Prospective Undergraduate Students: Learning Environment

studentsThe Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering (MAE) provides an intellectually diverse and active learning environment. The majority of our undergraduate students come from the state of Florida and our student body reflects the rich diversity of the fourth most populous state in the US. The MAE undergraduate class is currently made up of about 17.2% female students, significantly exceeding the US national average of about 12.4% and 13.1% in ME and AE, respectively.

Our student groups also play key roles in promoting teamwork, implementation of classroom theory, and leadership through their many design and build teams such as the SAE Formula One, ASME Human Powered Vehicle and the AIAA Design/Build/Fly competitions. Learn more about our student groups here. We consistently hear from our employers the value of team and leadership skills gained from such ventures, including multidisciplinary aspects. Herbert Wertheim College of Engineering Dean Abernathy has identified leadership as a key attribute for our Gator Engineers, and I am very proud to see our MAE students doing so well. One of MAE’s primary goals is to provide the maximum degree of support to our students groups.

The University of Florida places an emphasis on undergraduate research and MAE is strongly committed to providing such opportunities. We are a key participant in the University Scholars program, where USP scholars work one-on-one with MAE faculty members on selected research projects. In addition, most of our research-active faculty members host undergraduate researchers, including through NSF REU experiences, to assist with various projects. We also promote co-op and internship programs, working directly with a wide range of companies. About 50% of our graduates have completed an internship upon graduation.

As discussed above, MAE is the largest academic department on the UF campus, which provides a critical mass of faculty to ensure that our students are exposed to a great depth and breadth of expertise and experience. As with any large program, class size is a natural question. MAE has made considerable efforts to reduce our class size through several innovative approaches. Despite enrollment increases in recent years, our average class size has decreased while our student evaluations of MAE instructors has increased.

In summary, we believe that prospective students will find Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at the University of Florida to be an excellent place to begin your engineering studies.