Research Opportunities

More than 60 percent of Duke Engineering undergraduates participate in research experiences with a Duke faculty member

The benefits of research fellowships or independent study are vast— and include excellent preparation for graduate school and the possibilities of Graduation with Departmental Distinction (GwDD) and departmental student research honors.

Research Fellowships

These programs offer undergrads research opportunities while earning credit:

Pratt Research Fellows

Three semesters of independent undergraduate engineering study, plus summer research.

NAE Grand Challenge Scholars

Focused investigation on a selected Grand Challenge—including courses outside of engineering, entrepreneurship opportunities, and both global- and service-learning.

Bass Connections

Interdisciplinary university research teams—usually two semesters; some have a summer session.


Independent study is an integral and immensely popular part of undergraduate engineering education at Duke.

During independent study, students work with faculty supervisors to focus on special topics of each student's choosing. Students participating in the NAE Grand Challenges Scholar Program and/or contributing to the Duke Smart Home may obtain independent study credits for their work, if their project is supervised by faculty.

How to Get Started With Independent Study

Are you a Trinity College student?

Browse Faculty Profiles

Students can approach faculty members to discuss research opportunities. To develop ideas for ideas on whom to approach, explore the research interests across Duke Engineering's faculty through the links below. With the right match of interests, you can work with faculty from any engineering department:

Submit an Independent Study Request

1st- and 2nd-Year Students

May enroll in an independent study course and count the credit as a free elective:

Submit a Request

3rd- and 4th-Year Students

May enroll in an independent study that will count as an advanced elective in their major. Request an independent study through forms provided by your department:

A Note for Trinity College Students

Yes, students in Duke's Trinity College of Arts & Sciences interested in participating in an engineering research experience can request an independent study. Submit a request.

NOTE: The submission deadline is two (2) business days before Drop/Add ends.