Undergraduate Admissions - The University of Iowa

The University of Iowa

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Mechanical Engineering


Mechanical Engineering (BSE)
Honors Courses
Four-Year Graduation Plan
Selective Admission

Design is key to mechanical engineering, which involves analyzing needs and designing products and systems—including complex human/machine systems—to fill them.

Mechanical engineers use energy principles and mechanics to design machines such as engines and motors. They work in areas such as automotive design, machine design, manufacturing, and robotics. They may develop robots for space exploration, use a computer to simulate the freezing of human cells, or improve devices for use of alternative energy sources, such as fuel cells, wind turbines, and solar energy converters.

Why Study at Iowa? 

The BSE in mechanical engineering is one of six Undergraduate Engineering Programs in the College of Engineering, which offers excellent opportunities for students to participate in research, internships, study abroad, and student organizations.

Students choose to study engineering at Iowa because of the college's academic excellence, individual attention, small-college environment, camaraderie, and tremendous opportunities. U.S. News & World Report ranks Iowa's undergraduate program in the top 20 percent of engineering programs nationwide.

Iowa admits incoming first-year students directly into engineering. About 525 first-year students and 100 transfer students enroll each year. Women account for over 21 percent of Iowa's engineering students; the national average is 17 percent.

B.S./M.S. Fast-Track Degree Program

The B.S./M.S. fast-track degree program is for eligible students who seek to complete both the B.S. and M.S. degrees in mechanical engineering at the University of Iowa. Students interested in this program apply in the second semester of their junior year and, if admitted, enter that program in the first semester of their senior year. The fast-track program allows for 12 hours to be counted toward both their BS and MS degrees.

Course Work 

The mechanical engineering program emphasizes both a broad education in mechanical engineering fundamentals and the opportunity for in-depth learning. Focus area options include:

  • Design
  • Energy and environment
  • Manufacturing and materials processing
  • A tailored focus area based on individual interests

Review Mechanical Engineering in the UI General Catalog for more details.

Admission Requirements

Admission Requirements Tabs

Student Opportunities 

Engineering student support services include free tutoring for your first two years of math, science, and engineering courses.

Engineering student organizations, fraternities and sororities, and national honorary societies offer many opportunities to develop your leadership abilities.

In addition to having nearly 500 Student Organizations, Iowa students choose from Living-Learning CommunitiesStudy Abroad Programs, and Undergraduate Research Opportunities.

Engineering students may be interested in the People in Engineering Living-Learning Community or Be WISE: Women in Science and Engineering Living-Learning Community in the residence halls.

Faculty, Facilities, and Resources 

Iowa's nationally and internationally renowned faculty members, including physicians and practicing engineers, teach all engineering classes, including those for first-year students. No classes are taught by teaching assistants. Faculty members also encourage undergraduates to work in their research labs.


On average, 93-98 percent of our graduates are employed in their field of study or pursuing advanced education within seven months of graduation.

Engineering is a well-respected profession that is used as a foundation for a variety of careers in industry, medicine, law, government, and consulting. Engineering majors hold eight of the top ten spots on the list of top-paid majors for bachelor's degree graduates, according to the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE).

Engineering Professional Development (EPD) develops and promotes experiential education and professional opportunities for students in the College of Engineering. Professional staff coordinate the college's co-op and internship program, engage in employer outreach, and provide opportunities for students to network with employers, including an engineering career fair each semester and other programming related to career development.

EPD also offers individual advising and class presentations on resume and cover letter preparation, job and internship search strategies, interviewing skills, and job offer evaluation.


Apply early for scholarships. The college offers Engineering First-Year Scholarships as well as many other scholarship opportunities for sophomore, junior, and senior students. Visit College of Engineering Scholarships to learn more.

The Office of Admissions and the Office of Student Financial Aid are great resources for students seeking scholarships.

Application Process

Apply to the College of Engineering.

Application Process Tabs