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Mechanical Engineering – University of Colorado Partnership

Bachelor of Science from University of Colorado Boulder

Every day, mechanical engineers apply science, math and technology to solve complex issues. Their versatile skillset allows them to work in many in-demand industries, including the biomedical, aerospace, automotive and energy sectors. Mechanical engineers are projected to have the second-highest new job growth of all engineering fields from 2016 to 2026.

Program Overview

Become a University of Colorado Boulder Engineer—at Western.

Most businesses depend on mechanical engineers to innovate, test and build systems and devices that are essential to their existence. In our program, you’ll have an unparalleled opportunity to take advantage of our new partnership with the prestigious University of Colorado Boulder. You’ll complete your initial two years as a Western student, then transfer to University of Colorado Boulder to finish your final two years in the program—all while attending classes at Western’s campus in Gunnison. Graduates of the partnership program receive their Bachelor of Science in Engineering from the University of Colorado Boulder’s College of Engineering & Applied Science.

The partnership program is housed in the new, state-of-the-art Paul M. Rady School of Computer Science & Engineering at the heart of Western’s campus. The new labs and classrooms are designed to provide you with a hands-on learning experience, supported by faculty who are experts in their field. Through intensive coursework, labs and competitive internship opportunities, you’ll be well-prepared for exceptional career opportunities in many diverse fields.

To learn more about the application process and CU Boulder’s transition requirements, please visit our Partnership Admissions Process page.

The Western-CU Partnership program in Mechanical Engineering is accredited by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET). To learn more about Western’s accreditation, visit this page.

The best of both worlds

Enjoy the small class sizes, know-your-name attention from faculty and the mountain-town grandeur of Gunnison—all while earning a prestigious degree from the University of Colorado Boulder’s renowned College of Engineering & Applied Science.

Program Requirements

At Western, course rotations are crafted to encompass a variety of subject fields for a comprehensive education and versatile degree. For required courses and degree plans, visit the official University Catalog. Below is a general overview of courses at Western Colorado University related to this area of study.

The Mechanical Engineering program requires 128 cumulative credits applied to the degree, which includes courses from Western Colorado University (Western) and the University of Colorado (CU) Boulder. 

This program provides a seamless transfer of coursework from the Gunnison residential campus for a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering awarded by CU Boulder.   A student must meet the requirements for the CU Boulder College of Engineering & Applied Science (CEAS) and may apply for admission when they have established a successful collegiate record as a Western student.  This is demonstrated through academic requirements outlined at https://western.edu/program/mechanical-engineering-university-colorado-partnership/transition-to-cu-boulder/  

Students are expected to follow the Academic Policies of the respective University/Universities at which they are registered.  

Planned Western coursework is outlined below in red font and course numbers are all three digits, while CU Boulder coursework is outlined below in black font and course numbers are all four digits.  Students must complete 45 credits of CU Boulder coursework. 

