University of California, Santa Barbara


Admissions Data, Fall 2013

Junior Transfers

Admissions Statistics

* Statement of Intent to Register (SIR)




Total SAT




Five Year Total Enrollment

Fall 2009 Fall 2010 Fall 2011 Fall 2012 Fall 2013
345 314 323 317 319

BS Degrees Awarded

2007-08 2008-09 2009-10 2010-11 2011-12 2012-13
105 89 72 78 77 78

Program Overview

The undergraduate mechanical engineering program offers a balanced curriculum, including both theory and application. This includes preparation in basic science, math, computing and writing; a comprehensive set of engineering science and laboratory courses; and a series of engineering design courses starting in the freshman year and concluding with a three course sequence in the senior year. Our students gain hands-on expertise utilizing state-of-the-art tools for computational design, analysis and manufacturing that are increasingly used in industry, government and academic institutions.

In addition, the Department has a 15-unit elective program that allows students to gain depth in areas listed below, while maintaining appropriate breadth in the basic STEM areas of the discipline. As part of their elective sequence, many students participate in a widely recognized design project program including participation in national competitions like our national runner-up human powered submarine and third-place lunar rover teams in 2000. The project program has been expanded to emphasize entrepreneurial product-oriented projects, as well as those carried out in collaboration with industrial partners.

The undergraduate program in mechanical engineering is accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET,

Educational Objectives for the Undergraduate Program

It is the objective of the Mechanical Engineering Program to produce graduates who:

  • Successfully practice in either the traditional or the emerging technologies comprising mechanical engineering;
  • Are successful in a broad range of engineering graduate programs;
  • Have a solid background in the fundamentals of engineering allowing them to pass the Fundamentals of Engineering examination;
  • Engage in life-long learning opportunities such as professional workshops and activity in professional societies.

In order to achieve these objectives, the Department of Mechanical Engineering is engaged in a very ambitious effort to lead the discipline in new directions that will be critical to the success of 21st century technologies. While maintaining strong ties to stem areas of the discipline, we are developing completely new cross-cutting fields of science and engineering related to topics such as: microscale engineering and microelectrical-micromechanical systems; dynamics and controls and related areas of sensors, actuators and instrumentation; advanced composite materials and smart structures; computation, simulation and information science; advanced energy and transportation systems; and environmental monitoring, modeling and remediation.

Qualified students who wish to pursue advanced engineering education may enroll in the M.S. or Ph.D. programs. The department offers programs leading to the degrees of master of science and doctor of philosophy, with a specialization in any of the following major areas: Computational Science and Engineering, Dynamic Systems, Control, and Robotics, Fluid Mechanics/ Thermal Sciences, Micro/Nano Technology, and Solid Mechanics, Materials, and Structures. The curricula for all of the major areas emphasize education in broad principles and fundamentals. At the same time, programs of study and research are flexible and tailored to accommodate the individual needs and interests of the students. Interdisciplinary approaches are stressed, and students are encouraged to cross over traditional boundaries into other departments.

The M.S. program is intended to extend and broaden the undergraduate background and/or equip practicing engineers with state-of-the-art knowledge in their field. The degree may be terminal or obtained on the way to the Ph.D. The Ph.D. program is designed to prepare students for careers in research and/or teaching in their area of specialization.

Mechanical engineering graduates at all levels are highly sought after by the automotive, aircraft, marine, defense, electronics, and materials manufacturing industries. A major in mechanical engineering may also serve as an appropriate part of the program of studies required for a California community college teaching credential. Students who wish to secure this credential should consult the designated advisor in the Graduate School of Education.

College-wide undergraduate counseling is provided under the direction of the Assistant to the Dean for Undergraduate Studies. In addition, departmental advisors are assigned to all students in the freshman year. In the junior year an upper-division advisor assists the students in the selection of departmental elective courses and provides counseling to students on a variety of issues related to their academic experience. Individual faculty are also available for help in program planning and professional development. A faculty supervisor and the graduate advisor, in conjunction with a graduate studies committee, directs the program of studies for M.S. and Ph.D. candidates. Undergraduate students enrolled in other majors at UCSB who plan to change to a major in the Department of Mechanical Engineering should obtain counseling from the Assistant to the Dean for Undergraduate Studies.


Program Outcomes

  • Upon graduation, students in the mechanical engineering B.S. degree program:
    • Should possess a solid foundation in, and be able to apply the principles of, mathematics, science, and engineering to solve problems and have the ability to learn new skills relevant to his/her chosen career.
    • Have the ability to conduct and analyze data from experiments in dynamics, fluid dynamics, thermal science and materials, and should have been exposed to experimental design in at least one of these areas.
    • Should have experienced the use of current software in problem solving and design.
    • Should demonstrate the ability to design useful products, systems, and processes.
    • Should be able to work effectively on teams.
    • Should have an understanding of professional and ethical responsibilities.
    • Should be able to write lab reports and design reports and give effective oral presentations.
    • Should have the broad background in the humanities and the social sciences, which provides an awareness of contemporary issues and facilitates an understanding of the global and societal impact of engineering problems and solutions.
    • Should be a member of or participate in a professional society. 
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