Brown University School of Engineering

Mechanical Engineering

Sc.B. in Mechanical Engineering

Mechanical engineering is a very broad discipline. 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 Society of Automotive Engineers race car 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
  • Five upper level courses, chosen to meet requirements for one of the specialized areas of ME listed below
  • 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)

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 Introduction to Scientific Computing
III ENGN 0410 Materials Science
ENGN 0510* Electricity and Magnetism
APMA 0330 Methods of Applied Mathematics I
IV ENGN 0520 Electrical Circuits and Signals
ENGN 0720 Thermodynamics
APMA 0340 Methods of Applied Mathematics II
V ENGN 0310* Mechanics of Solids and Structures
ENGN 0810 Fluid Mechanics
Advanced Science **  
VI Upper Level Course  
Upper Level Course  
VII Upper Level Course  
Upper Level Course  
VIII Upper Level Course  
Upper Level Course  
† 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.