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Mechanical Engineering Technical Elective Program Requirements

These requirements are for students who enrolled at OSU summer semester 2012 or later.

  • For students who enrolled prior to Summer 2012, please click here for a list of requirements.

Undergraduate Research Technical Elective Program

For the Undergraduate Research Technical Elective Program requirements, please click here for more information.

Technical Elective Course Planning Worksheet

Please use the Technical Elective Course Planning Worksheet as a helpful tool to plan out the courses you wish to take and to check if they will satisfy the requirements listed above.

Mechanical Engineering major students will be required to attend an information session led by a faculty member which will cover the Technical Elective program thoroughly. This meeting will take place while the student is enrolled in MECHENG 3670, usually during their 3rd year in the program.

Standard Elective Track

(Non-Honors Research or Non-Research Distinction Track)

This document supersedes all previous TE documents for students who started autumn 2012 and beyond.

A. 12 credit hours total

B. Required- Two courses (minimum 6 credit hours) from the three category course list below.

B.1. The two courses must be from different categories. 

B.2. To complete a category, a minimum of 3 credit hours must be taken. For example, if a course is less than three credit hours, then you must take another course in that same category to meet the 3 credit hour limit in a category. 

*Course term offering as well as X194 course numbers are subject to change, so check with the MAE UG Advising Office for updates if you do not find the course listed on the Course Schedule.

C. In addition to section B, your remaining 6 credit hours can be chosen from the following courses:

C.1. Any 5000 level Mechanical Engineering (MECHENG), Aerospace Engineering (AEROENG) or Nuclear Engineering (NUCLREN) course,including any of those in B above.This does not include MECHENG courses from the Professional Skills Category (C.2).


 A maximum of 3 credit hours can be chosen from (C.2- C.11):

C.2.  Any courses in the Professional Skills category 

Professional Skills

C.3.  Pre-Approved Independent Study: MECHENG 4193 or MECHENG 5193

C.4.  Engineering courses other than Mechanical, Aerospace, Nuclear, and College of Engineering (ENGR):
          a. All 5000 level courses
          b. BIOMEDE 4X10, FABENG 3481, 3510, 3610 or 3810

C.5.   Chemistry: CHEM 2310 and above
C.6.   Evolution, Ecology and Organismal Biology: EEOB 2520
C.7.   Neuroscience: NERUOSC 3000
C.8.   Mathematics: MATH 4000 and above
C.9.   Physics: PHYSICS 3470, 4700 and 5000 and above
C.10. Physiology and Cell Biology: PHYSIO 3101, 3102
C.11.  Statistics: STAT 4201 and above


*Future offerings of these courses are not planned.

** These two courses have been merged into one course, MECHENG 5600, which will be offered starting autumn 2016.


D. Category Descriptions and Disciplinary Specializations

The Categories group the courses according to the primary engineering skill set for which the course provides practical experiences for the student.  The four categories of skill sets are elaborated on below.  While several of the requirements and the course listings have to do with the categories of skill sets, students may also wish to specialize in disciplinary areas such as: system dynamics and controls, energy/thermodynamics/fluid mechanics, solid mechanics (stress, strain and failure of solid materials), design and manufacturing, or applications areas, such as automotive or nuclear engineering.  For assistance in planning your Technical Electives so that they satisfy the requirements in A, B, and C above, and provide a specialization in one of these or other possible disciplinary or application areas please contact Prof. Mendelsohn at

Design Category Course

Includes some of the following components of the processes used to design products, devices, or systems to meet desired performance criteria.   

  • Generation and evaluation against constraints of multiple design outcomes
  • Development of realistic models and simulations to evaluate performance relative to the constraints
  • Development and testing of a functional prototype, including manufacturing considerations

Computational Category Course

Includes the following components:

  • Modeling and simulating of real world engineering problems using commercial, or student written, programs/software (e.g. FEA for stress analysis and vibrations of solids, CFD for fluid flow, etc.)
  • Assessment of the validity of computational results and simulations by comparing with analytical solutions, estimates, experimental results, or common sense checks.

Applications Category Course

Includes applications of basic engineering principles toward design and assessment of various devices, combined with a strong appreciation of the broader impacts of such decisions and actions.  The associated “non-engineering” aspects (e.g. environmental, economic, social or legal) are included so that students have a broader perspective of engineering applications.  Areas that are of particular societal interest are encouraged.  Some examples are:

  • Energy and Transportation Systems
  • Sustainable Design and Manufacturing
  • Biomechanical Systems
  • Urban Infrastructure
  • Clean Water
  • Carbon Sequestration

Professional Skills Category Course

Includes skills and knowledge that are not technically related to engineering but are critical to functioning in the modern engineering world. Available courses cover most of the topics below:

  • Engineering Ethics
  • Public Policy, Society and Technology
  • Entrepreneurship and Innovation
  • Project and Systems Management
  • Leadership and Communications
  • Global/Cultural Awareness
  • Global Issues in Engineering
  • Economics at the organizational level