Undergraduate Research

Undergraduates in ECE have many opportunities to perform research:

ECE Faculty-Student Recruiting

ECE faculty regularly have openings for undergraduates in their research labs. Students interested in research are strongly encouraged to speak with faculty whose work aligns with their own interests, to see what opportunities may be available. In addition to the directory on this website, check the research guide.

Vertically Integrated Projects Program

The ELEC 491 Vertically Integrated Projects Program (VIP Program) unites undergraduate education and faculty research in a team-based context. Undergraduate VIP students earn academic credits, while faculty and graduate students benefit from the design/discovery efforts of their teams. VIP extends the academic design experience beyond a single semester. It provides the time and context to learn and practice professional skills, to make substantial contributions, and experience different roles on large multidisciplinary design/discovery teams. The long-term nature of VIP creates an environment of mentorship, with faculty and graduate students mentoring teams, experienced students mentoring new members, and students moving into leadership roles as others graduate. Rice VIP teams are comprised of students from freshmen to seniors, with a variety of majors and backgrounds. Contact us to learn more.

Electrical Engineering Research Projects

ELEC 490 is a course where undergraduates can conduct theoretical and experimental investigations under ECE faculty direction. Students must complete the Independent Study Petition which requests a short one-paragraph abstract of the project at the start of the semester. This abstract should be discussed with the student's research advisor for approval. Once submitted it will be reviewed and subject to the approval of the undergraduate committee.

About 3 hours of work per week per 15 week semester would translate to 1 credit hour. The maximum number of credit hours of ELEC 490 in one semester would be 3. ELEC 490 projects do not count towards ECE specialization credit, and the maximum total ELEC 490 is limited to 6 hours. Students can petition if they have a special project. If a student is being paid to work on the research project, then ELEC 490 credit cannot also be earned.

The student is expected to prepare a final presentation and report for the research advisor by the end of the semester so that the research advisor can assess the student's performance and give the student a grade. (The student's level of effort should be comparable to that in a traditional lecture/lab course.) The student's research advisor should then email Norma Santamaria regarding grading.

Engineering Design

The Oshman Engineering Design Kitchen (OEDK) provides a space for undergraduate students majoring in bioengineering, chemical and biomolecular engineering, civil and environmental engineering, computational and applied mathematics, computer science, electrical and computer engineering, materials science and nanoengineering, mechanical engineering and statistics to design, prototype and deploy solutions to real-world engineering challenges. To create the full circle of real-world experience that has societal impact, interdisciplinary teams tackle problems proposed by industry and partners in the Texas Medical Center and abroad.