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University Catalog


College of Engineering and Computer Science


Mechanical Engineering involves the design of all types of machines and equipment including vehicles used in ground, air, and space transportation; machines for the conversion of fuels into energy; consumer products; robots; biomedical devices; the machines used to manufacture all of the above; and the climate control of buildings. Mechanical engineers bring together the fields of design graphics, manufacturing, engineering materials, thermodynamics and heat transfer, and the principles of mathematics and science to find solutions to human needs. They often work directly in the design and operation of food processing plants, power plants, manufacturing plants, refineries, and other industrial operations. A major goal of the curriculum is to provide the graduates with the analytical and practical skills needed to perform mechanical design in a variety of fields, thus taking advantage of the many employment opportunities.

The Mechanical Engineering Program includes courses on design, energy conversion, manufacturing, properties and selection of materials, and computer applications related to these topics. The curriculum maintains a balance among basic fundamentals, analytical methods, and design applications of current knowledge, preparing the graduates for both entry into the profession and a life-long career.

The employers of Mechanical Engineering graduates include aircraft and automobile companies, food processing companies, machinery and equipment companies, gas and electric utilities, architectural and engineering firms, and many agencies in federal, state, and local governments. Some graduates continue their education by completing advanced degrees in Engineering or Management.


  • MS: Design and Dynamic Systems; Manufacturing; Thermal and Fluid Systems

Special Features

  • The Mechanical Engineering program is ABET accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission (EAC/ABET), 111 Market Place, Suite 1050, Baltimore, Maryland 21202, (410) 347-7700. In keeping with its accreditation, the Mechanical Engineering program has strong engineering design content. In particular, the program includes a four-semester sequence on modern design and manufacturing methods.
  • Faculty members have backgrounds in Mechanical, Aeronautical, Manufacturing, and Materials Science engineering. The faculty has a variety of research interests; the majority has industrial experience which contributes to the applied emphasis in the Mechanical Engineering program. Most of the faculty has doctorates; some are registered engineers.
  • With most lecture classes having enrollments of 30 to 35, students can participate in meaningful discussions and a real exchange of ideas between students and faculty.
  • Upper division students do cooperative work on team projects and often develop study groups in other courses.
  • Courses taken in the freshman and sophomore years form a foundation for the upper division (Junior-Senior) program; e.g., the dynamics and strength of materials studied in the junior year depend on the sophomore CADD, calculus, and physics courses. Building on analytical and communications skills learned in the lower division, students take a four semester design-project sequence which includes the study of design methods, and the procedures for developing a design solution from concept through a fully-developed design and finally to production. The courses in mechanics, energy transformation, manufacturing, and materials support this sequence.
  • Students can achieve a level of specialization through elective courses in computer analysis, heating, ventilating and air-conditioning, manufacturing methods, and systems and materials engineering.

Program Educational Objectives

The Mechanical Engineering program will prepare graduates who:

  • Will engage in professional employment and/or graduate study in the following areas of mechanical engineering practice: machine design, thermal and fluids systems, materials, and manufacturing;
  • Will use knowledge of the principles of science, mathematics, and engineering, to identify, formulate, and solve problems in mechanical engineering;
  • Will apply creativity in the design of systems, components, processes, and/or experiments and in the application of experimental results, working effectively on multi-disciplinary teams;
  • Will communicate effectively through speaking, writing, and graphics, including the use of appropriate computer technology;
  • Will use their understanding of professional, ethical, and social responsibilities, the nature and background of diverse cultures, and the importance of life-long learning in the conduct of their professional careers.

Academic Policies and Procedures

Course Repeat Policy - Undergraduate engineering and mechanical engineering courses that are used to meet the Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering degree requirements may be repeated only twice (for a total of three attempts). Grades of the second and third attempts will be averaged in grade point calculations.

Incomplete Grades - Incomplete grades are issued only in accordance with University policy. The student must be passing the course at the time an "Incomplete" is requested. An Incomplete Petition must be submitted to the Department with the student's and the course instructor's signature. The Incomplete Petition (obtained in the Department Office) must specify the work to be completed, the basis by which the student's final grade will be determined, and the last date for completion of the incomplete work. An incomplete grade that is not cleared by the set date will lapse to an "F" grade.


Sequence of Study: Courses taken in the Freshman and Sophomore years, either at Sacramento State, or at a Community College or transfer college, directly contribute to the upper division (Junior-Senior) program. For example, upper division work in Computer-Aided Design (CAD) develops skills introduced in freshman graphics and CAD courses; upper division analytical courses depend on the freshman and sophomore statistic, calculus, and physics courses. Communication skills learned in the lower division are developed through the writing of memoranda and reports, and oral presentations.

