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Major Maps

Strategic Enrollment Management and Student Success

Visit majormaps.vcu.edu for the online version with links.
Sponsored by the Office of the Provost
Major map compass icon [View Image]
2021-2022

Mechanical Engineering

College of Engineering

Concentration(s):
Nuclear Engineering
Program description

Mechanical engineering is one of the oldest and broadest engineering disciplines. Mechanical engineers design and analyze machines of all types including automobiles, airplanes, rockets, submarines, power generation systems, biomedical instrumentation, robots, manufacturing systems, household appliances and many, many more. In addition to well-known areas such as nuclear energy, nuclear propulsion and nuclear medicine, nuclear engineers are involved in many other applications of nuclear science and technology in fields as diverse as agriculture, industry, homeland security, forensics, environmental protection and even art.


Current areas of research within the department include but are not limited to energy conversion systems, smart materials, corrosion, medical devices, aerosol science, sensors, radiation detection and measurement, nuclear reactor design, robotics, fluid mechanics, nanotechnology, and biomechanics.

Career opportunities

Mechanical engineers research, design, develop, manufacture, and test tools, engines, machines, and other mechanical devices. Mechanical engineering is one of the broadest engineering disciplines. Engineers in this discipline work on power-producing machines such as electric generators, internal combustion engines, and steam and gas turbines. They also work on power-using machines such as refrigeration and air-conditioning equipment, machine tools, material-handling systems, elevators and escalators, industrial production equipment, and robots used in manufacturing. Some mechanical engineers design tools that other engineers need for their work.The key characteristics of the profession are its breadth, flexibility, and individuality. The career paths of mechanical engineers are largely determined by individual choices, a decided advantage in a changing world.

Change of major requirements

VCU GPA of 3.0 or greater, with a minimum of 12 VCU credit hours earned. Completion of MATH 200, MATH 201, PHYS 207, and CHEM 101 with a GPA of 3.0 or greater, inclusive of all course attempts (historical repeat not considered in calculation of this GPA).


Bachelor-level job titles
  • Automation Engineer
  • Automotive Engineer
  • Design Engineer
  • Maintenance Engineer
  • Manufacturing Engineer
  • Mechanical Engineer
  • Nuclear Engineer
  • Product Development Engineer
  • Robotics Engineer
  • Sales Engineer
Graduate and professional level job titles
  • College Professor
  • Lead Research Scientist
  • Project Lead Engineer
  • Research & Development Engineer
  • Research Engineer
  • Simulation & Modeling Engineer
Highest level of math required
  • MATH 201 or higher
Science required
  • 5+ additional science courses
Foreign language requirements
  • No
Additional tuition/fees
  • Yes
GPA requirements (to progress/graduate in the major)
  • 2.0+ cumulative GPA, 2.0+ major GPA
Department name:
Department of Mechanical and Nuclear Engineering
Building/room location:
401 West Main Street, Room E3221
Campus (where 75% of courses are taken):
Monroe park
Phone:
(804) 828-9117
Email:
mechengr@vcu.edu

Major map compass icon [View Image]
Major map

Explore
MAXIMIZE COURSE AND DEGREE PLANNING
GET CONNECTED WITH YOUR COMMUNITY
BUILD CULTURAL COMPETENCE
GET REAL EXPERIENCE
PREPARING FOR LIFE AFTER COLLEGE

Experience
MAXIMIZE COURSE AND DEGREE PLANNING
  • Schedule an appointment with your advisor to explore minors, certificates, and plan your required REAL experience.
  • Get familiar with the research process with the VCU Libraries Research Basics Guide.
  • Talk to professors about your research interests, electives, and strategies for success in your classes.
  • Explore innovation and business/non-profit creation classes with the da Vinci Center.
  • Continue progression in engineering and mathematics coursework.
  • Learn about double-majors or minors that pair easily with your major.
  • Nuclear Engineers take EGMN 351 & 352.
GET CONNECTED WITH YOUR COMMUNITY
BUILD CULTURAL COMPETENCE
  • Make friends with diverse perspectives and join a cultural or identity-related student organization.
  • Explore social issues, develop cultural competency skills, and engage with faculty through iExcel pop-up courses.
  • Investigate globally-focused courses in your major by pursuing language coursework or setting language proficiency goals with advisors and faculty.
  • Apply for the Critical Languages Scholarship.
  • Identify ways in which you are culturally uninformed. Begin to learn the historical and current events that have shaped cultures to which you have been underexposed.
GET REAL EXPERIENCE
  • Complete a gap analysis with your career advisor to identify key skills required for your professional field.
  • Seek out practical experience through independent skill-building, internships, shadowing, or part-time work.
  • Explore global career options with a career advisor to set goals for getting your dream job.
  • Organize examples of your academic and professional experiences, accomplishments, and reflections in an ePortfolio.
  • Attend career and internship fairs and other professional development events.
  • Pursue a digital badge to highlight the knowledge, skills, and experiences employers and graduate schools value.
  • Take ENGR 395 Professional Development and gain key skills for finding internships, co-op’s, or research opportunities.
PREPARING FOR LIFE AFTER COLLEGE
  • Connect with alumni on VCULink for career advice, industry contacts, and meaningful professional relationships.
  • Conduct informational interviews or shadow someone in a field of professional interest.
  • Ask a faculty or staff member to be your academic and professional mentor and to provide future letters of recommendation.
  • Meet with a coach at The Money Spot to set financial goals, understand student loans, and create spending plans.
  • Attend Engineering Internship/Career Fairs.
  • Consider attending a national career fair (SWE, SHPE, NSBE) to gain exposure to more employers.

