Information for Prospective Students


The undergraduate program of study in Mechanical Engineering at the University of California, Berkeley addresses both the quest to understand how things work and the desire to put this understanding to practical use. The student body is guided by faculty who merit national and international recognition, who are members of prestigious engineering societies and counted among the outstanding scholars in their profession. The faculty is committed to the advancement of the fundamental engineering sciences encountered by undergraduates in a curriculum that is heavy in "basics." This is balanced by their demonstrated interest and active participation in practical developments as well. Thus, our graduates can function at the leading edge of engineering practice, tackling jobs that are far from dull or routine. Mechanical Engineering includes the science and art of formulation, design, development and control of systems and components involving thermodynamics, mechanics, fluid mechanics, mechanisms and the conversion of energy into useful work.

The undergraduate program provides a broad scientific and technical background in mechanical engineering. Undergraduate specialization is provided in the choice of technical electives from the subject areas of applied mechanics, automatic controls, electro-mechanical systems, energy conversion, fluid mechanics, heat and mass transfer, manufacturing systems and materials processing, mechanical design, cryogenics, thermodynamics, robotics and automation, biomedical and environmental engineering, ocean engineering, and nuclear engineering.

The Department of Mechanical Engineering has adopted a set of educational objectives that frame the undergraduate curriculum. During the first two years, coursework emphasizes mathematics, physics, chemistry, computing, materials, statics and graphics -- much of this in common with the other engineering curricula. In the last two years, the emphasis is on mechanics of solids and fluids, thermodynamics, heat transfer manufacturing, design and controls; instrumentation, experimentation and system synthesis. The requisite laboratory course in the senior year is the cornerstone of the curriculum. Students may also participate in group design projects or research projects as part of their program. Specialization may be pursued through a wide selection of elective courses, double major programs and programs jointly offered by other departments.

To learn more about our curriculum, please visit the College of Engineering's Undergraduate announcement, located at A copy of the department's undergraduate curriculum can also be found at

Classes in Mechanical Engineering are relatively small. Students become easily acquainted with faculty and fellow students who come from all parts of the world and from different cultural backgrounds to find an academic home here. This exciting environment provides numerous opportunities for cultural enrichment, personal development, and recreation for the hard-working engineering student. Engineering students and faculty at Berkeley take a serious competitive interest in their achievements. Our students are strongly represented each year among the top scholars on campus.

We thank you for your interest in our program and hope that you will visit some of the links on this page to learn more about us as well as our University.

Questions? Please contact the ME Student Services Office

Last updated: 11/15/10 9:06 AM