The undergraduate program in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at Columbia University teaches students to be creative problem solvers and nurtures the teamwork, leadership and communication skills necessary to be effective leaders in mechanical engineering as well as in other fields such as medicine, law, consulting, management, banking and finance.

Undergraduate Course Requirements

Comprehensive details of undergraduate course requirements are available.

MS Express Program

This option is open to Columbia students already enrolled in the BS degree program, who have a Columbia GPA of no lower than 3.5. This option offers a quick and smooth transition to the MS degree program, with its well-known utility in professional training.

Integrated BS/MS Program

The Integrated BS/MS Program is open only to Columbia University juniors with a cumulative GPA of 3.40. After earning the BS degree, students are able to seamlessly proceed toward earning their MS degree. Merging the BS and MS programs allows Columbia students to earn the MS degree in a very flexible and efficient manner.

Study Abroad

In order to fulfill nontechnical requirements, engineering students often study abroad during the spring semester of their sophomore year.

Our unique curriculum provides a rigorous grounding in math and fundamental and applied science, as well as the humanities, as part of Columbia’s famed Core Curriculum. There are 27 points of nontechnical credit within the B.S. degree requirement. This gives students the flexibility to take electives within the engineering school and at Columbia College. Undergraduate students can choose from a large list of available courses from the college and the school.

Beginning in the first semester, students become immersed in designing engineering solutions, take part in collaborative research projects, and expand their thinking in Columbia’s legendary Core Curriculum.

Undergraduate students have numerous opportunities to work with top faculty, both in the classroom and in the laboratory, who are actively engaged in pioneering research across disciplines. Opportunities exist for both semester-long and full-time summer research projects. Students also participate in local chapters of clubs such as the ASME, Solar-Splash, SAE, Engineers without Borders and AIAA.

Program Educational Objectives

The Mechanical Engineering Undergraduate Program at Columbia University has the following Program Educational Objectives (PEOs):

  • Practice mechanical engineering in a broad range of industries
  • Pursue advanced education, research and development, and other creative and innovative efforts in science, engineering, and technology, as well as other professional careers.
  • Conduct themselves in a responsible, professional, and ethical manner.
  • Participate in activities that support humanity and economic development nationally and globally, developing as leaders in their fields of expertise.

Our department periodically reviews these objectives and as part of this review process, encourages comments from all interested parties: current students, alumni, prospective students, faculty, teaching assistants, those who hire or admit our graduates to other programs, members of related professional organizations, and colleagues from other educational institutions. Please send comments to our ABET coordinator Arvind Narayanaswamy at an2288@columbia.edu.

Student Outcomes

Graduates of the Mechanical Engineering program at Columbia University will attain:

  • An ability to apply knowledge of mathematics, science, and engineering
  • An ability to design and conduct experiments, as well as to analyze and interpret data
  • An ability to design a system, component, or process to meet desired needs within realistic constraints such as economic, environmental, social, political, ethical, health, and safety, manufacturability, and sustainability
  • An ability to function on multidisciplinary teams
  • An ability to identify, formulate, and solve engineering problems
  • An understanding of professional and ethical responsibility
  • An ability to communicate effectively
  • The broad education necessary to understand the impact of engineering solutions in a global, economic, environmental, and societal context
  • A recognition of the need for and an ability to engage in life-long learning
  • A knowledge of contemporary issues
  • An ability to use the techniques, skills, and modern engineering tools necessary for engineering practice

Additionally, graduates of the Mechanical Engineering program at Columbia University will also attain:

  • An ability to apply principles of basic science and mathematics (including multivariate calculus and differential equations)
  • An ability to model, analyze, design, and realize physical systems, components or processes
  • An ability to work professionally in both thermal and mechanical systems areas

Enrollment and Graduation Statistics

Academic Year Total Undergraduate Enrollment (sophomores, Juniors, and Seniors) Size of Graduating Class
2007-2008 117 38
2008-2009 124 53
2009-2010 118 43
2010-2011 140 40
2011-2012 166 64
2012-2013 149 61
2013-2014 151 64
2014-2015 155 58
2015-2016 155 59
2016-2017 148 61
2017-2018* 117 N/A

*includes only up to fall 2017; excludes sophomores

ABET Accreditation

The undergraduate program in Mechanical Engineering is accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET: http://www.abet.org.