Research and Independent Study

Adam Caccavale studies cooperative control of multiple robots for his independent study research.

Here are Some of Your Options

Independent Study

Undergraduate students can conduct intensive, hands-on research for academic credit by taking independent study courses. Independent study can qualify you for Graduation with Departmental Distinction.

With some planning, these courses can be a part of several of our signature research programs described below.

Independent Study + Research Programs

There are several programs within Pratt that give undergrads research opportunities while earning credit. Each program offers distinct opportunity

  • Pratt Undergraduate Research Fellows - Three semesters of independent study, plus summer research.
  • Grand Challenge Scholars Program - Flexible curriculum focused on a societal grand challenge. Includes research, courses outside of engineering, and training/experience in entrepreneurship, and both a global and service learning component.
  • Duke Smart Home Fellows - One or more semester of independent study focused on smart technology and/or sustainable living.

Independent Study + You Pick the Faculty

If you decide not to pursue one of the research programs above--or just want more flexibility for your independent study--explore the research interests of Pratt's engineering faculty. With the right match of interests, you can work with faculty from any department--not just faculty from your department/major.

Or you can look at campus-wide research, internship or job opportunities. DukeList includes listings of on-campus research (paid and unpaid) and leadership opportunities for students, as well as on-campus jobs.

Apply for Independent Study

In order to enroll in an independent study students should work with their self-identified faculty supervisor and the Director of Undergraduate Studies, preferably before the end of registration for the subsequent semester.

MEMS Independent Study Courses

ME 394(172)/493(173)/494(174). Engineering Undergraduate Fellows Projects. Intensive research project in Mechanical Engineering by students selected as Engineering Undergraduate Fellows. Consent required. Instructor: Staff. One course.

OR

For Sophomores/Juniors: ME 391(187)/392(188). Undergraduate Projects in Mechanical Engineering. Individual projects arranged in consultation with a faculty member. Open to students who show special aptitude for research and design. Taught in the Fall. Consent of director of undergraduate studies. Instructor: Staff. Variable credit.

For Seniors: ME 491(197)/492(198). Special Projects in Mechanical Engineering. Individual projects arranged in consultation with a faculty member. Open only to seniors enrolled in the graduation with distinction program or showing special aptitude for research. Half course to two courses. To be taught in the Fall. Prerequisites: B average and consent of the director of undergraduate studies. Instructor: Staff. Variable credit.