Professor teaching a class


Mechanical Engineering

Design Project Course Substitution

The capstone design project is a culminating experience allowing the students to apply their engineering knowledge to an open ended activity.  Most students satisfy the requirement by enrolling in either ME 440W or ME 441W.

Honors Thesis (**494H) may be used to satisfy the requirement by petition that must be approved by the student’s adviser and the Associate Department Head of Undergraduate Programs provided the student can demonstrate:

  1. The course substitution has similar course objectives as ME 440W, ME 441W; ME 442W and ME 443W:
    1. To apply academic training and education to provide a professional engineering solution to a real life problem,
    2. Implement the design process to a professional engineering problem,
    3. Work effectively in a team that includes co-workers, customers and vendors,
    4. Communicate well using verbal, written and electronic methods.
  2. The student has the necessary background to meet the project technical needs.
  3. The student must have the prerequisites common for ME 440W; ME 441W (Prerequisite: ME 340; Concurrent ENGL 202C) prior to enrolling in the substituted course.

Technical Elective Courses

The purpose of technical elective courses is to undertake advanced study in selected areas of Mechanical Engineering in order to prepare for careers in industry or graduate study. Students must take 12 credits of technical electives, divided in three categories as follows:

3 Credits of Mechanical Engineering Technical Elective (METE): 400-level ME course excluding ME 410, ME 440W, ME 441W, ME 442W, ME 443W, ME 450, ME 494, and ME 496.

6 Credits of Engineering Technical Elective (ETE): 400-level courses in the College of Engineering not required for the major. The courses can be in ME or another Engineering program. ME 494H or 496 can be used for the ETE.

3 Credits of General Technical Elective (GTE): Math, science, or engineering courses beyond the level of required courses in the program. Co-op and internship credits are accepted after completion of a combination of three Co-op rotations or internships (ENGR 195A ENGR 295A, ENGR 395A, and ENGR 495A). An E-Petition must be submitted and approved for all General Technical Electives.

  • Students are not permitted to take more than 6 credits of any combination of ME 494H (Senior Thesis) and ME 496 (Independent Study).
  • Students completing Basic ROTC may substitute six of these credits for 3 credits of GHA and 3 credits of General Technical Elective.
  • You can find an incomplete list of courses appropriate for the GTE on the undergrad web site at   

Courses Requiring at least “C” Grades for Mechanical Engineering

In addition to entrance to major requirements, students admitted into Mechanical Engineering are required to earn a minimum of a C grade in each course designated by the major as a C-required course. These are listed below:

M E 300, E MCH 211, E MCH 212, E MCH 213, M E 370, M E 345, M E 340, M E 360, M E 320, M E410, M E 450



With more than 60 faculty members, 330 graduate students, and 800 undergraduate students, the Penn State Department of Mechanical Engineering embraces a culture that welcomes individuals with a diversity of backgrounds and expertise. Our faculty and students are innovating today what will impact tomorrow’s solutions to meeting our energy needs, homeland security, biomedical devices, and transportation systems. We offer B.S. degrees in mechanical engineering as well as resident (M.S., Ph.D.) and online (M.S.) graduate degrees in mechanical engineering. See how we’re inspiring change and impacting tomorrow at

Department of Mechanical Engineering

137 Reber Building

The Pennsylvania State University

University Park, PA 16802-4400

Phone: 814-865-2519