Oct 20, 2019  
2013-2014 General Catalog (Summer, Fall 2013) 
2013-2014 General Catalog (Summer, Fall 2013) [ARCHIVED CATALOG Please see current catalog]

Mechanical Engineering - BS

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College of Engineering

Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

Effective for students beginning degree Summer Sem. 2013 thru Spring Sem. 2014

Admission to the College of Engineering

In addition to the policies of the University concerning admission of students, the following regulations apply to the College of Engineering:

1. Transfer students from other colleges or universities will be referred to the Engineering Admission Committee for evaluation. Criteria considered in admission decisions for transfer students include resources available in the requested department and the transfer GPA, along with an evaluation of the program of the former college or university. Decisions concerning academic standing once the student is admitted to USU will be based solely on USU grades.

2. Students registered on campus (including Undeclared) must be approved by the Engineering Admission Committee before transferring to the College of Engineering. Students in this category must have demonstrated, by courses taken at USU, a potential to succeed in the major of their choice.

Pre-Engineering and Professional Engineering Requirements

Students interested in Engineering careers enter the University with a wide variety of educational backgrounds. Therefore, it is necessary for all students to demonstrate a satisfactory level of proficiency in basic engineering, mathematics, science, and English before they are admitted into a professional engineering program. Specific courses used to evaluate this proficiency are listed on the applications to the Professional Program available in the individual departments or in the College of Engineering Dean’s Office. The professional engineering programs consist of the last two years of study listed in the departmental sections of the General Catalog. Students will not be admitted into engineering classes numbered 3000 or higher until they have been admitted into a professional engineering program. Applications listing the required pre-professional courses and admission standards are available from the various departments and the office of the Dean of Engineering. The minimum requirements a student must satisfy in order to be considered for admission to a professional program are:

1. The student must achieve a grade of C- or better in every required preprofessional course. The P/D+, D, F grading option may not be used except in freshman English composition.

2. The student must achieve an overall grade point average of 2.80 or better for all required pre-professional coursework completed at USU.

3. A student can repeat no more than three of the required pre-professional courses in order to satisfy the eligibility requirements. Multiple repeats of the same course are included in the total of three repeats. Audits count as a time taking a class unless prior written approval is obtained from the college academic advisor. Satisfying minimum eligibility requirements does not ensure that a student will be admitted to a professional program in a specific department. The number of students accepted will be based upon the number of students that can be accommodated in upper-division classes. Applicants will be ranked and selected in order of their academic standing in the required pre-professional courses. 

Recommended High School Courses

Students interested in entering any field of engineering should take two or three years of algebra, one year of geometry, and one-half year of trigonometry while in high school.Four years ofEnglish and courses in chemistry, physics, andmechanical drawing are also recommended. If the suggested mathematics courses are not taken in high school, theymust be taken in college prior to starting calculus. This additional work need not cause delay in graduation if CLEP or AP credit is earned or if summer semester enrollment is used to supplement course credits.

Academic Advisement

All students should contact their academic advisor for assistance with course selection, program planning, and meeting graduation requirements at least annually. If they do not know who their advisor is, students should contact the Engineering Advising Center, ENGR 314A.

Academic Requirements

The Engineering Advising Center maintains a handout sheet giving current details of all academic regulations of the college. It is the responsibility of the student to know the current regulations and to follow these regulations.

Pre-professional Program

Students must maintain a USU GPA of 2.0 to remain in good standing both in the college and the University. Students in a pre-professional program who are not making satisfactory progress toward acceptance into a professional program or who become ineligible to enter a professional program will be suspended from the college. Students in good standing in a pre-professional program must still meet the entrance requirements for admission into a professional program.

Professional Program

For all engineering majors in the professional program, the following academic regulations apply in addition to University regulations:

1. A GPA of 2.0 or higher must be maintained in all upper-division engineering/ math/science courses required for, or used as technical electives in, the chosen major. Courses which were part of the pre-professional program requirements and University Studies courses are not included in this GPA calculation.

2. No more than 10 hours of D or D+ credit may be applied toward meeting graduation requirements in engineering/math/science classes.

3. College of Engineering courses may be repeated only once. Audits count as a time taking a class unless prior written approval is obtained from the department head. Only one required or elective course completed as part of a professional program can be repeated in order to meet graduation requirements. (Courses completed as part of a pre-professional program are not included). 

4. The P/D+, D, F grading option may not be used in required or elective courses completed as part of a professional program. (The P/D+, D, F grading option is approved for University Studies Courses.)

5. The academic regulations listed above (1-4) apply to required coursework and any elective engineering/math/science course which could be used to satisfy graduation requirements for the chosen degree. That is, once a student completes a particular technical elective, it becomes a required course for that student.

