College Preparation to get into Mechanical Engineering

Mechanical engineering programs prepare people to design and improve tools and machines. A mechanical engineer is a jack-of-all-trades. He or she has a working knowledge of computer applications, electricity, structures, mathematics, physics and drafting, plus bits and pieces of nearly every other type of engineering. For this reason, a degree in mechanical engineering can be used to land a job nearly anywhere an engineer is required.

College preparations for Mechanical engineering:

i. Background Requirements:

Mechanical engineering degree programs usually require courses in mathematics and life and physical sciences, as well as engineering and design courses. Mechanical engineering technology programs focus less on theory and more on the practical application of engineering principles. Aptitude for Mathematics and Physics forms the basic foundation for this major.
  • Mathematics: Calculus is core to engineering and will be one of the first classes you take in college. Mechanical engineers usually take at least three semesters of calculus. In addition to calculus, you may also take classes in differential and partial differential equations as well as courses in advanced algebra (e.g. linear algebra) and calculus-based statistics.

  • Physics: Two semesters of physics is required. Like calculus, physics is fundamental to Mechanical engineering, and Mechanical engineers must have a thorough understanding of forces, energy, mechanics, thermodynamics, circuits, electromagnetic and optics. Some curricula require upper level physics classes as well.

  • Lab Science Courses: Most mechanical engineering programs require one year of coursework in a lab science other than physics. Acceptable lab sciences are typically chemistry, biology and physical science.

  • Introductory Engineering Courses: Classes like statics, dynamics, mechanics of materials, computer aided design (CAD), circuits and electronics are recommended. Also, computing class like computer science or numerical methods as well as a technical writing course is beneficial.

  • Specialized Engineering Courses: These classes include the study of thermodynamics, heat transfer, fluid mechanics, system dynamics, control, manufacturing processes and design. Also, most mechanical engineering programs require the students to take a senior design course.

  • Laboratory courses: Such courses help mechanical engineers develop skills that are useful in solving real-world problems. The laboratory courses are designed to develop the student’s knowledge base with a hands-on learning experience.

  • Learn to use different sort of Tools: Screwdrivers and hammers are a great place to start, but there are many more types than that. If you have the opportunity to take a wood, metals, or plastics shop classes, do so. Do learn about various kinds of measuring tools, too, as they are very important in the field of study.

ii. Academic Standing:

Have an undergraduate grade point average of at least 3.2.

iii. Academic Transcripts:

Transcripts which include your name, the name of the institution, the courses undertaken at the undergrad level, and grades or scores along with the application for initial departmental review are required. You can also attach a brief, one-page note describing any inconsistencies in your transcripts such as bad semester or medical problems.

iv. GRE Results:

Applicants are required to take the GRE aptitude test (verbal, quantitative, and analytical). Provide official GRE scores from an examination taken within the last 5 years.

v. Graduate Record Exam (GRE) Physics:

GRE Physics is not mandatory for all graduate schools. But a high score in physics will strengthen the application.

vi. TOEFL/IELTS Results:

High proficiency in the English language is essential for admission to our graduate program. Applicants whose native language is not English are required to take the TOEFL exam. Applicants must meet or exceed the minimum on the Internet-based test. TOEFL results must be from an examination taken within the last eighteen months.

vii. Letters of Recommendation:

Three letters of recommendation are required. At least two letters must be from an academic source. A recommendation letter is a detailed discussion of the personal qualities, accomplishments, and experiences that make you unique and perfect for the program to which you've applied.

viii. Statement of Purpose:

Prepare a Statement of Purpose that articulates your professional development goals and should describe succinctly your reasons for applying to the Mechanical engineering. A well-written statement of purpose must be prepared which clearly states that you have a solid mastery of the English language.

ix. Co-ops and Part-time:

Mechanical engineering degree programs may emphasize internships and co-ops. Students are strongly encouraged to take advantage of the Co-operative Education program, in which students alternate work periods with academics. Participation in the Co-op program not only helps integrate the student's classroom learning with real engineering practice, it enhances his or her job opportunities after graduation. Local part-time employment experience is a plus point. Having experience may also accelerate the process of finding the best school and a job for recent graduates.

Course work

The Mechanical Engineering program includes courses in the following subjects:
  • Calculus
  • Chemistry
  • Design of Mechanical Elements
  • Dynamics
  • Electronic Circuits
  • Engineering Physics
  • English Composition
  • Fluid Mechanics
  • Introduction to Computer Science
  • Kinematics and Dynamics of Machines
  • Linear Differential Equations
  • Materials in Engineering Design
  • Mechanical Engineering Analysis
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Senior Design Project
  • Statistics
  •  Thermodynamics
These College Preparation essentials will position you to increase your chances of success in Mechanical Engineering program.
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