​Independent Study

Undergraduates are encouraged to pursue laboratory or industrial research during the school year or summer break. Many Washington University faculty have research openings for students.

First, reach an agreement with a faculty member, who is willing to serve as supervisor, as to the objective and scope of the Project. The faculty supervisor must be either full time in the School of Engineering or affiliated with the Department of Biomedical Engineering. 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 (see note i below) and number of engineering topics credits (see note ii below) for the course;
  5. a realistic budget for necessary materials, services, and/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; eg. the basis of the grade to be assigned.

The proposal must be accompanied by a Request for Approval form (found on the upper right of this page). The form must be signed by the student, supervisor and the student’s BME academic advisor. 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.

i. A three-credit project implies a total time commitment of approximately 180 hours over a semester, corresponding to a weekly average of 12 hours.
ii. BME 400, 400A, 400B, 400C pertain to a request for 0, 1, 2, 3 engineering topics units respectively.
iii. Three units (one semester) of 400C may be used to fulfill one course in Tier II, but the student must register for a grade (not pass-fail).
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