Future First-Year Students

Welcome prospective freshmen! With 41 regular faculty, 3 full-time research faculty, and 14 staff members, the Department of Mechanical Engineering is committed to educating tomorrow’s engineering leaders and producing leading edge research. We encourage you to visit the campus, take a tour and meet with an advisor to help you decide if the University of Utah is right for you.  Please feel free to contact an academic advisor regarding questions you may have related to our degree programs, curriculum, or research.  Please explore the tabs below for more information:

Full Major Status

Students enrolled in Calculus I or higher may enroll in ME EN 1000 without Full Major Status in Mechanical Engineering. Students must have Full Major Status in order to take most other ME EN courses.

Students admitted to the University of Utah with no college credits completed after high school are granted Full Major Status in one of the following ways:

  • During the first or second semester at the University of Utah:
    • Enrolling in MATH 1210/1310 Calculus I or higher and ME EN 1000 (major status will be changed prior to the census date–about the fourth week of the semester–of the ME EN 1000 enrollment semester).
  • After completing two or more semesters at the University of Utah:
  • Enrolling in MATH 1210/ 1310 Calculus I and ME EN 1000 AND having a cumulative U of U GPA of 3.0 or higher (major status will be changed prior to the census date of the ME EN 1000 enrollment semester). (Failing a required major course two or more times or taking classes at another institution after matriculating at the U of U may disqualify you from this option.)
  • Being admitted to the major based on information provided via an online application (required with a cumulative U of U GPA below a 3.0). Contact an academic advisor to verify that you need to apply and to obtain the link to the admission application.

See an academic advisor for more information.

Pre-Engineering or Pre-Mechanical Engineering Status

Freshman applicants admitted to the University of Utah who indicate Mechanical Engineering as a choice of major on the University of Utah’s application for Admission but do not meet the requirements for direct admission to the College of Engineering will be admitted to the University as Pre-Mechanical or Pre-Engineering students. Pre-Engineering/Pre-Mechanical Engineering students will be evaluated for admission to the College of Engineering just before their orientation based on their ACT Math, SAT Math, or AP Calculus, or Accuplacer test scores.  Students have the option to take the Accuplacer exam throughout the summer to try to place higher in math if placing below Calculus I.  If eligible to take Calculus I or higher and enrolled in ME EN 1000 in their first semester or second semester at the University of Utah , major status will be changed to prior to the census date (about the fourth week of the semester) of the ME EN 1000 enrollment semester, as outlined above.  Students not eligible for Calculus I by their second semester may need to apply to the major if their GPA is below a 3.0.  Pre-Engineering and Pre-Mechanical Engineering students will work closely with academic advisors for admission consideration and help with selecting and enrolling in the appropriate prerequisite courses.

College of Engineering Direct Admission and Scholarships

  1. Students may (but are not required to) submit ACT/SAT scores, which serve as another way for students to be evaluated for direct admission.
  2. Students can be direct-admitted to the College of Engineering one of three ways
    • GPA of 3.6, ACT of 26, and ACT Math 28
    • GPA of 3.8, ACT of 27, and ACT Math 26
    • GPA of 3.8, Calculus A/B and Strong HS Science
      • This last way was included to accommodate international students who could not take the standardized tests, but it will also be applied to US students who cannot take the tests.
  1. Students who are direct-admitted are eligible for merit scholarships, so it is possible to receive a scholarship without test scores. Again, students may (but are not required to) submit ACT/SAT scores.

Students must still meet the full major status requirements above for admission to the Mechanical Engineering major.

Minimum Course Recommendations for Incoming Freshman


The Mechanical Engineering undergraduate program is rigorous and challenging, preparing graduates for a variety of rewarding and meaningful careers. To be adequately prepared for the program, the following high school coursework should be completed:

  • Algebra
  • Geometry
  • Trigonometry
  • Calculus (strongly recommended)*Campus-Fall-Panorama
  • Physics (one year, including laboratory work)
  • Chemistry (one year, including laboratory work)

Beyond these core requirements, high school students are encouraged to take:

  • Biology (one year, including laboratory work)
  • Mechanical drawing/drafting
  • Computer courses
  • Foreign language courses

*ME EN 1000, taken in the first semester of the first year of the ME program, requires MATH 1210/1310 Calculus I as a co-requisite. Therefore, students wishing to complete the ME program in four years must be eligible to take Calculus I during their first semester at the U. To figure out how to be eligible for Calculus I as an incoming student, click here.

The Department of Mechanical Engineering accepts AP test scores for Math, Physics and Chemistry requirements. See below for test and score requirements to see what course would be waived (please note that math scores expire for placement after 2 years so initial placement may be lower than indicated if scores have expired):

Advanced Placement TestScoreUofU Course WaivedCourse Placement
Calculus AB3noneMATH 1210 or 1310
4MATH 1210MATH 1220 or 1311
5MATH 1210MATH 1220 or 1311
Calculus BC3MATH 1210MATH 1220 or 1311
4MATH 1210 and 1220MATH 1320 or 1321 or 2210
5MATH 1210 and 1220MATH 1321 or 2210
Physics C: Mechanics4PHYS 2210PHYS 2220
5PHYS 2210PHYS 2220
Physics C: Elect. & Mag.4PHYS 2220No further Physics required if credit was also received for PHYS 2210
5PHYS 2220No further Physics required if credit was also received for PHYS 2210
Chemistry4CHEM 1210No further Chemistry required if lab notebook is also presented for CHEM 1215 credit
5CHEM 1210No further Chemistry required if lab notebook is also presented for CHEM 1215 credit

AP Scores for Math Placement

See our Math Flowchart for more details on which math paths you can choose based on your AP scores.

AP Scores for General Education

Some of your general education requirements may also have been completed by Advance Placement (AP) classes you took in high school if you scored high enough on the exam. See the Advance Placement Credit page for scores and requirements fulfilled by each exam. Advanced Placement scores must be sent from College Board directly to the University of Utah.

See our degree plan flowchart page or the current catalog to see our degree requirements.