Bachelor in Mechanical Engineering

Main content

The Bachelor in Mechanical Engineering provides students with a solid foundation in theoretical knowledge. In addition, students are taught the methodology required to conduct research in the disciplines of mathematics, natural sciences and engineering.

The degree "Bachelor of Science ETH in Mechanical Engineering" allows students to continue in Master's Degree programs at ETH Zurich or other universities in Switzerland or abroad.


Accordion. Press Tab to navigate to entries, then Enter to open or collapse content.


Compulsory Courses

Compulsory Courses in the first year

Examinations on the Compulsory Courses are held for the first time in the so-called first year examinations during the examination period at the end of the second semester. Credit points are only awarded when an entire examination block has been passed.

The first year examination is assessed based on the weighted average of the results from the various areas of examination:

First year examination:
Analysis I + II
Chemistry 3
Informatics I 4
Linear Algebra I + II 6
Machine Elements + Innovation Processes 8
Mechanics I: Kinematics and Statics + Mechanics 2: Deformable Solids and Structures
Engineering Materials and Production I + II 8

Additional courses in the first year

In addition to the Compulsory Courses in the first year, the following courses must also be completed:

  • Innovation Project, Movie
  • Technical Drawing & CAD, Movie


Additional Compulsory Courses during the program

Additional Compulsory Courses are assessed through examination blocks which are held during examination sessions.

The examination blocks are composed as follows:

Examination Block 1 Weighting
Analysis III 3
Dynamics 6
Dimensioning I 3
Thermodynamics I 4
Control System I 4
Examination Block 2
Physics I + II 10
Electrical Engineering I 3
Fluid Dynamics I 6
Thermodynamics II 4
Examination Block 3
Fluid Dynamics II 3
Thermodynamics III 3


Electives increase theoretical and methodological aspects of fundamental knowledge. Six electives must be chosen to achieve the necessary 24 credit points.

Courses offered in the Spring Semester:

  • Computational Methods for Engineering Application
  • Manufacturing
  • Introduction to Chemical Engineering
  • Dimensioning II
  • Control Systems II
  • Introduction to Quantum Mechanics for Engineers
  • Bioengineering

Courses offered in the Fall Semester:

  • Computational Methods for Engineering Applications II
  • Signals and Systems
  • Mass Transfer
  • Stochastics
  • System Modeling
  • Introduction to Process Engineering
  • Managerial Economics
  • Electrical Engineering II
  • Leichtbau

Focus Specialization: Recommended Electives (PDF, 94 KB)

Engineering Tools

Engineering Tools are computer-aided engineering methods which are taught in block courses in the afternoons of the first weeks of the semester.

The following Engineering Tools are mandatory for all students:

  • Second semester: Engineering Tool I: Computer-based Mathematics
  • Third semester: Engineering Tool II: Numeric Mathematics
  • Fourth semester: Engineering Tool III: FEM-Programs or Engineering Tool III: Object oriented Programming with C++

Students in the fifth and sixth semester choose one Engineering Tool per semester from the course catalogue. For the participation in the five Engineering Tools, 2 credit points (respectively 0.4 credit points per tool) will be awarded.

Laboratory Practice

During Laboratory Practice the students learn about measuring methods, use of the appropriate equipment and their practical use in research.

In the fourth and fifth semesters, students will be offered various opportunities for Laboratory Practice. Ten labs must be passed, of which at least four must be in physics. A total of 2 credit points will be awarded.


Lab courses are offered and administered via the D-MAVT Laboratory Practice Application.  

Workshop Training

The workshop training aims at providing you practical experience with the production of components as well as knowledge and understanding about materials and their machining and finishing. The training duration is for at least five weeks and takes place in a company.

For all information concerning the Workshop Training please click here.

Science in Perspective (SiP)

In the Science in Perspective (SiP) courses, students learn to understand and critically question the correlations between scientific knowledge, technological innovations, cultural contexts, individuals and society. 6 credit points must be acquired. All SiP courses are defined by the Department of Humanities, Social and Political Sciences (D-GESS) and are marked in the course catalogue.


Students choose either a Focus Specialization or a Focus Project. The Focus Specialization and the Focus Project are equivalent options spanning a two semester program worth 20 credit points.

Focus Specialization

Course-based Focus Specializations – Presentation:

The courses for the Focus Specializations are listed in the Course Catalogue for each semester. The regulations for the choice of courses are binding. A Focus Coordinator is responsible for each Focus Specialization.


  • Energy, Flows and Processes, Fokus-Coordinator: Prof. Christoph Müller
  • Management, Technology and Economics Fokus-Coordinator: Prof. Marko Köthenbürger (Studiendirektor MTEC) und Dr. Jost Hamschmidt (Studienkoordinator MTEC)
  • Manufacturing Science, Fokus-Coordinator: Prof. Konrad Wegener
  • Mechatronics, Fokus-Coordinator: Prof. Bradley Nelson
  • Micro- and Nanosystems, Fokus-Coordinator: Prof. Christofer Hierold
  • Design, Mechanics and Materials, Fokus-Koordinator: Prof. Kristina Shea

Courses which are not listed as Focus Specializations may be accepted only with the consent of the Focus Coordinator.

Focus Project

Teams of 3 to 8 students work during two semesters on the realisation of a product. Based on market-oriented need, all processes in product development are conducted in a realistic manner: marketing, conception, design, engineering, simulation, prototypes, and production.

Focus Projects start in the Fall Semester. The full range of projects is listed in the respective Fall Semester ETH Zurich course catalogue. Students can also suggest their own projects, however they must be supported and supervised by an ETH Zurich professor.

Focus Project structure:

  • Focus Project (14 credit points)
  • Courses, individually defined by the project coordinator (6 credit points)


  • First year examinations passed
  • Block 1 and 2 examinations passed

Detailed Regulations on the Implementation of Focus Projects (PDF, 110 KB)

Presentations of the Focus Projects (PDF, 32.9 MB)

Focus Roll-out

YouTube Channel D-MAVT

Bachelor's Thesis

The Bachelor's Thesis, worth 14 credit points, marks the culmination of the Bachelor's program. Subjects for the thesis are listed by the D-MAVT professors, or, alternatively, may be individually agreed with professors. The supervisor establishes the conditions for the Bachelor's Thesis.

Bachelor's Thesis (151-0001-00L) supervisors may be:

Bachelor's Thesis supervisors for Focus Specialization Management, Technology and Economics (151-0071-00L) may be:


The first year examinations, the additional courses in the first year and the blocks 1 and 2 examinations must be passed.

Page URL:
© 2017 Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule Zürich