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Mechanical Engineering

Degree: BS

Campus: Columbus

College: Engineering

To be considered for this major, freshmen applying to the Columbus campus are strongly encouraged to submit their complete admission application by November 1. 

Mechanical engineering is one of the most diverse and exciting branches of engineering. Its scope ranges from the design of very fine and sensitive instruments to the design of mammoth power plants. Mechanical engineering can encompass aerodynamics, lasers, high performance engines, electronic controllers, computer modeling and simulation, composite materials and robotics.

Mechanical engineering involves the creative design, manufacturing, testing, evaluation and distribution of such devices as automobiles, prosthetic limbs, home appliances, spacecraft, all types of engines, air conditioning equipment, artificial organs, nuclear and fossil fuel power plants, controls, robotics, and many types of instruments. 

In order to prepare for such a broad field, mechanical engineers must have a solid foundation in physics, chemistry and mathematics. This field also includes studies in basic mechanics of solids and fluids, electricity and electronics, controls, dynamic analysis, mechanical design, thermodynamics, applied mechanics, and heat transfer.

The Pre-Major Program

All students entering the College of Engineering enroll in the pre-major program. As pre-majors, students will:

  • complete foundational course work, including the Fundamentals of Engineering course sequence, calculus and, for most majors, physics or chemistry
  • explore the college's 14 majors and learn how several engineering majors can lead to similar career outcomes
  • select and apply to three majors, usually in their second semester (or during the semester in which eligibility courses are completed)

Admission to the major programs is based on an applicant's academic performance (cumulative GPA) and their responses to three essay questions. Learn more about the pre-major program at go.osu.edu/engineeringpre-major.

All engineering students have a similar first-year plan of study, the college core, that provides fundamental courses in math, science and engineering. View a sample first-year plan of study.

Mechanical engineering students study design, manufacturing engineering, kinematics, machine element design, measurements and controls, electrical circuits and controls, heat transfer, fluid mechanics thermodynamics, and engineering mechanics.

All engineering students also take additional select core courses and general education courses.

Engineering students have several opportunities for global education, including service learningsemester abroad, international internships, engineering-specific study abroad programs or the Global Option in Engineering program

Whether it be installing solar panels on Haitian schools, researching biomedical optics in China, devising solutions for sustainable food production in Honduras, or setting speed records on the Isle of Man, Ohio State engineering students venture beyond classrooms and labs to find success in every corner of the globe. 

Students work with Engineering Career Services to find both paid internships and co-op jobs across the United States and around the world. About 75% of engineering students participate in a co-op or internship before they graduate. 

Honors and scholars offer students an opportunity to pursue academic rigor (Honors) or foster passion through community (scholars). Engineering students can enhance their experience by getting involved with one of the following engineering-based programs.

Engineering Honors

The Fundamentals of Engineering for Honors (FEH) Program is an optional course sequence that is offered to University Honors-designated engineering students. This accelerated program is designed to challenge students and provide them with a foundation in engineering principles that are necessary for success throughout their academic careers.

Engineering Scholars

Engineering Scholars contemplate the adoption of socially responsible practices within engineering as a means to minimize health risks and environmental impact and maximize efficiency, feasibility and sustainability.

Humanitarian Engineering Scholars learn about and engage in engineering activities that impact underserved areas by addressing pressing problems. 

At Ohio State, engineering students conduct research alongside top faculty from across the university—doctors, physicists, designers, artists and experts in many other fields—to advance our knowledge and improve the world around us. Students enjoy multiple outlets to share their work, including Ohio State's annual Denman Undergraduate Research Forum each spring. Learn more about engineering research.

Mechanical engineering topics:

Mechanical engineering students choose from more than 80 engineering student organizations, including American Society of Mechanical Engineers, Buckeye Aerial Robotics Team, Pi Tau Sigma (mechanical) and Underwater Robotics Team.

Perhaps the greatest single reason for studying mechanical engineering is to prepare students for employment in a wide range of exciting industries, including aerospace, automotive, biomedical, chemical, computers, electronics, fossil and nuclear power, manufacturing, pharmaceuticals, robotics, and textiles.

Mechanical engineers find employment in eight broad classifications within the field: research, development, design, testing and evaluation, production and manufacturing, operation and maintenance, marketing and sales, and administration. The breadth of the mechanical engineering program also provides for greater mobility for career shifts later in life. Additionally, a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering can open the door to post-graduate study in several engineering fields, business, law and medicine.

Some employers of mechanical engineering graduates include Ariel Corp., Battelle Memorial Institute, BMW, Cooper Tire & Rubber Co., Dynamix Engineering, Ford Motor Co., General Electric Corp., Honda, Honeywell, Kraft Heinz Co., Procter & Gamble, Rockwell Automation, and SpaceX.

Many graduates work with Engineering Career Services to find their first job.

Beginning annual salaries for recent mechanical engineering graduates average $67,513.