The mechanical engineering program provides a broad education in mechanical engineering that prepares our students for successful professional practice and advanced studies.
Mechanical engineering is concerned with the use and economic conversion of energy from natural sources into other useful energy to provide power, light, heat, cooling, and transportation. In addition, design and production of machines to lighten the burden of human work; the creative planning, development, and operation of systems for using energy, machines, and resources; and the processing of materials into useful products are key elements in mechanical engineering.
WSU Tri-Cities’ mechanical engineering program is ABET accredited — the most prestigious accreditation awarded to a mechanical engineering program. Accreditation assures that a program has met quality standards set by the profession. To employers, graduate schools, and licensure, certification, and registration boards, graduation from an accredited program signifies adequate preparation for entry into the profession.
As part of their senior mechanical engineering capstone course, students worked with AREVA to solve a real-world work problem. They re-designed a cart used to transport uranium pellets from one building, where they are pressed into shape, to a different building, where they are sintered at a high temperature into their final form. The team spent seven months on the new design, balancing their time on the project with a full course load at WSU Tri-Cities. Learn more...
The mechanical engineering curriculum emphasizes foundation courses at the third year which are fundamental to all aspects of mechanical engineering. These courses emphasize both analysis and design while accompanying laboratory courses provide opportunities for hands-on experiences. Computer applications are interwoven throughout the program. The courses in the fourth year emphasize the integration of fundamental engineering principles into various applications in mechanical engineering. The students also take two electives tailored to their interests and career goals.
The undergraduate program is completed with courses in integrated design of mechanical and thermal systems as well as a capstone laboratory course. Graduates are prepared to enter the field as engineers or to continue into a graduate program. An engineering internship program is available for students to gain industrial experience during their academic careers.
Undergraduate advising is a partnership between you, your professional advisor, and your faculty mentor and it goes beyond course selection. Whether you plan to enter the workforce or continue on to earn an advanced degree, your academic advisors and professional mentors will guide you toward that goal. This holistic approach ensures that you are engaged in your academic plan, connected to the campus community and resources, and earn your degree as efficiently as possible.
While the majority of students’ courses and credits are completed within the major, the UCORE curriculum provides courses that are the foundation basic skills that all WSU students must develop no matter their major.
The University Common Requirements (UCORE) is the center of the undergraduate curriculum and you will start taking these courses starting your first semester at WSU Tri-Cities. If you took AP, IB, or Running Start courses in high school, then you may already have met some of the requirements.
The UCORE curriculum is designed to be flexible enough to work for all majors. The program offers a wide variety of course choices and provides many individual pathways through the curriculum.
Transfer students who have completed an approved Associate of Arts and Science (DTA) degree at a Washington or Oregon community college will have fulfilled most of the lower-division UCORE requirements. Because students have to also meet the College of Arts & Sciences requirements, some students must take additional courses in a foreign language in order to complete the degree. Otherwise, transfer students will have their transcripts evaluated for UCORE requirements.
Students who have already earned a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university, must complete a minimum of 30 credits of WSU coursework and fill the major requirements to earn a second degree. UCORE requirements are not required as they are met by coursework from the first bachelor’s degree.
Minoring in a discipline outside your major field of study, allows you to focus elective credits, expand your perspective, and increase your skills. A minor will make you stand out to potential employers because it demonstrates an eagerness to learn and emphasizes your willingness to go above and beyond minimum expectations.
A minor in mechanical engineering requires 16 credits of 300-400-level ME courses, including two of the following four courses:
ME 303 Fluid Mechanics
ME 348 Dynamics Systems
ME 405 Thermal Systems Design
ME 414 414 Machine Design
9 hours of upper-division work must be taken in residence at WSU or through WSU-approved education abroad or educational exchange courses.
Graduates from WSU Tri-Cities mechanical engineering program consistently exceed state and national passing rates on the national Fundamentals of Engineering Exam and are ready for careers and are actively sought by government and industry.
The Career Development Office offers workshops on how to develop a job search strategy, write a compelling résumé and cover letter, and sharpen interview skills – all of which will help students land a job in today’s competitive market.
The Career Development Office posts on- and off-campus positions for student employees and also work with students to identify internships, cooperative work experience, and post-graduation career opportunities.