Mechanical Engineering

Mechanical engineering is one of the most diverse fields in engineering. This program applies mathematical, scientific, and engineering principles. Students study forces acting on bodies of solids or fluids as well as the resulting dynamic motion of those bodies. With these principles, you are able to design and control machines and systems. Examples include systems that apply loads, transport matter and energy, and convert one form of energy to another. If you’re interested in how the world around you moves and changes, this major might be for you.

Career options include aerospace, automotive work, computer software and electronics, defense and security, environment, health and biological work, manufacturing, energy and transportation, and research and development. Our ABET accredited undergraduate program in Mechanical engineering at the Illinois is consistently ranked among the best in the United States. Students in our department enjoy access to internationally renowned and award-winning faculty, world-class laboratories, and exceptional resources.

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  • Our mechanical engineering program is ranked #5 by U.S. News & World Report.
  • 86% of students reported having an internship or co-op during their degree program.
  • 97% of students reported securing their first choice destination upon graduation.
  • The average starting salary for a mechanical engineering graduate is $79,507 with an average signing bonus of $5,000.

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Your path to Grainger Engineering starts with connecting your passion and interests with the opportunities available in one of our 15 top-ranked major programs. Explore your options and gather the information you need to take the next step and apply.

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What You'll Study

Mechanical engineering (ME) provides broad, hands-on training in a variety of essential engineering topics, such as design and manufacturing, materials, thermal/fluid sciences, and controls. This enables our students to have a major impact on society. As a mechanical engineering student, you take classes like engineering materials, computer-aided design, energy conversion systems, and robotics.

The ME education prepares students to go on to be anything, including a mechanical engineer, structural engineer, design engineer, safety engineer, or technical consultant, among others. Mechanical engineering embraces many areas of specialization: automotive systems, bioengineering, combustion and propulsion, design methodology and tribology, dynamic systems and controls, energy systems and thermodynamics, fluid mechanics, heat transfer, manufacturing and production, materials behavior and processing, and microscale and nanoscale phenomena and systems.

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Minor in Computer Science

The CS Minor is offered for students seeking significant knowledge of digital computing without the more complete treatment of a major in computer science. This minor may be taken by any student except majors in the Computer Science degree programs and in Computer Engineering.

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Post-Graduation Success

Due to the internationally renowned and award-winning faculty, world-class laboratories, and exceptional resources that are available for our students, graduates of the Mechanical Engineering curriculum go on to do great things. About thirty-two percent of our Mechanical Engineering graduates continue their education in graduate school, and about sixty-five percent take positions in industry.

Mechanical engineering graduates go on to solve today’s most pressing technological challenges in energy and the environment, biology and health care, security and defense, transportation, micro-nano technology, design and manufacturing, robotics, and many other areas. Our graduates also gain problem-solving and communication skills to excel in non-traditional areas like finance, management, business, medicine, and law. The average salary for Mechanical Engineering grads in 2022-2023 was reported as $79,507 with an average signing bonus of $5,000.

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employed or continuing education*

employed after graduation

attending graduate school

average starting annual income*

Sample employer destinations: Caterpillar, SpaceX, Rolls-Royce View All

Sample grad school destinations: Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Stanford University, University of California Berkeley View All

*Post-graduate data was collected through the Illini Success initiative, which primarily relies on self-reported survey data sources. Statistics reported are from 2022-2023. Please note that total compensation may be greater than annual salary as other forms of compensation (e.g., signing bonus, commission, benefits) are not included. For more information on Illini Success data and methods, please visit the Illini Success website.

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Your future starts here.

Applying to The Grainger College of Engineering opens the door to your future as a successful engineer. Get started by scheduling a visit, requesting information, or submitting your application.