• Undergraduates are active in research activities throughout ECE
    • Nearly all ECE professors involve undergraduates in their research
    • Talk with any faculty member or advisor about where to get started
    • Find out about our research areas


There are several ways you can get involved in research, and it could be a quick taste or a deeper experience, depending on your interests and schedule.

The Office of Undergraduate Research provides:

Special Topics Courses: For CE students, up to 4 credits may be taken from any combination of the courses listed below. For EE students, up to 8 credits may be taken from any combination of the courses listed below. Credits out towards ECE technical electives. ECE 3970 (cap of 6 credits) and ECE 3990 (cap of 4 credits):

    • ECE 3970 Undergraduate Research in ECE can be taken at any time during your undergrad program and counts towards your technical electives. This can be any research project working with any faculty. Please talk with the faculty member you would like to do research with, and agree on a plan for your research and how many credits this should be. Then fill out the Special Studies Request form and attach it when you request a permission code for this class. Include a brief description of the project in the explanation box.
    • ECE 3980 Independent Project: This is any type of special topic of interest to you. It must be overseen by a faculty member, but may not be directly involved in their research.
    • ECE 3990 Co-operative Education Work (Industry Internship) The U holds a spring Internship Fair to help you find internship opportunities.

Senior Thesis Capstone Project: During the spring of your junior year, plan a project to be completed during the fall and spring (or summer/fall/spring) of your senior year, perhaps even funded by UROP. You get credit for this, and it’s actually a required and really fun part of our program.

Honors Thesis: This is an Honors version of the Senior Thesis Capstone Project.

National Science Foundation: Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) sponsored by the National Science Foundation are a paid summer research job at a research site somewhere in the US or at the U (faculty who have an NSF project can request a supplement to support undergraduate researchers, discuss this with your faculty mentor).

More Resources:
* Learn more about getting started in Undergraduate Research
* Listen to Episode 16: Exploring Undergraduate Research of This Academic Life podcast featuring Professor Cindy Furse to learn more about undergraduate research.
* Please contact Professor Furse directly with additional questions about the undergraduate research program.


An example of significant research experience can go something like this (this is just an example, there are many varieties of how this could be put together)

    • Freshman year: meet faculty, volunteer for a bit of early exploration and work in their research. If you are taking a full load of classes, you may not have a lot of time during the school year, so maybe 5-10 hours a week, volunteering in a lab, getting your feet wet, or just help with a brief measurement project or two. Get to know the other students in the lab, learn a lot.
    • Summer UROP between freshman and sophomore year:
    • Sophomore and/ or junior year: Take 3 credits of ECE 3980 credit, can be split up between semesters.
    • Summer UROP, SPUR, or REU or industry internship between sophomore/junior and junior/senior years.
    • Research-based Senior Capstone Project: Spring junior year through spring senior year. Expand on the research you are by now thoroughly involved in, and make it into your senior project.
      • If you are interested in continuing on for graduate school, just keep right on going with that project, and turn it into your masters thesis (it counts for 10 of the 30 credits required for a masters, so it’s 1/3 of your masters), and if you are interested in a PhD, keep right on going….