Mechanical Engineering design involves far more than solving the types of problems found in chemistry, physics, and calculus courses; design work involves a large measure of intuitive and creative work. The principles of mathematics and science are extremely useful when developing a detailed design solution but contribute little to the critical issues of correctly defining the problem, listing needed concepts, and locating and organizing needed information. In addition, the design cannot violate fundamental physical laws and must be built from real materials using real manufacturing methods at a reasonable cost while satisfying safety and environmental factors.

The work in the four semester design-project sequence and other courses addresses these issues by including the study of design methods, procedures for developing a design solution from concept through a fully-developed design, and construction of a prototype. The courses in mechanics, thermodynamics, manufacturing, and materials, complement the design sequence. The design work includes a mixture of problem and project work in individual courses; some of the course-level projects are team projects to help the student develop the ability to efficiently and effectively work with other engineers making decisions, use the abilities of different people, and distribute the work of large projects. The second and third design sequence, and other courses include classical and computer aided design analysis techniques. The work in the two-semester, capstone and senior project sequence involves team effort on a significant design problem. Students interested in furthering their skills in analysis, including finite element analysis, and dynamic modeling of systems, can choose from a number of elective courses which rely heavily on computer methods.

Advising: Each student has a faculty advisor who meets with him/her at least once a semester to discuss academic progress, plan the following semester, explain University requirements, and answer questions about the Mechanical Engineering program.

Requirements - Bachelor of Science Degree

Units required for Pre-Major: 64
Units required for Major: 65
Minimum total units required for the BS: 122
A grade of "C-" or better is required in all courses applied to a Mechanical Engineering major.
Students graduating with a BS in Mechanical Engineering will not be subject to the University’s Foreign Language Graduation Requirement. Students who change major may be subject to the University’s Foreign Language Graduation Requirement. 

Courses in parentheses are prerequisites.

A. Required Lower Division Courses (Pre-Major)

Lower division requirements are essentially common for Civil, Electrical and Electronic, and Mechanical Engineering.

First Semester Freshman Year (15 units)



General Chemistry I (High school chemistry and college algebra; sufficient performance on the college algebra diagnostic test, or equivalent, or minimum grade of "C" in CHEM 4)



Engineering Graphics and CADD--Computer Aided Drafting and Design


MATH 30*

Calculus I (MATH 29 or four years of high school mathematics which includes two years of algebra, one year of geometry, and one year of mathematical analysis; completion of ELM requirement and Pre-Calculus Diagnostic Test)


General Education course

Second Semester Freshman Year (17 units)


MATH 31*

Calculus II (MATH 30 or appropriate high school based AP credit)


ME 37

Manufacturing Processes



General Physics: Mechanics (MATH 30, MATH 31; or equivalent certificated high school courses. MATH 31 may be taken concurrently)


General Education course


General Education course

First Semester Sophomore Year (17 units)



College Composition II (ENGL 5 or ENGL 5M or equivalent with a C- or better; sophomore standing [must have completed 30 units prior to registration])



Engineering Materials (CHEM 1E and MATH 30)



Calculus III (MATH 31)



General Physics: Electricity and Magnetism, Modern Physics (MATH 31, PHYS 11A)


General Education course

Second Semester Sophomore Year (15 units)



Introductory Circuit Analysis (PHYS 11C, MATH 45; either the math or physics may be taken concurrently, but not both)



Analytic Mechanics: Statics (PHYS 11A, MATH 31 and CE 4 or ENGR 6)



Differential Equations for Science and Engineering (MATH 31)


General Education course


General Education course

*Course may also satisfy General Education requirements. A second year foreign language course may also satisfy 3 units of GE when the course is being taken to comply with the Sacramento State foreign language requirement. Students should consult with an advisor for exact GE eligibility of these courses.

Note: Courses are listed in a recommended sequence, and may be interchanged among semesters to accommodate the student's schedule, as long as prerequisites are met.

B. Required Upper Division Courses (Major)

Students are allowed to enroll in upper division Engineering or Mechanical Engineering courses with the Department's approval. Pre-Major students must complete a Change of Major form and submit it to the Mechanical Engineering Department Office during the application filing period.