Experience
MAXIMIZE COURSE AND DEGREE PLANNING
  • See your academic and career advisors to discuss graduation progress and career planning.
  • Enhance your business, software, technology, and creative skills using LinkedIn Learning.
  • Discuss electives for your concentration with your advisor and professors.
  • Attend or present a poster at a scientific meeting or conference.
GET CONNECTED WITH YOUR COMMUNITY
BUILD CULTURAL COMPETENCE
  • Build language proficiency and cultural competence by carrying out your plans for study abroad, internships, and service-learning.
  • Update your engineering resume to include how you have developed your communication and interpersonal skills for future work on multidisciplinary and multicultural teams.
  • Get required REAL experience and effect community change by using iExcel’s Active Citizen’s Toolkit to vote and volunteer.
  • Explore new cultures at one of Richmond’s wide array of festivals.
  • Prepare for future work on multidisciplinary and multicultural teams by showcasing your interpersonal skills on your resume.
  • Participate in culturally diverse events both at VCU and beyond. Art, music, and food festivals and exhibitions are plentiful.
  • Practice professional communication and interpersonal skills that embrace cultural differences.
GET REAL EXPERIENCE
  • Take advantage of mock interview opportunities through InterviewStream or meeting with a career advisor.
  • Update your ePortfolio.
  • Apply for the Graduate School Mentorship Program to learn more about graduate school and the graduate student experience.
  • Work on developing your professional online presence (LinkedIn, Github).
  • Attend the Senior Capstone Expo in April.
PREPARING FOR LIFE AFTER COLLEGE
  • Make a plan with your academic, career, and faculty advisors for applying to graduate school or land a micro-internship.
  • Talk to advisors, faculty, and Engineering Career Services about graduate school versus a job.
  • Study for and complete any standardized exams required for graduate school the summer before senior year. 
  • Prepare for job offer negotiation by researching salaries, benefits, and other opportunities for flexibility.
  • Attend Engineering Internship & Career Fair.

Excel
MAXIMIZE COURSE AND DEGREE PLANNING
  • Schedule an appointment with your academic advisor the semester before you graduate to ensure that all graduation requirements will be met.
  • Choose REAL electives to diversify your skillset and round out your degree.
  • Choose courses teaching content and skills most relevant to your preferred post-graduation opportunities.
  • Declare any possible outstanding minors for which you may already have credit (Math and Physics).
GET CONNECTED WITH YOUR COMMUNITY
BUILD CULTURAL COMPETENCE
  • Carry out globally-oriented research projects with multilingual faculty and international partners.
  • Read scholarly articles about diversity in your field.
  • Master your answers to interview questions about your experience working with diverse populations.
  • Plan for how you will grow your cultural agility after graduation.
  • Continue to explore cultures beyond your own through scholarly and recreational avenues.
  • Visit the Museum District’s many offerings, such as the VMFA and the Virginia Museum of History and Culture.
GET REAL EXPERIENCE
PREPARING FOR LIFE AFTER COLLEGE
  • Prepare for graduation by making a plan to complete licensing exams, applications, and self-marketing activities.
  • Single out prospective employers and create a job or graduate school search strategy at least 8 months before graduation.
  • Have a personal statement or cover letter reviewed by Career Services. 
  • Connect with the Office of VCU Alumni Relations at Grad Fair, Grad Bash, and the VCULink Industry Network or alumni chapter.
  • Attend Engineering Internship/Career Fairs.
Visit majormaps.vcu.edu for the online version with links.
Sponsored by the Office of the Provost
Major map compass icon [View Image]
2021-2022

