Research and Independent Study

Independent Study

Aaron Lee worked with Assistant Professor Claudia Gunsch on factors affecting the growth of microalgae that is used in the production of biodiesel.

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 and each year the Eric I. Pas Award is given to the student with the most outstanding project.

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 to submit a completed Independent Study Form to the Director of Undergraduate Studies, preferably before the end of registration for the subsequent semester.

CEE Independent Study Courses

CEE 491(197)/492(198). Projects in Civil Engineering.

Taken by junior and senior engineering students who have demonstrated aptitude for independent work. Consent of instructor and director of undergraduate studies required. Half course or one course each. It is advised that one course be completed over two semesters with .5 units.

CEE 394(172)/493(173)/494(174). Engineering Undergraduate Fellows Projects.

Taken by students in the Pratt Fellows program. Consent of instructor and program director required. Three units of independent study plus 8 weeks of summer research. Applications due in the fall of your junior year.