Bachelor of Arts (BA) Degree with a Major in Mechanical Engineering

Program Learning Outcomes for the BA Degree with a Major in Mechanical Engineering

Upon completing the BA degree with a major in Mechanical Engineering, students will demonstrate: 

  1. An ability to apply principles of engineering science design, and mathematics
  2. An ability to communicate effectively with a range of audiences
  3. An ability to recognize ethical and professional responsibilities in engineering situations and make informed judgments, which must consider the impact of engineering solutions in global, economic, environmental, and societal contexts
  4. An ability to function effectively on a team whose members together provide leadership, create a collaborative and inclusive environment, establish goals, plan tasks, and meet objectives
  5. An ability to use engineering judgment to draw conclusions
  6. An ability to acquire and apply new knowledge as needed, using appropriate learning strategies.

Requirements for the BA Degree with a Major in Mechanical Engineering

For general university requirements, see Graduation Requirements. Students pursuing the BA degree with a major in Mechanical Engineering must complete:

  • A minimum of 25 courses (68 credit hours) to satisfy major requirements. Note that the courses required to complete the major must be taken after 13 required basic math and science (pre-requisite) courses (31 credit hours).
  • A minimum of 128 credit hours to satisfy degree requirements.
  • A minimum of 60 credit hours outside of major requirements. 
  • A minimum of 9 courses (28 credit hours) at the 300-level or above.

The BA degree program in mechanical engineering is highly flexible, involves less technical content than the BS, and allows students greater freedom to pursue areas of interest outside of engineering. The BA degree is not accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET.

Lists of courses, including general university requirements and the usual order in which students take them, are available from the department. The BA program mirrors the BSME program in the freshman and sophomore years, with the exceptions that MECH 331 and MECH 340 are not required. Specific major requirements are completed in the junior and senior years.

The courses listed below satisfy the requirements for this major. In certain instances, courses not on this official list may be substituted upon approval of the major’s academic advisor, or where applicable, the department's Director of Undergraduate Studies. (Course substitutions must be formally applied and entered into Degree Works by the major's Official Certifier.) Students and their academic advisors should identify and clearly document the courses to be taken.

Summary

Total Credit Hours Required for the Major in Mechanical Engineering68
Total Credit Hours Required for the BA Degree with a Major in Mechanical Engineering128

Degree Requirements

Basic Math and Science Courses (Pre-Requisites)
CHEM 121
CHEM 123
GENERAL CHEMISTRY I
and GENERAL CHEMISTRY LABORATORY I
4
CHEM 122
CHEM 124
GENERAL CHEMISTRY II
and GENERAL CHEMISTRY LABORATORY II
4
MATH 101SINGLE VARIABLE CALCULUS I3
or MATH 105 AP/OTH CREDIT IN CALCULUS I
MATH 102SINGLE VARIABLE CALCULUS II3
or MATH 106 AP/OTH CREDIT IN CALCULUS II
MATH 211ORDINARY DIFFERENTIAL EQUATIONS AND LINEAR ALGEBRA3
MATH 212MULTIVARIABLE CALCULUS3
MSNE 301MATERIALS SCIENCE3
PHYS 101
PHYS 103
MECHANICS (WITH LAB)
and MECHANICS DISCUSSION
4
PHYS 102
PHYS 104
ELECTRICITY & MAGNETISM (WITH LAB)
and ELECTRICITY AND MAGNETISM DISCUSSION
4
Required Courses for Mechanical Engineering
Computational and Applied Mathematics
CAAM 210INTRODUCTION TO ENGINEERING COMPUTATION3
CAAM 335MATRIX ANALYSIS3
CAAM 336DIFFERENTIAL EQUATIONS IN SCIENCE AND ENGINEERING3
Mechanical Engineering Courses
MECH 200CLASSICAL THERMODYNAMICS3
MECH 211 / CEVE 211ENGINEERING MECHANICS3
MECH 311 / CEVE 311MECHANICS OF SOLIDS AND STRUCTURES3
MECH 343MODELING OF DYNAMIC SYSTEMS4
MECH 371FLUID MECHANICS I3
MECH 401MECHANICAL DESIGN APPLICATIONS3
MECH 412VIBRATIONS3
MECH 420 / ELEC 436FUNDAMENTALS OF CONTROL SYSTEMS3
MECH 481HEAT TRANSFER3
Total Credit Hours Required for the Major in Mechanical Engineering 68
University Graduation Requirements *60
Total Credit Hours128

Footnotes and Additional Information

Policies for the BA Degree with a Major in Mechanical Engineering

Transfer Credit 

For Rice University’s policy regarding transfer credit, see Transfer Credit. Some departments and programs have additional restrictions on transfer credit. The Office of Academic Advising maintains the university’s official list of transfer credit advisors on their website: https://oaa.rice.edu. Students are encouraged to meet with their academic program’s transfer credit advisor when considering transfer credit possibilities. 

Departmental Transfer Credit Guidelines

Students pursuing the major in Mechanical Engineering should be aware of the following departmental transfer credit guidelines:

  • Requests for transfer credit will be considered by the program director (and/or the program’s official transfer credit advisor) on an individual case-by-case basis.

Additional Information 

For additional information, please see the Mechanical Engineering website: https://mech.rice.edu/

Opportunities for the BA Degree with a Major in Mechanical Engineering

Academic Honors

The university recognizes academic excellence achieved over an undergraduate’s academic history at Rice. For information on university honors, please see Latin Honors (summa cum laude, magna cum laude, and cum laude) and Distinction in Research and Creative Work. Some departments have department-specific Honors awards or designations.

Fifth-Year Master's Degree Option for Rice Undergraduate Students    

Rice students have an option to pursue the Master of Mechanical Engineering (MME) degree by adding an additional fifth year to their four undergraduate years of science and engineering studies.

Advanced Rice undergraduate students in good academic standing may apply to the MME degree program during their junior or senior year. Upon acceptance, depending on course load, financial aid status, and other variables, they may then start taking some required courses of the master's degree program. A plan of study will need to be approved by the student's undergraduate advisor and the MME program director. 

As part of this option and opportunity, Rice undergraduate students:

  • must complete the requirements for a bachelor's degree and the master's degree independently of each other (i.e. no course may be counted toward the fulfillment of both degrees).
  • should be aware there could be financial aid implications if the conversion of undergraduate coursework to that of graduate level reduces their earned undergraduate credit for any semester below that of full-time status (12 credit hours). 
  • more information on this Undergraduate - Graduate Concurrent Enrollment opportunity, including specific information on the registration process can be found here.

Additional Information 

For additional information, please see the Mechanical Engineering website: https://mech.rice.edu/