​Independent Study

Undergraduates within the School of Engineering & Applied Sciences are encouraged to pursue independent laboratory or industrial research during the academic year or summer break.

Many Washington University in St. Louis faculty have research openings for students. Students should reach an agreement with a faculty member who is willing to serve as supervisor on the objective and scope of the project. The faculty supervisor must be either employed full time in the School of Engineering or affiliated with the Department of Biomedical Engineering.

Application Requirements

In cooperation with the faculty supervisor, the student will prepare a written proposal including:

  1. a clear and concise statement of the objective of the project;
  2. a brief synopsis of the work to be done (e.g., literature search, apparatus design/construction, laboratory experiment) and a statement as to the estimated design content, if any;
  3. the time to be devoted to the project by the student, weekly and overall;
  4. a justification for the requested total number of credits (a three-credit project implies a total time commitment of approximately 180 hours over a semester, corresponding to a weekly average of 12 hours) and number of engineering topics credits for the course (BME 400, 400A, 400B, 400C pertain to a request for 0, 1, 2, 3 engineering topics units respectively);
  5. a realistic budget for necessary materials, services or equipment and the source of the funds required;
  6. the final outcome expected by the supervisor (e.g., written report, working program, instrument or mechanism, etc.) and the date to be delivered; e.g. the basis of the grade to be assigned.

The proposal must be accompanied by a Request for Approval form. The form must be signed by the student, supervisor and the student’s BME academic advisor. Note that three units (one semester) of 400C may be used to fulfill one course in Tier II as part of the undergraduate core curriculum, but the student must register for a grade (not pass-fail).

Deadline and Approvals

The proposal and the form must be submitted five working days prior to the last day to add a course.

The proposal will be evaluated by the biomedical engineering department Undergraduate Studies Committee and approved for total course credits and engineering topics units. A copy of the approved proposal shall be placed in the student’s file.

BME 400C Approved Sample Proposal

BME 400C Sample Report

  1. All reports should include:
  2. Introduction
  3. Methods
  4. Results and Discussion
  5. Conclusion and Future Steps
  6. References
  7. Optional: Acknowledgements

  • BME 400 - Depending on the number of credits (1-3), the report should be the same as the courses below.
  • BME 400A (1CR): Minimum 1200 words and a minimum of 4 tables/figures
  • BME 400B (2CR): Minimum 2400 words and a minimum of 6 tables/figures
  • BME 400C (3CR): Minimum 3600 words and a minimum of 8 tables/figures