University Of Hawaii Mechanical Engineering

Last Updated on December 26, 2022

The School of Engineering at the University of Hawaii at Manoa is a world leading Mechanical Engineering program. Work with world-class researchers, get hands-on lab experience, perform research in real companies, and much more under the watchful eyes of some of the top mechanical engineers in the world.

If you would like more information about university of hawaii mechanical engineering after graduating from a bachelor’s program, please consult the list of masters programs below.

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University Of Hawaii Mechanical Engineering

Degrees Offered: BBS in mechanical engineering, MS in mechanical engineering, PhD in mechanical engineering

Mission Statement

To provide quality education, research, and service to our graduates and prepare them for successful engineering and professional careers and leadership roles with lifelong learning and ethical conduct that will lead them to be engaged responsible citizens, engineers, and professionals in their community and the world.

Program Educational Objectives

  1. Our graduates will become accomplished professionals by learning to formulate, communicate, and solve problems using engineering principles, methodologies, and modern tools.
  2. Our graduates will be professionals and leaders in industry, national laboratories, academia, and society by employing engineering fundamentals, design skills, thinking creatively, communicating effectively, collaboration, and implementing emerging and innovative technologies.
  3. Our graduates will be professionals and leaders who accept and practice their professional and ethical responsibilities, respect diversity of opinion and culture, and have a proper understanding and consideration for a healthy and aesthetic environment.

The Academic Program

Mechanical engineering (ME) is concerned with the design of all types of machines, conversion of energy from one form to another, instrumentation and control of all types of physical and chemical processes, the manufacturing and utilization of engineering materials, and control of human and machine environments. Mechanical engineers conceive, plan, design, and direct the manufacture, distribution, and operation of a wide variety of devices, machines, instruments, materials, and systems used for energy conversion, heat and mass transfer, biomedical applications, environmental control, control of human and machine environments, physical and chemical process control, materials processing, transportation, manufacture of consumer products, materials handling, and measurements. Mechanical engineers also employ Computer Aided Design (CAD), Computer Aided Manufacturing (CAM), Computer Aided Testing (CAT), Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD), computer modeling and simulations, novel materials, robotics, and mechatronics (integration of computers with electromechanical systems) in their day-to-day activities. Mechanical engineers find opportunities for employment in every branch of industry and in a variety of government agencies. Work may involve research, development, design, analysis, manufacture, testing, marketing, or management.

Undergraduate Study

Student Outcomes

All graduates of the mechanical engineering program are expected to have demonstrated an ability to:

  1. An ability to identify, formulate, and solve complex engineering problems by applying principles of engineering, science, and mathematics.
  2. An ability to apply engineering design to produce solutions that meet specified needs with consideration of public health, safety, and welfare, as well as global, cultural, social, environmental, and economic factors.
  3. An ability to communicate effectively with a range of audiences.
  4. An ability to recognize ethical and professional responsibilities in engineering situations and make informed judgments, which must consider the impact of engineering solutions in global, economic, environmental, and societal contexts.
  5. An ability to function effectively on a team whose members together provide leadership, create a collaborative and inclusive environment, establish goals, plan tasks, and meet objectives.
  6. An ability to develop and conduct appropriate experimentation, analyze and interpret data, and use engineering judgment to draw conclusions.
  7. An ability to acquire and apply new knowledge as needed, using appropriate learning strategies.

Professional Components

  • A culminating design experience that integrates knowledge and skills acquired throughout the curriculum
  • The application of engineering standards and realistic constraints, including consideration of economics, environmental sustainability, manufacturability, ethics, health, safety, society, and politics

Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering

The BS degree requires completion of at least 120 credit hours of course work. The curriculum consists of a group of required courses chosen to provide students with the basic tools for the professional practice of mechanical engineering and to assist students in developing a sense of responsibility as professionals. The objectives of the lower division curriculum are to build a foundation in the basic sciences and mathematics, provide an introduction to engineering design and professional ethics, develop communications and computer programming skills, and acquire an appreciation for the humanities and social sciences. The objectives of the upper division program are to provide a sound foundation in the engineering sciences; build on that foundation for applications in the areas of energy conversion, mechanical systems and control, experimentation, and manufacturing; and encourage creativity culminating in a capstone design experience. To provide sufficient flexibility, technical elective courses enable students to acquire additional competence in areas compatible with their career objectives.

All electives are subject to the approval of an advisor.

College Requirements

Students must complete the college required courses for engineering (see “Undergraduate Programs” within the College of Engineering)

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Graduate Study


  • Demonstrate mastery of the methodology and techniques specific to the field of study.
  • Communicate both orally and in writing at a high level of proficiency in the field of study.
  • Conduct research or produce some other form of creative work.
  • Perform in their field of study at a professional level.

The Department of Mechanical Engineering offers graduate programs leading to MS and PhD degrees in Mechanical Engineering with areas of concentration in Thermal and Fluid Sciences (heat and mass transfer, thermodynamics, biotechnology, alternative energy conversions, sustainability, boiling and two-phase flow, combustion, multidisciplinary design and analysis optimization, and high-performance computing); Mechanics, Systems, and Controls (robotics, mechanical design, mechatronics, control systems, dynamical systems, space and ocean science and exploration, biomedical engineering, rehabilitation engineering, and renewable energy systems); and Materials and Manufacturing (nanotechnology, composite and smart structures, electrochemistry and corrosion, precision machining, and joining of dissimilar materials). For qualified graduate students, teaching assistantships, research assistantships, and scholarships are available.

