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Mechanical Engineering Design: Integrating Context with Engineering

Stanford mechanical engineering seniors help design housing for refugees. Learn about ME170AB Mechanical Engineering Design: Integrating Context with Engineering, a two-quarter course that is the culmination of a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering.

The goal of the undergraduate program in Mechanical Engineering is to provide students with a balance of intellectual and practical experiences that enable them to address a variety of societal needs. The discipline is very broad, encompassing elements of these areas:

  • energy science and technology
  • propulsion
  • sensing and control
  • nano- and micro-mechanics
  • design mechatronics
  • computational simulation
  • solid and fluid dynamics
  • micro-electromechanical systems (MEMS)
  • biomechanical engineering


Prospective undergraduates interested in studying Mechanical Engineering at Stanford apply to the university through the Stanford Undergraduate Admissions Office, not directly to the Mechanical Engineering Department.


Students are admitted as “undeclared majors.” This allows Stanford students to explore a wide range of possible major fields before committing to a specific one. Once convinced that Mechanical Engineering is the appropriate field, students may “declare” the major during the sophomore or junior year. The major is open to all Stanford undergraduate students in good academic standing. Questions about application requirements, transferring from another undergraduate school, and other prospective student inquiries should be directed to the Stanford Undergraduate Admissions Office.

Students declaring ME as their major must have an advisor assigned to them. Students may choose their own advisor if they have already built a relationship with an ME faculty member.

Please note: Since undergraduate students have two full years to explore majors before declaring, the Mechanical Engineering Department is unable to set up faculty meetings or give tours to prospective undergraduate students and their families. The Stanford Visitor Center offers daily tours (no reservation required), which include the Science and Engineering Quad. Other resources include the School of Engineering website, the Undergraduate Handbook and the Financial Aid Office.

Research experience for undergraduates

Engaging in independent research under the direction of a faculty member can be one of the most exciting and rewarding experiences of your undergraduate career. Explore our research opportunities for undergraduates.