Brown University School of Engineering

Mechanical Engineering

Sc.B. in Mechanical Engineering

Mechanical engineering is the broadest of all engineering disciplines. The traditional role of a mechanical engineer is to design engines and turbines; renewable and conventional energy conversion systems; vehicles and aircraft; tooling and manufacturing equipment, and building services. The field continues to evolve: today's mechanical engineers design biomedical devices and instrumentation; sensors; 3D printers; micro-electro-mechanical systems; and robots. Since all products need to be designed to withstand stress, vibrations and heat, mechanical engineers are in demand at nearly all companies, including those that design and manufacture consumer electronics; semiconductor and computer manufacturers, and software companies specializing in computer-aided-design.

The curriculum in Mechanical Engineering is intended to provide students with a broad interdisciplinary foundation; and specialized training in the two pillars of mechanical engineering: mechanical and thermal systems. The program offers a wide range of specialized tracks within mechanical engineering, allowing students to design a program tailored to their individual goals.

Mechanical engineering students at Brown are active in a large number of engineering related student organizations, such as the satellite design group CUBESAT; the Formula SAE team; and the Brown building society.

The concentration is composed of the following courses:

  • The interdisciplinary core courses for the Sc.B, taken during the first five semesters;
  • A specialized upper level course in Mechanical Systems;
  • A specialized upper level course in Fluid and Thermal Systems
  • Three additional specialized upper level elective engineering courses
  • A capstone design course;
  • An advanced science course; 
  • Four approved courses in the humanities and social sciences. 

The following specialized tracks are offered:

  • Aerospace Applications 
  • Biomechanics 
  • Energy Conversion and Fluid and Thermal Systems
  • Engineering Mechanics
  • Mechanical Systems: Dynamics, Materials and Design
  • Structures

Additional information

Sample course plan (for requirements see the University Bulletin)

SEM. COURSE DESCRIPTION
I ENGN 0030 Introduction to Engineering
CHEM 0330 Equilibrium, Rate, and Structure
MATH 0190 AP Calculus (Physics/Engineering)
Elective †  
II ENGN 0040 Dynamics and Vibrations
MATH 0200 Intermediate Calculus (Physics/Engineering)
CSCI 0040  
Elective  
III ENGN 0410 Materials Science
ENGN 0510* Electricity and Magnetism
APMA 0330 Methods of Applied Mathematics I
Elective  
IV ENGN 0520 Electrical Circuits and Signals
ENGN 0720 Thermodynamics
APMA 0340 Methods of Applied Mathematics II
Elective  
V ENGN 0310* Mechanics of Solids and Structures
ENGN 0810 Fluid Mechanics
Advanced Science **  
Elective  
VI Upper Level Course  
Upper Level Course  
Elective  
Elective  
VII Upper Level Course  
Upper Level Course  
Elective  
Elective  
VIII Upper Level Course  
Upper Level Course  
Elective  
Elective  
† A minimum of four electives must be in the humanities and social sciences.
* Students with an interest in ME can take ENGN 0310 in their sophomore year and ENGN 0510 in their junior year.
** May be taken in any semester after prerequisites have been satisfied.

Suggested upper level specialized courses

These are provided for guidance only. The requirements allow you to construct plans with other focus areas. For full requirements see the University Bulletin.

2a. Aerospace Applications
Physics of Matter 1
Advanced Engineering Mechanics
Jet Engines and Aerospace Propulsion
Design of Thermal Engines
Design of Space Systems
Advanced Fluid Mechanics
One of the following:
Heat and Mass Transfer
Structural Analysis
Computer Aided Visualization and Design
Advanced Mechanics of Solids
Capstone Design
Projects in Engineering Design
Industrial Design
Design of Mechanical Assemblies
2b. Biomechanics
Principles of Physiology 1
Biomechanics
Instrumentation Design
Advanced Engineering Mechanics
One of the following courses:
Jet Engines and Aerospace Propulsion
Heat and Mass Transfer
Advanced Fluid Mechanics
One of the following course:
Neuroengineering
Structural Analysis
Biomaterials
Computer Aided Visualization and Design
Advanced Mechanics of Solids
Capstone Design
Projects in Engineering Design 2
Industrial Design
Design of Mechanical Assemblies
2c. Energy Conversion: Fluids and Thermal Systems
Physics of Matter 1
Jet Engines and Aerospace Propulsion
Heat and Mass Transfer
Design of Thermal Engines
Advanced Fluid Mechanics
One of the following courses:
Advanced Mechanics of Solids
Structural Analysis
Advanced Engineering Mechanics
Capstone Design
Projects in Engineering Design
Industrial Design
Design of Mechanical Assemblies
2d. Engineering Mechanics
Physics of Matter 1
Advanced Engineering Mechanics
Heat and Mass Transfer
Advanced Mechanics of Solids
Advanced Fluid Mechanics
One of the following:
Structural Analysis
Soil Mechanics and Principles of Foundation Engineering
Kinetics Processes in Materials Science and Engineering
Jet Engines and Aerospace Propulsion
Computer Aided Visualization and Design
Capstone Design
Projects in Engineering Design
Design of Civil Engineering Structures
Design of Thermal Engines
Design of Space Systems
Industrial Design
Design of Mechanical Assemblies
2e. Mechanical Systems: Dynamics, Materials, and Design
Physics of Matter
Advanced Engineering Mechanics
Advanced Mechanics of Solids
One of the following courses:
Design of Civil Engineering Structures
Design of Thermal Engines
Design of Space Systems
One or two of the following courses:
Jet Engines and Aerospace Propulsion
Heat and Mass Transfer
Design of Thermal Engines
Advanced Fluid Mechanics
Capstone Design
Projects in Engineering Design
Industrial Design
Design of Mechanical Assemblies
Up to one of the following:
Instrumentation Design
Structural Analysis
Design of Civil Engineering Structures
Mechanical Properties of Materials
Analysis and Design of Electronic Circuits
Computer Aided Visualization and Design
2f. Structural Mechanics
Structural Geology
Structural Analysis
Advanced Engineering Mechanics
Heat and Mass Transfer
Advanced Fluid Mechanics
One of the following courses:
Computer Aided Visualization and Design
Advanced Mechanics of Solids
Design of Space Systems