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.
Upon admission to the university, students may directly enroll as pre-engineering students; however, direct enrollment is selective. Factors used to determine eligibility to directly enroll include ACT/SAT scores (emphasis on math), strong college prep curriculum (emphasis on math, science and rigorous courses), and class rank or GPA. The middle 50 percent of directly enrolled pre-majors (autumn 2016) had ACT score ranges of 29–33 and 98 percent were in the top 25 percent of their high school classes.
Students not eligible to directly enroll in engineering may enroll in Science, Technology and Environment Exploration (see exploration.osu.edu).
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 learning, semester 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.
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.
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 presents students with a new lens through which to view engineering through two available tracks:
- Green Engineering Scholars have a community theme of green engineering, innovation and social responsibility. Students examine areas such as alternative energy development, sustainable products and systems, and green manufacturing and building.
- 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 50 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.
Interested in a career in the STEM fields?
Check out the STEM Pathway to discover the many majors Ohio State offers that can lead to a career in the fields of science, technology, environment and math.