Mechanical Engineering

The College of Engineering provides its students a firm grounding in scientific and mathematical fundamentals; experience in analysis, synthesis and design of engineering systems, and exposure to current engineering practice and cutting edge engineering research and technology. A spirit of entrepreneurship pervades the College of Engineering–in education, scholarship, and participation in engineering practice.

UCSB’s College of Engineering has achieved national recognition in areas such as solid state electronics, materials, and high-performance computing. With state-of-the-art teaching and research laboratories and a student-to-faculty ratio of 10:1, UCSB offers undergraduates the finest in engineering education. All undergraduate programs have met the rigorous standards of and been accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET or, in the case of Computer Science, the Computing Accreditation Commission of ABET. Such accreditation adds weight to the degree when students apply for graduate study and professional positions.

General Major Information

How Can I Tell If I Would Like Engineering?

An engineering student excels in mathematics and many aspects of science. The student has good reasoning, analytical and leadership qualities. Hobbies may include computers, conducting experiments and reading. Individuals with an aptitude toward mathematics and sciences and who would like to understand the technological systems we use every day would enjoy engineering.

What Are Potential Topics Within This Major?
Mechanical Engineering: Mechanical Engineering offers a balanced curriculum of theory and application, involving: preparation in basic science, math, computing and writing; a comprehensive set of engineering science and laboratory courses; and a series of engineering design courses. Elective courses are organized into coherent tracks, allowing students to acquire more in-depth knowledge in one of several areas of specialization, such as those related to: the environment; design and manufacturing; thermal and fluid sciences; structures, mechanics, and materials; and dynamics and controls. The department electives program aims to be flexible. Hence, students may also choose a general mechanical engineering track or one tailored to their own special interests.

To learn more about whether you might enjoy this major, check with a peer in the Career Resource Room for details on:

- Focus 2 to explore college majors and careers.

- The Strong Interest Inventory®, an assessment that compares your interests against six broad categories of work. This assessment helps match your interests and suggests potential careers to explore.

What Can I Do To Make My Major More Marketable?

  • Pursue relevant work, internship, volunteer, and/or research experience.
  • Choose a complementary minor.
  • Specialize in an area; take courses in related fields.
  • Develop your computer skills.
  • Learn a foreign language.
  • Study abroad.
  • Join professional associations.
  • Get involved in student clubs.
  • Participate in community organizations.
  • Seek out leadership positions.
  • Research specific prerequisites for different positions.
  • Network with others in fields that interest you.

General Career Information

What Are Some Possible Career Options?

Note: On its own, your major does not dictate what your job will be.  The following list provides only a handful of possibilities. Engineering majors with strong liberal arts background may pursue career options in many fields. Depending on experience, specialized coursework, and possible graduate study options include: applied research, design, management, operations, manufacturing, and consulting.

Mechanical Engineering majors can pursue careers in ocean engineering, environmental engineering, energy systems and thermal sciences, materials, control and robotics, solid mechanics and structures, manufacturing, mechanics and transportation.

To learn more about these and other occupations, please visit:
O*Net Online

Occupational Outlook Handbook

Come visit the Career Resource Room to see our vast collection of career books and resources.

And, see what other UCSB alumni are doing with their major on LinkedIn

Additional sites and resources

Sloan Career Cornerstone Center
SCCC is a comprehensive resource center for those interested in careers in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.

Occupational Outlook Handbook
Basic information about the life of an ME including: nature of the work, employment, job outlook, and earnings.

California Occupational Guide
Info on labor market, job duties, working conditions, and employment outlook for chemical engineers in California.  

Info on Basic information about Mechanical Engineering and its projected outlook.
eHow’s Engineering Jobs Career Information for a Mechanical Engineer


Graduate and Professional Schools

Accredited Engineering Program Search
These lists show the programs accredited by ABET

US News and World Reports
Listing of the best graduate schools in chemistry, biochemistry and other scientific fields.  As with all rankings, make sure that you take them with a grain of salt
This is a comprehensive website that provides information about where graduate programs are offered throughout the nation.

This is a database to help find where graduate programs are offered throughout the U.S.

NOTE: no url to be displayed Come to the Career Resources Room to view the CHOICES lab version of graduate schools.

Experience Search Strategies

Get Experience (Internship/Lab/Research)

Career Services Internship Resources
Build your qualifications by exploring various opportunities to get experience in your field of interest. Click on the link above!

UCSB College of Engineering Undergraduate Research Opportunities
There are many research opportunities for undergraduate students, including those through educational programs, undergraduate courses, and connections with faculty in your department.

Job/Internship Search Sites

UCSB Career Services “Job Links” section
Check out job links in the following categories: Local/CA, National, International, Industry Specific, UCSB Careers By Majors and Diversity.

Engineering Center
Special job bank for entry level engineers.

Global Energy Jobs: The world's largest job posting website for energy and power jobs.

Lab Support, a division of On Assignment, is an international leader in placing science and engineering professionals in contract, contract-to-hire, and direct hire opportunities.
As one of the largest U.S. providers of engineering and technical staffing, we can help you find engineering jobs that match your skills. Our professional recruiters work with top companies, giving you access to some of the most desirable positions available. provides lists of hundreds of exciting and lucrative Mechanical Engineering career opportunities with some of the world’s most prestigious employers.
Mechanical Engineering job listings from

When you join LinkedIn, the world’s largest professional network, you get access to people, jobs, news, updates, and insights that help you be great at what you do.


Professional Associations

American Society of Mechanical Engineers
Founded in 1880 as the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, today's ASME is a 120,000-member professional organization focused on technical, educational and research issues of the engineering and technology community.

Society for Automotive Engineering
At last check, membership was only $20.00 for students.

Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers
A national organization of professional engineers to serve as role models in the Hispanic community.

Society of Women Engineers
SWE empowers women to succeed and advance in those aspirations and be recognized for their life-changing contributions and achievements as engineers and leaders.

Engineers Without Borders
EWB-USA is a non-profit humanitarian organization established to partner with developing communities worldwide in order to improve their quality of life. This partnership involves the implementation of sustainable engineering projects, while involving and training internationally responsible engineers and engineering students.

UCSB Resources