- Offered as:
Mechanical engineering is a broad area of engineering that centers on creating and improving the machines and systems that make modern life possible. For instance:
- The use and economical conversion of energy from natural sources into other useful energy to provide power, light, heat, cooling, and transportation
- Design and production of machines to lighten the burden of human work
- Creative planning, development, and operation of systems for using energy, machines, and resources
- The processing of materials into products useful to people.
The mechanical engineering program at WSU is particularly strong in aerospace engineering, manufacturing engineering, materials science, controls, mechanical design, and thermal design.
- Strengths of the program
- Our curriculum is laboratory intensive and provides students with ample opportunities for hands-on laboratory experiences.
- Highly qualified mechanical engineering students can apply for a program to earn graduate degree credit while working on their bachelor's degree.
- All design projects in the capstone design course are industrially sponsored, providing valuable connections with field professionals.
- Interact with faculty outside the classroom by assisting in their research projects.
- Learn in one of the few programs that provides both mechanical engineering and materials science within the same department, providing the opportunity to learn both areas of engineering and work cooperatively on projects with students from a different discipline.
- You can join a math, science, and engineering community residence hall at WSU Pullman—share classes with your neighbors, study together, get free tutoring, and use the hall’s computer lab.
- Faculty members in the School of Mechanical and Materials Engineering teach nearly 100 percent of lecture courses, including the introductory courses in our programs.
- Featured courses
Completing the mechanical engineering curriculum prepares graduates to enter the field as engineers or to continue toward an advanced degree.
The curriculum in the first two years is intensive in mathematics and science and builds up the foundation for upper-level engineering courses. In the third year, the curriculum emphasizes foundation courses, which are fundamental to all aspects of mechanical engineering. These courses stress both analysis and design, while complementary laboratory courses provide opportunities for hands-on experience.
Computer applications are interwoven throughout the program’s third and fourth years. In the fourth year, students gain experience in both thermal and mechanical system design and complete a capstone laboratory course.
Mechanical engineering students at WSU are likely to take some of the following classes:
- Computer Programming
- Mechanics of Materials
- Fluid Dynamics
- Engineering Analysis
- Thermal and Fluids Laboratory
- Manufacturing Processes
- Heat Transfer
- Machine Design
For more curriculum-related information, please visit the School of Mechanical and Materials Engineering.
See the WSU Catalog for degree requirements and talk with your academic advisor about planning and scheduling your courses. All students must meet requirements as outlined in the catalog in order to graduate.
- Transfer information
To certify your major in the Voiland College of Engineering and Architecture, you will need to complete specific prerequisite courses. Use our list of transfer equivalencies to make sure you take the right transfer courses at your current college.
Also check out the University's transfer student guide for more information on transferring to WSU.
- Scholarships and financial aid
A variety of state, federal, and university-sponsored programs are available to help students with educational costs.
For all students at WSU
Washington State University awards millions of dollars in financial aid and scholarships to students every year based on financial need, academic merit, or a combination of the two.
To get all the financial help WSU can provide, start by doing these two things:
- Complete the University's general scholarship application so you can be eligible for scholarship consideration.
- Complete the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) so WSU can consider you for aid (scholarships, grants, loans, etc.) based on financial need.
For engineering students
The College of Engineering and Architecture offers more than 300 Dean's Merit Scholarships to incoming freshmen and transfer students each year.
Freshmen with high academic achievements will be considered. Transfer students who have completed the calculus series and the calculus-based physics series or the chemistry series with a GPA of 3.2 or higher will also be considered for these scholarships.
To apply, use the WSU scholarship application. Students are encouraged to apply early, as the number of scholarships awarded is limited by the funds available each year.
An education in mechanical engineering provides students with problem-solving approaches to practical applications. These skills are used in the areas of mechanical and systems design, the study of energy and the environment, equipment development, manufacturing, CAD/CAM, project engineering, production management, applied research, and sales and service.
Mechanical engineering graduates are employed as engineers, technical supervisors, and managers.
In the Pacific Northwest, demand for mechanical engineers increases as career opportunities in aerospace, semiconductors, and materials processing grow.
Employers who hire Washington State University engineering graduates in the Pacific Northwest include the federal government (e.g. Puget Sound Naval Shipyard) and Pacific Northwest National Labs; large companies such as Boeing and Hewlett-Packard; mid-size companies such as Micron Technology and Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories, Inc; and small companies such as SprayCool.
Starting salaries range from $44,000–$67,000, averaging $55,000 per year. Many of WSU's mechanical engineering graduates have two or three job offers to choose from.