Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering
The undergraduate curriculum in mechanical engineering (ME) covers the fundamental aspects of the field, emphasizes basic principles, and educates the student in the use of these principles to reach optimal design solutions for engineering problems. Specific design subject matter and materials are also drawn from engineering activities such as biomechanical systems, as well as from the more traditional areas. Emphasis in the freshman and sophomore years is on mathematics, chemistry, physics, mechanics of materials, applied mechanics, graphic communications, and an introduction to design. The junior and senior years are devoted to thermodynamics, heat transfer, fluid mechanics, systems dynamics, design, manufacturing, and the application of fundamentals to the diverse problems of mechanical engineering. The curriculum stresses laboratory work and design projects. Computer skills developed during the first two years are a prerequisite for junior- and senior-level courses. Satisfactory completion of the curriculum leads to the degree Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering (BS ME).
PROGRAM EDUCATIONAL OBJECTIVES
The faculty of the Woodruff School strives to continuously improve our undergraduate programs in mechanical engineering. The educational objectives reflect the needs, and have been reviewed by, among others, the Advisory Board of the Woodruff School, the faculty, and the students.
- Our graduates will be successfully employed in ME-related fields or other career paths, including industry, academe, government, and non-governmental organizations.
- Our graduates will be global collaborators, leading and participating in culturally diverse teams.
- Our graduates will continue professional development by obtaining continuing education credits, professional registration or certifications, or post-graduate credits or degrees.
The Woodruff School of Mechanical Engineering has established concentration areas in sub-fields of Mechanical Engineering. Concentrations are option for the students; they are not required. The Concentrations are each fifteen hours of classes, and will satisfy the Design Elective, the ME Elective and nine hours of Free Electives. The current Concentrations are:
Since 1912, Georgia Tech has offered a five-year Undergraduate Cooperative Program to those students who wish to combine career-related experience with classroom studies. The program is the fourth oldest of its kind in the world and the largest optional co-op program in the country. Over the years, mechanical engineering students have been the largest group participating in the program at Georgia Tech.
Students alternate between industrial assignments and classroom studies until they complete three semesters of work. Co-op students with mechanical engineering majors complete the same coursework on campus that is completed by regular four-year students. Most co-op students begin the program as sophomores or juniors and are classified as full-time students regardless of whether they are attending classes on campus or are full-time at an employer's location.
Students who participate in the program have the opportunity to develop career interests, become more confident in their career choices, and develop human relation skills through their work experience. Graduates of the program receive a bachelor's degree with a Cooperative Plan Designation. Woodruff School students have traditionally been the largest group participating in the program. For more information about the Cooperative Program, go to www.coop.gatech.edu.
Students can also complete work assignments in a foreign country as part of the International Cooperative Program (Work Abroad Program). This program is a great opportunity to utilize foreign language skills, gain a global perspective, and experience a diverse culture. Proficiency in a foreign language is necessary to earn the International Cooperative Plan degree designation. Mechanical engineering students have worked in countries such as Germany, China, and Japan. For more information on the Work Abroad Program, go to www.workabroad.gatech.edu.
The Undergraduate Professional Internship Program is for mechanical engineering students who do not participate in the Cooperative Program but want some career-related experience before graduation. Students generally work for one semester with an option for more work. Students must have completed at least 30 hours of coursework at Georgia Tech before they can participate in the program. For more details, see www.upi.gatech.edu.
In addition, there is a Work Abroad Program (www.workabroad.gatech.edu), which complements a student's formal education with paid international work experience directly related to mechanical engineering. Participating students typically include juniors and seniors. The international work assignments are designed to include practical training, cross-cultural exposure and learning, and the acquisition of needed skills. This program satisfies requirements for the International Plan, which is available to mechanical engineering students.
For more information about all of the programs in the Division of Professional Practice, visit www.profpractice.gatech.edu.
The Woodruff School has joined thirteen other programs at the Institute in the Undergraduate International Plan. This is a new degree designation, similar to the Cooperative Plan. Mechanical engineering students must spend two semesters abroad (a minimum of 26 weeks), gaining valuable international experience. This is especially important in today's global economy, where more companies are looking for graduates with international experience in their major area. Mechanical engineering students can spend a year at Georgia Tech-Lorraine in Metz, France, at the Technical University in Munich, or at other approved locations.
In order to receive the BS ME-International Plan degree, students will have to meet several requirements. The first is to show proficiency in a language through at least the second year of study; a proficiency exam must be passed. The second requirement is specific coursework: international relations, global economy, and society/culture. The third requirement is for two semesters abroad (a minimum of 26 weeks). This can be done either in residence at a university, or one semester in residence plus one as an engineering intern, or both semesters as an intern. Finally, the student's capstone design experience must meet certain international requirements. Ideally, this would be a joint project including students from Georgia Tech and the selected school abroad. For more information this program, visit www.oie.gatech.edu.
The BS/MS Program
The Woodruff School offers a BS/MS program for those students who demonstrate an interest in and ability for additional education beyond the BS degree. The program fosters intense interaction among students and faculty and includes mentoring and undergraduate research. Careful advising and course planning will enable students to begin graduate coursework in their fourth year of study. Woodruff School students with a GPA of 3.5 or higher are eligible to apply for the program after completion of 30 semester credit hours at Georgia Tech, but before the completion of seventy-five semester credit hours, including transfer and advanced placement credits. Students who have more than 75 credit hours will be considered for the program on a case-by-case basis.
Participants in the BS/MS Program in the Woodruff School can obtain a master's degree in mechanical engineering, nuclear and radiological engineering, medical physics, paper science and engineering, or bioengineering. There are two options to consider:
- The Non-Thesis Option is similar to your undergraduate degree in that you simply take classes according to the MS degree requirements. There is no funding available in this case. With proper planning, the MS non-thesis degree could be completed in one year. Well-motivated students can complete the MS in medical physics in one-and-a-half years.
- The Thesis Option involves working with a faculty member on a project in one of the traditional or cutting-edge research areas in the Woodruff School. This will give you hands-on experience in working with a faculty mentor; the opportunity to work in a laboratory or a research environment; and the change to perform theoretical and experimental work. These events will foster your career interests and expand your selection of possible employers. You will have a graduate research assistantship and receive a stipend and a tuition waiver. The time to graduation depends on your thesis project, your advisor, and your work ethic.
During the first year of your graduate studies, you will be encouraged to continue for the PhD In many cases, you might be working on an interesting topic of study as part of your master's degree research that could provide the basis for doctoral research.