Visit majormaps.vcu.edu for the online version with links.
Sponsored by the Office of the Provost
Major map compass icon
2018-2019

Mechanical engineering

College of Engineering

Concentration(s):
Mechanical engineering, nuclear engineering
Program description

Mechanical engineering is one of the oldest and broadest engineering disciplines. Mechanical engineers design and analyze machines of all types including automobiles, airplanes, rockets, submarines, power generation systems, biomedical instrumentation, robots, manufacturing systems, household appliances and many, many more. In addition to well-known areas such as nuclear energy, nuclear propulsion and nuclear medicine, nuclear engineers are involved in many other applications of nuclear science and technology in fields as diverse as agriculture, industry, homeland security, forensics, environmental protection and even art.  Current areas of research within the department include but are not limited to energy conversion systems, smart materials, corrosion, medical devices, aerosol science, sensors, radiation detection and measurement, nuclear reactor design, robotics, fluid mechanics, nanotechnology, and biomechanics.

Career opportunities

Mechanical engineers research, design, develop, manufacture, and test tools, engines, machines, and other mechanical devices. Mechanical engineering is one of the broadest engineering disciplines. Engineers in this discipline work on power-producing machines such as electric generators, internal combustion engines, and steam and gas turbines. They also work on power-using machines such as refrigeration and air-conditioning equipment, machine tools, material-handling systems, elevators and escalators, industrial production equipment, and robots used in manufacturing. Some mechanical engineers design tools that other engineers need for their work.The key characteristics of the profession are its breadth, flexibility, and individuality. The career paths of mechanical engineers are largely determined by individual choices, a decided advantage in a changing world.

Change of major requirements

VCU GPA of 3.0 or greater, with a minimum of 12 VCU credit hours earned. Completion of MATH 200, MATH 201, PHYS 207, and CHEM 101 with a GPA of 3.0 or greater, inclusive of all course attempts (historical repeat not considered in calculation of this GPA).


Bachelor-level job titles
  • Automation engineer
  • Automotive engineer
  • Design engineer
  • Maintenance engineer
  • Manufacturing engineer
  • Mechanical engineer
  • Nuclear engineer
  • Product development engineer
  • Robotics engineer
  • Sales engineer
Professional associations and resources
Degree requirements in Bulletin
Plan of study in Bulletin
Highest level of math required
  • MATH 201 or higher
Science required
  • 5+ additional science courses
Foreign language requirements
  • No
Additional tuition/fees
  • Yes
GPA requirements (to progress/graduate in the major)
  • 2.0
Department name:
Department of Mechanical and Nuclear Engineering
Building/room location:
401 West Main Street, Room E3221
Campus (where 75% of courses are taken):
Monroe park
Phone:
(804) 828-9117
Email:
mechengr@vcu.edu

Major map compass icon
Major map

Explore
MAXIMIZE COURSE AND DEGREE PLANNING
  • Schedule an appointment with your academic advisor each semester to discuss tutoring, course electives, and degree progression.
  • Register for EGMN 103 & EGMN 190.
  • Explore which concentration you want to follow: Mechanical or Nuclear.
  • Register for highest level of math for which you are eligible.
  • Attend all SI sessions and tutoring.
GET CONNECTED WITH YOUR COMMUNITY
  • Meet your peers and make new friends and study buddies at the Welcome Week cookout.
  • Explore student organizations associated with ME and the College of Engineering (ASME, ANS, EWB).
  • Register to vote in Virginia and explore Richmond’s museums, parks, and festivals!
  • Apply to live in the ASPiRE, Globe, INNOVATE, or LEAD Living & Learning Programs.
  • Get involved with VCU Student Government or one of over 450 clubs and organizations.
BUILD CULTURAL COMPETENCE
  • Learn about your study abroad options by visiting a study abroad fair and attending a First Advising Session in the Global Education Office.
  • Review the Office of Multicultural Student Affairs website for programs, events, and resources.
  • Considering Joining a Living Learning Community, such as VCU Globe.
GET REAL EXPERIENCE
  • Explore the engineering faculty webpages to learn about the types of research in the College of Engineering.
  • Learn about research opportunities through V.I.P Teams, UROP and DURI.
  • Volunteer to do research with a professor.
  • Join an Engineering student org like ASME.
PREPARING FOR LIFE AFTER COLLEGE
  • Attend and volunteer at the Engineering Internship and Career Fairs.
  • Meet with Engineering Career Services to perform a “Gap Analysis and develop your career plan, starting with your Handshake and LinkedIn profiles and a resume.

