Best Mechanical Engineering Schools In California|2022

Mechanical engineering is a broad engineering discipline and a highly rewarding profession. If you aspiring to become professionals in this field, it is important you get a solid education that will provide you with the skills and training needed to excel in this in-demand field.

If you live in Califonia and you have an interest in this career, you can take advantage of the best mechanical engineering universities in this article.

These schools offer a wide range of degree programs ranging from bachelor’s to postgraduates degrees. Each program, however, has varying admissions requirements, duration, and curricula.

In addition, you will also learn important tips on how you can succeed in these schools. You can select the option that best suits your career aspirations.

What Is Mechanical Engineering?

Mechanical engineering is the design, development, installation, operation, and maintenance of mechanical systems.

Mechanical engineers use basic science, apply physical and mechanical principles to design and manufacture complex engineering systems.

To become a mechanical engineer, you need a broad knowledge of mathematics, physics, chemistry, fluid mechanics, thermodynamics, heat transfer, mass transfer, electricity, manufacturing processes, and economics.

Why Mechanical Engineering Schools In California?

California is the 1st most popular state for students studying Mechanical Engineering is a popular major. Recent data shows that 4,964 of the 46,014 Mechanical Engineering diplomas earned last year were given by colleges in California. 

furthermore, Mechanical engineering schools in California are among the most prominent and renowned research institutions in the world. They rank in annual publications such as the Times Higher Education World University Rankings, QS World University Rankings, U.S. News & World Report, Washington Monthly, and many others.

California top has a place with well-recognized mechanical engineering schools loaded with experienced staff and also have the latest technologies for students to gain knowledge and experience.

Graduates of these schools find relevant opportunities in a range of sectors including Google, Boeing, Apple, Microsoft, GE Aviation, U.S. Department of Energy, and many others.

In fact, after graduation from a top Mechanical engineering school in California, you will be able to apply engineering design to produce solutions that meet specified needs with consideration of safety, and welfare, as well as a global, cultural, social, environmental, and economic factor.

How Much Does It Cost To enroll In the Best Mechanical Engineering University?

The cost of attending good mechanical engineering schools in California is dependent on quite a number of factors. First is the school and degree option.

Most mechanical engineering schools in California charge higher tuition for out-of-state students. However, some schools charge flat tuition regardless of residency.

Another key factor is the number of programs. A school that offers a greater number of programs is bound to charge more compared to that with a lesser number of programs.

In summary, per-credit costs for mechanical engineering programs in California typically range from $8,206 and $21,661 per year for students in a standard or full-time program.

Despite the costs, mechanical engineering is generally considered one of the most promising within the engineering field.

If you worried about how to fund your program, you can access 401+ Scholarships for Engineering students.

How Long Does It Take To Complete Mechanical Engineering Program In California?

Mechanical engineering schools in Carolina offer a wide range of programs for both undergraduate and graduate students. The Undergraduate coursework typically takes about five years, while the postgraduate curriculum takes two to three years to complete.

The training begins with a solid foundation in science and engineering. For 2 years, you can expect to take lectures and basic engineering drawing classes where you are exposed to basic electrical & electronics engineering, mechanical engineering, ICT, and other content relevant to the field of engineering.

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Similarly, the graduate programs require 36 to 44 credits and can be completed within 3 to 5 years.

In maybe impossible for you to succeed in any mechanical engineering school if you don’t know what to expect from the program. engineering school is one of the secrets to success in the profession.

The tips below are secrets to success in top mechanical engineering schools in Califonia. They will help you to not just gain admission but graduate with an excellent degree.

  • Report to school on time.
  • Take good notes during lessons. it is called ”Active learning”
  • Stay organized to avoid falling behind and forgetting when things are due.
  • Ensure that you keep a detailed calendar with all of your upcoming exams and assignments, and also your extracurricular commitments
  • Study in groups so that you can engage in more detailed discussions, exchange different perspectives on topics, and identify areas of individual weakness.
  • Ensure you enroll in an internship program to gain hands-on training.

Check out; 20 Best Books For Mechanical Engineering Degree | Masters, Undergraduate, PhD

How Can I Become A Mechanical Engineer?

Becoming a Mechanical Engineer requires a lot of training and creative thinking. However, many employers require a bachelor’s degree as an entry-level in a mechanical engineering firm. Basically, the bachelor’s degree coursework focuses on control systems and thermal designs.

A typical mechanical degree programs provide the opportunity to exhibit classroom skills in real-world environments through industrial training or internships. 

After acquiring your bachelor’s degree and passing the relevant professional exams, you may wish to advance your career by obtaining a Master’s degree. The graduate program is simply a continuation of the undergraduate curriculum but it will be more vast and challenging as well.