Mechanical Engineering

College of Engineering

Concentration(s):
Nuclear Engineering
MAXIMIZE COURSE AND DEGREE PLANNINGGET CONNECTED WITH YOUR COMMUNITYBUILD CULTURAL COMPETENCEGET REAL EXPERIENCEPREPARING FOR LIFE AFTER COLLEGE
ExploreYear 1
ExperienceYear 2
  • Schedule an appointment with your advisor to explore minors, certificates, and plan your required REAL experience.
  • Get familiar with the research process with the VCU Libraries Research Basics Guide.
  • Talk to professors about your research interests, electives, and strategies for success in your classes.
  • Explore innovation and business/non-profit creation classes with the da Vinci Center.
  • Continue progression in engineering and mathematics coursework.
  • Learn about double-majors or minors that pair easily with your major.
  • Nuclear Engineers take EGMN 351 & 352.
  • Make friends with diverse perspectives and join a cultural or identity-related student organization.
  • Explore social issues, develop cultural competency skills, and engage with faculty through iExcel pop-up courses.
  • Investigate globally-focused courses in your major by pursuing language coursework or setting language proficiency goals with advisors and faculty.
  • Apply for the Critical Languages Scholarship.
  • Identify ways in which you are culturally uninformed. Begin to learn the historical and current events that have shaped cultures to which you have been underexposed.
  • Complete a gap analysis with your career advisor to identify key skills required for your professional field.
  • Seek out practical experience through independent skill-building, internships, shadowing, or part-time work.
  • Explore global career options with a career advisor to set goals for getting your dream job.
  • Organize examples of your academic and professional experiences, accomplishments, and reflections in an ePortfolio.
  • Attend career and internship fairs and other professional development events.
  • Pursue a digital badge to highlight the knowledge, skills, and experiences employers and graduate schools value.
  • Take ENGR 395 Professional Development and gain key skills for finding internships, co-op’s, or research opportunities.
  • Connect with alumni on VCULink for career advice, industry contacts, and meaningful professional relationships.
  • Conduct informational interviews or shadow someone in a field of professional interest.
  • Ask a faculty or staff member to be your academic and professional mentor and to provide future letters of recommendation.
  • Meet with a coach at The Money Spot to set financial goals, understand student loans, and create spending plans.
  • Attend Engineering Internship/Career Fairs.
  • Consider attending a national career fair (SWE, SHPE, NSBE) to gain exposure to more employers.
Year 3
  • See your academic and career advisors to discuss graduation progress and career planning.
  • Enhance your business, software, technology, and creative skills using LinkedIn Learning.
  • Discuss electives for your concentration with your advisor and professors.
  • Attend or present a poster at a scientific meeting or conference.
  • Build language proficiency and cultural competence by carrying out your plans for study abroad, internships, and service-learning.
  • Update your engineering resume to include how you have developed your communication and interpersonal skills for future work on multidisciplinary and multicultural teams.
  • Get required REAL experience and effect community change by using iExcel’s Active Citizen’s Toolkit to vote and volunteer.
  • Explore new cultures at one of Richmond’s wide array of festivals.
  • Prepare for future work on multidisciplinary and multicultural teams by showcasing your interpersonal skills on your resume.
  • Participate in culturally diverse events both at VCU and beyond. Art, music, and food festivals and exhibitions are plentiful.
  • Practice professional communication and interpersonal skills that embrace cultural differences.
  • Take advantage of mock interview opportunities through InterviewStream or meeting with a career advisor.
  • Update your ePortfolio.
  • Apply for the Graduate School Mentorship Program to learn more about graduate school and the graduate student experience.
  • Work on developing your professional online presence (LinkedIn, Github).
  • Attend the Senior Capstone Expo in April.
  • Make a plan with your academic, career, and faculty advisors for applying to graduate school or land a micro-internship.
  • Talk to advisors, faculty, and Engineering Career Services about graduate school versus a job.
  • Study for and complete any standardized exams required for graduate school the summer before senior year. 
  • Prepare for job offer negotiation by researching salaries, benefits, and other opportunities for flexibility.
  • Attend Engineering Internship & Career Fair.
ExcelYear 4
  • Schedule an appointment with your academic advisor the semester before you graduate to ensure that all graduation requirements will be met.
  • Choose REAL electives to diversify your skillset and round out your degree.
  • Choose courses teaching content and skills most relevant to your preferred post-graduation opportunities.
  • Declare any possible outstanding minors for which you may already have credit (Math and Physics).
  • Carry out globally-oriented research projects with multilingual faculty and international partners.
  • Read scholarly articles about diversity in your field.
  • Master your answers to interview questions about your experience working with diverse populations.
  • Plan for how you will grow your cultural agility after graduation.
  • Continue to explore cultures beyond your own through scholarly and recreational avenues.
  • Visit the Museum District’s many offerings, such as the VMFA and the Virginia Museum of History and Culture.
  • Prepare for graduation by making a plan to complete licensing exams, applications, and self-marketing activities.
  • Single out prospective employers and create a job or graduate school search strategy at least 8 months before graduation.
  • Have a personal statement or cover letter reviewed by Career Services. 
  • Connect with the Office of VCU Alumni Relations at Grad Fair, Grad Bash, and the VCULink Industry Network or alumni chapter.
  • Attend Engineering Internship/Career Fairs.
View graphic versionView graphic versionView graphic version