Return on Investment
(GIT) 2013 Wall Street Journal
2014 US News & World Reports
2014 US News & World Reports
Students may perform research at the undergraduate level under the supervision of a faculty advisor either for payment or academic course credit (not both simultaneously). CEE students typically do research in a professor's lab, under the guidance of the professor or an advanced PhD student or post doctoral assistant who work for that professor.
Students performing research activities for payment should enroll in:
- CEE 2698 - Research Assistantship (Freshman/Sophomore)
- CEE 4698 - Research Assistantship (Junior/Senior)
Students seeking academic course credit should enroll in:
- CEE 2699 - Undergraduate Research (Freshman/Sophomore)
- CEE 4699 - Undergraduate Research (Junior/Senior)
- CEE 4900 - CEE Honors Research (Junior/Senior)
The Special Course Request Form needed for the permit for the appropriate course section is available here or in the Student Services Office (Mason 111). It is critically important to contact a faculty mentor prior to completing the request form, and the form, in fact, requires the signature of the faculty mentor. The best way to find research opportunities is to contact a professor directly. For example, read about current research topics on the CEE website and when you find something that interests you, contact the professor, via email, phone or direct contact. Faculty members often do not advertise that they are looking for undergraduate student help, so the onus is on you to find a position. More information about faculty research areas and activities is found on the affinity group webpages:
- Construction Engineering
- Environmental Engineering
- Environmental Fluid Mechanics and Water Resources
- Geosystems Engineering
- Structural Engineering, Mechanics and Materials
- Transportation Systems Engineering
In case of research for academic course credit, consult with your professor to determine the appropriate number of credit hours desired for the experience. It is expected that you should spend approximately three hours per week on research for every hour of credit. A final report is typically required and should be turned in to your professor by the first day of final exams.
In the case of research for payment, funding may come from a number of sources, including funding from a professor through one of their grants or contracts, PURA (President's Undergraduate Research Award), and REU (Research Experience for Undergraduates) programs. CEE 2698 or CEE 4698 will appear on your transcript, but you will not receive a grade. You will not incur any tuition expenses for these "for-pay" courses.
In the case of CEE Honors Research, individual research is performed for academic course credit at the invitation of a faculty member. In many cases, the student will have previously completed a semester of CEE4698 or CEE4699 prior to receiving such an invitation. The expected outcomes of the CEE Honors Research project are high and the semester usually culminates with a thesis and presentation.
CEE Students also may pursue the Research Option degree designator. Research Option offers students the opportunity for a substantial, in-depth research experience. It offers students a taste for what long-term research can be like and provides extensive experience not found within a typical course setting. Students are strongly encouraged at the end of their experience to work with their faculty mentor to develop a journal publication or conference presentation on the research in addition to the actual thesis:
More information about undergraduate research activities on campus is available from the Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program