6. Students in violation of departmental or college academic regulations, no longer eligible for graduation, or not making satisfactory progress toward a degree, will be placed on probation.

a. Students will be placed on probation if they (i) earn an F in an engineering/ math/science course which could be used to satisfy graduation requirements for the chosen degree (see No. 5 above); (ii) have more than 10 hours of D credit (see No. 2 above); or (iii) have an upper-division GPA of less than 2.0 (see No. 1 above).

b. Students remain on probation until they improve their standing by repeating and passing all failed classes, repeating classes to reduce the number of D credits to 10 or less, and/or by raising their upper-division GPA above 2.0.

c. While on probation, a student must earn a semester GPA of 2.0 or higher in engineering/math/science classes and must not earn any grades of D or F. While on probation, a student may not preregister. The student's major code will be changed to a pre-professional code. The student must meet at least once per semester with the college academic advisor to work out a schedule having the primary goal of correcting the existing academic problems.

Students must complete the General Education Requirements :

  • PHYS 2220  will fulfill the Physical Sciences requirement
  •   and   will fulfill the Quantitative Literacy (QL) and/or Exploration requirement

Students must also complete the University Studies Depth Requirements :

  • MAE 4400  and MAE 4800  will fulfill the Communications Intensive (CI) requirement
  • MATH 2250  or MATH 2210  will fulfill the Quantitative Intensive (QI) requirement
  • Complete at least 2 credits in 3000-level or above courses from each of the following two categories: Humanitites and Creative Arts (DHA) and Social Sciences (DSS)  

Transfer Students

Transfer students coming to USU with an associate degree from a regionally- accredited institutution may be deemed as having satisfied the General Education portion of the USU University Studies Requirements, but not necessarily the College of Engineering requirements. Students with transfer credits in University Studies areas will need to have their transfer credit evaluated by the College of Engineering to determine which of the University Studies requirements it will satisfy. In general, transfer students will still need to satisfy the Depth Education portion of University Studies. Also, since not all associate degrees granted by institutions outside of Utah include an American Institutions course (a State of Utah requirement), studentsmayneed to complete such a course while at USU. 

The Program

Mechanical Engineering graduates are prepared to pursue careers in such widely diverse industries as aerospace, agricultural equipment, automotive, biotechnical, chemical processing, composite materials, computerequipment, defense, electrical utilities, food processing, industrial equipment, manufacturing, materials processing, nuclear, petroleum, robotics, and solar energy. Most Mechanical Engineering graduates are prepared for graduate studies and enhanced career prospects in engineering or other areas, such as consulting, law, medicine, business management, or teaching. In addition, students who are preparing to apply for admission to medical school will find that Mechanical Engineering provides an excellent foundation for the increasingly technology-oriented field of medicine.

Students may choose to obtain an Aerospace Engineering emphasis within the Mechanical Engineering BS degree. The Aerospace Emphasis focuses on the mechanics and dynamics of both flight within the atmosphere and space flight. Included within its scope are studies in aerodynamics, aircraft flight dynamics and control, aircraft design, spacecraft orbital mechanics, spacecraft attitude motion and control, and space systems design. Graduates who complete the aerospace engineering emphasis are prepared to pursue careers in aircraft design and development, aircraft flight testing, spacecraft and space systems design, and spacecraft trajectory design and analysis. As fully qualified Mechanical Engineers, graduates with the aerospace engineering emphasis are also well-prepared to pursue graduate studies or careers in the industries listed above under Mechanical Engineering.

The first two years of the MAE curriculum are structured to concentrate on the fundamentals of mathematics, chemistry, physics, computer science, and basic engineering science. During the second two years, students apply these fundamentals to more concentrated courses in the essentials of mechanical or aerospace engineering. Laboratory activities and computer usage are integrated throughout the curriculum to give students opportunities for hands-on exposure to modern computer hardware and software, as well as other modern hardware and laboratory facilities. Engineering design activities begin during the first two years and progress in depth as the student’s proficiency increases. The engineering design experience culminates in a capstone senior design course, integrating the engineering coursework into a focused, realistic design project.

The Mechanical Engineering degree is accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET, www.abet.org. The Aerospace Engineering emphasis is included within the Mechanical Engineering degree.

A passing grade on the Fundamentals of Engineering Exam, the first step in becoming a licensed professional engineer, is required for graduation. Past experience has shown that the USU Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering students are well-prepared for this locally administered, national exam.

For additional information on academic requirements, see the College of Engineering  and the Undergraduate Graduation Requirements  sections of this catalog. The four-year plan is suggested for students employed less than 20 hours per week.