Master’s Degree

Applicants for admission to the MS program must have completed a BS degree in engineering or its equivalent from a reputable institution.


Students are required to follow the Plan A (thesis) program. However, under special circumstances, a petition to follow Plan B (non-thesis) may be granted by the graduate faculty. A minimum of 30 credit hours is required for graduation, including 1 credit hour for seminar. Plan A students must take 8 credit hours for thesis, 12 credit hours in the ME 600 course series, and 9 credit hours in technical electives. Technical elective courses must be at the 400 level or above, selected from engineering, mathematics, or physical sciences approved by the student’s thesis committee.

For graduation, each candidate must present an acceptable thesis (research report for Plan B) and must pass a final oral examination based on the thesis for Plan A or on the course work and the research report for Plan B.

Combined Bachelor’s & Master’s Degree (BAM) Pathway

BAM is a fast track program designed to allow qualified students to receive both BS and MS degrees in 5 years by allowing the double-counting of up to 9 credits of coursew ork in both degrees. The BAM program in Mechanical Engineering allows for specific technical electives to count towards both degrees, thereby enabling completion of an MS in Mechanical Engineering within a single year following completion of the BS degree.

Doctoral Degree

Applicants for admission to the PhD program must have completed the requirements for the MS in engineering, science, or related areas from a reputable institution. A direct PhD degree option is also available for applicants with a BS degree in engineering, science, or related areas.


Intended candidates for the PhD are required to pass an oral qualifying examination within the prescribed period of time, by taking 4 credits of ME 699. The purpose of the qualifying examination is to judge students’ ability to pursue research. After passing the qualifying examination, the student will be admitted to the status of candidate in the PhD program. At the discretion of the qualifying examination committee, students who fail the qualifying examination will be dropped from the program.

Students must satisfactorily complete a minimum of 50 credit hours in course work beyond the BS level. They are required to select a major within the following three areas of concentration: materials/manufacturing, mechanics/design/systems/controls, or thermal/fluid sciences.

Students who enter the program with a MS degree may, with the approval of the graduate chair, be credited with up to 30 credits for equivalent work to be counted toward their PhD-credit-hour requirement. Up to 8 of these 30 credit hours may be assigned for prior MS thesis work. Students who possess a second MS degree may be credited with up to 9 additional credit hours for equivalent work. Up to 9 credit hours may be assigned for course work taken as an unclassified graduate student. All courses shall be selected by students but must be approved in writing by their committees. These courses must form an integrated education plan. A minimum of 2 credit hours in ME 691 or its equivalent must be included in every PhD program.

Students who desire teaching experience may, with the approval of the PhD committee chair, request that the department chair assign them teaching responsibility for a particular undergraduate course. The department chair will determine whether students are qualified to teach the course in question, and, if they are deemed qualified, they may be given the teaching assignment. Students who teach a course or courses will be assigned a maximum of 3 credit hours toward their PhD course work requirements.

For direct PhD students with a BS degree, instead of 8 thesis credits, 4 credits should be taken as ME 799 (Directed Instruction) and the other 4 credits should be taken as ME 699 while taking the comprehensive examination.

Comprehensive Examination

PhD candidates must pass an oral comprehensive examination to demonstrate their comprehension of the chosen areas of study relevant to their dissertation proposals and basic knowledge of courses taken at the graduate level. Students who fail the comprehensive examination may, at the discretion of the graduate faculty concerned, repeat it once after at least six months. Students who fail the examination a second time will be dropped from the program.

Final Examination

Students are required to complete a satisfactory doctoral dissertation and to pass an oral final examination based primarily upon the dissertation. The final examination will be administered by the respective PhD committee. A student passes the final examination upon the favorable recommendation of a majority of the PhD committee.

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uh manoa mechanical engineering courses

Departmental Requirements

Students must complete the following course work:

  • ME 213 Introduction to Engineering Design (3)
  • CEE 270 Applied Mechanics I (3)
  • CEE 271 or ME 271 Applied Mechanics II (3)
  • EE 160 Programming for Engineers (4) or EE 110 Introduction to Engineering Computation (3) or ICS 111 Introduction to Computer Science I (4)
  • MATH 302 Introduction to Differential Equations I (3) or MATH 307 Linear Algebra and Differential Equations (3)
  • EE 211 Basic Circuit Analysis I (4)
  • ME 311 Thermodynamics (4)
  • ME 322 Mechanics of Fluids and Lab (4)
  • ME 331 Materials Science and Engineering (3)
  • ME 341 Manufacturing Processes and Lab (4)
  • ME 360 Computer Methods in Engineering (3) or MATH 407 Numerical Analysis (3) or PHYS 305 Computational Physics (3)
  • ME 371 Mechanics of Solids (3) or CEE 370 Mechanics of Materials (3)
  • ME 372 Component Design (3)
  • ME 374 Kinematics/Dynamics Machinery (3)
  • ME 375 Dynamics of Machines and Systems and Lab (4)
  • ME 422 Heat Transfer and Lab (4)
  • ME 481 Design Project I (4)
  • ME 482 Design Project II (3)
  • PHYS 274 General Physics III (3)
  • Technical electives (9): Three courses that can be selected from ME 400-level technical electives (3), one that can be replaced with a non-ME course (3) (with approval from chair), or BIOL 171 without approval; and a second that can be replaced with an ME 600-level course (3) (3.0 GPA minimum and approval from chair) or ME 499 (3) (with approval from the department chair)
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hawaii engineering schools

