Mechanical Engineering

College of Engineering and Mines
Department of Mechanical Engineering
(907) 474-7136

B.S., M.S. Degrees

Minimum Requirements for Degree: 131 credits

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The mission of the mechanical engineering department at UAF is to offer the highest quality, contemporary education at undergraduate and graduate levels, and to perform research appropriate to the technical needs of the state of Alaska, the nation and the world.

Mechanical engineers conceive, plan, design and direct the manufacturing, distribution and operation of a wide variety of devices, machines and systems for energy conversion, environmental control, materials processing, transportation, materials handling and other purposes. Mechanical engineers are engaged in creative design, applied research, development and management. A degree in mechanical engineering also frequently forms the base for entering law, medical or business school, as well as for graduate work in engineering.

The goals and objectives of the mechanical engineering program are to: offer a mechanical engineering program designed to prepare its graduates for careers at the professional level; to maintain, as a base, ABET accreditation of the undergraduate program; provide continuing educational opportunities for graduate engineers; serve as a resource of technical knowledge for the state as well as the nation; conduct research in all areas of mechanical engineering including cold regions mechanical engineering; and offer a graduate program in mechanical engineering at the M.S. and Ph.D. levels. The Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET has accredited the B.S. degree program in mechanical engineering since 1980.

The educational objectives of the department are that graduates from the mechanical engineering program must: be able to apply the knowledge of mathematics, science and engineering; be able to design and conduct experiments, as well as to analyze and interpret data; be able to design a system, component or process to meet desired needs, be able to function on multi-interdisciplinary teams; be able to identify, formulate and solve engineering problems; understand professional and ethical responsibility; be able to communicate effectively; have the broad education necessary to understand the impact of engineering solutions in a global and societal context; recognize the need for, and be able to engage in, life-long learning; understand contemporary issues; and be able to use the techniques, skills and modern engineering tools necessary for engineering practice. The department ensures that each course in the curriculum plays a meaningful role in satisfying one or more of these objectives.

Because engineering is based on mathematics, chemistry and physics, students are introduced to the basic principles in these areas during their first two years of study. The third year encompasses courses in the engineering science--extensions to the basic sciences forming the foundation to engineering synthesis and design. The design project course draws on much of the student's previous learning through a simulated industrial design project. Throughout the four-year program, courses in communication, humanities and social sciences are required because mechanical engineers must be able to communicate effectively in written, oral and graphical form.

Students may choose an emphasis in aerospace engineering. Because of UAF's unique location, special emphasis is placed on cold regions engineering problems. This fact is highlighted in the technical elective, arctic engineering. Candidates for the B.S. degree in mechanical engineering are required to take the state of Alaska Fundamentals of Engineering examination in their general field.

For more information about the Mechanical Engineering Program mission, goals and educational objectives, visit

Major--B.S. Degree

  1. Complete the general university requirements. (As part of the core curriculum requirements, complete: MATH 200X; CHEM 105X and CHEM 106X.)
  2. Complete the B.S. degree requirements. (As part of the B.S. degree requirements, complete: MATH 201X, PHYS 211X and PHYS 212X.)
  3. Complete the following: program (major) requirements:*
    ME 302--Mechanical Design I 4 credits
    ME 308--Instrumentation and Measurement 3 credits
    ME 313--Mechanical Engineering Thermodynamics 3 credits
    ME 321--Industrial Processes 3 credits
    ME 334--Elements of Material Science/Engineering 3 credits
    ME 403--Mechanical Design II 3 credits
    ME 408--Dynamics of Systems 3 credits
    ME 415W--Thermal Systems Laboratory 3 credits
    ME 441--Heat and Mass Transfer 3 credits
    ME 487W,O--Design Project 3 credits
    ME electives** 6 credits
    Technical electives*** 3 credits
    ES 101--Introduction to Engineering 3 credits
    ES 201--Computer Techniques 3 credits
    ES 209--Statics 3 credits
    ES 210--Dynamics 3 credits
    ES 301--Engineering Analysis 3 credits
    ES 307--Elements of Electrical Engineering 3 credits
    ES 331--Mechanics of Materials 3 credits
    ES 341--Fluid Mechanics 4 credits
    ES 346--Basic Thermodynamics 3 credits
    ESM 450W--Economic Analysis and Operations 3 credits
    MATH 202X--Calculus 4 credits
    MATH 302--Differential Equations 3 credits
    Electives 2 credits
  4. Minimum credits required 131

    * Student must earn a C grade or better in each mechanical engineering, technical elective, ME 308, ES 331, ES 341 and ES 346 course.

    ** Mechanical engineering course at 400-level or above.

    *** Engineering course at 400-level or above.

    Note: Students electing to complete an emphasis in aerospace engineering must complete the sequence of aerospace courses (ME 450, ME 451, ME 452 and ME 453) as part of their program requirements.

    Note: Students must plan their elective courses in consultation with their mechanical engineering faculty advisor, and all elective courses must be approved by their mechanical engineering faculty advisor.