Mechanical Engineering

College of Engineering and Computer Science

B.S., Mechanical Engineering

Requirements for the Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering (BSME) Degree 

The CSUN Mechanical Engineering Program assumes that students have a strong high school preparation in science, mathematics and English. High school courses should include 4 years of mathematics, 4 years of English and at least 1 year of Chemistry and Physics with labs. The mathematics courses should include geometry, trigonometry and algebra. Calculus is desirable.

CSUN provides the opportunity for students who have not had a complete background of pre-engineering work in high school to take courses to prepare for the major. These additional courses will not count toward the major and may increase the time to graduate. CSUN provides testing as outlined below to ensure that students start their engineering course work at an appropriate level.

The University requires all beginning students to take the Entry Level Mathematics Exam (ELM) and the English Placement Test (EPT) or obtain an exemption to these requirements by their score on an equivalent test prior to enrolling in their courses. Refer to the section of the Catalog titled Appendices-Admission for further details on these exams and alternative test.

In addition to these general University requirements, students entering the Mechanical Engineering Program need to take the following exams:

1. Mathematics Placement Test (MPT) is required prior to enrollment in MATH 150A. Students who have passed or are exempt from the ELM should take this exam prior to enrolling in their classes so they may be placed in the appropriate mathematics course. Students with scores of 3, 4, or 5 on the AP Calculus AB or BC exams are exempt from the MPT.

2. Chemistry Placement Test (CPT) is required with a minimum score of 40 prior to enrolling in CHEM 101. Students who do not achieve this score must complete CHEM 100 with a grade of “C” or better before taking CHEM 101. An advisor will review the details of these examinations with each student before they enroll in their courses.

Special Grade Requirements 

1. All students must pass the English Placement Test with a score of 151 or higher to enroll in any engineering courses at the 200-level.

2. All students must complete the Lower Division writing requirement before enrolling in any 300-level engineering courses.

3. Students who have completed 56 units and have met the Lower Division writing requirement are required to take the Upper Division Writing Proficiency Examination (UDWPE) as early as possible and no later than the semester in which 75 units are completed. Students who have not attempted the exam by the completion of 75 units will have a hold placed on their subsequent class registration and may delay their graduation..

4. Senior year courses cannot be taken unless the student has previously completed, or is concurrently completing, all freshman-, sophomore- and junior year requirements. A grade of “C-” or better is required in all courses in the major. The Mathematics Department requires a grade of “C” in prerequisite courses.

Lower Division Required Courses (47 units) 

Freshman Year 

CHEM 101/L General Chemistry and Lab (4/1)

MATH 150A Calculus I (5)

MATH 150B Calculus II (5)

ME 101/L Introduction to Mechanical Engineering and Lab (1/1)

ME 186/L Computer-Aided Design and Lab (1/1)

PHYS 220A/L Mechanics and Lab (3/1)

Sophomore Year 

CE 240 Engineering Statics (3)

ECE 240/L Electrical Engineering Fundamentals and Lab (3/1)

MATH 250 Calculus III (3)

MATH 280 Applied Differential Equations (3)

ME 209 Programming for Mechanical Engineers (1)

ME 286 Mechanical Engineering Design (2)

MSE 227/L Engineering Materials and Lab (3/1)

PHYS 220B/L Electricity and Magnetism and Lab (3/1)

Upper Division Required Courses (52 units) 

Junior Year 

AM 316 Engineering Dynamics (3)

AM 317 Mechanics Lab (1)

CE 340 Strength of Materials (3)

ME 309 Numerical Analysis of Engineering Systems (2)

ME 330 Machine Design (3)

ME 335/L Mechanical Measurements and Lab (1/1)

ME 370 Thermodynamics (3)

ME 375 Heat Transfer I (3)

ME 386/L Computer-Aided Analysis and Design (2/1)

ME 390 Fluid Mechanics (3)

MSE 304 Engineering Economy (3)

Senior Year 

ME 384 System Dynamics: Modeling, Analysis and Simulation (3)

ME 435/L Mechatronics and Lab (2/1)

ME 486A Senior Design in Mechanical Engineering I (2)

ME 486B Senior Design in Mechanical Engineering II (2)

ME 491 Experimental Methods in Thermal-Fluids Systems (1)

Upper Division Senior Electives (12 units): 

Students must select 12 units of electives from 400 and/or 500- level engineering courses. These electives, together with the required senior year courses listed above, constitute the student’s Mechanical Engineering senior year. The elective program must be approved by the Mechanical Engineering Department before the student files a graduation check. Up to 6 units from the following list of non-ME courses may be taken as senior electives.

AM 410 Vibrations Analysis (3)

CE 460/L Engineering Hydrology and Lab (2/1)

CE 487 Water Pollution (3)

ECE 410/L Electrical Machines and Energy Conversion and Lab (3/1)

ECE 411 Electric Power Systems (3)

ECE 412 Power Electronics (3)

ECE 420 Digital Systems Design with Programmable Logic (3)

ECE 425/L Microprocessor Systems and Lab (3/1)

ECE 440/L Electronics II and Lab (3/1)

ECE 501 Introduction to Biomedical Engineering (3)

MSE 527/L Mechanical Behavior of Materials and Lab (2/1)

Total Units in the Major 99 

General Education (27 Units): Mechanical Engineering majors follow a modified General Education program depending on the year and enrollment status as a college student. Returning and transfer students should consult an advisor before planning their general Education programs. The requirements for students entering in Fall 2006 or later under the new Plan R is described here. Continuing students and some first-time transfer students may elect to continue with the former GE Plan C. Students should refer to prior Catalog editions and consult with an academic advisor in selecting their required GE courses.

Mechanical Engineering students are required to take courses in the following GE sections: Analytical Reading and Expository Writing (3 units); Oral Communication (3 units); Social Sciences (3 units); Arts and Humanities (6 units); Comparative Cultures (6 units); and Title 5 (6 units). All other GE requirements are met through completion of courses in the major.

Students are required to complete 1 Upper Division Subject Explorations or Title 5 course that satisfies the Information Competency requirement.

Total Units Required for the B.S. Degree 126 


Mechanical engineers design automobiles; aircraft and space vehicles; power plants; heating and cooling systems; gas and steam turbines; servomechanisms; transmissions; engines for rockets, aircraft and ground vehicles; robots; and manufacturing production lines. They use scientific knowledge to create new and useful designs and to harness various types of energy, such as chemical, solar or thermal.

Mechanical Engineering is the broadest engineering specialty. A company that employs any engineer is likely to hire some mechanical engineers. Those companies include power-generation and public utility companies, transportation companies, construction firms, airlines, missile and spacecraft companies, electronics companies and the manufacturing companies that produce all forms of machinery, vehicles, aircraft, appliances and many other products used by industry and/or consumers.

Most CSUN Mechanical Engineering graduates become practicing engineers in industry. Others, however, choose to pursue careers with government agencies or educational institutions. The Degree alos can be a stepping-stone to law school for a career as a patent lawyer, or to business school for careers in technical management, marketing or sales, or even to medical school.

Many employers in our local geographic area have CSUN graduates working for them and look forward to hiring more of our graduates.

Academic Advisement 

The Mechanical Engineering faculty is committed to providing a supportive student-centered environment for their students. All Mechanical Engineering majors at CSUN meet with their assigned faculty advisors for academic advisement. Students will need to be advised once each semester until they complete all requirements.

Community Relations And Departmental Advisory Council 

The Department maintains strong relations with the community. We continuously review our Programs with students, alumni and employers of our graduates. The Department’s advisory council consists of members in the professional community to ensure that we receive a breadth of information on future engineering trends that would affect our programs