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Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering

The Bachelor of Science (BS) in mechanical engineering curriculum begins with a strong emphasis on mathematics, physics and chemistry. It continues with a concentration in engineering sciences, including solid and fluid mechanics; thermodynamics, heat and mass transport; materials; and systems analysis and control. It concludes with laboratory and design courses which demonstrate the ways in which scientific knowledge is applied in the design and development of useful devices and manufacturing processes.


The mechanical engineering program may be roughly sub-divided into two-year groupings. In the first two years, the program emphasizes the fundamentals of mathematics and basic science that are essential for an understanding of most branches of engineering.  In the last two years of the program, the department emphasizes engineering science and design and provides technical electives in the following areas:

  • Air Conditioning Theory and Design
  • Bioengineering
  • Dynamics and Control Systems
  • Fluid Mechanics and Solid Mechanics
  • Energy Systems and Thermal Design
  • Material Science and Composites
  • Mechanical Systems Design and Manufacturing
  • Thermodynamics and Heat Transfer

The Mechanical Engineering Bachelor of Science program is accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET,

BSME Program Educational Objectives

The program offered by the mechanical engineering department of CU Denver can be completed in the afternoon and evening hours to accommodate both working and traditional students. The department seeks to graduate a diverse population of students with a bachelor’s degrees who within a few years of graduation are able to: 

  1. be employed by a diverse group of industries, research laboratories and educational institutions 
  2. pursue careers in engineering, interdisciplinary areas, and in research and education
  3. pursue post-graduate education and advanced degrees.

BSME Student Educational Outcomes

  • 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 multi-disciplinary 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

The student must meet the CU Denver admission requirements and the admission requirements of the College of Engineering and Applied Science, which includes a full year of college calculus and calculus-based physics or calculus-based physics I and general college chemistry I which must be completed with B or better grades. Grades of B are required in all other math and science courses and the cumulative GPA must be at least 2.5.  Students meeting most, but not all of these standards are fully considered.  Students with fewer than 80 college credits who are not offered admission to the College of Engineering and Applied Science will be automatically considered for pre-engineering admission in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

Pre-engineering students and CU Denver students interested in an undergraduate engineering program but not enrolled in the college must request an intra-university transfer (IUT). Those approved for an IUT will be entered into the undergraduate program of interest. Admission to the bioengineering pre-major does not guarantee admission to the major. To enter an engineering program through the intra-university transfer (IUT) process, students must have earned: 

  • a 2.75 (or higher) cumulative CU Denver GPA 
  • a 2.5 (or higher) GPA in Calculus I, Calculus II, and Calculus-based Physics I and the corresponding lab and no lower than a C- in any one of these courses. 
  • a C- or higher in all other engineering requirements taken prior to or at the time of the request. 
  • IUT guidelines are subject to change. Students are encouraged to meet with an Engineering Student Services advisor to discuss the IUT process prior to submitting a request.

Beginning undergraduate students in engineering should be prepared to start analytic geometry-calculus. No credit toward any degree in engineering will be given for algebra, trigonometry or precalculus mathematics (MATH 1110, 1120 and 1130). (These courses are offered to allow a student to make up deficiencies.) Students who question the adequacy of their precollegiate background in mathematics should contact the Department of Mathematics and Statistical Sciences office in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. Placement tests covering precalculus mathematics are required of new freshmen to select the appropriate beginning mathematics course.

To be prepared for the type of mathematics courses that will be taught, the student must be competent in the basic ideas and skills of ordinary algebra, geometry and plane trigonometry. These include such topics as the fundamental operations with algebraic expressions, exponents and radicals, fractions, simple factoring, solution of linear and quadratic equations, graphical representation, simple systems of equations, complex numbers, the binomial theorem, arithmetic and geometric progressions, logarithms, the trigonometric functions and their use in triangle solving and simple applications, and the standard theorems of geometry, including some solid geometry. It usually takes eight semesters to cover this material adequately in high school.

Refer to the Minimum Academic Preparation Standards (MAPS) information in the Admissions section of the CU Denver catalog for a list of high school subjects required for admission to the College of Engineering and Applied Science.

The Bachelor of Science in mechanical engineering requires 128 semester credit hours for graduation. Students should check with departmental advisors to determine their degree requirements.  The particular curriculum to be satisfied by each student is the one published in the catalog current at the time of their matriculation.  An example of a typical curriculum for the bachelor's degree is available in the catalog.

To be awarded the Bachelor of Science in mechanical engineering, a student must satisfy all University of Colorado graduation requirements and maintain at least a 2.0 GPA in all mechanical engineering courses.  

All students should see an academic advisor at least once per academic year. All students are required to schedule an appointment with the senior checkout advisor prior to registering for the last 30 hours of their degree program. 

Please call 303-315-7500 to schedule an appointment with an academic advisor.