Degree Page Generic Banner Image

Mechanical Engineering Degree

Program Offerings

• Bachelor of science degree in Mechanical Engineering
• Accelerated master’s in Mechanical Engineering (earn your bachelor’s degree and master’s degree in as little as five years)
• Master of science degree in Mechanical Engineering
• Doctor of Philosophy degree in Mechanical Engineering
• Certificates: Construction Engineering and Management,

*The BS in Mechanical Engineering is accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET,

What is Mechanical Engineering?

Mechanical engineers are problem solvers, with a focus on problems that involve motion. Nearly every product or service in our modern world has been affected by mechanical engineering, from the sensors in your car to the satellites in the sky.

At South Dakota Mines, our mechanical engineering students learn in a project-based environment, made easier in our top-tier laboratories and shops. Our curriculum carefully blends high level theory and the practical skills needed to help our students become world-class design engineers.

Unlike many mechanical engineering programs, Mines mechanical engineering seniors take on capstone design projects in multidisciplinary teams, giving students a taste of how mechanical engineers work in the real world. This experience greatly benefits students as they enter the workforce.

What does a mechanical engineer do?

Mechanical engineers design, develop, build and test mechanical systems, ranging from individual components in small devices to large pieces of equipment on machines as large as NASA's next generation Space Launch System (SLS) rocket. Mechanical engineers use their individual creativity, their knowledge base and the ability to analyze systems to create and maintain the devices and machines found throughout society. Individual tasks undertaken by a mechanical engineer might include:
• Analyzing a problem to see how mechanical and thermal devices might solve the issue
• Designing or redesigning devices using analysis and computer-aided design
• Developing and testing prototypes
• Developing custom medical devices
• Overseeing the manufacturing process

First-Year Courses

The SD Mines undergraduate mechanical engineering program offers project-based engineering design curriculum which provides students with an educational experience through teaching and learning, research and development, and service and social responsibility.

Students choose an emphasis in one of the three areas in mechanical engineering: thermal science, solid mechanics and controls or robotics.

Required first-year courses for Mechanical Engineering students include:
• Introduction to Mechanical Engineering
• Design for Manufacturing
• Calculus
• Physics
• Chemistry
• Programming for Engineers and Scientists

Course Curriculum

Link to Catalog

Internships and Co-ops

On average, 79 percent of mechanical engineering students have applicable work experience when they graduate, thanks to internships and co-ops. For these co-ops and internships, students receive an average salary of $19.70/hour. South Dakota Mines mechanical engineering students have worked co-ops and internships with some of the following companies:
• Caterpillar
• Garmin
• Bobcat
• Kiewit
• LafargeHolcim
• Boeing
• John Deere

Career Outlook

Average starting salary for a 2018-2019 South Dakota Mines mechanical engineer graduates was $64,849. SD Mines mechanical engineer 2018-2019 graduates had a job placement rate of 95 percent.


Mechanical engineers design and develop such things as robots, medical devices, automobile engines and electric power plants, as well as the machines needed to produce these products. Mechanical engineers are needed in a variety of fields, from automotive and aerospace to petroleum and pharmaceutical. Some careers available for mechanical engineers might include:
• Auto research engineers
• Heating and cooling engineers
• Robotic engineers
• Project manager
• Consulting engineer
• Mechanical drafter
• Support for military
• Product engineer
• Medical technology engineer
• Energy conversion, turbines
• Computers and electronics engineer
• Power systems engineer


South Dakota Mines mechanical engineering graduates work for such companies as:
Freeport McMoRan
Innovative Systems
Burns & McDonnell
Honda of America
Exxon Mobil
Ford Motor Co.
John Morrell-Smithfield
BNSF Railway

Mechanical Engineering Research

Dynamic Systems & Controls/Robots
Thermal & Fluid Science
Solid Mechanics
Design & Manufacturing/Systems Engineering
link to dept page:

Our Mechanical Engineering majors get the opportunity to do research alongside faculty on such topics as “kinematics and design of complex robotic mechanical systems” and “friction stir welding, laser powder deposition, cold spray and direct-write.” Check out all of the mechanical engineering research at




SD Mines is the #1 Engineering School in the country for return on investment!

Sign up to get an info packet!

*Required Fields
Mailing Address

Student Type