Mechanical Engineering

Grainger College of Engineering


What is Mechanical Engineering?

Mechanical Engineering is one 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, we 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

  • Aerospace
  • Automotive work
  • Computer software & electronics
  • Defense & security
  • Environment
  • Health & biological work
  • Manufacturing, energy, & transportation
  • Research & development

Post-Graduation Success1

93% employed or continuing education

72% employed after graduation

21% attending graduate school

$65,785 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

Review Criteria

First-Year Major-Specific Criteria

  • Strong math and science coursework and performance
  • Calculus preferred and physics expected (if available at high school)
  • Strong teamwork and interpersonal communication skills
  • Interest in improving society through engineering
  • Demonstrated understanding of and interest in the engineering major selected

View All Review Criteria

Transfer Criteria

Transfer Guide

Graduation & Retention2

4.0 years to degree

95% first-year retention rate

66% four-year graduation rate

82% six-year graduation rate

Annual Program Costs3

Illinois Resident

  • Tuition: $17,976
  • Fees: $4,928
  • Expenses: $18,222
  • Total: $41,126


  • Tuition: $39,736
  • Fees: $4,928
  • Expenses:$18,562
  • Total: $63,226


  • Tuition: $42,868
  • Fees: $4,928
  • Expenses: $18,562
  • Total: $66,358