First Semester Junior Year (17 units)


ENGR 110

Analytic Mechanics - Dynamics (ENGR 30, MATH 45 and MATH 32 or MATH 35 or MATH 100)


ENGR 112

Mechanics of Materials (ENGR 30, ENGR 45, MATH 45)


ENGR 124

Thermodynamics (CHEM 1E, PHYS 11A and MATH 32 or MATH 35 or MATH 100)


ME 116

Machinery Design I (ENGR 6, ENGR 112 and, ME 37; ENGR 112 may be taken concurrently)


ME 105

Introduction to Technical Problem Solving (ENGR 17 and ENGR 30)


General Education course

Second Semester Junior Year (16 units)


ENGR 132

Fluid Mechanics (ENGR 110)


ME 108

Professional Topics for Mechanical Engineers (MATH 31)


ME 117

Machinery Design II (ME 116)


ME 138

Concurrent Product and Process Design (ME 37 and ME 116)


ME 171

Modeling and Simulation of Mechatronics and Control Systems (ENGR 110, ME 105)


ME 180

Mechanical Properties of Materials (ENGR 112)

First Semester Senior Year (18 units)


ME 126

Heat Transfer (ENGR 124 and ENGR 132)


ME 128

Thermal-Fluid Systems (ENGR 124)


ME 172

Control System Design (ME 171)


ME 190*

Project Engineering I (ME 117; GWAR certification before Fall 09, or WPJ score of 80+, or 3-unit placement in ENGL 109 M/W, or 4-unit placement in ENGL 109 M/W and co-enrollment in ENGL 109X or WPJ score 70/71 and ENGL 109X)


General Education course


General Education course

Second Semester Senior Year (14 units)


ME 191*

Project Engineering II (ME 190)


ME elective


ME elective


General Education course


General Education course

*Course may also satisfy General Education requirements.

C. Mechanical Engineering Electives

ME 136

Numerical Control Programming (ME 37 and ME 105; ME 105 may be taken concurrently)


ME 137

Product Design for Manufacturing and Automation (ME 117)


ME 143

Vehicle Dynamics and Design (ENGR 110, ME 117)


ME 151

Fundamentals of Combustion


ME 152

Turbomachinery Design (ME 105)


ME 153

Thermodynamics of Combustion Engines (ENGR 124, ENGR 132, ME 105)


ME 155

Gas Dynamics (ME 105)


ME 156

Heating and Air Conditioning Systems (ENGR 124, ENGR 132)


ME 157

Solar Energy Engineering (ME 126; may be taken concurrently)


ME 159

High Efficiency HVAC (ME 156 or instructor permission)


ME 165

Introduction to Robotics (ME 105, ME 116)


ME 173

Applications of Finite Element Analysis (ENGR 112, ME 105)


ME 176

Product Design and CAD (ENGR 6, ME 105, ME 116)


ME 182

Introduction to Composite Materials (ME 180)


ME 184

Corrosion and Wear (ME 180)


ME 186

Fracture Mechanics in Engineering Design (ME 180)

OR upper division courses in Engineering, Mathematics, and Science may be selected with prior approval by the student's advisor.

Note: Elective courses are offered on a four semester rotation. The Mechanical Engineering Department Office maintains a listing showing when particular courses will be offered.


The Department of Mechanical Engineering encourages students to participate in the Cooperative Education Program, which provides alternate periods of university study and major-related, off-campus, paid employment in industry. Most students who elect to participate in cooperative education will complete the equivalent of two 6-month work periods before graduation. Students interested in the Cooperative Education Program should apply in the satellite office in Riverside Hall 2004, or the main office in Lassen Hall 2008. For information, call (916) 278-7234.

Blended B.S./M.S. Program in Mechanical Engineering

The Blended BS/MS program in Mechanical Engineering allows qualified students in the BS degree program to simultaneously complete requirements for both the BS and MS degree. Students in the program can progress from undergraduate to graduate status without applying for admission through the Office of Graduate Studies.

Unit Requirements
Required units: 153

Eligibility Requirements

Students majoring in Mechanical Engineering will be eligible to apply to the program if they meet the following criteria:

  • Completion of the WPJ or equivalent, eligible for WI course, and completion of the prerequisites for ME 190 (Project Engineering I);
  • Have not yet enrolled in ME 190; and
  • Have a minimum GPA in major courses of 3.00.

Application Procedures

Students interested in applying to the Blended BS/MS Program should follow the following procedure:

  • Prior to the tenth week during the semester before taking ME 190, students must complete the department application.
  • Applicants do not need to pay the graduate program application fee.
  • Electronic applications will be submitted to the ME Graduate Coordinator for review.
  • Upon acceptance to the program, the department will notify the Registrar's Office and the Office of Graduate Studies in the change in status of the student.

