Degree Planning

Mechanical Engineering (M E) Curriculum

Flowcharts

Flowcharts are provided as a visual example for how the 129-credit Mechanical Engineering (M E) curriculum can be sequenced. Students’ plans will vary greatly depending on their initial placement in math and science courses, transfer/AP credits, and semester work load (credit) comfort.

Basic Program Requirements

The Basic Program is a set of courses (i.e., ENGR 101, MATH 165, MATH 166, CHEM 167, PHYS 221, M E 160, ENGL 150, ENGL 250, LIB 160) that provides a foundation common to all engineering curricula. Students normally enroll in most of the Basic Program courses during their first year. Before enrolling in engineering courses at the 200-level and above, students enrolled in the College of Engineering must do the following:

  • Complete the Basic Program with a Basic Program grade point average (GPA) of at least 2.00.
  • Earn an ISU cumulative GPA of at least 2.00.

A grade of C or better is required for any transfer credit course applied to the Basic Program. Grades from transfer courses will not be used in computing the Basic Program GPA. Students enrolled in the College of Engineering who have not met the above requirements may enroll for no more than two semesters in 200-level engineering courses. For full details on the Basic Program, please see the Catalog and the College of Engineering’s Academic Policies.

Foundations Requirements

Foundations is a second set of courses (i.e., MATH 265, MATH 267, PHYS 232 + 232L, MAT E 273, C E 274, M E 231, and E M 324) that M E students must complete in a timely manner. Students must complete all Foundations courses with a Foundations grade point average (GPA) of at least 2.00 before enrolling in select M E Core classes (i.e., M E 332, M E 370, M E 335, M E 325, M E 324, M E 421). Transfer course grades will not be calculated into the M E Foundations GPA. For full details on Foundations, please see the Catalog.

Core Requirements

The Core is a third set of courses (i.e., M E 270, E E 442, E E 448, M E 332, M E 345, M E 324L, M E 370, M E 335, M E 325, M E 324, M E 421, M E 436, Capstone Design) that M E students must complete with a grade point average (GPA) of at least 2.00 prior to graduation Transfer course grades will not be calculated into the M E Core GPA. For full details on the M E Core, please see the Catalog.

General Education Requirements

M E students are required to take 15 credits in the humanities and social sciences for a well-rounded undergraduate education. General education courses (“gen eds”) help students develop communication, critical thinking, and interpersonal skills that are important to employers. See this document for full details on general education requirements and for which courses are approved:

Technical Electives

Technical electives (“tech electives”) allow students to tailor their M E degree to their personal academic and career interests. Technical electives are generally 300+ level STEM or business courses and 15 credits of technical electives are required. See this document for full details on technical elective requirements and for which courses are approved:

Undergraduate Handbook

The M E Undergraduate Handbook contains details for students, staff, and faculty on departmental structure, policies, procedures, and degree requirements.

Independent Study (M E 490)

For flowcharts and detailed instructions how to submit a proposal for an Independent Study research project, please review the Undergraduate Independent Study – 490 website. The forms and approval process differ according to whether your research is done with a Mechanical Engineering faculty member (i.e., M E 490) or a faculty member in a different department (e.g., C E 490). No more than 6 credits of Independent Study (490) courses may count towards tech elective credit.

Tools

  • Catalog – comprehensive guide to all courses, degree programs, and policies at Iowa State
  • Schedule of Classes – up-to-date list of course offerings for current and upcoming semesters
  • Course Equivalency Guides – comprehensive conversion tables for course offerings at Midwestern community colleges
  • TRANSIT – transfer course translator
  • Transferology – an external database to help locate colleges and universities that offer a course that transfers back to meet a specific Iowa State course (always fact check against TRANSIT)
  • GPA Calculator – calculator to help determine cumulative, term, and/or course group (e.g., Basic Program, Foundations) grade point average (GPA)
  • Program of Study Template [downloadable Word doc] – modifiable template to help students map out their curricular plan
  • Graduation Checklist – Iowa State’s Graduation & Commencement website with a checklist, instructions to apply to graduate, and ceremony details
  • M E Academic Grievance Process – flowchart explaining process for filing a formal grievance about an M E course’s structure or grading
  • M E Academic Grievance Form – form for filing a formal grievance about an M E course’s structure or grading