Academic credit for research


It is possible to get academic credit in BMME for research done during the fall or spring semesters if the following criteria are met:

  1. You are a student in the BMME program.
  2. The research must be BME-related (your research advisor does not have to be a faculty member in the BME Department)
  3. You are not paid a salary by your research advisor (this requirement only applies to research done on campus).

Below are procedures for getting academic credit for research.

Deadlines to enroll in these research opportunities are:

Semester Deadline 2018-2019 Deadline Decision date
Spring (for summer or fall enrollment) 4 weeks before the first day of finals 4/2/18 Before the first day of final exams
Summer (for fall enrollment) 4 weeks before the first day of classes 7/24/18 Before the first day of classes
Fall (for spring enrollment) 4 weeks before the first day of finals 11/19/18 Before the first day of final exams

BMME 295 — Research in Biomedical Engineering

This course will appear on your transcript and count toward your GPA but it does not count toward BME graduation requirements. You may take this course only once.

To submit an application for BMME 295:

  1. You complete and sign the Independent Study Application (see Resources below) and give it to your research advisor for their signature.
  2. You write a 2-page single spaced research proposal and the research advisor approves it. Details on content and formatting are provided in the Independent Study Application.
  3. You email both #1 and #2 to the student services coordinator.
  4. When these documents are approved, the student services coordinator will register you for BMME 295. If your research advisor is a BME faculty member, then you will be registered in a section under their name. Otherwise, you will be registered in a section under the Director of Undergraduate Studies.

Deadline to enroll in BMME 295: Due dates for the proposal and contracts are outlined in the table above.

At the end of the semester:

  1. During finals week, you submit a 4-page research report to their research advisor, in the general format of a scientific paper (intro, methods, results, discussion).
  2. Your advisor grades the report according to the final report rubric in the research contract (see Resources below). He or she emails the student services coordinator with the graded report and completed rubric.

After enrolled in BMME 295, deadline for grading: the last day the research sponsor can submit a grade for BMME 295 is the last day of the final exam period. The research report and any additional work required by the research sponsor must be submitted in time to allow for grading from the sponsor. If you miss the deadline, you will receive a grade of IN (incomplete) for the class.


BMME 495 — Undergraduate Research in BME as a Technical Elective

This course can count toward your graduation requirements as one of your four BME technical electives. You may take this course only once, but you may take BMME 295 as preparation for this course.

To submit an application for BMME 495:

  1. You complete and sign the Independent Study Application (see Resources below) and give it to your research advisor for their signature.
  2. You write a 2-page single spaced research proposal and the research advisor approves it. Details on content and formatting are provided in the Independent Study Application.
  3. You email the completed application to the student services coordinator.
  4. A committee will review your application and will likely suggest some modifications
  5. When these documents are approved, the student services coordinator will register you for BMME 495. If your research advisor is a BME faculty member, then you will be registered in a section under their name. Otherwise, you will be registered in a section under the Director of Undergraduate Studies.

Deadline for the materials above: Due dates for the BMME 495 application are outlined in the table above.

In order to comply with University policy, NO exceptions can be made to these deadlines. If you miss the deadlines, then you will not be able to register for BMME 495 that semester.

At the end of the semester:

  1. During finals week, you submit a final research report to your research advisor, in the general format of a scientific paper (intro, methods, results, discussion).
  2. You give an oral presentation of your research at an approved venue (BME seminar or UNC Celebration of Undergraduate Research).
  3. Your advisor grades the report according to the final report rubric in the Independent Study Application (see Resources below). He or she emails the student services coordinator with the final report and completed rubric.

Deadline for the materials above: the last day of the final exam period. If you miss the deadline, you will receive a grade of IN (incomplete) for the class.

After enrolled in BMME 495, deadline for grading: the last day the research sponsor can submit a grade for BMME 495 is the last day of the final exam period. The research report, oral presentation, and any additional work required by the research sponsor must be submitted in time to allow for grading from the sponsor. If you miss the deadline, you will receive a grade of IN (incomplete) for the class.


BMME 691H/692H — Senior Honors Thesis in Biomedical Engineering

A Senior Honors Thesis is an independent research project that is related to BME and separate from your senior design project. Because this is a separate project outside of our required curriculum, these classes do not count toward BME graduation requirements.

Starting in the summer or fall of your senior year, you work with a faculty member on a year-long research project. In the spring, you complete the research and writes the thesis, which is like a mini-Master’s thesis. You present the work to a committee of three faculty members, one of whom would be the research advisor. If you successfully complete this program, you will graduate with “honors” or “highest honors.” The designation of “highest honors” is reserved for students who have submitted, or your PI confirms that you have plans to submit your research to a peer-reviewed journal.

General Requirements:

  • You must complete an original and substantial research project under direct supervision by a faculty advisor.
  • The proposed work must be distinct from any research being performed for research credit (either BMME 295 or BMME 495).
  • You must have a 3.30 or higher GPA and must maintain this minimum GPA throughout their senior year. This is a UNC requirement and we cannot make any exceptions to this rule.
    • Students whose GPA is close to the eligibility standard and who have a reasonable chance of meeting the requirement by December of their senior year may begin a Senior Honors Thesis on a probationary basis. Students who fail to raise their GPAs to meet the standard at the end of the probationary semester may not continue as candidates for graduation with honors or highest honors.
  • You must enroll in BMME 691H (fall) and 692H (spring). You must present your thesis research at the UNC Celebration of Undergraduate Research, organized by the UNC Office of Undergraduate Research and typically held in April each year. You can obtain a waiver from this requirement if you can demonstrate that you have presented your work at a national conference, or if you have submitted an abstract to a national conference to present your work in the near future.
  • For your Thesis Defense, you will conduct an oral, public presentation; take questions during and after the presentation; and then your committee will debate on whether you: 1) do not pass; 2) pass with Honors; or 3) pass with Highest Honors.

Additional details will be distributed to rising seniors each spring.


Resources (see above for additional information)

BME Independent Study Application 2018