Why Mechanical Engineering?

Mechanical Engineers design the future!

Mechanical engineering touches nearly every aspect of our lives. Mechanical engineers apply their expertise to the design, development and production of everything from rocket propulsion systems to appliances. Professionals in the industry use mathematics, computers, sophisticated modeling and analysis to solve problems associated with energy usage, propulsion, power generation, sound and vibration, machinery design and manufacturing. In short, mechanical engineers play a part in designing and building the mechanical devices and systems that are essential to our everyday lives.

Mechanical Engineering offers diverse and richly rewarding career paths!

The mechanical engineering profession offers a wide range of employment opportunities in virtually every industry, including automotive, aerospace and manufacturing. Our graduates are pursuing careers with global corporations, consulting firms and government agencies. In addition, mechanical engineers are well-paid! BSME graduates average $59,180 as a starting yearly salary, and new MSME graduates are paid an average $66,720.* With such abundant, varied and high-paying career options, a degree in mechanical engineering is a sound investment in your future.

*Salary information courtesy of www.engineersalary.com.

Why Mechanical Engineering at UK?

The Department of Mechanical Engineering has a proud heritage at the University of Kentucky. The first dean of the College of Engineering, F. Paul Anderson, was an early pioneer in the field of air conditioning, and UK mechanical engineering graduate Margaret Ingels was the first woman to receive a graduate engineering degree in the United States. Our graduates include two former governors of Kentucky and three members of the National Academy of Engineering.  Today, the Department of Mechanical Engineering continues to prepare students for financially lucrative, high-demand professions or for furthering their education through acceptance to prominent graduate schools. Through a challenging course of undergraduate studies, collaboration with renowned businesses and technology centers and research options within the College’s centers and consortia, UK delivers an education designed to produce proficient, marketable graduates adept at meeting today’s engineering needs.

Wildcat Life

The University of Kentucky can provide you with a world-class education, filled with the possibility of new ideas and learning experiences that will prepare you for the future. But life on campus also offers plenty of other experiences beyond what takes place solely in a classroom.

Get involved in one of the many engineering student organizations to further explore the profession, participate in service activities, or just to socialize. Attend weekly seminars and presentations from world renowned speakers. Cheer on one of UK’s 21 men’s and women’s collegiate athletic teams. Visit the UK Art museum or enjoy concerts and theater performances by our highly regarded School of Music including the acclaimed UK Opera Theatre.

The University of Kentucky is committed to fostering and perpetuating a safe, supportive and nurturing scholarly environment that honors and respects people with varied human characteristics, ideas and world views.

Lexington and the Bluegrass Region

Famous for its horse farms, bourbon distilleries, breathtaking scenery and more, Lexington is the home of the University of Kentucky. Located in the region of the Commonwealth known as the Bluegrass, this dynamic city of more than 300,000 people is routinely recognized as one of the top college towns in the nation due to its quality of life, economic development through high-tech start-ups, employment opportunities, and more. Lexington offers a vibrant arts and cultural scene with outstanding restaurants, craft breweries, intimate coffee houses, museums, parks, concerts and the performing arts. Outdoor adventurers can enjoy hiking, biking, rock climbing, and water sports. Lexington’s moderate climate allows you to enjoy all four seasons without extended periods of extreme heat or cold. With a cost of living 4.2% below the national average, Lexington has something for everyone. You can find more information on Lexington and the Bluegrass Region by visiting www.visitlex.com.

Undergraduate Student Funding

Undergraduate students in the College of Engineering benefit from more than $800,000 annually in scholarship support. Scholarships are awarded based on merit and financial need and are available to incoming freshmen, transferring students and current students. While some scholarships are competitive and may or may not be renewable, others are granted automatically based on grade point average and ACT score. Beyond scholarships, students may apply for traditional forms of financial aid through the UK Financial Aid Office, or they may opt to join the Cooperative Education Program in which students can earn money while working in engineering.

Students do not need to fill out an application for each scholarship. For more information about this process visit the Financial Aid page on the Main College of Engineering site.


Graduate Student Funding

Financial aid for international graduate students is provided primarily by the department. This aid is provided as Research Assistantships (RAs) and Teaching Assistantships (TAs).

Research assistants are chosen by individual professors who have openings in their research programs. RAs are expected to contribute to the research effort in accordance with the student’s experience level, the specific responsibilities defined by the funding professor. In addition to being a source of financial aid, a research assistantship is an opportunity to gain hands-on research experience that can form the basis of a graduate thesis. There is no formal application process for research assistantships, but all mechanical engineering professors have access to the files of graduate school applicants, and may chose to contact you about a RA position. Alternately, you may directly contact any professor whose research interests you. Short biographical sketches of faculty members, including their research interests and contact information, are available here.

Teaching assistants are chosen by the department based on the needs of the course schedule for a given semester and the input of concerned faculty members. TAs are expected to grade assignments, be available to answer questions from students in the class, and otherwise assist the professor in class preparations. Teaching assistantships are typically given on a semester-by-semester basis, and students may be both a TA and a RA over the course of a given academic year. Like research assistantships, there is no formal application process for a teaching assistantship. However, if you are a new Ph.D. student and are interested in a teaching assistantship, please contact Dr. Karaca, Director of Graduate Studies.

There is no set timetable for the awarding of RAs and TAs; these decisions are made on a continuous basis. If you are offered an assistantship, you will be notified immediately.

At the university level, there is no institutional financial aid designated for international students. For further assistance, you might want to contact the Office of International Students and Scholars at (859) 257-2755, or 112 Bradley Hall, Lexington, KY 40506-0058. You might also contact the International Affairs Office at (859) 257-4067, or 311 Bradley Hall, Lexington, KY 40506-0058. The International Affairs Office also has a website here.

Other possible sources of financial support are fellowships granted from outside the university. The eligibility of international students for these awards is determined by the granting organization. A regularly updated (but not exhaustive) list of outside fellowship opportunities is located on the prospective graduate student website under the Fellowships, Assistantships, and Support Funding topic.