Experience
MAXIMIZE COURSE AND DEGREE PLANNING
  • Meet with your advisor to discuss forthcoming enrollment and scheduling.
  • Continue progression in engineering and mathematics coursework.
  • Learn about double-majors or minors that pair easily with your major.
  • Nuclear Engineers register for EGMN 351 & 352.
  • Go to your professors’ “Office Hours” to discuss research interests, picking future classes in your major, and strategies for success in your program.
GET CONNECTED WITH YOUR COMMUNITY
  • Participate in a VCU HackaThon.
  • Consider working for the College of Engineering as a tutor in your strongest subjects.
  • Take service-learning classes, volunteer to address a social issue (ConnectVA & HandsOnRVA), or complete a service project.
  • Explore peer leadership opportunities or apply for I-LEAD Connect, Alternative Spring Break.
  • Consider leadership roles in a student organization.
BUILD CULTURAL COMPETENCE
  • Attend Diversity Scholars in Research Week
  • Consider short-term, semester, and year-long study abroad opportunities.
  • Join a culturally-focused organization.
  • Identify ways in which you are culturally uninformed. Begin to learn the historical and current events that have shaped cultures to which you have been underexposed.
GET REAL EXPERIENCE
  • Take ENGR 395 Professional Development and gain key skills for finding internships, co-op’s, or research opportunities.
  • Conduct an informational interview or shadow someone in a field of career interest.
  • Obtain a student organization leadership position.
  • Attend employer info sessions and events.
  • Apply for internships, co-ops, and VIP Teams.
PREPARING FOR LIFE AFTER COLLEGE
  • Mock Interview with an employer through Engineering Career Services.
  • Attend the Engineering Internship & Career Fair.
  • Consider attending a national career fair (SWE, SHPE, NSBE) to gain exposure to more employers.
  • Consider who you would like to have serve as professional and academic references.

Experience
MAXIMIZE COURSE AND DEGREE PLANNING
  • See your advisor to discuss degree progression and upcoming coursework, including track selection.
  • Conduct independent undergraduate research.
  • Discuss the different electives for your concentration with your advisor and professors.
  • Attend lectures, meetings, and conferences. Consider applying to present a poster.
  • Consider becoming a volunteer in a faculty lab(internship hours), paid, or done for possible credit hours as Engineering Elective.
GET CONNECTED WITH YOUR COMMUNITY
  • Create and complete a science related community-engaged research project.
  • Attend civic meetings, such as school board, neighborhood associations, city council, or state legislative sessions.
  • Further explore the City of Richmond and the Commonwealth of Virginia.
  • Work for the College of Engineering as a tutor.
  • Consider joining VINE or another in-major mentoring network.
BUILD CULTURAL COMPETENCE
  • Apply for a Fulbright or other post-graduate international fellowship through VCU’s National Scholarship office.
  • Participate in culturally diverse events both at VCU and beyond. Art, music, and food festivals and exhibitions are plentiful.
  • Practice professional communication and interpersonal skills that embrace cultural differences.
GET REAL EXPERIENCE
  • Assess your professional experiences to date (research, internships, co-op). Decide if you value continuity with an employer or breadth of experience.
  • Work on developing your professional online presence (LinkedIn, Github).
  • Attend the Senior Capstone Expo in April.
  • Apply for summer research funding through UROP.
PREPARING FOR LIFE AFTER COLLEGE
  • Talk to your academic advisor, faculty, and/or career services about whether graduate school or a job will be the best step for you after graduation.
  • Research graduate programs to determine the competitive applicant profile, including GPA, prerequisite coursework, and entrance exam scores.
  • Attend the Engineering Internship & Career Fair.