Required Coursework (125-126 credits)

Pre-professional Program

The curriculum for the first two years is common for all MAE students.

Professional Program in Mechanical Engineering

Junior Year (30-31 credits)

Senior Year (32 credits)

Fall Semester (17 credits)

Spring Semester (15 credits)


Elective courses, once selected and completed by a student, become part of the required program for that student.

The selection of elective courses needs to be given careful consideration. The preparation for a career in the broad field of mechanical and aerospace engineering and the selection of classes by real interest is more important than the maximization of the undergraduate grade point average.

MAE Technical Elective Courses

Technical electives are designed to improve student ability in foundational areas of mechanical engineering.  Five technical electives are required, and students are encouraged to choose from any of the 5000 level courses offered in MAE (except MAE 5300  or MAE 5900 ) to satisfy the requirement.  Unless it is taken as a regular lecture course with multiple students MAE 5930  may only count as one technical elective.   At least two technical electives must be courses with an MAE prefix.  The following courses also meet the definition of a technical elective: 

ECE 5230 , ECE 5320 , MATH 5110 , MATH 5270 , MATH 5340 , MATH 5410 , MATH 5420 MATH 5460 , MATH 5610 , MATH 5620 , MATH 5640 , MATH 5710 , MATH 5760  or STAT 5200 .

Students are encouraged to take additional, non-required courses to enhance their education; however, many courses may not meet the purpose of a technical elective.  With satisfactory justification, other courses not listed above that meet the technical elective description may be petitioned to the faculty for consideration.

Students who took MAE 2650  before it was last offered in Spring 2011, may count it as their fifth technical elective.


Professional Program in Aerospace Engineering Emphasis

In addition to completing the pre-professional program, students who choose to graduate with the Aerospace Engineering emphasis must complete the following courses as their elective selection. 3

Junior Year (31 credits)

Senior Year (31-32 credits)

Fall Semester (17 credits)

Spring Semester (14-15 credits)

  • MAE 4810 - Capstone Design II 3
  • Aerospace Technical courses 6 3
  • University Studies Depth Humanities and Creative Arts (DHA) and Depth Social Sciences (DSS) courses. 5-6


1 Students must select 15 credits of technical elective courses from the list of approved MAE Technical Elective Courses.

2 These courses are required for admission to the Professional Engineering Program (PEP).

3 During their senior year, Aerospace Engineering Emphasis students must take a minimum of 9 credits (3 classes) from Group 1 and a total of 12 credits (4 classes) from Group 1 or Group 1 and Group 2 combined. Group 1: ECE 5230 , MAE 5420 , MAE 5500 , MAE 5510 , MAE 5520 , MAE 5540 , MAE 5560 ; Group 2: MAE 5020 , MAE 5060 , MAE 5310 , MAE 5440 . This provides greater flexibility for students who want a more specific focus.

4 Students satisfying PHYS 2220  with AP taken before Fall 2011 will not need PHYS 2225 .

Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Mentors

Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Mentors

The following list of faculty interests is provided to help students select the appropriate faculty member to contact for career and elective selection counseling.

H. Ban, thermofluids, thermophysical properties, microfluidics, energy and environment
S. L. Folkman, structures and dynamics
T. H. Fronk, composite structures
R. R. Fullmer, control systems, spacecraft, robotics
D. K. Geller, spacecraft guidance and navigation
A. J. Katz, fluid mechanics, CFD
L. Liu, solid mechanics
W. F. Phillips, aerodynamics, flight
B. L. Smith, thermal/fluids
R. E. Spall, fluid mechanics, computational engineering
S. A. Whitmore, high-speed aerodynamics
B. D. Wood, solar energy systems
W. Yu, solid mechanics, computational methods

Requirement Changes

Graduation requirements shown on this sheet are subject to change. Students should check with their assigned advisor concerning possible changes.

For information contact

Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Department; Engineering 419; Utah State University; 4130 Old Main Hill; Logan UT 84322-4130; tel. (435) 797-2867; mae@engineering.usu.edu; www.mae.usu.edu/

Minimum University Requirements

Total Credits


Grade Point Average (most majors require higher GPA)

2.00 GPA

Credits of C- or better


Credits of upper-division courses (#3000 or above)


USU Credits (30 USU credits, 20 of which must be upper-division courses, 10 of which must be courses required for student's major)

30 USU credits

Completion of approved major program of study

See college advisor

Credits in minor (if required)


Credits in American Institutions (ECN 1500 ;HIST 1700 , HIST 2700  or HIST 2710 ; HONR 1300 POLS 1100 ; or USU 1300 )


General Education Requirements  and University Studies Depth Requirements 




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