What You Need to Know About Becoming a Mechanical Engineering Major | Best Colleges

A mechanical engineering major studies movement, from that of particles to large machinery and the human body. By examining, creating and testing devices and other systems, students can learn to solve complex technological problems. Mechanical engineering is a broad area of study, and students can use their skills in a variety of fields, including energy, defense and security, robotics, health care, space exploration, and transportation.

What Is a Mechanical Engineering Major?

Mechanical engineering majors learn about motion and energy, and they study fluid, solid and thermal mechanics. They spend time in labs, where they develop problem-solving skills and evaluate and design products. These products can range from prosthetics to machine parts and car engines. After having gained both general and specialized knowledge, graduates in this field can work as entry-level mechanical engineers or pursue further education.

Common Coursework Mechanical Engineering Majors Can Expect

Coursework for mechanical engineering majors begins with foundational classes in math, physics and chemistry. Students also take mechanical engineering courses covering topics such as thermodynamics, fluid and solid mechanics, environmental science, and mechatronics. Advanced coursework may involve learning about systems and controls, energy science and technology, propulsion, design and manufacturing, heat transfer, and computational simulation.

Programs may vary, but mechanical engineering majors may be able to choose a concentration, such as automation and robotics, manufacturing, mechanics of materials, nuclear engineering, automotive engineering, or micro and nanoengineering.

Students may need to complete a senior thesis or capstone project, and many programs encourage majors to participate in research. For those interested in pursuing an advanced degree, some schools offer a combined bachelor’s and master’s degree path.

How to Know if This Major Is the Right Fit for You

Mechanical engineering majors must be analytical and logical thinkers as well as resourceful and imaginative. They should enjoy working with data and using creativity and innovation to solve problems. These students should be leaders who can collaborate with others and communicate well. Mechanical engineers also need to be sensitive to the ethical, environmental, global, economic and societal impacts of their work.

Discover the perfect major for you based on your innate wiring. The Innate Assessment sets you up for success by pairing you with majors, colleges and careers that fit your unique skills and abilities.

What Can I Do With a Mechanical Engineering Major?

Mechanical engineering graduates have a range of potential career paths. These opportunities may be in the automotive, aerospace, computer, and consumer product industries. Other possible industries include power production, robotics and automation, agriculture, mining, energy, and construction.

Graduates may choose to go into bioengineering, biomechanics, product design or manufacturing, or they can work with hydraulics, machine tools or instrumentation. They can also work in consulting or management.

Another option for mechanical engineering majors is graduate school, where they can earn advanced degrees related to mechanical engineering or study another subject, such as business, law, finance or medicine.

Schools Offering a Mechanical Engineering Major

Check out some schools below that offer engineering majors and find the full list of schools here that you can filter and sort.

Rollins College
Winter Park, FL Location
#1 in Regional Universities South Featured Ranking
Butler University
Indianapolis, IN Location
#1 in Regional Universities Midwest Featured Ranking
Trinity University
San Antonio, TX Location
#1 in Regional Universities West Featured Ranking
Bentley University
Waltham, MA Location
#2 in Regional Universities North Featured Ranking
Columbia University
New York, NY Location
#3 in National Universities (tie) Featured Ranking
Swarthmore College
Swarthmore, PA Location
#3 in National Liberal Arts Colleges Featured Ranking
Maryville College
Maryville, TN Location
#3 in Regional Colleges South Featured Ranking
Dordt University
Sioux Center, IA Location
#3 in Regional Colleges Midwest (tie) Featured Ranking
Keene State College
San Luis Obispo, CA Location
#10 in Regional Colleges North (tie) Featured Ranking

School Name




Featured Ranking

Rollins College   Winter Park, FL   #1 in Regional Universities South
Butler University   Indianapolis, IN   #1 in Regional Universities Midwest
Trinity University   San Antonio, TX   #1 in Regional Universities West
Bentley University   Waltham, MA   #2 in Regional Universities North
Columbia University   New York, NY   #3 in National Universities (tie)
Swarthmore College   Swarthmore, PA   #3 in National Liberal Arts Colleges
Maryville College   Maryville, TN   #3 in Regional Colleges South
Dordt University   Sioux Center, IA   #3 in Regional Colleges Midwest (tie)
Texas Lutheran University   Seguin, TX   #4 in Regional Colleges West
Keene State College   San Luis Obispo, CA   #10 in Regional Colleges North (tie)

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