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Undergraduate Program

BSME: Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering

Approved Engineering Electives

The School of Engineering maintains lists of approved electives in the Humanities/Arts, Social Science, Mathematics, and Natural Sciences. These lists are updated periodically as the Tufts course catalog evolves. Current versions of the allowed elective lists are maintained on the student information system SIS. To find these lists:

  1. Log into SIS
  2. Select the option to Find … A Course in the Catalog
  3. Set Course Career to AS&E Undergrad
  4. Set Course Attribute to Engineering Requirements
  5. Set Attribute Value to one of the following options:
    • SoE-Engineering
    • SoE-HASS-Arts
    • SoE-HASS-Humanities
    • SoE-HASS-Social Sciences
    • SoE-Mathematics
    • SoE-Natural Sciences

Humanities/Arts and Social Science Electives
Courses selected must include a minimum of one credit in each area of Humanities (H) and Social Sciences (SS). In addition, at least two HASS course credits must be taken in the same department
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Foundation Electives
Foundation electives are intended to provide Mechanical Engineers with breadth in the technical disciplines.  Two types of foundation electives are required for the BSME degree.

  • Foundation (a,b): Either a mathematics or a natural science course
  • Foundation (c): An elective course selected from the following list
    • Any course from the approved engineering list
      • COMP 11 (Introduction to Computer Science)
      • ENP 61 (Introduction to Human Factors and Ergonomics)
      • ES 4 (Introduction to Digital Logic)
      • ES 56 (Probability and Statistics)
      • ES 18 (Computer Aided Design w/ Lab)
    • Natural Science Elective (a) with a pre-req of BIO 13, CHEM 1, EOS 1, or PHY 11
    • Any Engineering Management (EM) course

Recommended Foundation Electives: COMP 11, ENP 61, ES 4, ES 18, ES 56.

Design Sequence
A central feature of professional engineering education is the ability to synthesize analytical, technical, and non-technical concepts for the solution of practical design problems. Engineering design education and experiences are included in the BSME curriculum in three ways. First, core courses include applications, open-ended problem solving and small group projects. Second, all BSME candidates are required to take ME1-Mechanical Engineering Design and Fabrication, and ME42-Machine Design which covers design methodology as applied to mechanical engineering systems as well as manual and computer-aided design and manufacturing concepts. The course contains project work in which students must define problems, develop alternative solutions, and consider design issues such as safety, manufacturability, and economics as the projects are developed. Third, all seniors are required to participate in a capstone design experience in ME 43-Senior Design Project.

ME43 is a project course focused on the design of a component, device, or system that will solve a problem. The design project is executed in teams and is client-based, with sponsorship from industry, ME Department faculty, or faculty researchers from other Tufts Schools and campuses. The goal of ME43 is to apply engineering science principles and to utilize design theory and practice including open-ended projects, manufacturing and fabrication, specification and selection, testing, and evaluation and imposition of constraints. The primary focus of these experiences is the execution of a project. Group projects include clearly identifiable individual contributions.

Students will take ME43 in the Fall term of their senior year. This offering is structured around client-based projects that tend to have a focused goal related to active product lines or related to active research that a faculty member is conducting. Some of these projects may fall into the general area of biomedical engineering and may fulfill the project requirement of the Biomedical Engineering Minor or Second Major.

The following deliverables are expected of all ME 43 projects: proposal (Gantt chart, budget, etc.), progress report, design review (presentation), final report, final presentation, and a possible prototype (depends on the type and scope of the project). All final reports and occasionally project prototypes are archived by the Department as a permanent record of student's participation.

Concentration Electives
In general, any Mechanical Engineering (ME) course beyond the required BSME coursework can be selected as a concentration elective. The department has structured the electives to offer a great deal of flexibility while maintaining the integrity of the program. Students are encouraged to explore a mix of options that best suit their unique abilities and interests.

Students should consult with their academic advisors to select a concentration elective program that fulfills all Degree Sheet requirements. These requirements are summarized briefly below.

All but two concentration electives must be lecture-based courses offered by the ME department. Lecture-based courses include any ME course except ME94, 96, 99, 193, or 194.

The remaining two concentration-elective credits may include a combination of lecture-based ME courses, research credits, and/or out-of-department technical courses, as specified by the degree sheet. For example, independent research (ME94) could count as one concentration elective. A student interested in pursuing additional research for credit must register for a thesis (ME96). Only one out-of-department course can be used to count as an ME concentration elective. In extraordinary cases, an additional out-of-department course can be counted as an ME concentration elective, with prior advisor and department approval. This permission must be obtained in advance of taking a course, and the student is required to outline a rationale for the concentration elective choices as a whole. No more than one mathematics or natural science course may be counted as a concentration elective.