In addition to the first and second degree, if you possess a master’s degree in mechanical engineering or a related field, you may decide to pursue a Ph.D. Apparently, this will launch you into opportunities at the top levels of industry and employment in research or teaching. 

How Can I Apply for A Good Mechanical Engineering Program in California?

To apply for admission in any mechanical engineering schools in California, you have to first, visit your preferred school site to view their requirements.

If you meet your school’s requirements, then you can proceed and acquire the admission form. Note that you can either do that online through the school website or you proceed to campus.

Furthermore, to gain admission into any mechanical engineering program, you are expected to have studied maths and physics to obtain a place on most mehanical engineering courses given the important part that both disciplines play in the field.

Fundamental knowledge of design technology, Information Technology, further maths, statistics, or electronics may boost your admission prospects to a lesser degree. 

See also: List of Top 10 Mechanical Engineering Colleges in the World

List of Top Mechanical Engineering Schools in California

Below are the top mechanical engineering schools in California arranged in no particular order. The basics of our selection of these schools are their rankings, accreditation, acceptance rate, tuition, graduation rate, and other relevant factors.

We got our data from reliable sources, testimonials, interviews, and also by contacting individual schools. Below is the list of the schools, you will have to read further to get information on the various degree programs offered, tuition info, and program options for these schools.

  • University of California–Berkeley
  • Stanford University
  • University of California-Davis 
  • Santa Clara University
  • California Polytechnic State University
  • University of California – Los Angeles
  • University of California – San Diego
  • California Institute of Technology
  • University of California-Irvine
  • University of Southern California 

1. University of California–Berkeley

Address: Irvine, CA 92697, U.S.A
Tuition: $53,316.50(Residents); $58,961.50(non-residents)
Accreditation: Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC)

UC Berkeley is one of the public universities in the University of California system. This school’s College of Engineering ranks 5th in QS and 14th in the ranking of best engineering schools in the world and consistently ranked as one of the top mechanical engineering schools in the world.

In fact, the UC Berkeley features one of the most active, innovative, and productive teaching and research laboratories worldwide.

The mechanical engineering program curriculum offers bachelor and postgraduates degrees that provide students the opportunity to learn how to design, manufacture, test, and improve mechanical systems.

2. California Institute of Technology

Address: Pasadena, CA
Tuition: $54,600(undergraduate); $54,537(Graduate)
Accreditation: Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET

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California Institute of Technology is a great place to consider if you want to get a degree in mechanical engineering. The school offers 19 bachelor’s, 15 masters, and 10 doctor’s degrees in ME.

The school’s undergraduate program prepares students for promising careers in mechanical and related engineering fields, and for continuing on to graduate school.

Graduates of this institute have can demonstrate leadership roles in academia, industry, and government in areas of rapidly advancing interdisciplinary technology related to fluid, solid, thermal energy.

If you enroll in this school, you will consider yourself lucky because Caltech is a top-ranked institution. The school came in at #4 in College Factual’s most recent rankings for the best schools for ME majors. This puts it in the top 5% of the country in this field of study. Not just that, It is also ranked #1 in California.

3. Stanford University

Address: Stanford, CA
Tuition: $57,861
Accreditation:  Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET

Stanford University is one of the most popular schools to study Mechanical Engineering in California. This school rank 7 out of 1,727 schools nationwide.

The ME department at Stanford offers undergraduate programs that is aimed at providing students with practical experiences that will prepare them for entry-level work as mechanical engineers or for graduate study in engineering.

Similarly, the graduate program aligns academic course work with research to prepare scholars in specialized areas within the ME field. They focus on automatic controls, energy systems, fluid mechanics, design, and more.

If you are interested in studying Mechanical Engineering at Stanford, you have to apply to the university through the Stanford Undergraduate Admissions Office.

4. University of California-Davis 

Address: Davis, CA
Tuition:  $28,700(out-of-state); $7,877(in-state)
Accreditation:  Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET

UC-Davis is another great option for individuals interested in a Mechanical Engineering degree. This institution is fully accredited and ranks 10th position for overall college quality in the state of California.

UC-Davis features a bachelor’s and master’s program in Mechanical Engineering. Students begin their studies with a rigorous series of courses in mathematics, natural sciences, and basic engineering to prepare themselves for more advanced study.

However, towards the final year, students study more advanced essential engineering topics. They are allowed to choose their area specialties such as topics as vehicle stability, mechatronics, combustion, and the environment or wind-tunnel experimentation.

Additionally, graduates of UC-Davis generally make an average of $61,700 at the beginning of their careers.

5. Santa Clara University

Address: Santa Clara, CA
Tuition: $12,440
Accreditation:  Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET

If you are interested in a more advanced degree in mechanical engineering, Santa Clara University is the first option you should consider. SCU is a top mechanical engineering school in California and ranks #19 as the most popular school in CA.

