Mechanical Engineering at Washington University in St. Louis

July 5, 2023
By AdmissionSight
Mechanical Engineers working

Mechanical Engineering at Washington University in St. Louis

Are you interested in pursuing a career in mechanical engineering? If so, then you may want to explore the mechanical engineering program at Washington University in St. Louis, one of the top engineering schools in the nation. In this article, we’ll take a deep dive into the program, from the curriculum to the faculty to the campus life, and everything in between.

Washington University in St. Louis, commonly known as WashU, is a private research university located in St. Louis, Missouri. Founded in 1853, it has a rich history of academic excellence and boasts a diverse student body from all 50 states and over 100 countries. The School of Engineering and Applied Science at WashU offers a wide range of undergraduate and graduate programs, including the mechanical engineering program.

In addition to its strong academic programs, WashU is also known for its beautiful campus, which spans over 169 acres and features stunning architecture and green spaces. The university is committed to sustainability and has implemented various initiatives to reduce its carbon footprint, such as using renewable energy sources and promoting eco-friendly transportation options. WashU also has a vibrant student life, with over 300 student organizations and numerous cultural events and activities throughout the year.

Understanding the Curriculum: A Detailed Overview of the Mechanical Engineering Program at Washington University

The mechanical engineering program at WashU offers students a comprehensive education that prepares them for a range of careers in the field. The curriculum covers a range of topics, from mechanics and materials to systems and control.

First-year students take foundational courses in math, physics, chemistry, and engineering, which build the groundwork for more advanced classes. In their second year, students tackle coursework in materials science, thermodynamics, and dynamics. In their junior and senior years, they may choose to specialize in a particular area of mechanical engineering, such as biomechanics, renewable energy systems, robotics, or nanotechnology.

Students also participate in design projects, working in teams to solve complex mechanical engineering problems. These projects allow students to apply their knowledge to real-world problems, and they often present their findings at conferences or competitions.

Group of students smiling at the camera.

One unique aspect of the mechanical engineering program at WashU is the emphasis on interdisciplinary collaboration. Students have the opportunity to work with faculty and students from other departments, such as computer science, biology, and environmental studies, to tackle complex engineering challenges. This interdisciplinary approach prepares students to work in diverse teams and to think creatively about solutions to complex problems.

Additionally, the mechanical engineering program at WashU places a strong emphasis on experiential learning. Students have the opportunity to participate in internships, co-op programs, and research projects, which allow them to gain hands-on experience in the field. These experiences not only enhance students’ resumes but also provide valuable networking opportunities and help students to identify their career goals.

The Faculty and Staff: Meet the Experts Behind Washington University’s Mechanical Engineering Program

The mechanical engineering program at WashU is taught by a team of knowledgeable and experienced faculty members who are experts in their respective fields. These faculty members bring a wide range of experiences and backgrounds to the classroom, including industry experience, research expertise, and a commitment to teaching excellence.

Students also have access to dedicated academic advisors and career counselors, who provide guidance and support throughout their academic and professional journey.

In addition to the faculty and staff, WashU’s mechanical engineering program offers a variety of extracurricular activities and opportunities for students to get involved. These include student organizations, research projects, and internships with industry partners. These experiences allow students to apply their classroom knowledge to real-world situations and gain valuable skills and connections.

Furthermore, WashU’s mechanical engineering program is committed to promoting diversity and inclusion in the field. The program actively seeks to recruit and support underrepresented groups in engineering, and offers resources and support for students from diverse backgrounds.

Four students smiling at the camera while standing next to a college building.

How to Apply: A Step-by-Step Guide to Applying for the Mechanical Engineering Program at Washington University

If you’re interested in applying to the mechanical engineering program at WashU, you’ll need to follow a few steps. First, you’ll need to submit an online application, which includes your transcripts, test scores, essays, and other supporting documents.

If you are selected as a potential candidate, you may be invited to attend an interview with a member of the admissions committee. After the interview, the committee will review your application and make a decision on whether or not to offer you a place in the program.

It’s important to note that the mechanical engineering program at WashU is highly competitive, with a limited number of spots available each year. Therefore, it’s recommended that you submit your application as early as possible to increase your chances of being accepted. Additionally, it’s a good idea to reach out to current students or alumni of the program to gain insight into their experiences and to learn more about the program’s curriculum and opportunities for research and internships.

Campus Life and Extracurricular Activities for Mechanical Engineering Students at Washington University

WashU has a vibrant campus life, with a range of clubs and organizations for students to get involved in. There are numerous engineering clubs, including the Society of Women Engineers, the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, and the Engineers Without Borders.

