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Study Mechanical Engineering in the US

engineering
majors
career planning
By Oshitha Narangoda
Published on January 14, 2022

Our comprehensive guide to mechanical engineering subjects at US universities covers everything you need to know about pursuing a degree in the US, career prospects, and more.

A female international student wearing a hijab stands in front of a table with an electrical drill, tools, and papers and works on a hands-on mechanical engineering project with her professor at a US university

International students looking to study engineering in the US have limitless options that can transform their career prospects and future. Mechanical engineering is one of the fastest-growing, high-demand engineering professions in the US and globally. 

Ranked #1 in Best Engineering Jobs, employment opportunities for mechanical engineers are projected to increase by 7% from 2020 to 2030, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. With a degree in mechanical engineering you can unlock a range of career possibilities, including developing in-demand skills, qualifying for the highest-paying roles, and much more. 

So, what is mechanical engineering? What is it like to pursue a mechanical engineering degree as an undergraduate or graduate student in the US? What skills can you gain? Keep reading to find out how a degree in mechanical engineering can secure your future. 

What Is Mechanical Engineering?

Mechanical engineering involves designing, building, developing, and testing power-producing machines. These may range from powerful satellites to sensors and switches. Mechanical engineers also are problem solvers, applying engineering solutions to meet human needs. 

Choosing the right mechanical engineering degree program is important for acquiring the knowledge necessary to become industry-ready!

Mechanical engineering subjects at US universities may cover:

  • Design and manufacturing

  • Thermal sciences

  • Machine system and structures

  • Solid and fluid mechanics

What Skills Can You Gain with a Mechanical Engineering Degree?

Apart from the technical skills you’ll learn while studying for a degree in mechanical engineering, you may also learn soft skills to stand apart from other industry professionals. These skills can be applied in a variety of industries, including manufacturing, biotechnology, pharmaceuticals, transportation, automotive, aerospace, power generation, and more.

Key skills that mechanical engineering graduates in the US study, practice, and apply during their education include:

  • Technical

  • Leadership

  • Problem-solving

  • Creativity

  • Teamwork

  • Communication

Shorelight universities offer international students like you world-class engineering programs with a rewarding student experience. These programs focus on a student’s core skills in a supportive learning environment — both in and outside of the classroom.

Here are some of the prestigious mechanical engineering degree programs offered at Shorelight universities.

Auburn University — Samuel Ginn College of Engineering

Ranked #99 among National Universities and #56 in Best Undergraduate Engineering Programs by U.S. News & World Report, Auburn University is recognized for its renowned academics and groundbreaking research activities. Auburn’s 40,000-strong alumni include Apple CEO Tim Cook, astronaut Jan Davis, and Kathryn Thornton, the second US woman to walk in space.

The Samuel Ginn College of Engineering at Auburn offers undergraduate and graduate level qualifications in Mechanical Engineering with a student-centered engineering experience. 

With research partners such as the National Science Foundation (NSF), National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), the U.S. Army Research Office, and many other notable institutions, the Samuel Ginn College of Engineering provides opportunities for students to get involved in an innovative learning experience and network with industry experts.

Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering

The Bachelor’s in Mechanical Engineering program at Auburn emphasizes transformative engineering principles and thorough knowledge in mathematics. Students can specialize in two areas:

  1. Automotive engineering — A branch of mechanical engineering focusing on the design and efficiency of automobiles.

  2. Pulp and paper engineering — A concentration applying mathematical and scientific principles to the design, development, and manufacturing of pulp and paper products.

How To Apply

To be eligible for the bachelor’s program, you are required to submit the following documents along with your application:

  • ACT and/or SAT scores

  • TOEFL, IELTS, or PTE scores

  • High school transcripts

  • Proof of financial support

  • Bank letter

If you are an international student who requires additional language support, you have access to a wide range of programs and other resources to help you transfer with ease.

The bachelor’s program equips students with a broad skill set to confidently enter the workforce with above industry qualifications, or encourages them to acquire their master’s in mechanical engineering.

Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering

The master’s program offers advanced research and practical application in the field of mechanical engineering. Students can closely collaborate with faculty members at each learning stage — allowing you to conduct industry-leading research!

Auburn’s Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering offers two options to choose from:

  • Online

  • On-campus

Applications for Mechanical Engineering (MS) must be submitted three months before the beginning of the course. To apply, you must meet the following requirements:

  • A four-year undergraduate degree, or equivalent in Mechanical Engineering from an accredited university

  • A minimum GPA score of 3.0

  • GRE or TOEFL scores

Graduates with degrees from other STEM disciplines may have to complete an additional undergraduate mechanical engineering course (if required after faculty review). 

