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Mechanical Engineering

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College of Engineering and Computer Science



Undergraduate Degree:

B.S., Mechanical Engineering

Graduate Degree:

M.S., Mechanical Engineering


The Mechanical Engineering program is accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET, www.abet.org.

Mission Statement

The mission of the Mechanical Engineering Department is to provide a broad, rigorous, application-oriented and contemporary understanding of mechanical engineering that prepares graduates for successful careers and lifelong learning.

The Major

Mechanical Engineering majors at CSUN receive a solid education in the fundamentals of the discipline augmented by hands-on experience that employers have found to be invaluable. Design concepts and projects are integrated throughout the curriculum.

The freshmen and sophomore years provide the student with a breadth of knowledge that is required in specialized courses and in the career work of the mechanical engineer. During these years, students take courses in mathematics, chemistry, physics, computer programming, engineering materials, engineering mechanics, electrical systems and mechanical design. The junior year courses include engineering economics, engineering dynamics, strength of materials, thermodynamics, fluid mechanics, heat transfer, mechanical design, the numerical analysis of engineering systems and computer-aided analysis and design.

The senior year is composed of a group of required and elective courses that are related to the student’s area of specialization within Mechanical Engineering. The required courses include system dynamics, mechatronics and 2 semesters of senior design. Students can take their electives to obtain more in-depth knowledge in the following areas: aerospace engineering, automotive engineering, controls engineering, environmental engineering, mechanical design and thermal-fluid systems.

The Mechanical Engineering Department takes a practical approach to engineering, offering hands-on design experience as well as theoretical knowledge. That’s an advantage on the job because our graduates have had experience constructing projects, not just analyzing and designing them. A key to this practical training is the Department’s Senior Design Program, which is modeled on the industry work groups that students will encounter on the job. Like professional engineers, students design and develop a project, from conception through manufacture. In the process, they gain valuable experience in working as a team, overcoming technical and management challenges and developing communication skills. Past senior design projects have included an autonomous intelligent ground vehicle, battle-bots, a Formula SAE race car, a human powered vehicle, unmanned aerial systems and systems for petroleum polluted soil and water cleanup.

Department lab facilities, contained in approximately a dozen labs with a total floor space of more than 20,000 square feet, include:

  1. 1. A lab for studying modern methods of measurement and mechatronics;
  2. 2. A systems engineering lab used for research on automated air traffic simulations;
  3. 3. A fully instrumented engine and vehicle performance and emissions test facility, including a chassis and several engine dynamometers;
  4. 4. An environmental test chamber for temperature (-30°C to +65°C) and humidity environmental testing that includes an automotive chassis dynamometer;
  5. 5. A state-of-the-art computer-controlled manufacturing facility (Haas Lab), together with a student machine shop;
  6. 6. Low-speed wind tunnel for testing models at up to 200 mph;
  7. 7. A small rocket engine test stand in an explosion-proof test cell;
  8. 8. A thermofluid systems lab used for heat transfer and fluid flow experiments;
  9. 9. A controls lab used for studying automatic control systems, as well as autonomous vehicles; and
  10. 10. A Design Center containing state-of-the-art workstations for conceptual design and analysis.

Through student chapters of two national organizations, the Society of Automotive Engineers and the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, students can get to know more about the field and each other outside of class.

Educational Objectives 

The CSUN Undergraduate Program prepares students to enter the engineering profession as a skilled practitioner who can make a solid contribution to the field, find job satisfaction and have a lifelong career. To accomplish this overall goal, a CSUN graduate should have the following accomplishments during the first few years following graduation:

  1. 1. Have an engineering job or a position that requires the application of the graduate’s engineering education;
  2. 2. A record of effective application of undergraduate educational tools to accomplish tasks assigned in the workplace. This includes mathematics, science, engineering fundamentals, and engineering design, test and evaluation;
  3. 3. Demonstrated accomplishments in preparing effective reports, technical presentations and other technical communications;
  4. 4. Has been able to learn new material required to carry out job assignments; and
  5. 5. Is regarded by colleagues and supervisors as an effective member of the work team, demonstrating skills, initiative, professional and ethical responsibility, and knowledge of all issues (including economic, environmental and societal, in a global context) affecting his or her work. Appropriate leadership skills also are demonstrated.


Elaine Alvarado (Office Manager)