University of California, Santa Barbara

Bachelor of Science, Mechanical Engineering

Preparation for the major

The following 107 units of lower-division courses are required: Engineering 3; Mechanical Engineering 6, 10, 14, 15, 16, 17; Chemistry 1A-B, 1AL-BL; Mathematics 3A-B, 4A-B, 6A-B; Physics 1, 2, 3, 4, and 3L, 4L; Writing 2E, 50E; and the College of Engineering General Education requirements.

Students who are not Mechanical Engineering majors may be permitted to take lower division mechanical engineering courses, subject to meeting prerequisites and gradepoint average requirements, availability of space, and consent of the instructor.


Upper-division major

The following 83 units are required: Materials 101; Mechanical Engineering 104, 105, 140A, 151A-B-C, 152A-B, 153, 154, 155A, 156A-B, 163, 189A-B-C, and 15 units of departmental electives and 13 units of general education or free electives. Requirements total 190 units.

 The mechanical engineering elective courses allow students to acquire more in-depth knowledge in one of several areas of specialization, such as those related to: the environment; design and manufacturing; thermal and fluid sciences; structures, mechanics, and materials; and dynamics and controls. A student’s specific elective course selection is subject to the approval of the department advisor.

Courses required for the major, inside or outside of the Department of Mechanical Engineering, cannot be taken for the passed/not passed grading option. They must be taken for letter grades.


Honors Program

Students in the College Honors Program will be encouraged to participate in early experiences in scholarship through special seminars and individualized work in regular courses and, in later years, as members of research teams. Participation in the Honors Program offers preferential enrollment in classes for continuing students as well as graduate student library privileges. Housing is available to eligible first-year students in Scholars’ Halls located in several university-owned residence halls.

The College of Engineering invites approximately the top 10% of incoming freshmen into the Honors Program based on a combination of high school GPA and SAT or ACT scores. (Please note: eligibility criteria are subject to change at any time.) Transfer students with a UC transferable GPA of 3.6 or greater are invited to join the College Honors Program. Students who do not enter the College of Engineering with honors at the freshman level may petition to enter the program after attaining a cumulative GPA of 3.5 or greater during two consecutive quarters at UCSB.

Engineering honors students with upper division standing may, with faculty approval, enroll in ME 199 to research topics that will compliment their major studies. College of Engineering Honors students may also enroll in special honors sections of general education courses offered by the College of Letters and Science. Continued participation in the College Honors Program is dependent on maintaining a cumulative GPA of 3.5 or greater and active participation in both the academic and community service components of the Program. 

  • Pi Tau Sigma is the national mechanical engineering honor society. Membership is based on academic achievement. To be eligible for membership, juniors must rank in the top quarter of their class and seniors in the top third of their class. Students who are qualified for membership will be contacted by representatives of Pi Tau Sigma. 
  • Tau Beta Pi is the national engineering honor society. Membership is based on academic achievement. To be eligible for membership, juniors must rank in the top 1/8th of their graduating class and seniors in the top 1/5th of their graduating class.


Research Opportunities

Upper-division undergraduates have opportunities to work in a research environment with faculty members who are conducting current research in the various fields of mechanical engineering. Students interested in pursuing undergraduate research projects should contact individual faculty members in the department or through the UCSB Office of Undergraduate Research.


Five-Year B.S./M.S. Degree Program

A combined B.S. Mechanical Engineering/M.S. Materials program provides an opportunity for outstanding undergraduates to earn both of these degrees in five years.  This  combination provides highly desirable training from an industrial employment perspective and capitalizes on the strengths of our internationally renowned materials department.  Students considering this option should meet with the Materials Department graduate advisor during their sophomore year.  BS/MS Materials Brochure

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