University of Wisconsin Madison College of Engineering

Honors in Research
degree program

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Program objectives


The BSIE Honors in Research Degree is awarded to exceptional undergraduate students who have consistently displayed a high level of academic accomplishment and made significant contributions to research. The research should be such that the student participates in the creation of new knowledge, experiences the excitement of the research process, and makes a contribution that can be directly attributed to the student's efforts. The research need not be an independent effort by the student, but can be participation in a larger team effort as long as it meets the above criteria.


Eligibility for admission


The program is open to undergraduate students majoring in Industrial and Systems Engineering. Minimum GPA for admission to the BSIE Honors in Research degree program is 3.5.


Admission process


To be considered for admission to the BSIE Honors in Research degree program, the student needs to submit a formal application form to the Honors Program Coordinator. The forms are available in the department office in 360 Mechanical Engineering.


To complete the application, the student must meet with the Honors in Research Program Coordinator to develop a program plan, and get written approval from the faculty member(s) under whose supervision the student wishes to conduct research.


The Honors in Research Program Coordinator will evaluate the application form and make a decision regarding the student's admission to the program.


Program requirements


A minimum of three academic sessions (that is, semester or 8-week summer session) of continued involvement in the program is necessary. Students who are not in school during an academic session (e.g., due to internship or co-op) are not required to conduct active research during their absence, but have to maintain contact with their research supervisor or the Honors in Research Program Coordinator.


During each academic session of active participation in this program, the student must engage in research under the supervision of a faculty member and register for Honors in Undergraduate Research courses (IE 389 or IE 489). The student must complete a total of at least 8 credits of Honors in Undergraduate Research courses, including at least 5 credits of IE 389 and 3 credits of IE 489 (Senior Thesis). The student is allowed to apply up to 3 research credits towards the ISyE Technical Elective requirement in the BSIE curriculum.


The student must maintain a minimum GPA of 3.3 in each academic session after being admitted to this program, and a minimum GPA of 3.5 in the Honors in Undergraduate Research courses.


While earning the eight credits of research credits, the student may opt to work with multiple faculty members and different research projects. However, the three credits of Senior Thesis research must be focused on a well-defined topic and must be conducted under the supervision of a single faculty member.


The Senior Thesis is a written report that is individually prepared by the student (even when the research that was conducted by the student was part of a larger group research project). The document should be written in the style of a graduate thesis and must be approved and signed by the faculty member supervising the student's research.


A bound copy of the Senior Thesis should be submitted to the ISyE department office. The student is required to make a presentation based on the Senior Thesis to a committee of three professors (including the research supervisor) in a publicly announced seminar. The student should fulfill all the requirements of the BS in Industrial Engineering degree.