Mechanical engineers use energy principles and mechanics to design a wide variety of devices, machines, and systems, including complex human-machine systems, for energy conversion, biofuel production, environmental control, materials processing, transportation, materials handling, and other purposes. 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.

Why Iowa?

The BSE degree in mechanical engineering is one of eight 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 29 percent of Iowa's engineering students; the national average is 20 percent. 

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


Mechanical Engineering
Energy and Environment
Robotics and Autonomous Systems
  Honors Courses
  Four-Year Graduation Plan
  Selective Admission
Admission Process

Careers and Outcomes

Iowa graduates have a 95 percent job/grad school placement rate within six months of graduation. Our Pomerantz Career Center offers multiple resources to help students find internships and jobs. 

Engineering is a well-respected profession that is used as a foundation for a variety of careers. Mechanical engineering graduates will find a wide variety of career opportunities in industry, government, education, 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 Career Services develops and promotes experiential education and professional opportunities for students. Professional staff coordinate the college's co-op and internship program, engage in employer outreach, and host an engineering career fair each semester.  

Student Opportunities

In addition to more than 500 Student Organizations, Iowa students choose from more than 100 Study Abroad Programs and multiple Undergraduate Research Opportunities.

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


The University of Iowa provides a variety of scholarships to eligible undergraduate students through the Iowa Scholarship Portal. Scholarships are available to first-year, transfer, and currently enrolled students. For additional details on scholarships for your program of study, check directly with the department or college. 

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 the 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.


All BSE students complete the BSE core requirements as well as the curriculum designed for their major program, which covers four major stems: mathematics and basic sciences, engineering topics, the general education component, and an elective focus area. Students may work with their adviser to customize an area that aligns with their interests and career objectives.

To learn about required course work and graduating with honors, review Mechanical Engineering in the UI General Catalog

BSE/MS Fast-Track Degree Program

The BSE/MS fast-track degree program is for eligible students who seek to complete both the BSE and MS degrees in mechanical engineering at 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 12 hours to be counted toward both their BSE and MS degrees.