Pitt | Swanson Engineering
Pre-2007 Mechanical Engineering Curriculum

The requirements for obtaining a Bachelor of Science degree in mechanical engineering are described below. In addition to required courses within and outside of the department, students also are required to take four mechanical engineering technical electives, one engineering elective, six humanity and social science electives, and one communication skills elective. There are a total of 128 passed units required for graduation, all of which must be taken with the letter-grade option.

Students must satisfactorily complete each of the following mechanical engineering courses. There are 19 required courses for a total of 45 units.

  • MSE 0031: Intro. to Materials Laboratory (1 unit)
  • MSE 0040: Intro. to Materials Processing (3 units)
  • MSE 0048: Energetics 1 (3 units)
  • MSE 1052: Heat and Mass Transport (3 units)
  • MSE 1054: Materials Science 1 (3 units)
  • MSE 1055: Materials Science 1 Laboratory (1 unit)
  • MSE 1056: Energetics 2 (3 units)
  • MSE 1062: Computer Applications in Materials Science (3 units)
  • MSE 1064: Materials Science 2 (3 units)
  • MSE 1067: Materials Processing Laboratory (1 unit)
  • MSE 1070: Mechanical Behavior of Materials (3 units)
  • MSE 1071: Mechanical Behavior 1 Laboratory (1 unit)
  • MSE 1079: Senior Design Project 1 (3 units)
  • MSE 1080: Mechanical Behavior of Materials 2 (3 units)
  • MSE 1085: Departmental Seminar (0 units)
  • MSE 1089: Senior Design Project 2 (3 units)
  • MSE 1163: Ceramic Materials (3 units)
  • MSE 1168: Electromagnetic Properties of Materials (3 units)
  • MSE 1272: Physical Metallurgy 1 (2 units)
  • MSE 1273: Physical Metallurgy Laboratory (1 unit)

Students must satisfactorily complete each of the following courses from outside the department. There are 14 required courses for a total of 49 units.


  • CHEM 0960: General Chemistry for Engineers 1 (3 units)
  • CHEM 0970: General Chemistry for Engineers 2 (3 units)
  • ENGR 0011: Introduction to Engineering Analysis (3 units)
  • ENGR 0012: Engineering Computing (3 units)
  • ENGR 0020: Probability and Statistics (4 units)
  • ENGR 0022: Materials Structure and Properties (3 units)
  • ENGR 0135: Statics and Mechanics of Materials 1 (3 units)
  • ENGR 0145: Statics and Mechanics of Materials 2 (3 units)
  • MATH 0220: Analytic Geometry and Calculus 1 (4 units)
  • MATH 0230: Analytic Geometry and Calculus 2 (4 units)
  • MATH 0240: Analytic Geometry and Calculus 3 (4 units)
  • MATH 0250: Matrix Theory & Differential Equations (4 units)
  • PHYS 0174: Physics for Science and Engineering 1 (4 units)
  • PHYS 0175: Physics for Science and Engineering 2 (4 units) 


A student must choose two department electives, which can be two courses in ceramics or two courses in polymers, or any combination of ceramic, metals, and polymer courses.


  • MSE 1174: Ceramic Processing (3 units)
  • MSE 1184: Applications of Ceramics (3 units)
  • MSE 1202:  Magnetic Properties of Materials (3 units)
  • MSE 1276: Process Metallurgy (3 units)
  • MSE 1284: Physical Metallurgy of Engineering Alloys (3 units)
  • MSE 1468: Analysis and Characterization at the Nanoscale (3 units)
  • MSE 1469: Materials Science of Nanostructures (3 units)
  • MSE 1477: Thin Film Processes and Characterization (3 units)
  • MSE 1478:  Nanoparticles: Science and Technology (3 units)
  • MSE 1800: Undergraduate Special Project (1-3 units)
  • MSE 2003: Structure of Materials (3 units)
  • MSE 2072: Ceramics Processing (3 units)
  • MSE 2077: Thin Film Processes (3 units)
  • CHE 1754: Principles of Polymer Engineering (3 units)


Students are required to satisfactorily complete three materials science and engineering technical elective courses, for a total of 9 units. A technical elective is a course outside of the MSE program.  All courses which are part of an engineering minor are considered acceptable.  Also upper level courses in Math, Physics, Chemistry, Statistics, Computer Science, Astronomy, Bioscience, Geology and Neuroscience are acceptable.  For Co-op students three (3) units of ENGR 1090 (Engineering Cooperative Program) can be used as a technical elective.  If you are interested in a technical elective which does not fall into any of the above categories you must request approval for such a substitution, by submitting a Technical Elective Approval Request form to the undergraduate director.

Students must satisfactorily complete a minimum of six humanities and social science electives for a total of 18 units to satisfy the degree requirements for materials science and engineering. All courses selected must be on the list of approved humanity/social science courses that has been prepared by the Office of the Associate Dean. External studies courses are not acceptable, nor are ENGCMP 0150 and ENGCMP 0200.


Students must additionally satisfy the following requirements.


  • Students must satisfactorily complete two humanities/social sciences courses from the same department or program, only one of which may be an introductory course (indicated by an asterisk [*] on the list of approved humanity/social science courses). This meets ABET's requirement for depth in the humanities and social sciences.
  • Students must satisfactorily complete at least two humanities courses and at least two social science courses. For example, it is not acceptable for five of the six humanities/social science courses to be in the humanities. This meets ABET's requirement for breadth in the humanities and social sciences.
  • The University of Pittsburgh requires that all students complete at least one writing intensive "W" designated course; the "W" indicates that a course has a substantial writing component, with students revising their written work after receiving feedback from instructors.


If a student would like to take a humanity or social science elective that is not on the approved list, then the student must complete an Approval Request for Humanities/Social Science Elective form. The form must be submitted to the Office of the Associate Dean (323 Benedum Hall) for approval. Students can contact the Undergraduate Office approximately one week after submission to see whether the course was approved. It is helpful to include a copy of the course description.