Engineering Certificate Programs in Hawaii

Kaua’i Community College

Kaua’i Community College is part of the University of Hawaii system and offers a Certificate in Facilities Engineering Technology program. This program will prepare you to hold a maintenance position in a variety of facilities. You’ll learn about electrical and refrigeration systems as well as construction methods. Coursework includes safety and maintenance, carpentry, welding and more.

  • Program: Certificate of Completion in Facilities Engineering Technology
  • Program Length: One year, full-time
  • Tuition and Fees: $3,192 per year for Hawaii residents, $8,328 per year for non-Hawaiian residents (2018-2019)
  • Prerequisites: High school diploma or GED, ENG 20 or COMPASS test placement into ENG 21 or 51, Math 20 or COMPASS test placement into Math 50 or 53, Grade of C or higher in CARP 19
  • School Type: 2-year, public, 1,486 students (all undergraduate)

Honolulu Community College

At the University of Hawaii’s Honolulu Community College, you can earn a Certificate in Architectural, Engineering and CAD Technologies. This program prepares you for a career as a drawing technician or for future education in architecture or engineering. You’ll learn how to use a variety of software programs, gain a greater understanding of construction materials and learn about the industry’s standards while attending this program.

  • Program: Certificate of Achievement in Architectural, Engineering and CAD Technologies
  • Program Length: One year, full-time
  • Tuition and Fees: $3,114 per year for Hawaii residents, $8,250 per year for non-Hawaiian residents (2018-2019)
  • Prerequisites: AEC 80 or 81, grade of C or higher in ENG 22 or placement in ENG 100, grade of CR in MATH 9 or placement in MATH 50 or 53
  • School Type: 2-year, public; 3,541 students (all undergraduate)

Engineering Bachelor’s Degree Programs in Hawaii

University of Hawaii at Manoa

The University of Hawaii at Manoa offers bachelor’s degree programs in civil, computer, electrical and mechanical engineering. As an electrical engineering student, you’ll be able to follow an electrophysics track or simply pursue electrical engineering. The University of Hawaii at Manoa is the largest campus in the university system and is located on the island of Oahu.

  • Program: Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering
  • Specialization Areas: Electrophysics
  • Program Length: Four years, full-time
  • Tuition and Fees: $11,970 per year for Hawaii residents, $34,002 per year for non-Hawaii residents (2018-2019)
  • Prerequisites: High school diploma or GED, high school trigonometry, physics and chemistry
  • Requirements: Score of 510 in each section of SAT or 22 in each section of ACT, 2.8 cumulative high school GPA, application and fee
  • School Type: 4-year, public; 17,710 students (12,968 undergraduate)

University of Hawaii Maui College

Although the University of Hawaii’s Maui College primarily offers 2-year programs, you can pursue a 4-year degree in engineering technology. Your program will teach you how to effectively use integrated electro-optical hardware and software and provide coursework in computers, remote sensing and more.

  • Program: Bachelor of Applied Science in Engineering Technology
  • Program Length: Four years, full-time (includes required 2-year prerequisites and Engineering Technology courses)
  • Tuition and Fees: $3,218 per year for Hawaii residents, $8,354 per year for non-Hawaii residents (2018-2019)
  • Prerequisites: 2-year electronic engineering technology degree with GPA of 2.5 or higher and prerequisite courses or approved equivalent courses
  • Requirements: High school diploma or GED, 18 years of age
  • School Type: 4-year primarily associate’s, public; 3,092 students (all undergraduate)

Engineering Master’s Degree Programs in Hawaii

University of Hawaii at Manoa

In addition to its undergraduate programs, the University of Hawaii at Manoa offers a Master of Science in Electrical Engineering. You can choose to pursue a thesis or non-thesis curriculum. The university also offers a Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering program.

  • Program: Master of Science in Electrical Engineering
  • Program Length: Two years, full-time
  • Tuition and Fees: $16,502 per year for Hawaii residents, $37,982 per year for non-Hawaii residents (2018-2019)
  • Prerequisites: Bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering
  • Requirements: Application and fee, three letters of recommendation, statement of purpose
  • School Type: 4-year, public; 17,710 students (4,742 graduate students)

Aspiring engineers in Hawaii can earn a certificate, bachelor’s degree or master’s degree from schools including Kaua’i Community College, Honolulu Community College, the University of Hawaii Maui College and the University of Hawaii at Manoa; specializations at these schools range from electrical and mechanical engineering to engineering technology.

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