Research, design projects, and internships give WashU engineers the opportunity to blend theory and practice, develop team skills, and even earn a salary at local companies, such as Boeing, MasterCard, and Bayer, through internships, co-ops, and student projects.

As an undergraduate student, you can work side-by-side in the lab with some of the best faculty in engineering, medicine, and the sciences to solve problems, take entire courses focused on design, or create your own prototypes in our maker spaces and machine shop. You also can work with students from across WashU, including the medical school, through Sling Health, a student-run bioengineering design incubator that solves health care problems.

COVID-19 policy for undergraduate research

The Departments are now allowing on-campus, laboratory-based independent research for credit and for pay with the Department Chair’s approval.

Click here for more information and updates on university lab research status

Research routes

The summer research programs offered through the McKelvey School of Engineering is a great way to expand your horizons and discover if a future in research is right for you.

International Student Research Internship Program

The International Student Research Internship Program is designed for students currently enrolled at an international university to participate in engineering research at WashU during the summer months (May through September).

Projects will be in the general areas of biomedical engineering, computer science, computer engineering, electrical engineering, systems engineering, chemical engineering, energy & environmental engineering, mechanical engineering & materials science.


Washington University Summer Engineering Fellowship (WUSEF)

The WUSEF program is designed to encourage exceptional students from backgrounds underrepresented in the STEM fields, including underrepresented minority students, students from economically disadvantaged and underserved backgrounds, and students with disabilities, to participate in engineering research. Fellows will enjoy a rewarding summer research experience at one of the nation’s top universities.

Each fellow will engage in an independent research project under the guidance of a McKelvey School of Engineering faculty member.


Energy Environmental & Chemical Engineering Program

Opportunities for graduate studies and research in chemical engineering and energy and environmental engineering are available in a number of areas, including aerosol science and technology, catalysis, chemical reaction engineering, transport of pollutants, environmentally benign catalytic processing, materials synthesis and composites, advanced energy technologies, aquatics and other related areas. Students interested in research are encouraged to discuss opportunities for active involvement with an academic adviser or directly with a faculty member.


Computer Science & Engineering Research Experience for Undergraduates

Participating in an undergraduate research project is a great way to learn a lot about a specific area and to try your hand at a cutting-edge research topic. If you are thinking about graduate school, this is also an excellent opportunity to learn more about academic research and to get hands-on experience before applying.


Center for Engineering MechanoBiology Summer Research Experience

CEMB seeks motivated undergraduate students for its Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) program for summer 2018. Students participate in 10-week, on-campus programs in Philadelphia or St. Louis, working in research groups at the University of Pennsylvania and WashU. Students are matched to projects within a research group based on their interests, educational background and previous research experience.


Thermal Management Research Experience for Undergraduates

Be immersed in projects tied to emerging technologies such as metal-air batteries and nanofluidic and micro-/nanostructural thermal transport enhancement, while also learning the role of thermal-fluids engineers in the micro-/power electronics, chemical/material processing, transportation, and energy industries. You'll have multiple one-on-one advising sessions with faculty to define and develop a plan for achieving personal goals.

The National Science Foundation’s Center for Engineering Mechanobiology (CEMB) Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) Program

The Center for Engineering Mechanobiology, a National Science Foundation Science and Technology Center, seeks motivated undergraduate students for its Summer Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) Program. Applicants may apply to sites at the University of Pennsylvania (Philadelphia) and Washington University in St. Louis. Students participate in a 10-week, on-campus program, working in research groups at either Penn or WashU. Students are matched to projects within a research lab based on their interests, educational background, and previous research experience.

Learn more about the CEMB and the Summer REU at cemb.org.


Center for Innovation in Neuroscience and Technology Fellowship

In technically oriented fields, such as neurosurgery and neurointerventional radiology, technical innovation and leadership are synonymous. To engage these emerging trends, the Center for Innovation in Neuroscience and Technology (CINT) created a unique opportunity to participate in a paid summer internship that brings together engineering and neurosurgery faculty and students. The goal of the fellowship is for students to communicate with people from medical backgrounds to more effectively envision, articulate, and implement ideas to improve the practice of neurosurgery. Students will have the opportunity to work with neurosurgical and engineering faculty, other engineering students and a neurosurgical resident. The residents and students will design, draft and create the prototype of an original concept. At the end of the fellowship, students will present their design for industry evaluation at the corporate office of Stryker Corporation.


McKelvey Undergraduate Research Scholars

Each year, select engineering students are chosen as James M. McKelvey Undergraduate Research Scholars. Those selected receive an award to conduct research with any Washington University in St. Louis faculty member in engineering, medicine or the sciences. These Scholars also take advantage of special programming, including both cultural and academic activities.

The research award may be used for summer stipends to enable students to spend one or more summers at Washington University focusing on in-depth research projects. McKelvey Scholars are also eligible for all other merit-based scholarships and awards, as well as for need-based financial aid.


Undergraduate Research Symposium

Each year, more than 200 undergraduates showcase their research projects through poster presentations and visual and oral presentations during the university-wide undergraduate research symposium.

"The Undergraduate Research Symposium is a great way for students to showcase just how advanced undergraduate research can be," says Henry Biggs, PhD, associate dean in Arts & Sciences and director of the Office of Undergraduate Research. "It allows students to examine what those in other disciplines are working on as well. The symposium gets more and more popular each semester as students see the benefit of presenting their work to such a wide audience."

McKelvey Undergraduate Research Scholars

Each year, select engineering students are chosen as James M. McKelvey Undergraduate Research Scholars. Those selected receive an award to conduct research with any Washington University in St. Louis faculty member in engineering, medicine or the sciences. These Scholars also take advantage of special programming, including both cultural and academic activities.

The research award may be used for summer stipends to enable students to spend one or more summers at Washington University focusing on in-depth research projects. McKelvey Scholars are also eligible for all other merit-based scholarships and awards, as well as for need-based financial aid.


Washington University Summer Engineering Fellowship (WUSEF)

The Washington University Summer Engineering Fellowship (WUSEF) program is designed to encourage exceptional students from backgrounds underrepresented in the STEM fields, including underrepresented minority students, students from economically disadvantaged and underserved backgrounds and students with disabilities, to participate in engineering research. Fellows will enjoy a rewarding summer research experience at one of the nation’s top universities.