Undergraduate Study

Professor Corey S. O'Hern
Director of Undergraduate Studies

Mechanical engineering is among the most diversified of the traditional engineering disciplines. The mechanical engineer builds machines to extend our physical and mental capabilities and to convert traditional and novel energy sources into useful forms.

The role of the mechanical engineer has changed dramatically over the past few decades with the extensive use of high-performance computers (in such areas as computational fluid dynamics, materials design, control, and manufacturing), the interfacing of microelectromechanical systems and actuators via microprocessors to build high-precision sensors and devices, and the advent of advanced materials (e.g., composites, shape-memory alloys, ceramics, and superconductors) for new applications (e.g., coatings, biomaterials, and computer storage). These areas offer mechanical engineering students special opportunities for creativity, demanding that they learn not only in depth but also in breadth. Demands for increased energy efficiency and reduced environmental impact—as might be realized, for example, in novel gas turbine or electric hybrid vehicles—require that students understand the fundamentals of mechanics, thermodynamics, fluid mechanics, and materials science. In all these tasks, the utmost consideration of the modern mechanical engineer is improving the quality of human life. The engineer must also be constantly aware both of the finiteness of Earth's resources and its environment and of the burden that engineering places on them.

At Yale, three mechanical engineering programs are offered: a B.S. degree program with a major in Mechanical Engineering, a B.S. degree program with a major in Engineering Sciences (Mechanical), and a B.A. degree program with a major in Engineering Sciences (Mechanical).

The B. S. degree Program in Mechanical Engineering is the most technically intensive degree program and is accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET (www.abet.org). This Program is appropriate for students who plan careers as practicing engineers in industry, consulting firms, or government, as well as for students who are considering a career in research and plan to pursue an advanced degree in engineering or related disciplines.

The educational mission of the Mechanical Engineering Program at Yale University is to provide an excellent mechanical engineering curriculum with numerous design experiences, within one of the finest liberal arts universities in the nation, so that our students are prepared to become the next generation of mechanical engineers.

Student Outcomes for Yale’s Mechanical Engineering Program

Upon graduation, Yale’s Mechanical Engineering students are expected to achieve “student outcomes” as defined by ABET and the Program.  The B. S. degree in Mechanical Engineering produces graduates who demonstrate:

  • an ability to identify, formulate, and solve complex engineering problems by applying principles of engineering, science, and mathematics
  • an ability to apply engineering design to produce solutions that meet specified needs with consideration of public health, safety, and welfare, as well as global, cultural, social, environmental, and economic factors
  • an ability to communicate effectively with a range of audiences
  • an ability to recognize ethical and professional responsibilities in engineering situations and make informed judgments, which must consider the impact of engineering solutions in global, economic, environmental, and societal contexts
  • an ability to function effectively on a team whose members together provide leadership, create a collaborative and inclusive environment, establish goals, plan tasks, and meet objectives
  • an ability to develop and conduct appropriate experimentation, analyze and interpret data, and use engineering judgment to draw conclusions
  • an ability to acquire and apply new knowledge as needed, using appropriate learning strategies

Program Educational Objectives for Yale’s Mechanical Engineering Program

Yale’s Mechanical Engineering Program and ABET also look ahead, several years beyond graduation. The following “Program Educational Objectives” provide the expectations for graduates of Yale’s Mechanical Engineering Program early in their careers:  

  1. Graduates of the Program will have the scientific and technical background, engineering skills in analysis, design, and synthesis, as well as strong abilities in communication, teamwork, and critical thinking, to succeed and take on leadership roles in industry, government, and academia.
  2. Graduates of the Program will have a strong awareness and understanding of the impacts of engineering solutions on society and the environment, which will guide their professional and ethical decision-making processes.
  3. Graduates of the Program will be equipped to pursue postgraduate studies at top-tier programs in mechanical engineering and related fields.

