Joint UNC Asheville - NC State University Bachelor of Science in Engineering degree - Mechatronics Concentration (JEM)

What is Mechatronics?

Mechatronics engineering is a concentration which blends mechanical, electrical and computer engineering for the precision control of electromechanical systems. Control is achieved in today’s engineering systems through the use of sensors, actuators and microprocessors. The marriage of modern control systems with mechanical devices is key to the design and development of high-performance engineering systems. Just a few examples of computer-controlled mechanical systems are robots, engine fuel systems, hybrid automobiles, autonomous aerospace vehicles, stair-climbing wheelchairs and alternative power generation systems. Mechatronics engineering opens new avenues of creativity and design, greatly enhancing the utility, performance and efficiency of modern machinery.

Explore more on Mechatronics.


The joint mechatronics engineering curriculum combines the best offerings from two nationally recognized universities. North Carolina State University provides the engineering course work from the Departments of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering (MAE) and Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE). Hands-on laboratories integral to engineering course work are present throughout the curriculum. From the University of North Carolina at Asheville comes a general education component grounded in a rich liberal arts foundation.

The JEM degree is accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET,

Undergraduate Design Projects

The Mechatronics Program fosters creativity, teamwork, and design skills through a variety of projects and laboratories. At the freshman level, student teams design and fabricate robots for in-class competitions. Popular competition themes include sumobot, line-following, and object transport. Starting with the sophomore year, many Mechatronics engineering courses offer a variety of hands-on laboratory experiences to complement lecture material. In the junior year, student teams build larger, more complex robots targeting FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC) style challenges.

Senior projects combine design and fabrication with the fundamentals of mechanical, electrical and computer engineering. Recent senior projects include computer-controlled solar tracking, interactive artwork, electric and hybrid electric vehicles, and a smart inverter for utility grid stabilization. Designed and built from the ground up, development of such systems provides hands-on experience and an interdisciplinary education that emphasizes teamwork skills.

Internship Opportunities

Many students in the mechatronics program have participated in internship employment at a number of companies including Meritor, BorgWarner, Eaton and LORD Corporation. These internships provide not only a firsthand experience of engineering practice, but in many instances have led to full-time jobs upon graduation. The Career Centers of both UNC Asheville and NC State work closely with industry representatives to provide listings of engineering jobs and internships that connect students to exciting work experiences.

Employment Opportunities

Many local, national and international engineering companies hire mechatronics students for their well-rounded, high-caliber engineering education. Their strong support of the program reflects the steady demand for mechatronics graduates. Over 90 percent of all mechatronics graduates are employed in challenging and exciting engineering positions at over 50 companies, many in the Asheville area. Also, the program brings professional organizations such as the IEEE (Institute for Electrical and Electronic Engineers) and SAE (Society of Automotive Engineers) to the university through active student branches, meetings and other networking opportunities.

Application Process and Admissions Requirements

Prospective students should apply to UNC Asheville and express an interest in engineering. Upon completion of the freshman-year curriculum with a 3.0 GPA or better and a math GPA of 2.5 or better in the last two math classes completed, students will be admitted to the Joint Engineering Mechatronics (JEM) Degree program. Transfer credits from other universities, majors and community colleges are accepted. However, the Mechatronics curriculum has no free electives in it. See links above for relevant community college courses.

Fast Facts

  • The JEM degree is a four-year program administered entirely on the campus of UNC Asheville.
  • Scholarships are available.
  • Completion of the program leads to a Bachelor of Science in Engineering degree with a Mechatronics Concentration.
  • The JEM degree is a joint degree whereby students take NC State University engineering course work and UNC Asheville non-engineering course work, all on the UNC Asheville campus.
  • Some NC State University course work is taught by NC State University faculty residing on the UNC Asheville campus, while other NC State University course work is delivered to UNC Asheville via live synchronous teleconference distance education technology. Labs, problem sessions and design courses are taught live on the UNC Asheville campus.
  • Students who complete the program receive a diploma that reflects both UNC Asheville and NC State University as granting institutions.
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Revised November 12, 2015
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