Georgia Tech’s Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program was created as part of  Tech’s “Quality Enhancement Plan” (QEP), a component of SACS accreditation. The purpose is to support both the quality and quantity of undergraduate research participation on campus.

The Materials Science and Engineering Undergraduate Program offers the Research Option that allows students to participate in undergraduate research in faculty laboratories.  The words “Research Option” will appear on the transcript of each student completing the requirements to indicate that the student has had a substantial, in-depth, research experience.

The requirements for the “Research Option” in Materials Science and Engineering are:

  • Selection of a faculty advisor and research topic in conjunction with the faculty advisor. The topic and expected scope of the project must be approved in advance by the MSE Undergraduate Curriculum Committee. The topic should first be emailed to the Associate Chair for Undergraduate Programs, Dr. Mary Lynn Realff at A key criterion will be whether the research may lead to a publishable paper.
  • Fill out and submit the Research Option Application,
  • Completion of nine units of supervised research, over a period of at least two, but preferably three, terms. Research may be either for pay or credit. At least six credit hours must involve work on a single research project.
  • Registration in 9 hours of undergraduate research courses MSE 2698 and 4698 (for pay), or MSE 2699 and 4699 (for credit). Up to 10 hours of MSE 2699 or 4699 can be used to satisfy the technical, MSE, and free elective requirements of the BS degree in MSE.  Courses taken for credit must be passed with a grade of “C” or higher.
  • Completion of LCC 4701 "Undergraduate Research Proposal Writing" (1 hr. credit) with a grade of "C" or higher the semester prior to their final semester of undergraduate research, at the latest. The student should write a Research Proposal while taking this class outlining their research topic and project for the thesis. For details on proposal content and requirements, go to:
  • The research proposal must be signed and approved by the student's faculty research mentor and one additional faculty member. Obtain approval of the Research Proposal from the MSE Undergraduate Curriculum Committee by submitting it electronically to the Associate Chair for Undergraduate Programs. This is required before taking LCC 4702.

    Once approved, the signed proposal should be uploaded at:  All proposals must be approved and submitted, at the latest, before the start of the student's final term of research. An approved proposal is required for admission to LMC 4702.

  • Completion of LCC 4702 "Undergraduate Research Thesis Writing" (1 hr. credit) with a grade of "C" or higher. students will construct an undergraduate research thesis based on their findings.
  • Have research thesis approved by the faculty advisor and one other MSE faculty member authorized by the MSE Undergraduate Curriculum Committee.  (Contact the Associate Chair for Undergraduate Programs to obtain a second reviewer).  The thesis will be evaluated on the basis of publishability, originality, creativity, and clarity.
  • Submit a pdf copy of the approved research thesis to the Associate Chair for Undergraduate Programs.
  • Complete the Certification Form, obtain necessary approvals/signatures: (1) the faculty research mentor, (2) the second faculty reader, and (3) the school undergraduate coordinator. A copy of the completed and signed certification form must be turned in, at the latest, to the UROP office in the Clough building, room 205 by the last day of finals of the student's graduating semester.
  • Thesis archival in Georgia Tech's ETD Submission System: Students must upload their completed thesis to Georgia Tech's online thesis database (or appropriately embargo the thesis for one year) by the last day of finals of the student's graduating semester.


Forms: Research Approval Form