Frequently Asked Questions

What career opportunities are available to those graduating with a degree in Mechanical Engineering?

ME includes the analysis and design of components and systems that include: mechanics (structural, machinery, automotive, manufacturing, bioengineering, robotics, mechatronics, etc.); heat, fluid flow & thermodynamics (propulsion, power, project engineering, etc.); dynamics, controls, and automation, materials science (metals, ceramics, composites, etc.), and air and space systems. in addition to pursuing graduate degrees in engineering, law, medicine, and teaching, many of our graduates work in:

  • Analysis & Design (Biomechanics, Robotics, Mechatronics, Aerospace, Materials, HVAC)
  • Manufacturing, Testing, Production, Quality Control
  • Project Engineering
  • Sales
  • Research & Development
  • Consulting

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What are the possible/feasible minors you can attain while studying Mechanical Engineering at Villanova?

ME students can take any minor offered by the University. ME allows students who take a minor to substitute at least two of their minor courses into Elective slots in senior year.

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What hands-on experiences exist as part of the Mechanical Engineering curriculum (lab work, extracurricular etc.)?

The Department emphasizes hands-on experiences in all years of the program. These include three hands-on laboratory courses in sophomore through senior years, and in sophomore year, our Introduction to Mechanical Engineering course. Many of the design projects in the Senior Design course in senior year result in the building of a prototype or full-scale device. The Department encourages students to works on one of the three professional-society sponsored projects including the Minibaja and Formula race cars, and the human-powered submarine.

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Realistically, how feasible is it to go abroad to study Mechanical Engineering?

All ME students can study abroad. It is the responsibility of the student to arrange their destination college and to select the courses they take. The ME Department has produced a special academic audit that recommends study abroad during a particular semester and course selections that should be easy to find in most countries abroad. The final three semesters of the ME program include the Senior Design course sequence, a part of which attempts to develop team skills. For this reason, study abroad is discouraged during these semesters.

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Are any classes taught full time by a research or teaching assistant?

No lecture class is ever taught by a graduate student. As part of their training, graduate students sometimes assist in the three required laboratory courses, but these courses are under the direction of a full-time faculty member.

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What is the average class size of a typical engineering curriculum class?

The average size of a lecture course is about 30 students. The size of many is less than this and lab courses often have no more than 20 students.

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What computer programs are favored and used throughout the curriculum?

The commercial codes Mathcad, Matlab, Excel, and LabView are used frequently in all years. High-end commercial codes like Ansys and Fluent are used in technical elective courses in senior year. SolidWorks and AutoCad are learned in the common freshmen year.

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Can you take ME and required classes Pass/Fail?

Our accreditation agency requires that all courses in the major be taken for a grade. The free elective in senior year may be taken as pass/fail.

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Are there electives for individuals seeking mechanical work in the aerospace, automotive, robotic and biomechanical industries?

Yes, many courses that relate to these fields are taught throughout the program including dynamics, system dynamics and controls, aerodynamics, biomechanics, robotics, mechatronics, and computational fluid dynamics.

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Is it possible to double major in Civil and Mechanical Engineering?

With the taking of a sufficient number of courses, double majors are possible in all programs. Depending on the student, between 15-20 additional courses will be required for an ME student to earn a CEE bachelors degree.

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Is there undergraduate research available for ME’s?

Yes, undergraduates are active in research in ME through an informal structure. Interested students are encouraged to contact the Department Chairman, a Research Center Director, or any ME faculty member for details.

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