Studying at Auburn opens many important career-building opportunities, and connects the next generation of engineers with industry-leading professionals. With a mechanical engineering degree from Auburn, graduates bring innovation and discovery to the field. 

Gonzaga University 

Ranked #79 among National Universities by U.S. News & World Report, Gonzaga University offers top-ranked programs in engineering, computer science, and other STEM fields.

Gonzaga’s School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, ranked #22 in Best Undergraduate Engineering Programs by U.S. News & World Report, offers a mechanical engineering degree that prepares students for career opportunities across many industries.

The mechanical engineering lab and manufacturing process lab at the university’s Herak Center are equipped with advanced technology for creative space and learning. The coursework provides hands-on project opportunities through senior year, giving Gonzaga’s mechanical engineering students a holistic experience throughout their studies.

Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering (BSME) at Gonzaga

The Bachelor’s in Mechanical Engineering (BSME), accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET, aims to develop a student’s core skills while fostering personal growth, all in the service of creating competent professionals.

The School of Engineering and Applied Science provides a direct admission for engineering programs. For the application process, you may be required to submit the following documents:

  • TOEFL, IELTS, Duolingo, iTEP, SAT, or ACT scores

  • High school transcripts

  • Documentation displaying extracurricular activities

  • College essay

  • Proof of financial support

  • Bank letter

If you find navigating through the process challenging, don’t worry! Shorelight advisors are always here to support international students with their application process. 

University of the Pacific 

When it comes to engineering, the University of the Pacific is recognized as an institution that builds leaders. Prestigious University of the Pacific alumni include former NASA astronaut and American engineer José Moreno Hernández and wastewater expert George Tchobanoglous.

The University of Pacific is ranked #62 in Best Undergraduate Engineering Programs by U.S. News & World Report and Pacific’s School of Engineering and Computer Science is equipped with 30 laboratories that give students access to a unique learning experience.

Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering

Pacific’s BS in Mechanical Engineering curriculum focuses on machine systems and structures, robotics, and other related engineering disciplines, alongside humanistic, societal, and environmental topics. This enables students to have a broad understanding of mechanical engineering and its social impacts — and to launch their careers successfully.

To earn a BS in Mechanical Engineering at the University of the Pacific, you are required to submit the following documents with the application:

To learn more about advanced credit options, finances, English language proficiency, and more at the University of the Pacific, speak to a Shorelight advisor.

Earning an undergraduate or master’s degree in mechanical engineering at world-class universities in the US opens doors to countless opportunities for new graduates. Researching the universities that want to recruit international students like you, in addition to studying their various engineering degree offerings, can help you make the right decision and take the next step toward your dream career.

What Are Mechanical Engineering Careers?

A student with a bachelor’s or master’s degree in mechanical engineering can discover a range of high-demand careers including:

  • Aerospace engineer

  • Automotive engineer

  • Contracting civil engineer

  • Control and instrumentation engineer

  • Maintenance engineer

  • Mechanical engineer

  • Nuclear engineer

  • Project manager

  • Robotic engineer

  • Structural engineer

  • Technology specialist

Don’t forget, even more career options are available for graduates due to the multidisciplinary nature of the mechanical engineering field. Graduates also have the option to specialize in any area of mechanical engineering or even start their own company in research and development as entrepreneurs!

How Much Does a Mechanical Engineering Graduate Earn?

Mechanical engineering is a strong field with high earning potential, even for those new to the industry. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), entry-level mechanical engineering graduates have a median annual wage of $63,819

Take a look at the table below to get an idea of how much an entry-level mechanical engineer may earn in the US and other selected countries in the world.

US

Average salary with an undergraduate degree

$74K

Average salary with a graduate degree

$120K

China

Average salary with an undergraduate degree

¥200K

Average salary with a graduate degree

¥320K

India

Average salary with an undergraduate degree

₹700K

Average salary with a graduate degree

₹980K

Brazil

Average salary with an undergraduate degree

R$96K

Average salary with a graduate degree

R$200K

*The above salaries use data from Salary Expert.

As one of the most versatile and sought-after programs, mechanical engineering offers transferable and marketable skills, a wide range of knowledge, and global opportunities. By earning a degree in mechanical engineering from a US university, you can secure your future with various career options anywhere you want to work.

Shorelight advisors are always available to help you transfer to a top US university and pursue a mechanical engineering degree in the US. 

Take the next step toward your mechanical engineering degee >