Frequently Asked Questions
What is Mechanical Engineering?
Mechanical engineering is the largest discipline of engineering based on student enrollment in the USA. It focuses on the application of the principles of mechanics and energy to design machines and devices. Many consider ME as the broadest of the engineering degrees and provides the most career opportunities.
What can I do with this degree when I graduate?
Graduates have the qualifications to enter careers in areas such as, but not limited to, aerospace industry, power generation and distribution, automotive design, machine design, manufacturing, HVAC design, alternative energy, robotics, and automation. Typical job titles for graduates may include project engineer, planner, project supervisor, manufacturing engineer, consulting engineer, and design engineer. The BSME is also a good foundation for graduate school in engineering, business (MBA), law, or medicine.
Is it hard?
Yes. Mechanical Engineering requires rigorous training in basic engineering principles along with the development of skills in the areas of planning and management of design projects and the associated systems and resources. Graduates in the area of Mechanical Engineering will be required to master technical elements and to demonstrate particular competence in the areas of communication, fiscal management, and project management. The broad-based background is tailored to develop professionals who will be able to move between the technical and managerial aspects of mechanical engineering projects and to serve in key leadership positions within the engineering profession.
What is the curriculum like?
The Mechanical Engineering curriculum offers a balance of coursework in engineering analysis and engineering design as well as, engineering practice. Students must be strong in math or have perseverance in order to be successful in engineering analyses coursework, and to provide a deep understanding on how things work. A creative desire to design new parts/mechanisms/machines/products/systems is also important. Please review the Curriculum Objective and Outcomes page and the Curriculum page from the ME website.
Which ME curriculum do I have to take?
Fall 2011 the ME curriculum was evaluated by the ME faculty and a new curriculum was developed and approved by SPSU. Students who start or transfer into ME in the 2011-12 academic year and beyond must follow the new curriculum. Those students who were ME students before fall 2011 may choose either curriculum, but are encourage to follow the newer curriculum unless it will delay your graduation. Keep in mind that some courses have been substituted in the older curriculum that have equivalent learning outcomes. See the curricula on pages on this ME website.
Is this an engineering degree or an engineering technology degree?
It is an engineering degree designed according to the accreditation requirements of the Engineering Accreditation Commission (EAC) of ABET, the accreditation agency for engineering programs in the United States.
Is this degree accredited by ABET?
Not yet. ABET doesn't accredit programs until it has graduates. We expect our first graduating class in May 2013.
Does that mean it's not accredited at all?
Definitely not. SPSU is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools and all degrees must adhere to their accreditation requirements. In addition, application will be made for accreditation of the mechanical Engineering program by ABET in 2013, which is as early as possible. ABET will not accept the application for accreditation of a new program until the program has some graduates.
How does that affect Professional Licensing in Georgia?
Georgia like other states requires applicants to graduate from an ABET accredited program or equivalent. Until ABET accreditation is received this program should be viewed as the equivalent. However, due to the strong record with ABET accreditation and rigorous reputation of the programs at SPSU, all our engineering programs have been given approval for students to take the Fundamental Engineering (FE or EIT) exam (which is the first of two exams needed to become a licensed engineer).
So, does that mean that when I graduate from the mechanical Engineering program I should only have to wait 4 years to take the PE exam?
Assuming your experience satisfies the licensing board and you've met all other licensing criteria in place at the time you apply, then yes.
I'm already enrolled as a student at SPSU. How do I change majors?
To change your major you may go to the SPSU Internet site and follow the instructions or you can stop by Building Q (3rnd floor, NW suites, and see Ms. Cinthia Barnett) and pick up a change of major form in the Engineering office. Fill it out and leave it for us to process.
Please be aware that some courses may not transfer into the ME program. See the ME Program Director if you have questions (since you will need his signature anyway).
What if I already have an ET degree from SPSU and want an engineering degree?
Former students can return and take the prescribed requisite courses to satisfy the degree. Please consult with the ME program director. (See previous question as well.)
What if I've graduated from SPSU with a MET degree and want to come back and get the Mechanical Engineering degree?
Former students can return and take the requisite courses to satisfy the degree. If you graduated from SPSU's MET program AND have passed the Fundamentals of Engineering exam (E.I.T.) then you only have to take those courses which are unique to the degree. That's about 30--45 semester hours of courses.
What if I have more questions; who do I contact?
Contact the Department of Systems and Mechanical Engineering at 678-915-6816 or ME Program Director Dr. Richard Ruhala, 678-915-6855, email@example.com.