Research and Independent Projects
Undergraduate research and projects offer unique educational opportunities and all undergraduates are encouraged to participate. All BSME students are required to have at least one full-semester project experience through the ME43 Senior Design Project.

  • ME 94 - Undergraduate Research
    Students who wish to engage in additional undergraduate research or independent projects enroll in ME94-Undergraduate Research. With the supervision of a faculty member and often in collaboration with others, students focus on a topic of scientific or practical interest. Undergraduate projects often require students to perform laboratory experimentation and/or numerical simulations, giving them an opportunity to gain practical experience and be exposed to graduate level engineering education. The Department will not grant course credit for ME94 unless the following requirements are fulfilled:
    1. An undergraduate with junior or senior standing can take one semester of Undergraduate Research (ME94) for credit as an ME Concentration Elective.
    2. All ME 94 research projects must have a ME faculty advisor who is responsible for project assessment and grading. The student and advisor must meet at least every two weeks, but are encouraged to meet weekly.
    3. All students enrolled in ME 94 need to submit a one-page proposal within two weeks of the start of the semester (same as the Last Day for AS&E students to ADD courses). If not, the students will be dropped from the course (form available here.) The proposal must be signed by the advisor and Department Chair. A copy of the form will be placed in the student's file.
    4. The ME 94 grading process will include an end-of-term presentation – poster or oral presentation – that will be evaluated by all faculty who participate. These evaluations should be in the form of a single "presentation" score. It is suggested that presentations account for 20% of the overall grade. 
  • ME 96 - Thesis
    Students who want to pursue an independent project for more than a single semester are expected to do so by writing an undergraduate thesis (ME96) in the second semester of their independent project.
    1. Given the scope of work and time commitment necessary for thesis preparation, a senior may take one semester of ME96-Thesis as a concentration elective after the successful completion of a semester-length research and/or design effort. Prior research/design effort may be: ME94-Undergraduate Research, ME43-Senior Design Project, or concentrated summer research work with a faculty mentor in the ME Department.
    2. A student is required to have a thesis committee as well as a faculty advisor for a Senior Thesis. The student and advisor must meet at least every two weeks, but are encouraged to meet weekly.
    3. All students enrolled in ME96 must submit a one-page proposal within two weeks of the start of the semester (same as the Last Day for AS&E students to ADD courses). The proposal form is available here. The proposal must be signed by the advisor and Department Chair. A copy of the form will be placed in the student's file.
    4. Each student registered for ME96 will present his/her thesis during the reading period. The presentation will last 30 minutes (20 minute presentation and 10 minute Q&A).
    5. The grade for the thesis will be awarded by the faculty advisor in consultation with the thesis committee and other faculty members attending the presentation.
    6. The Department may award thesis honors (honors, high honors, highest honors) in which case an Honors Thesis Form must also be completed, signed, and returned to the program administrator in Dowling Hall. A copy of these forms will be placed in the student's file.

      The guidelines for awarding of honors are as follows:
      • No Honors - Default
      • Honors - Excellent piece of work as judged by the thesis committee, which consists of the advisor and one additional committee member.
      • High Honors - Based on advisor's input, the work is worthy of publication (e.g. the advisor and student intend to submit the work for publication at a later date).
      • Highest Honors - The work has been accepted or submitted for publication in a refereed conference proceedings or journal.

Free Electives
Free Electives are an integral and complementary part of the curriculum and students are urged to consult with their academic advisors in choosing these electives. For example, students may wish to take additional humanities and social science courses preparing them for professional activities and graduate studies in areas such as law, economics, organization and social aspects of engineering, management, and technology and policy. Students in the combined five-year Liberal Arts-Engineering Program may use the free electives to satisfy the requirements in the second major.

  • ME 99 - Internship in Mechanical Engineering
    Effective 07/01/2012 A Mechanical Engineering Internship (ME99) can be taken for course credit, and the student may also receive payment from the internship employer. However, ME99 may only count as a free elective towards the BSME degree.

    The following requirements must also be fulfilled:

    1. The student has junior or senior standing and has declared a major in Mechanical Engineering.
    2. The student must submit a written internship proposal, which must be approved by the academic advisor, the faculty mentor, and Department Chair prior to the semester in which the internship will be performed. Form is available here.
    3. The faculty mentor must have technical control of any work that receives credit in the Department.
    4. A written report must be submitted, to be evaluated by the faculty mentor and the outside institutional supervisor. Work of a proprietary nature cannot be used as a basis for the granting of course credit.

Engineering management courses count toward the BSME degree as follows:

  • EM 51: Foundation elective
  • EM 52: Foundation or HASS elective
  • EM 54: Foundation or HASS elective
  • EM 153: Foundation or HASS elective
  • EM 155: Foundation or HASS elective