Degree Requirements - Courses

College Writing Requirement (total of 3 credit hours)
ENG 302Technical Writing3
Computer Science (total of 3 credit hours)
CS 191Computer Science II3
Mathematics & Basic Sciences (total of 30 credit hours)
MATH 151Calculus I (GT-MA1)4
MATH 251Calculus II4
MATH 252Calculus III4
MATH 358Introduction to Differential Equations and Linear Algebra4
CHEM 121General Chemistry for Engineers3
PHYS 200General Physics I (with laboratory) (GT-SC1)4
PHYS 201General Physics II (with laboratory) (GT-SC1)4
PHYS 320Modern Physics3
General Engineering (total of 15 credit hours)
ENGR 131Introduction to Engineering Design3
ENGR 224Materials Science3
PHYS 250Statics3
ENGR 251Dynamics3
or PHYS 251 Dynamics
ENGR 363Mechanics of Solids3
Mechanical Engineering (total of 43 credit hours)
ENGR 161
Computer-Aided Design
ENGR 162
ENGR 265
Engineering as a Profession
ENGR 335
Fluid Mechanics
or PHYS 335
Fluid Mechanics
MCEN 3012: Thermodynamics3
MCEN 3017: Circuits and Electronics for Mechanical Engineers3
MCEN 3022: Heat Transfer3
MCEN 3025: Component Design3
MCEN 3030: Computational Methods3
MCEN 3032: Thermodynamics 23
MCEN 3047: Data Analysis and Experimental Methods4
MCEN 4026: Manufacturing Processes and Systems3
MCEN 4043: System Dynamics3
MCEN 4045: Mechanical Engineering Design Project 13
MCEN 4085: Mechanical Engineering Design Project 23
MCEN 4086: Writing for Design1
Mechanical Technical Electives (total of 6 credit hours)
MCEN coursework 3000-level or higher not already in degree.
General Technical Electives (total of 6 credit hours)
Engineering, science, math, computer science, or engineering management courses at 3000-level or higher not already in degree (subject to departmental approval).
Humanities & Social Sciences
Complete 15 credits of approved humanities and social science coursework, 6 credits of which must be upper-division.
Free Electives
Complete enough electives to bring the total credit hours toward the degree to 128. Normally this is 12 credit hours but could vary (for example due to transfer credits). Please consult with your academic advisor or Partnership Program Director with questions.

The following plan lists all the specific course requirements for the Bachelor of Science Degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Colorado Boulder in partnership with Western Colorado University.  The order in which these courses are taken may vary with course availability. Students are responsible for completing all course prerequisites. Please note that this is a suggested degree program; your program may vary. 

Planned Western coursework is outlined below in red font and course numbers are all three digits, while CU Boulder coursework is outlined below in black font and course numbers are all four digits.  Students must complete 45 credits at CU Boulder. 

Plan of Study Grid
Year One
CS 190 Computer Science I 3
CHEM 121 General Chemistry for Engineers 3
ENG 102 Academic Writing (GT-CO1) 3
HWTR 100 First Year Seminar 1
MATH 151 Calculus I (GT-MA1) 4
PHYS 200 General Physics I (with laboratory) (GT-SC1) 4
CS 191 Computer Science II 3
ENGR 131 Introduction to Engineering Design 3
H&SS lower-division 3
MATH 251 Calculus II 4
PHYS 201 General Physics II (with laboratory) (GT-SC1) 4
Year Two
MATH 252 Calculus III 4
ENGR 161 Computer-Aided Design 3
ENGR 162 Fabrication 1
ENGR 224 Materials Science 3
PHYS 250 Statics 3
PHYS 320 Modern Physics 3
ENG 302 Technical Writing 3
ENGR 251
or PHYS 251
or Dynamics
ENGR 265 Engineering as a Profession 1
ENGR 335
or PHYS 335
Fluid Mechanics
or Fluid Mechanics
ENGR 363 Mechanics of Solids 3
MATH 358 Introduction to Differential Equations and Linear Algebra 4
Year Three
MCEN 3012 Thermodynamics 3
MCEN 3017 Circuits & Electronics for Mechanical Engineers 3
MCEN 3025 Component Design 3
MCEN 3030 Computational Methods 3
MCEN Technical Elective 3
MCEN 3032 Thermodynamics II 3
MCEN 3047 Data Analysis & Experimental Methods 4
MCEN 4026 Manufacturing Processes & Systems 3
MCEN Technical Elective 3
H&SS lower-division 3
Year Four
MCEN 3022 Heat Transfer 3
MCEN 4043 System Dynamics 3
MCEN 4045 Mechanical Engineering Design Project I 3
MCEN 4086 Writing for Design 1
General Technical Elective 3
H&SS lower-division 3
MCEN 4085 Mechanical Engineering Design Project II 3
General Technical Elective 3
H&SS upper-division 6
 Total Credits128


Career preparation starts your first year at Western and is the primary focus of every degree.

Visit Career Services in Library 120 or online to discover your interests, define your goals, and land the career of your dreams.