The school ME curriculum features courses that prepare students for work in research and development, product design, or materials engineering at top firms in and beyond the Bay Area.

In addition, Santa Clara offers 76% financial aid in the form of loans and scholarships to students in need.

6. California Polytechnic State University

Address: San Luis Obispo 
Tuition: $23,715 
Accreditation: Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET

Cal Poly a good mechanical engineering program. This school ranks 20th out of 112 schools for overall quality in the state of California.

Cal Poly features degree programs that emphasize fundamental, experimental, and research-based approaches to the full spectrum of mechanical engineering disciplines.

This program provides students at all levels with skills, knowledge, and perspective on the fast-changing field of mechanical engineering discipline.

7. University of California – Los Angeles

Address: Los Angeles CA 
Tuition: $32,588 
Accreditation: Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET

Those interested in advanced degrees will find UC-Los Angeles as a great option. This school ranks as one of the best mechanical engineering universities in California. The ME program of this school has a total enrollment of 308 undergraduates and also features higher degree levels programs.

The department of ME produced 211 graduates in 2015 with students earning 104 Bachelor’s degrees, 82 Master’s degrees, and 25 Doctoral degrees.

UC-Los Angeles, apart from featuring a standard ME program, the school also offer financial aid in the form of loan and scholarship to deserving students.

8. University of California – San Diego

Address: Los Angeles CA 
Tuition: $11,442 (in-state); $26,544 (out-of-state)
Accreditation: Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET

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UC- San Diego is a popular and one of the best mechanical engineering colleges in California. The ME department recorded over 214 graduates last year.

The ME programs in this school provide students with a strong component in laboratory experimentation, numerical computation, and engineering design.

Program curriculum features homework problems, laboratory, and computer courses which include student-initiated projects.

Mechanical engineering graduates of the first level degree from UC-San Diego usually make about $61,000 at the beginning of their careers.

9. University of California-Irvine

Address: Irvine, CA 
Tuition: $11,442 
Accreditation: Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET

The University of California-Irvine offers 4 Mechanical Engineering Degree programs. These programs offer courses that provide engineering fundamentals and technical electives that allow students to study particular areas of interest.

The course curriculum features key concepts in Energy Systems and Environmental Engineering, Flow Physics and Propulsion Systems, and Design of Mechanical Systems.

The school also provides Independent research opportunities that allow students to pursue other avenues for focusing on their studies.

10. University of Southern California 

Address: Los Angeles CA
Tuition: $12,000
Accreditation: Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET

University of Southern California is a large private institution. The school is accredited and offers a Master of Science program in Mechanical Engineering.

The program features a curriculum that provides students with the technical education needed for engineering professionals in various industries such as aerospace, automotive, energy, and power, utilities, petrochemical, design, manufacturing, and transportation.

Students in this program can choose from the core areas of study namely; Thermal and Fluid Sciences, Engineering Design, Mechanics and Materials and Advanced Manufacturing

The courses listed above are designed to prepare students for doctoral programs, as well as for continuing your engineering career in the industry.

Other mechanical engineering schools in California include:

  • San Francisco State University
  • University of California-Riverside
  • University of the Pacific
  • Loyola Marymount University
  • San Jose State University
  • University of California-Merced

How Much Do Graduates From Top Mechanical Engineering Schools in California?

The annual income of mechanical engineers often times depends on the nature of the job. Figures from 2018 released by the BLS show that the mechanical engineers’ annual wage was $88,430 in May 2019. For those working on an hourly basis, mechanical engineers earned $41.29 per hour. 

What Is The Job Outlook For Mechanical Engineers?

When you are considering the best mechanical engineering school for you, ensure that you consider the job outlook for that position as well.

According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that ”Employment of mechanical engineers is projected to grow 4 percent from 2018 to 2028, about as fast as the average for all occupations”.

That being said, technological advancement will play a big role in the employment of engineers.

You can apply for Mechanical Engineering Scholarship for students 


Becoming a mechanical engineer may be a bit challenging but it is highly lucrative. Also, there is a huge range of career opportunities for graduates of top mechanical engineering schools.

If you stay in California and would like to study ME, you can begin your career in one of the best mechanical engineering colleges on our list.

Frequently Asked Questions On Best Mechanical Engineering Schools In California

How can I become a Mechanical Engineer?

To become a mechanical engineer, First, earn a bachelor’s degree, acquire a master’s degree, and obtain licensure.

How much do Fresh Graduates of top Mechanical Engineering school in California earn?

Entry-level graduates of the best Mechanical engineering schools in California can expect to earn an annual salary range of $50,000 to $100,000.

How long does it take to complete a mechanical engineering program in California?

It takes about 4 years to complete a mechanical engineering program.


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