Excel
MAXIMIZE COURSE AND DEGREE PLANNING
  • Schedule an appointment with your academic advisor a semester before your anticipated graduation to ensure all graduation requirements will be met.
  • Choose courses teaching content and skills most relevant to your preferred post-graduation opportunities.
  • Declare any possible outstanding minors for which you may already have credit (Math and Physics).
GET CONNECTED WITH YOUR COMMUNITY
  • Consider applying for a year-long service opportunity after graduation through programs like VCU AmeriCorps, Literacy Lab, Peace Corps, Fulbright Student Scholars, Teach for America and City Year.
  • Participate in any civic organizations related to your academic or non-academic interests; such as tutoring and engineering outreach with local schools.
  • Volunteer at an organization devoted to the arts, environment, education, or policy.
  • Work for the College of Engineering as a tutor.
BUILD CULTURAL COMPETENCE
  • Continue to explore cultures beyond your own through scholarly and recreational avenues.
  • Visit the Museum District’s many offerings, such as the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts (VMFA) and the Virginia Museum of History and Culture (formerly the Virginia Historical Society).
GET REAL EXPERIENCE
  • Continue to engage in research with a faculty mentor.
  • Present your research at conference/meeting such as UROP Undergraduate Research Symposium or other discipline- specific conference.
  • Gain practical experience related to your career goal through internships, externships and skill building.
  • Complete necessary exams, applications, or self-marketing activities for the next steps beyond graduation.
PREPARING FOR LIFE AFTER COLLEGE
  • Attend the Engineering Internship & Career Fair in both the Fall and Spring. These are the best opportunities to secure employment post-graduation.
  • Research prospective employers and create a job or graduate school search strategy in the fall.
  • Before graduation, attend the graduation meeting and complete the post-graduation survey.
Visit majormaps.vcu.edu for the online version with links.
Sponsored by the Office of the Provost
Major map compass icon
2018-2019

