When choosing a discipline, one must consider personal interest and satisfaction, career objectives, and employment opportunities. The Department of Engineering Science and Mechanics (ESM) offers a unique route to the achievement of these goals. The small class size, close interaction with faculty, hands-on experience with laboratory equipment, and in-depth study in the fundamental principles guiding the design of
provide an ideal environment for your career preparation.
Graduates with a bachelor's degree in ESM are prepared to assume and successfully carry out any engineering assignment. Additionally, this strong background in the fundamentals is excellent preparation for graduate work. See the section Employment Opportunities for ESM Grads for more details.
ESM's flexible curriculum can also be used to give tailored, focused instruction in mechanics of materials, vibrations and controls, kinematics and dynamics, thermal sciences, the dynamics of fluids and gases, biomedical engineering, computer applications, and business. A total of 12 credit hours of technical electives, 6 hours of free electives, and 6 hours of creative design give you the freedom to select a program ideally suited to your particular career goals and interests.
In ESM courses, the emphasis is on fundamental principles and basic engineering concepts. Instead of very specialized courses dealing with specific engineering applications, students take more advanced courses on all fundamental aspects of engineering, including mechanical behavior of materials, dynamics, viscous flows, vibrations and controls, and reliability methods.
With 20 to 30 students per class, you get personal attention and can interact easily with the instructor.
During senior year, students spend a considerable amount of time working on an engineering design project of their choice to earn credit towards their degree. These projects are supervised on a one-on-one basis with faculty members, and students often work side-by-side with graduate students.
In ESM lab courses, students work in small groups with state-of-the-art equipment. Labs are easily accessible to students for individual work at hours other than regular class time. For further research experience, the ESM Department offers a laboratory internship program for undergraduate students.
The department participates in the Cooperative Education Program. The program gives qualified students valuable work experience with private industrial employers or with federal and state governmental agencies. Students who elect the co-op program alternate school and work semesters during their sophomore and junior academics years.
Students learn workplace-modeled engineering writing and communication skills throughout the ESM curriculum. These skills make graduates more attractive to prospective employers and graduate programs.
Upon completion of 90 credit hours and with at least one more semester to complete all requirements for the bachelor's degree, undergraduate students having an overall grade point average of at least 3.3 can apply for the ESM Undergraduate/Graduate Degrees (BS/MS, BS/ME or BS/PhD) Program. This program allows undergraduate students at Virginia Tech to use up to four three-hour courses (12 credit hours) taken during the senior year to count towards both the BS and graduate (MS, ME or PhD) degrees.
Contact the Undergraduate Program Coordinator, Amanda Stanley . You can also call 231-6651 for an appointment.
Plan to attend a one hour fact-finding meeting with ESM undergraduate students. These meetings are organized and run by the Society for Engineering Science (SES). During these meetings the visitors view video tapes on the educational activities of the Department and discuss different issues on educational and employment opportunities with ESM undergraduate students.