The undergraduate program in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at Columbia University teaches students to be creative problem solvers and nurtures the teamwork, leadership and communication skills necessary to be effective leaders in mechanical engineering as well as in other fields such as medicine, law, consulting, management, banking and finance.

Our unique curriculum provides a rigorous grounding in math and fundamental and applied science, as well as the humanities, as part of Columbia’s famed Core Curriculum. There are 27 points of nontechnical credit within the B.S. degree requirement. This gives students the flexibility to take electives within the engineering school and at Columbia College. Undergraduate students can choose from a large list of available courses from the college and the school.

Beginning in the first semester, students become immersed in designing engineering solutions, take part in collaborative research projects, and expand their thinking in Columbia’s legendary Core Curriculum.

Undergraduate students have numerous opportunities to work with top faculty, both in the classroom and in the laboratory, who are actively engaged in pioneering research across disciplines. Opportunities exist for both semester-long and full-time summer research projects. Students also participate in local chapters of clubs such as the ASME, Solar-Splash, SAE, Engineers without Borders and AIAA.

Program Educational Objectives

The Mechanical Engineering Undergraduate Program at Columbia University has the following Program Educational Objectives (PEOs):

  • Practice mechanical engineering in a broad range of industries
  • Pursue advanced education, research and development, and other creative and innovative efforts in science, engineering, and technology, as well as other professional careers.
  • Conduct themselves in a responsible, professional, and ethical manner.
  • Participate in activities that support humanity and economic development nationally and globally, developing as leaders in their fields of expertise.

Our department periodically reviews these objectives and as part of this review process, encourages comments from all interested parties: current students, alumni, prospective students, faculty, teaching assistants, those who hire or admit our graduates to other programs, members of related professional organizations, and colleagues from other educational institutions. Please send comments to our ABET coordinator Arvind Narayanaswamy at [email protected].

Student Outcomes

Graduates of the Mechanical Engineering program at Columbia University will attain:

  1. An ability to identify, formulate, and solve complex engineering problems by applying principles of engineering, science, and mathematics
  2. An ability to apply engineering design to produce solutions that meet specified needs with consideration of public health, safety, and welfare, as well as global, cultural, social, environmental, and economic factors
  3. An ability to communicate effectively with a range of audiences
  4. An ability to recognize ethical and professional responsibilities in engineering situations and make informed judgments, which must consider the impact of engineering solutions in global, economic, environmental, and societal contexts
  5. An ability to function effectively on a team whose members together provide leadership, create a collaborative and inclusive environment, establish goals, plan tasks, and meet objectives
  6. An ability to develop and conduct appropriate experimentation, analyze and interpret data, and use engineering judgment to draw conclusions
  7. An ability to acquire and apply new knowledge as needed, using appropriate learning strategies.


Enrollment and Graduation Statistics

  2018 2019 2020 2021 2022 2023
Sophomores 34 39 39 53 43 55
Juniors 55 51 59 76 79 70
Seniors 64 62 54 59 79 80
TOTAL 153 152 152 188 201 205
  2019 2020 2021 2022 2023 2024
Graduates 60 58 49 61 75 81

ABET Accreditation

The undergraduate program in Mechanical Engineering is accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET:

Undergraduate Course Requirements

Comprehensive details of undergraduate course requirements are available.

MS Express Program

This option is open to Columbia students already enrolled in the BS degree program, who have a Columbia GPA of no lower than 3.5. This option offers a quick and smooth transition to the MS degree program, with its well-known utility in professional training.

Integrated BS/MS Program

The Integrated BS/MS Program is open only to Columbia University juniors with a cumulative GPA of 3.40. After earning the BS degree, students are able to seamlessly proceed toward earning their MS degree. Merging the BS and MS programs allows Columbia students to earn the MS degree in a very flexible and efficient manner. One major benefit of this program is the double-counting of two 4000-level tech electives toward the MS degree. In addition, up to 9 additional graduate level credits taken during the BS degree, but not counted toward the BS degree, can be transferred to the MS degree, significantly reducing the length of the program.


Study Abroad

In order to fulfill nontechnical requirements, engineering students often study abroad during the spring semester of their sophomore year.