Mechanical engineering

College of Engineering

Concentration(s):
Mechanical engineering, nuclear engineering
MAXIMIZE COURSE AND DEGREE PLANNING GET CONNECTED WITH YOUR COMMUNITY BUILD CULTURAL COMPETENCE GET REAL EXPERIENCE PREPARING FOR LIFE AFTER COLLEGE
Explore Year 1
  • Schedule an appointment with your academic advisor each semester to discuss tutoring, course electives, and degree progression.
  • Register for EGMN 103 & EGMN 190.
  • Explore which concentration you want to follow: Mechanical or Nuclear.
  • Register for highest level of math for which you are eligible.
  • Attend all SI sessions and tutoring.
  • Meet your peers and make new friends and study buddies at the Welcome Week cookout.
  • Explore student organizations associated with ME and the College of Engineering (ASME, ANS, EWB).
  • Register to vote in Virginia and explore Richmond’s museums, parks, and festivals
  • Apply to live in the ASPiRE, Globe, INNOVATE, or LEAD Living & Learning Programs.
  • Get involved with VCU Student Government or one of over 450 clubs and organizations
  • Explore the engineering faculty webpages to learn about the types of research in the College of Engineering.
  • Learn about research opportunities through V.I.P Teams, UROP and DURI
  • Volunteer to do research with a professor.
  • Join an Engineering student org like ASME.
Experience Year 2
  • Meet with your advisor to discuss forthcoming enrollment and scheduling.
  • Continue progression in engineering and mathematics coursework.
  • Learn about double-majors or minors that pair easily with your major.
  • Nuclear Engineers register for EGMN 351 & 352.
  • Go to your professors’ “Office Hours” to discuss research interests, picking future classes in your major, and strategies for success in your program.
  • Participate in a VCU HackaThon.
  • Consider working for the College of Engineering as a tutor in your strongest subjects.
  • Take service-learning classes, volunteer to address a social issue (ConnectVA & HandsOnRVA), or complete a service project.
  • Explore peer leadership opportunities or apply for I-LEAD Connect, Alternative Spring Break
  • Consider leadership roles in a student organization.
  • Attend Diversity Scholars in Research Week
  • Consider short-term, semester, and year-long study abroad opportunities.
  • Join a culturally-focused organization.
  • Identify ways in which you are culturally uninformed. Begin to learn the historical and current events that have shaped cultures to which you have been underexposed.
  • Take ENGR 395 Professional Development and gain key skills for finding internships, co-op’s, or research opportunities
  • Conduct an informational interview or shadow someone in a field of career interest.
  • Obtain a student organization leadership position.
  • Attend employer info sessions and events.
  • Apply for internships, co-ops, and VIP Teams
  • Mock Interview with an employer through Engineering Career Services
  • Attend the Engineering Internship & Career Fair.
  • Consider attending a national career fair (SWE, SHPE, NSBE) to gain exposure to more employers.
  • Consider who you would like to have serve as professional and academic references.
Year 3
  • See your advisor to discuss degree progression and upcoming coursework, including track selection.
  • Conduct independent undergraduate research.
  • Discuss the different electives for your concentration with your advisor and professors.
  • Attend lectures, meetings, and conferences. Consider applying to present a poster.
  • Consider becoming a volunteer in a faculty lab(internship hours), paid, or done for possible credit hours as Engineering Elective.
  • Apply for a Fulbright or other post-graduate international fellowship through VCU’s National Scholarship office
  • Participate in culturally diverse events both at VCU and beyond. Art, music, and food festivals and exhibitions are plentiful.
  • Practice professional communication and interpersonal skills that embrace cultural differences.
  • Assess your professional experiences to date (research, internships, co-op). Decide if you value continuity with an employer or breadth of experience.
  • Work on developing your professional online presence (LinkedIn, Github).
  • Attend the Senior Capstone Expo in April.
  • Apply for summer research funding through UROP
  • Talk to your academic advisor, faculty, and/or career services about whether graduate school or a job will be the best step for you after graduation.
  • Research graduate programs to determine the competitive applicant profile, including GPA, prerequisite coursework, and entrance exam scores.
  • Attend the Engineering Internship & Career Fair.
Excel Year 4
  • Schedule an appointment with your academic advisor a semester before your anticipated graduation to ensure all graduation requirements will be met.
  • Choose courses teaching content and skills most relevant to your preferred post-graduation opportunities.
  • Declare any possible outstanding minors for which you may already have credit (Math and Physics).
  • Consider applying for a year-long service opportunity after graduation through programs like VCU AmeriCorps, Literacy Lab, Peace Corps, Fulbright Student Scholars, Teach for America and City Year
  • Participate in any civic organizations related to your academic or non-academic interests; such as tutoring and engineering outreach with local schools.
  • Volunteer at an organization devoted to the arts, environment, education, or policy.
  • Work for the College of Engineering as a tutor.
  • Continue to explore cultures beyond your own through scholarly and recreational avenues.
  • Visit the Museum District’s many offerings, such as the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts (VMFA) and the Virginia Museum of History and Culture (formerly the Virginia Historical Society).
  • Continue to engage in research with a faculty mentor.
  • Present your research at conference/meeting such as UROP Undergraduate Research Symposium or other discipline- specific conference.
  • Gain practical experience related to your career goal through internships, externships and skill building.
  • Complete necessary exams, applications, or self-marketing activities for the next steps beyond graduation.
  • Attend the Engineering Internship & Career Fair in both the Fall and Spring. These are the best opportunities to secure employment post-graduation.
  • Research prospective employers and create a job or graduate school search strategy in the fall.
  • Before graduation, attend the graduation meeting and complete the post-graduation survey.