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Research for Undergraduates

Apply classroom knowledge to the real-world with our undergraduate research opportunities. Students are encouraged to participate in faculty research projects as part of their broader educational experience. You may obtain course credit for research through ME 190 or ME 197. ME 197 may be used as a technical elective.

To begin, students must find a faculty member with an available project. Faculty webpages are a good starting point for this process. To enroll in ME 197, students must complete a project abstract using a standard template. The abstract must be signed by the supervising faculty member, the undergraduate faculty advisor and submitted to Undergraduate Student Affairs  at least one week prior to the start of the quarter. Both ME 190 and ME 197 require a final project report. Four units of ME 197 can be counted as a tech elective once.


  • Consult with faculty of interest about potential projects and the faculty member should agree to advise the student for ME 197.
  • Once the agreement is made, prepare ME 197 project abstract form in consultation with the faculty member, get the undergraduate faculty advisor’s signature, and submit the form to Undergraduate Student Affairs for processing. The abstract should include introduction of the project, experimental or calculation plan, method, and expected outcome. The abstract should include ABET matrix provided by the advisor.
  • The student is required to give a 10- to 15-minute presentation during ME 250 seminar series, and the faculty advisor should be present for evaluation. Final project report (exactly 10 pages) is due at the time of presentation. The final report should be student’s own writing and work.

Catalog Descriptions

ME 190. Special Studies (1-5) Individual study, 3-15 hours. Prerequisite(s): consent of instructor, department chair, and Mechanical Engineering Undergraduate Program Committee chair. Individual study to meet special curricular needs. Requires a final written report. Course is repeatable to a maximum of 9 units.

ME 197. Research for Undergraduates (1-4) Outside research, 3-12 hours. Prerequisite(s): consent of instructor and Mechanical Engineering Undergraduate Program Committee chair. Directed research in a particular subject relevant to mechanical engineering. Requires a final written technical report. Course is repeatable to a maximum of 8 units.