The data below is automatically collected by Burning Glass Technologies, a firm that sources job market data and provides analytics. The statistics illustrate general trends in U.S. careers, but do not precisely represent every job and salary.



GPA Award amount per year (In-State) Award amount per year (Out-of-State)
3.50-3.749 $3,500 $9,000
3.75-3.999 $5,000 $10,500
4.0 $6,500 $12,000
  • Accepted to Western by January 31, 2023
  • Declared major in the Computer Science or Mechanical Engineering partnership programs by March 31, 2023
  • Eligible for MATH 151-Calculus 1 (via ACT math score of 27 or above, SAT math score of 630 or above, ALEKS test score of 76 or above, or applicable AP/IB/Concurrent Enrollment credit) by July 1, 2023

Renewal Criteria

  • Remain in the partnership program
  • Maintain a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or better
  • Earn grades of “B-” or higher in a two-course, college-level sequence in calculus (MATH 151, MATH 251, MATH 252)
  • Earn grades of “B-” or higher in one college-level physical science course (PHYS 200, PHYS 201, CHEM 111+112, CHEM 121)


The Rady Merit Scholarship can be awarded for a maximum of 6 semesters, while the student is considered a full-time Western student (enrolled in 12 credits or more) and Western is processing the student’s financial aid. The number of scholarships awarded is based on fund availability.

Alumni Association Future Alumni Scholarship

The Alumni Association Scholarship is a one-time scholarship of $1,000 and is applicable for the student’s junior or senior year at Western.

Any child or grandchild of an alumni is eligible to receive the Future Alumni Scholarship.

  • This is a one-time non-renewable scholarship of $1,000.
  • Only one Future Alumni Scholarship will be awarded per academic year.
  • GPA must be 3.2 or above (college).

Due date has been extended to April 1 for 2022. An Alumni selection committee, appointed by the Alumni Advisory Council, will review applicants and select awardee by June 1.


Alumni Legacy Scholarship

The Alumni Legacy Scholarship is a one-time non-renewable scholarship and is only applicable for the student’s first year at Western (incoming freshman or new transfer students are eligible).

Do you have a son or daughter looking at college? Have they considered attending Western? As an alumni, your son, daughter and/or grandchildren are eligible for certain benefits distributed through this scholarship, as follows:

  • This is a one-time scholarship of $1,000.
  • Nominee must be an incoming first-year student or new transfer.
  • The cost of orientation is reduced by half (a $45 value).
  • The admission application fee is waived (a $30 value).
  • GPA must be 2.5 or above (high school or college of transfer).

The applicant must fill out the application form found below. Application forms are accepted year-round. If the applicant meets the GPA guidelines, the scholarship will be awarded.


Mountaineer Alumni Recommendation Scholarship

The Mountaineer Alumni Recommendation Scholarship is a one-time non-renewable scholarship and is only applicable for the student’s first year at Western. This scholarship is not available to midyear transfers or students beginning in the spring semester.

Are you an alumni or employee of Western and know a prospective (or incoming) student who would be a great fit at Western? A recommendation from alumni and employees can support any new student and provide them a $500 scholarship their first year. (Western employees may not recommend a spouse or dependent receiving tuition benefits).

  • Any Western alumni/employee may nominate only one student per academic year to receive the $500 scholarship (distributed $250 per semester).
  • The scholarship is good for the first year only and is non-renewable.
  • The recommended student must be a full-time undergraduate student, attending Western for the first time.

The applicant must fill out the application form found here. The nominating alumni/employee must fill out the application form and submit the required documents by June 1. The recommended student must meet university admissions acceptance standards and complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

The Presidential Promise is guaranteed to students who have received a scholarship through the Denver Scholarship Foundation (DSF) and/or GearUp—and are eligible for a Pell Grant.

For students who meet these criteria, Western will cover the cost of tuition and fees through the combination of federal, state and institutional aid. For more information on the Presidential Promise, visit our scholarships page.


