and coatings to enhance and preserve such items as automobiles, ships, steel structures, machines, and household appliances. Many other opportunities are available in various manufacturing industries where more and more components previously fabricated from metals are now made from plastics and fiber-reinforced composite materials. Due to the unique nature of this program, the demand for graduates far exceeds the supply.


      Aviation Program

      A program of flight training is available, which prepares students for the FAA examinations for the Private Pilot’s License. Three courses are offered under this program:

      • ME 311, Introduction to Aviation
      • ME 312, Introduction to Flight
      • ME 313, Commercial Instrument Ground School

      Any student enrolled at NDSU or one of the other two Tri-College institutions may enroll in this program. No other courses are required as prerequisites.

      Cooperative Education

      Students in Mechanical Engineering may participate in the Cooperative Education program at NDSU starting in their sophomore year. Students gain valuable industrial experience to complement their academic studies. Internships may last from one to three semesters.

      Wages and benefits for Cooperative Education students are determined by the employer and are influenced by such factors as established wage scales, the co-op student’s responsibilities, and the nature of the employer’s business.

      Program Curriculum Guides:
      Program Fact Sheet:

      Student Focused. Land Grant. Research University.

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      Undergraduate Bulletin
      Phone: +1 (701) 231-7981 / Toll Free: +1 (800) 608-6378 / Fax: (701) 231-8959
      Campus address: Ceres Hall 110
      Physical/delivery address: 1301 Administration Ave., Fargo, ND 58102
      Mailing address: NDSU Dept. 5210 / P.O. Box 6050 / Fargo, ND 58108-6050
      Page manager: Office of Registration and Records

      Last Updated: Tuesday, August 20, 2013 11:41:20 AM