Mechanical Engineering

College of Engineering and Computer Science

Program Description

Mechanical Engineering involves the design of all types of machines and equipment including vehicles used in ground, air, and space transportation; machines for the conversion of fuels into energy; food processing; consumer products; robots; biomedical devices; the machines used to manufacture all of the above; and the climate control of buildings. Mechanical engineers bring together the fields of design graphics, manufacturing, engineering materials, thermodynamics and heat transfer, and the principles of mathematics and science to find solutions to societal needs. They often work directly in the design and operation of food processing plants, power plants, manufacturing plants, refineries, and other industrial operations. A major goal of the curriculum is to provide the graduates with the analytical and practical skills needed to perform mechanical design in a variety of fields, preparing graduates to take advantage of the many employment opportunities.

The Mechanical Engineering Program includes courses on design, thermal sciences, manufacturing, properties, and selection of materials, and computer applications related to these topics. The curriculum maintains a balance among basic fundamentals, analytical methods, and design applications of current knowledge, preparing the graduates for both entry into the profession and a life-long career.

The employers of Mechanical Engineering graduates include aircraft and automobile companies, food processing companies, machinery and equipment companies, gas and electric utilities, architectural and engineering firms, and many agencies in federal, state, and local governments. Some graduates continue their education by completing advanced degrees in Engineering or Management.

Degree Programs

BS in Mechanical Engineering

Blended BS/MS in Mechanical Engineering Program

MS in Mechanical Engineering

  • Specializations in Aerospace Systems, Design & Dynamic Systems, Manufacturing & Materials Engineering, and Thermal & Fluid Systems


In addition to California State University, Sacramento's full accreditation by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges, the Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering is also individually accredited by ABET, Inc.

Notice to Students RE: Professional Licensure and Certification

California State University programs for professions that require licensure or certification are intended to prepare the student for California licensure and certification requirements. Admission into programs for professions that require licensure and certification does not guarantee that students will obtain a license or certificate. Licensure and certification requirements are set by agencies that are not controlled by or affiliated with the California State University and licensure and certification requirements can change at any time.

The California State University has not determined whether its programs meet other states’ educational or professional requirements for licensure and certification. Students planning to pursue licensure or certification in other states are responsible for determining whether, if they complete a California State University program, they will meet their state’s requirements for licensure or certification. This disclosure is made pursuant to 34 CFR §668.43(a)(5)(v)(C).

Special Features

  • The Mechanical Engineering program is ABET accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission (EAC/ABET),
    Engineering Accreditation Commission (EAC/ABET)
    111 Market Place, Suite 1050
    Baltimore, Maryland 21202
    (410) 347-7700
    In keeping with its accreditation, the Mechanical Engineering program has strong engineering design content. In particular, the program includes a four-semester sequence on modern design and manufacturing methods.
  • Faculty members have backgrounds in Mechanical, Aeronautical, Manufacturing, and Materials Science. The faculty has a variety of research interests; the majority has industrial experience which contributes to the applied emphasis in the Mechanical Engineering program. Most of the faculty have doctorates; some are registered Professional Engineers (PE).
  • Lectures and lab are arranged so students can participate in meaningful discussions and a real exchange of ideas between students and faculty.
  • Upper division students do cooperative work on team projects and often develop study groups for other courses.
  • Courses taken in the freshman and sophomore years form a foundation for the upper division program; e.g., the dynamics and strength of materials studied in the junior year depend on the sophomore mechanics, calculus, and physics courses. Building on analytical and communications skills learned in the lower division, students take a four semester design-project sequence which includes the study of design methods, and the procedures for developing a design solution from concept through a fully-developed design and finally to production. The courses in mechanics, energy transformation, manufacturing, and materials support this sequence.
  • Students can take elective courses in computer analysis, heating, ventilating and air-conditioning, manufacturing methods, and systems and materials engineering.

Program Educational Objectives

Mechanical Engineering Graduates will have:

  • utilized a foundation in engineering and science to engage in successful careers in mechanical engineering or other fields to the benefit of society. 
  • become effective participants or leaders in innovation and multi-disciplinary collaboration to address global technical, social, and industrial issues. 
  • engaged in career and professional development through self-study, continuing education, or graduate studies in engineering or other professional fields. 

Academic Policies and Procedures

Course Repeat Policy - Undergraduate engineering and mechanical engineering courses that are used to meet the Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering degree requirements may be repeated only twice (for a total of three attempts). Grades of the second and third attempts will be averaged in grade point calculations.

Incomplete Grades - Incomplete grades are issued only in accordance with University policy. The student must be passing the course at the time an "Incomplete" is requested. An Incomplete Petition must be submitted to the Department with the student's and the course instructor's signature. The Incomplete Petition (obtained in the Department Office) must specify the work to be completed, the basis by which the student's final grade will be determined, and the last date for completion of the incomplete work. An incomplete grade that is not cleared by the set date will lapse to an "F" grade.

Career Possibilities

Aeronautical Engineer · Automotive Engineer · Design Engineer · Development Engineer · Energy Management Engineering Manager · Environmental Engineer · Food Processing Machine Designer · Manufacturing Engineer · Plant Engineer · Project Engineer · Research Engineer · Technical Sales Engineer

Contact Information

Troy D. Topping, Ph.D., Department Chair
Riverside Hall, Room 4024
(916) 278-6624

Department of Mechanical Engineering Website