In addition, we know that diversity and inclusion lead to better engineering outcomes, and play an important role in education, research, and service activities. By having diverse perspectives, engineers are better able to find appropriate engineering solutions for people of all demographics. The vision of the Department is to create an environment where people of all backgrounds feel included, safe, and valued and to have adequate representation of as many backgrounds as possible. A significant part of supporting that vision includes the expectations for undergraduates in the Department. Students in the Department are expected to

  • Be conscientious of valuing all perspectives.
  • Foster a work environment that shows respect for all regardless of gender, race, sexual orientation, career stage, or status.
  • Educate themselves on issues related to diversity, including reflecting on one’s own attitudes and working to identify implicit biases and correct them.
  • Participate in open dialogues between all members of the Department, including highlighting any problems related to diversity and inclusion and proposing solutions to those problems.

Below we provide enrollment and graduation data for the Mechanical Engineering Program for the past several years:.

Year
Number of Mechanical
Engineering Graduates
Total Number of Mechanical
Engineering Majors+
2016
20
37
2017
17
32
2018
15
40
2019
25
42
2020
17
34
2021
17
40
2022
23
40

Some students find less intensive engineering programs better meet their career goals. These non-ABET degree programs include the B.S. degree program in Engineering Sciences (Mechanical) and the B.A. degree program in Engineering Sciences (Mechanical) designed for students who may be planning interdisciplinary careers in science, engineering, and technology or careers in business, law, medicine, journalism, or politics, where they want to supplement their liberal arts studies to include an understanding of the impact that science and technology can have on society.

B.S. degree program in Engineering Sciences (Mechanical): This degree program is suitable for students who wish to gain significant expertise within Mechanical Engineering while combining their engineering studies with related disciplines. For example, a number of students have taken courses in architecture while pursuing a program in Mechanical Engineering that emphasizes structural mechanics; similarly, a student with an interest in computer graphics might combine engineering courses in computer-aided design with programming courses from the Department of Computer Science. The major requires twelve approved term courses in Engineering, which can cover a broad array of topics within the subject, provided that they contribute to a coherent program. Students should consult with the Director of Undergraduate Studies at the beginning of their sophomore year.

B.A. degree program in Engineering Sciences (Mechanical): In a society with increasing levels of technical sophistication, a truly well-rounded individual must have some background in science and technology. The B.A. degree program is designed for students who may be planning careers in business, law, medicine, journalism, or politics, but need to understand the impact that science and technology can have on society at large. An understanding of engineering methods and practices, combined with a traditional liberal arts education, provides a strong background for a variety of careers.

A student's undergraduate engineering program can include one or more special project courses (MENG 471, 472, 473, or 474), in which the student pursues a particular research interest through design-oriented projects and experimental investigations. Projects may be initiated by the student, may be performed in a team, or may be derived from the ideas of faculty members who place undergraduates in their ongoing research projects. All interested students should contact the Director of Undergraduate Studies for more information on special project courses.

All students interested in pursuing the degree programs in Mechanical Engineering should contact the Director of Undergraduate Studies, preferably no later than the beginning of the sophomore year.

For detailed curriculum information, visit Mechanical Engineering & Materials Science Undergraduate Curriculum Information

For a detailed listing of projects from MENG 472/474 in Spring 2016, visit the MENG 472/474 projects page

For a detailed listing of projects from MENG 471/473 in Fall 2016, visit the MENG 471/473 projects page

For a detailed listing of projects from MENG 472/474 in Spring 2017, visit the MENG 472/474 projects page

For a detailed listing of projects from MENG 471/473 in Fall 2017, visit the MENG 471/473 projects page

For a detailed listing of projects from MENG 472/474 in Spring 2018, visit the MENG 472/474 projects page

For a detailed listing of projects from MENG 471/473 in Fall 2018, visit the MENG 471/473 projects page

For a detailed listing of projects from MENG 472/474 in Spring 2019, visit the MENG 472/474 projects page

For a detailed listing of projects from MENG 471/473 in Fall 2019, visit the MENG 471/473 projects page

For a detailed listing of projects from MENG 472/474 in Spring 2020, visit the MENG 472/474 projects page

For a detailed listing of projects from MENG 472/474 in Spring 2021, visit the MENG 472/474 projects page