Program of Study

In the two semesters of their senior year, students admitted to the program will be required to take the following graduate classes:

  • ME 209 Research Methodology (2 units)
  • Two graduate-level courses (200 level) in Mechanical Engineering selected in consultation with the Graduate Coordinator (3 units each)

When the students have completed the core courses for the undergraduate program and have completed the 8 units of graduate courses listed above, they will be converted to graduate status and the BS degree can be awarded. Students will be eligible to receive the MS degree when the remaining requirements for the graduate degree are completed (i.e., the requirements for the MS degree are the same whether taken separately or blended).

During their first semester in graduate status, students will be required to submit a thesis proposal to the ME department and to apply for advancement to candidacy.

Opt-Out Option
Students who wish to opt out after completing all other BS major requirements except the 6 units of ME electives may do so and the two graduate courses will count as two of the electives required in the normal undergraduate program. The total number of units taken for the BS degree will be the same (129 units) as for students who are not in the blended program.


The Master of Science program in Mechanical Engineering prepares students for leadership in the practice of Mechanical Engineering. The program includes the study of scientific and technical principles underlying modern engineering practice and advanced mathematical techniques needed for their application in research and design.


Four areas are offered as specializations: Design and Dynamic Systems; Manufacturing and Material Engineering; Thermal and Fluids Systems; and Aerospace Systems. In each area there are specific course requirements to be met; all four specializations encompass Engineering Design.

Elective courses allow for the development of each student’s particular interests. An individual’s applied research or design study, presented in a Master's thesis or project, complements the formal class work and completes the program.

Admission Requirements

Admission as a classified graduate student in Mechanical Engineering requires:

  • a Bachelor of Science degree in Engineering or Computer Science;
  • a minimum GPA of 3.0 in upper division engineering courses; and
  • English Language Requirement (for foreign students only).

Applicants who do not meet the three admission requirements listed above because they have a Baccalaureate degree in a field other than Engineering or Computer Science, and/or because their GPA is below 3.0 but above 2.5 in the last 60 units of undergraduate work, may be admitted with conditionally classified status. Any deficiencies will be noted in a written response to the applicant.

If a student lacks some of the undergraduate courses needed for successful completion of the graduate program, such prerequisite courses must be taken before the student can be fully accepted to the program.

Admission Procedures

Applications are accepted as long as space for new students exists. All prospective graduate students, including Sacramento State graduates, must file the following with the Office of Graduate Studies, River Front Center 206, (916) 278-6470:

  • an online application for admission;
  • two sets of official transcripts from all colleges and universities attended other than Sacramento State; and
  • English Language Requirement (for foreign students only).

For more admissions information and application deadlines, please visit

Approximately six weeks after receipt of all items listed above, a decision regarding admission will be mailed.

Advancement to Candidacy

Each student must file an application for Advancement to Candidacy, indicating a proposed program of graduate study. This procedure should begin as soon as the classified graduate student has:

  • removed any deficiencies in admission requirements;
  • completed at least 12 units in the graduate program with a minimum 3.0 GPA, including ME 209 (2 units) and at least 7 other units at the 200 level. Note: For our program completion of ME 209 with a grade of "B" or above satisfies the Graduate Writing Assessment Requirement (GWAR); and
  • obtained approval of a thesis/project topic using the Department of Mechanical Engineering Master's Thesis/Project Approval Form.

Advancement to Candidacy forms are available in the Office of Graduate Studies. The student fills out the form after planning a degree program in consultation with a faculty advisor. After approval by the Mechanical Engineering Graduate Coordinator, the form is then returned to the Office of Graduate Studies for approval.

Requirements - Master of Science Degree

Units required for MS: 30
Minimum required GPA: 3.0

A minimum semester and cumulative grade point average of 3.0 for all graded work is required for master's degree students. Up to six units of grade "C" or better may be credited toward fulfillment of the requirements for the master's degree. All other graded units must be completed with a grade of "B" or better. Grades of "C-", "D", "F", "WU", "I", "W" and "NC" may not be used to fulfill any MS degree requirements.

A. Required Core Courses (8 units)


ENGR 201

Engineering Analysis I (MATH 45)


ENGR 202

Engineering Analysis II (MATH 45) OR

ME 206

Stochastic Modeling for Engineers (MATH 45 or equivalent)


ME 209

Research Methodology (Graduate status in Mechanical Engineering)

B. Additional Requirements for Suggested Specializations (9 units)

With advisor approval select at least three courses to develop a focus area of study.

Aerospace Systems

This area focuses on the design of aerospace systems. Classical and computer-aided techniques are studied to provide a strong background in mechanical design theory and practice. Industrial software tools are used to perform finite-element modeling, dynamic system analysis, and optimum design.