The university also has state-of-the-art facilities for students to use, including a wind tunnel, a robotics lab, and a materials science lab. And for those who are interested in sports and fitness, WashU has a top-notch athletic center and numerous recreational sports teams, including crew, lacrosse, and ultimate frisbee.

Research Opportunities for Mechanical Engineering Students at Washington University in St. Louis

Research is a key component of the mechanical engineering program at WashU, and students have the opportunity to work on cutting-edge projects alongside faculty members and graduate students. The university has a range of research centers and institutes, including the Center for Aerosol Science and Engineering, the Energy, Environmental, and Chemical Engineering Research Center, and the Center for Biomechanics and Computational Biology.

Students can also participate in summer research programs or pursue individual research projects for course credit. These research opportunities provide students with valuable hands-on experience and help prepare them for careers in academia or industry.

Young engineer holding her things.

In addition to the research centers and institutes, WashU also has partnerships with industry leaders such as Boeing, Emerson, and Monsanto, providing students with opportunities to work on real-world projects and gain industry experience. The university also hosts an annual Engineering Career Fair, where students can network with potential employers and learn about job and internship opportunities.

The Future of Mechanical Engineering: Industry Trends and Career Prospects for Graduates from Washington University

The field of mechanical engineering is constantly evolving, with new technologies and innovations emerging all the time. Graduates from WashU’s mechanical engineering program are well-equipped to navigate this ever-changing landscape and pursue careers in a range of industries.

Graduates from the program have gone on to work at top companies such as Boeing, Caterpillar, and General Motors, and have pursued careers in areas such as aerospace, automotive, energy, and robotics. The demand for mechanical engineers is expected to grow in the coming years, which is good news for WashU graduates.

One of the emerging trends in mechanical engineering is the integration of artificial intelligence and machine learning into the design and operation of mechanical systems. This has led to the development of smart machines and autonomous systems that can perform complex tasks with minimal human intervention. Graduates from WashU’s mechanical engineering program are well-positioned to take advantage of these new opportunities and contribute to the development of cutting-edge technologies.

Another trend in the field is the increasing focus on sustainability and environmental responsibility. Mechanical engineers are playing a key role in developing new technologies and processes that reduce energy consumption, minimize waste, and promote sustainable practices. Graduates from WashU’s program are equipped with the knowledge and skills to design and implement these solutions, making them valuable contributors to the global effort to address climate change and promote sustainability.

Student Spotlight: Success Stories from Mechanical Engineering Alumni of Washington University in St. Louis

Graduating from the mechanical engineering program at WashU can open many doors, as demonstrated by the successes of past alumni. Some of the notable alumni include Tom Leimkuehler, VP of Product Management at Caterpillar and Rich Wolski, the co-founder and CTO of Unico, an energy management company.

These alumni are just a few examples of the diverse career paths that WashU’s mechanical engineering program can lead to.

One of the unique aspects of WashU’s mechanical engineering program is its emphasis on hands-on experience. Students have the opportunity to work on real-world projects through partnerships with local companies and organizations. This practical experience not only prepares students for their future careers but also allows them to make valuable connections in the industry.

Two students talking in a room.

Comparing Mechanical Engineering Programs: How Does Washington University Stack Up Against Other Universities?

If you’re considering a mechanical engineering program, you may be wondering how WashU’s program compares to others around the country. WashU is consistently ranked as one of the top engineering schools in the nation, and its mechanical engineering program is no exception.

The program has a strong focus on interdisciplinary research and collaboration, which sets it apart from other schools. Additionally, WashU’s location in St. Louis provides numerous opportunities for students to get involved in local industry and apply their knowledge to real-world problems.

Furthermore, WashU’s mechanical engineering program offers a wide range of specializations, including robotics, materials science, and biomechanics. This allows students to tailor their education to their specific interests and career goals. The program also boasts state-of-the-art facilities and equipment, providing students with hands-on experience and practical skills that are highly valued by employers.


If you’re passionate about mechanical engineering and want a top-notch education that will prepare you for a career in the field, the mechanical engineering program at WashU is worth exploring. From the comprehensive curriculum to the experienced faculty members to the numerous research opportunities, the program has everything you need to succeed in this exciting field.

Additionally, WashU’s mechanical engineering program offers a variety of extracurricular activities and clubs that allow students to further explore their interests and gain hands-on experience. These include the Robotics Club, the Formula SAE Racing Team, and the American Society of Mechanical Engineers. These opportunities not only enhance students’ resumes but also provide a fun and engaging way to apply the skills and knowledge learned in the classroom.

University students sitting next to each other next to a building.

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