Independent Research Requirements

Independent research projects may qualify for academic credit under CE443 and CE461 where they comply with the following provisions.


Independent research projects may address issues relevant to any of the sub-disciplines of Civil Engineering. Appropriate topics should include a significant research or design component. Research and design activities may include such things as laboratory or field experimentation, compilation and review of technical literature, technical work sponsored by industry or government, and computer modeling.


Independent research projects must involve a faculty sponsor. In consultation with the faculty sponsor, a cadet must prepare a letter proposal outlining the premise of their project. The proposal must include the endorsement of the faculty sponsor and be approved by the CEE Department Head prior to registering for independent study credits.


Independent research projects will require the same level-of-effort as a 3-credit course offered in the CEE Department. This represents a minimum of 90 hours of work, excluding time spent in consultation with the project faculty sponsor. Cadets are required to document time worked and maintain a record of individual project activities including sources consulted, time allocated to various project tasks, calculations, correspondence, and others as determined by the faculty sponsor.


Independent research projects will include a written report that provides a comprehensive overview of the work performed and the presentation and discussion of findings. The report should reflect professional quality work and be prepared in conformance with the CEE Department Writing Guide. References and appendices should be included. The report may require revision following comments received as part of the presentation described below. In addition to a final printed copy, an electronic copy as an MSWord document is required.

Separate from the project report, the cadet will provide certified documentation of the level-of-effort and project activities as described above.


At the project completion, the cadet will make an oral presentation to a panel of at least two CEE Department faculty. The members the panel should be provided with a copy of the project report enough in advance of the presentation to allow time for a thorough review. The presentation should provide a summary of the project report, emphasizing significant findings.