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4 years
Bachelor's degree
Scholarships available
Rapid City

About this program

Mechanical Engineering BS

Mechanical engineering is a very broad field that provides opportunities for interesting and challenging work in every phase of modern technology. At South Dakota Mines, undergraduate students interested in a career in mechanical engineering (ME) follow a curriculum that culminates in an ABET-accredited BS degree in mechanical engineering. The ME curriculum is designed to give the student a thorough knowledge of the fundamental principles of engineering and science within the major areas of mechanical engineering: manufacturing, mechanical systems, and thermal science and energy. View more details about the curriculum in the online catalog.

Beyond this basic foundation, the curriculum also develops:

  • the various aspects of engineering design, including design theory and teamwork;
  • an effective integration of computer technology;
  • communication skills and effective presentations; and
  • improved understanding of engineering theory through hands-on laboratory experience.

In their senior year, the students select from course electives that best reflect their interests and career objectives. Students may select courses from one or more of the following general areas:

  • Manufacturing, e.g., control, design, development, and manufacture of diverse equipment and processes
  • Thermal science/energy (e.g., design of power systems and heating/air conditioning systems)
  • Mechanical systems/design (e.g., design of machines and structures, and systems design)

Students may participate in the Cooperative Education Internship Program. In some instances, credits earned during the co-op may be applied toward department elective requirements. The mechanical engineering department does not offer a minor.

Admission requirements

Undergraduate Course Requirements

The School of Mines will carefully review and consider for acceptance applicants who meet the general education requirements and the following criteria:

  • Achieve a high school GPA of at least 2.75 on a 4.0 scale
  • Complete high school coursework requirements as listed below
  • Proof of College Algebra-readiness by one of the following methods:
    • ACT or SAT math sub-score of at least 20/520
    • Completion of a college math course (Intermediate Algebra or higher)
    • Qualifying score on the Accuplacer exam
  • OR are South Dakota Regents’ Scholars

*Applications from students with deficiencies are reviewed on an individual basis.

All applicants not meeting the admission requirements listed above will be reviewed by the Admissions Committee. The committee considers high school curriculum (special consideration is given to math and science coursework), grades, and test scores.

Undergraduate International Student Admissions

To be considered for undergraduate admission, international applicants must meet the following criteria.

  • Applicants should have a minimum GPA of 2.75 at both the secondary (high school) and post-secondary (college) education levels.
  • Applicants must be proficient in English.

Transfer students within the US may not be required to provide this score.

  • Applicants must provide an acceptable SAT or ACT score. Math sub-scores should be a minimum of 590 on the SAT or 25 on the ACT.
    • Transfer students may not be required to provide this score.

For more information about admission requirements, please visit the university website.

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Program content

Freshman Year

First Semester

  • Calculus I
  • General Chemistry I
  • General Chemistry I Lab
  • Introduction to Mechanical Engineering/Lab
  • Composition I
  • General Education Goal 3 or 4 Elective(s)

Second Semester

  • Calculus II
  • University Physics I
  • Programming for Engineers and Scientists
  • General Education Goal 3 or 4 Elective(s)
  • Design for Manufacturing

Sophomore Year

First Semester

  • Communication in the STEM Workplace
  • Statics of Mechanisms
  • Calculus III
  • University Physics II
  • University Physics I Laboratory
  • Product Design and Development

Second Semester

  • Dynamics of Mechanisms
  • Introduction to Thermodynamics
  • Differential Equations
  • Introduction to Solid Mechanics
  • Structures and Properties of Materials Lab
  • Properties of Materials

Junior Year

First Semester

  • Explorations in STEM Communications
  • Solid Mechanics
  • Introduction to Circuits, Machines, and Systems/Lab
  • Thermo Fluid Dynamics
  • Introduction to Numerical Analysis

Second Semester

  • Thermodynamics II
  • Heat Transfer
  • Introduction to Dynamic Systems
  • Machine Design I
  • Mechatronics and Measurement Systems/Lab

Senior Year

First Semester

  • Mechanical Engineering Design I
  • Advanced Production Development Lab I
  • Basic Engineering Economics
  • Mechanical Engr Elective #1
  • General Education Goal 3 or 4 Elective(s)
  • Mechanical Engr Elective # 2

Second Semester

  • Mechanical Systems Design II
  • Advanced Product Development Lab II
  • Mechanical Engr Elective #3
  • Mechanical Engr Elective #4
  • Upper Level (300/400) Humanities or Social Sciences Elective(s)
  • Introduction to Probability and Statistics

Scholarships & funding

Several scholarship options are available. Please check the ;university website for more information.


Total Estimated Direct Cost — 2021-2022 — Undergraduate

  • Tuition and Fees SD Residents & Child of Alumni - $12,110
  • Tuition and Fees SD Advantage & MN Reciprocity - $12,110
  • Tuition and Fees WUE - $16,010
  • Tuition and Fees Non-SD Resident - $16,530

Career paths

As a South Dakota Mines mechanical engineering graduate, you’ll have the knowledge to design and develop robots, medical devices, automobile engines, and electric power plants, as well as the machines needed to produce these products. You’ll be needed in a variety of fields, from automotive and aerospace to petroleum and pharmaceutical. Some careers might include:

  • Robotic engineers
  • Auto research engineers
  • Project manager
  • Support for military
  • Product engineer
  • Medical technology engineer
  • Energy conversion, turbines
  • Computers and electronics engineer
  • Power systems engineer

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About this institute

South Dakota School of Mines & Technology

South Dakota School of Mines & Technology was founded in 1885 to provide instruction in the region’s primary industry, which was mining. And now it includes so much more. Over the years, South Dakota Mines evolved into a leading science...

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Why study at South Dakota School of Mines & Technology

Life at South Dakota Mines is more than books, homework, and tests. It’s robot races on the Quad, blacksmithing on Friday afternoons, late-night hangouts with friends in the dorm, and cheering for your favorite Hardrocker sports team. It’s finding “your” people – friends who geek out at the same stuff you do, whether that’s esports, robotics, fossils, or chemistry experiments. You’ll work alongside “your” people in classrooms and on student teams and organizations. At South Dakota Mines, it’s more about collaboration than competition, and you’ll never be alone in your passions and interests.

Contact info

South Dakota School of Mines & Technology

501 E Saint Joseph Street
57701 Rapid City South Dakota
United States of America

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