Course Options:


ME 274

Introduction to Flight Dynamics


ME 275

Analysis of Aircraft Structures


ME 278

Advanced Thermodynamics (ENGR 202)

Or other courses selected in consultation with an advisor.

Design and Dynamic Systems
This area focuses on the design of products and on the manufacturing systems needed for their production. Classical and computer-aided techniques are studied to provide a strong background in mechanical design theory and practice. Industrial software tools are used to perform finite-element modeling, dynamic system analysis, and optimum design.


ME 241

Optimum Mechanical Design (ENGR 201; ENGR 201 may be taken concurrently)


ME 270

Advanced Computer-Aided Design of Dynamic Systems (ME 114 or ME 171)


ME 272

Finite Element Modeling in Computer-Aided Design (ME 105, ME 173)


ME 276

Advanced Vibration Theory (ME 114, ME 171, or CE 166)

Or other courses selected in consultation with an advisor.

Manufacturing and Materials Engineering

This area includes the use of mathematical methods as well as current computer techniques to solve problems encountered in planning, designing, and/or controlling manufacturing systems. Study of the techniques for product design and Manufacturing, Neural Networks, Artificial Intelligence, and Industrial Management is conducted. This area also focuses on the design of products and on the manufacturing systems needed for their production. Classical and computer-aided techniques are studied to provide a strong background in mechanical design theory and practice. Industrial software tools are used to perform finite-element modeling, dynamic system analysis, and optimum design.


ME 233

Intelligent Product Design and Manufacturing (ME 105, ME 138)


ME 236

Computer Controlled Manufacturing Processes (ME 105, ME 138)


ME 237

Digital Control of Manufacturing Processes (ME 105, ME 138, MATH 45)


ME 238

Automated Inspection (ME 105, ME 138)

Thermal and Fluid Systems

This area concentrates on the principles of thermodynamics, heat transfer, and fluid mechanics as applied to such products as heat exchangers, internal combustion engines, gas turbines, and solar energy systems. Courses make use of computational fluid dynamics (CFD) and finite element analysis (FEA) software tools to explore the behavior of a variety of thermal energy conversion systems and components. In this area of interest, innovative system design is becoming more important as progress is made toward increasing the efficiency of thermal systems while reducing the adverse effects on the environment.


ME 253

Advanced Fluid Mechanics (ENGR 132, graduate status)


ME 256

Mechanics and Thermodynamics of Compressible Flow (ENGR 201 or ENGR 202; ENGR 201 or ENGR 202 may be taken concurrently)


ME 258

Advanced Thermodynamics (ENGR 202)


ME 259

Introduction to Computational Fluid Dynamics (ENGR 132, ME 105 and ME 126)


ME 296O

Advanced Heat Transfer

Or other courses selected in consultation with an advisor.

C. Electives (7-9 units)

Selected in consultation with advisor. May include two undergraduate courses.

D. Culminating Requirement (4-6 units)
Master's Thesis (4-6 units) program consists of the following minimum requirements:

Core courses

(8 units)


Specialty Area

(9 units)



(7-9 units)


ME 500

(4-6 units)

Thesis Defense/Presentation: The Thesis must be orally presented and defended, approved by the student's Thesis Committee and approved by the ME Graduate Coordinator or the Department Chair prior to submittal of the thesis to the Office of Graduate Studies.


  • The student cannot register for the culminating experience (ME 500), until he/she has been advanced to candidacy. One full semester prior to registering for (ME 500), the student must submit a proposed topic from to the Department office.

  • The Thesis Committee consists of the student's Thesis Advisor, who is the Chairperson of the Thesis Committee, and another faculty member who serves as the second advisor.
  • Advising: The Department of Mechanical Engineering has a Graduate Coordinator who is the liaison between each graduate student and the Office of Graduate Studies. After Advancing to Candidacy (see above), the student proceeds with research for the thesis. Guidance of this phase of study is done by a faculty member with expertise in the particular thesis topic.

Career Possibilities

Aeronautical Engineer · Automotive Engineer · Design Engineer · Development Engineer · Energy Management Engineering Manager · Environmental Engineer · Food Processing Machine Designer · Manufacturing Engineer · Plant Engineer · Project Engineer · Research Engineer · Technical Sales Engineer


Robin Bandy, Estelle Eke, Jose Granda, Susan Holl, Akihiko Kumagai, Tien-I Liu, Tim Marbach, Kenneth Sprott, Yong Suh, Troy Topping, Ilhan Tuzcu, Rustin Vogt, Dongmei Zhou

Contact Information

Susan L. Holl, Department Chair
Laura O'Neill, Administrative Support Coordinator
Riverside Hall 4024
(916) 278-6624