The Western Presidential Honors Scholarships, established by the Jack and Marilyn MacAllister Foundation shall be an elite class of scholarships awarded to Western’s highest achieving and most deserving students, celebrating the ideals of academic excellence and service to the campus and community. Recipients of the Scholarships will be members of the Western Colorado University Honors Program.

There are eight Presidential Honors Scholarships of $2500 each. Each year two new Presidential Honors Scholarships will be awarded to two incoming first-year students.

Western Undergraduate Exchange (WUE) or Central Plains (CP) tuition represents a substantial savings relative to normal, out-of-state tuition. Students eligible for the WUE or CP program will be charged 150% of Western’s total in-state tuition. For 2018-19, total in-state tuition was $8,934. WUE/CP tuition was $13,401. The WUE/CP discount is valued at $4,695.

For more information about the WUE and CP geography-based programs, visit Western’s Tuition Discount Programs Page.

Immediately upon acceptance at Western, every student is considered for a merit scholarship worth between $2,500-$4,500 per year for in-state students and $8,000-$10,000 for out-of-state students. The amount is based on the student’s GPA and ACT/SAT scores. Visit our Net Price Calculator at western.edu/cost to determine whether you qualify for a merit scholarship.

For more information about merit scholarships at Western, visit our scholarships page.

Get Involved

Make your education a life changing experience.

A college education is so much more than just taking classes. Expand your community and network, while gaining hands-on experience in your field.

  • Advising Night: Once a semester, the Academic Resource Center arranges a meeting between students and their Rady School Academic Advisor to plan classes for next semester and navigate the CU Boulder transfer process as a group.
  • Annual CU Boulder STEM Career & Internship Fair: Students can connect with recruiters to learn about internships and job opportunities in the fields of computer science, robotics, math, statistics, technology and engineering. This is also an opportunity for Gunnison-based students to network with CU Boulder students, faculty and alumni.
  • Peer Support: Mechanical Engineering freshmen who meet the prerequisites take Chemistry 121: General Chemistry for Engineers together their first semester. This brand-new course is designed specifically for engineering students.
  • Residence Hall Community-Building: Most Rady School students live in Robidoux Hall during their first year at Western, allowing them to strengthen bonds with fellow students outside of class. Robidoux Hall houses designated study spaces and a computer lab for students. Staff host educational and community-building initiatives throughout the academic year.
  • Study Group: The “Nerd Corner” is located in Leslie J. Savage Library. Students can dive deeper into STEM-related coursework in an informal, collaborative environment.

State-of-the-Art facilities

The partnership program is housed in the new, state-of-the-art Paul M. Rady School of Computer Science & Engineering at the heart of Western’s campus. The new school and partnership program were created with an astounding $80 million gift from an alumnus who is now the CEO of Antero Resources in Denver.

Additional Resources

Admissions Process

There are two ways to apply to the Western-University of Colorado Boulder Partnership Program, click below to learn more about your options.

Learn More

Cost of Attendance

The Cost of Attendance Projection for the Western-CU Boulder Computer Science and Mechanical Engineering Partnership Programs is based on Western and CU Boulder 2022-23 rates.

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Mechanical Engineering Accreditation Information

Overview Our mission is to produce creative and technically strong engineers who explore innovative solutions to complex global challenges. We do this with a commitment to our community by integrating …

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Scholarships and Discounts

There are a number of scholarships and discounts that apply to the Western-CU partnership program, depending on year of study. Scroll down for more information about the various opportunities and how …

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Transition to CU Boulder

In the Western-CU Boulder partnership program, students complete their first two years as Western Colorado University students and then spend the balance of their education as University of Colorado …

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Program Director

Jenifer Blacklock, Ph.D.

Director of the Western-CU Boulder Partnership Program

Department Chair

Jeremy Muskat, Ph.D.

Chair of the Department of Mathematics & Computer Science

Contact Information



Campus Location

1 Western Way
Gunnison, CO 81231

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