Virginia Tech®home

Undergraduate Research and Independent Study

As an undergraduate student, you have the opportunity to participate in independent studies or undergraduate research.

Independent Study: Typically a continuation in greater depth of a topic covered in a regular course, and allows students to study topics of particular individual interest. Specialized instruction related to design teams is most often an Independent Study.

Undergraduate Research: Typically creates an artifact such as a paper, presentation, or technical product as a result of research under faculty supervision. Learn more about undergraduate research at Virginia Tech through the Office of Undergraduate Research (OUR).


Finding Opportunities

Engineering Independent Study and Undergraduate Research Project Database
This database can be used to view engineering projects that are broadly available to undergraduate students. When you select a project, you will see a brief description and a method of contact for interested students. Check this database frequently as new projects will continue to be added.

OUR Undergraduate Research Opportunity Database
This database will provide a range of undergraduate research opportunities across the university. Not all undergraduate research opportunities will be listed here. Students can also find these opportunities in Handshake. Check this database frequently as new projects will continue to be added.

Departmental and Faculty Websites
Review departmental and faculty websites to learn what research opportunities might be available and reach out directly to the faculty.


Requesting an Opportunity

The College of Engineering has a 2-phase application process for all field study, independent study, and undergraduate research experiences as indicated below:

Phase 1: Faculty will need to gain departmental approval to offer the field study, independent study, or undergraduate research -- instructions
Phase 2: Students will need to apply to participate in the field study, independent study, or undergraduate research -- instructions

Spring 2022 Requests:
Phase 1: Instructor Request Form
Phase 2: Student Request Form
Trouble logging in?

Forms Open: One week prior to opening of web drop/add for each term (12:00 AM).
Forms Closes: Last day to add classes for each term (11:59 PM). Instructors should plan appropriately to have their projects approved in time for students to meet this deadline.


Requirements by Major

Each major has a minimum overall GPA and in-major GPA that students must earn to be eligible to participate in an independent study or undergraduate research. First-year students in their first term of enrollment are not eligible for independent study or undergraduate research. Transfer students in their first term of enrollment should consult with their academic advisor to determine if they are eligible (eligibility will be based on transfer course work).

Aerospace Engineering
Overall GPA: 2.0 or higher
In-Major GPA: 2.0 or higher

Biological Systems Engineering
Overall GPA: 2.5 or higher
In-Major GPA: 2.5 or higher

Biomedical Engineering
Overall GPA: 2.5 or higher
In-Major GPA: 2.5 or higher

Chemical Engineering
Overall GPA: 2.0 or higher
In-Major GPA: 2.0 or higher

Civil Engineering
Overall GPA: 2.0 or higher
In-Major GPA: 2.0 or higher

Construction Engineering and Management
Overall GPA: 2.0 or higher
In-Major GPA: 2.0 or higher

Computer Science (including DCC and SC)
Overall GPA: 2.5 or higher
In-Major GPA: 2.5 or higher for Independent Study; 3.0 or higher for Undergraduate Research
Other Requirements: Completion of CS 3114 with a grade of a C or better

Computer Engineering (including CPI, CRA, MCHL, NWCS, SFTW)
Overall GPA: 2.0 or higher
In-Major GPA: 2.0 or higher

Electrical Engineering (including CMNW, ECRA, ERES, MNSY, PHTN, RFMW, SPCS)
Overall GPA: 2.0 or higher
In-Major GPA: 2.0 or higher

Engineering Science and Mechanics
Overall GPA: 2.5 or higher
In-Major GPA: 2.0 or higher

General Engineering
Overall GPA: 2.0 or higher
In-Major GPA: 2.0 or higher

Industrial and Systems Engineering
Overall GPA: 2.0 or higher
In-Major GPA: 2.0 or higher

Mechanical Engineering (including AUTE, RBMT)
Overall GPA: 2.5 or higher
In-Major GPA: 2.0 or higher

Materials Science and Engineering
Overall GPA: 2.0 or higher
In-Major GPA: 2.0 or higher

Mining Engineering
Overall GPA: 2.0 or higher
In-Major GPA: 2.0 or higher