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ENEE488 Independent Directed Study

Course Description

The purpose of an independent directed study course is to provide advanced undergraduates with the opportunities to craft and pursue an individualized course of study that meets their specific needs and interests. Directed studies are limited to material not presently offered at the University in any formal course.

GPA requirements

A cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher is recommended but not required. Highly motivated students who wish to participate in directed study or undergraduate research but do not meet the minimum recommended GPA should contact the faculty member they are interested in working with about the possibility of pursuing directed study or undergraduate research under their guidance.


Students must have successfully completed (i.e. earned a ‘C-’ or higher) all lower-level engineering, science, and mathematics courses required for the major. Certain projects may also require successful completion of specific upper-level ENEE courses, as determined by the project supervisor.

Credits and time requirements

Students can enroll in ENEE488 for 1-3 credits, depending on the scope of the study and the time commitment. Students should expect to work 3-4 hours a week (or a total of 45-60 hours over the course of a semester) for each credit of ENEE488. The proposal should contain an explanation of the proposed time commitment to justify the number of credits being requested.


Students cannot earn credit for a project that is part of a paid internship or job. All project work must be done after the approval of ENEE488/499/499L credits, students cannot earn credit for work that has been completed prior to project approval. Students are restricted to no more than 5 total credits between ENEE499, ENEE499L, and/or ENEE488.

Directed study supervisors

Only ECE and affiliated faculty and instructors may sponsor students for ENEE488. To qualify, the directed study must have a significant academic component and be electrical or computer engineering in nature.

Student and Supervisor Responsibilities

Directed study supervisors are responsible for making themselves available to meet regularly with their student(s) throughout the semester, for submitting a completed project assessment form to the ECE Undergraduate Office by the last day of finals, and for entering the student's final grade into UMEG. Students working with non-ECE supervisors will register under the ECE Associate Chair, who will submit the student's final grade upon receipt of the completed project assessment form from the project supervisor. Students are responsible for obtaining approval of their project proposal, scheduling appointments and regularly meeting with their faculty sponsor, and completing all work and required reports in a timely fashion.

Project proposal

Students wishing to engage in a directed study must submit a completed application form and a detailed proposal. The Associate Chair will review the proposal to determine if the directed study is of suitable academic content and rigor, contains adequate assessments, and appropriately complements the student's program of study and academic goals. The sponsor of the directed should work closely with the student in preparing a proposal which, at a minimum, should include the following:

  1. Objectives
    • Provide a list of the main objectives for the directed study
  2. Outcomes
    • Outline of topics and material to be covered
    • Should cover the range of abilites, skills, and/or techniquest the student should demonstrate competency in by the end of the course of study
  3. Learning strategies
    • Including recommended reading materials or required training and where and how this is to take place
  4. Assessment
    • Detail the method(s) of evaluation, e.g. problem sets, papers, lab notebook, oral presentations, exams, direct performance assessment
  5. Prerequisites and/or corequisites
    • List specific courses, prerequisites, and/or co-requisites for the directed study
  6. Deliverables
    • Provide a list of deliverables if applicable
Proposal deadlines

Students interested in pursuing a ENEE488 Independent Directed Study must submit a ENEE499 application form and a written proposal (outline above).  The form and written proposal must be submitted by the following deadlines:

  • Fall or Spring Semester
    • Graduating Seniors Deadline: First day of classes (Spring 2018: January 24; Fall 2018: August 27).
    • Regular Deadline: Fifth Day of Classes  (Spring 2018: January 30; Fall 2018: August 31st).
  • Summer Sessions
    • One week prior to the first day of summer classes
      • Summer I: May 22, 2018
      • Summer II: July 2, 2018
  • Winter Session 
    • Third day of fall semester finals (December 15, 2018)

ENEE488 Proposals must be submitted electronically at Please note that we will not accept proposals after the deadlines listed above.

Project deadlines

Upon the start of the ENEE488 Directed Study, both the student and supervisor must be aware of the following project deadlines:

  • Application: Must be completed and submitted with the written proposal. 
  • Mid-semester progress report: Must be at least one page (excluding figures and tables). Due by the end of the eighth week of classes.
  • Final report: The final research project report should be similar in content to a regular journal article and include: abstract, introduction, methodology, results, conclusion, and references. The report should be no shorter than four pages (excluding figures and tables). In order to receive credit for the course, an electronic copies of the project report must be submitted to both the supervisor and no later than the last day of classes in the semester in which the project is to be completed.
  • Project assessment: Due the last day of finals in the semester in which the project is to be completed.

ENEE488/499/499L Application/Approval Form
ENEE488/499/499L Project Assessment Form