Today’s global complexities demand new approaches to training tomorrow’s engineers. At the Samueli School, hands-on experience and participation in research play a key role in educating undergraduate students.
Our Freshman Experiential Learning Program, initiated in 2012, provides design/build/test experience to undergraduates from the very beginning of their time on campus. Working in multidisciplinary teams, they experience real-world product development through planning, research, design, manufacturing and evaluation. The program, the first in the UC system, offers UCI students a distinct competitive advantage.
Similarly, our Engineering in Industry Design Program offers teams of senior-level undergraduates the opportunity to collaborate with faculty and corporate partners to solve real-world engineering problems. By providing direct support to local industry, the experience offers future engineers an educational component not available in textbooks.
Undergraduates at all levels are encouraged to participate in the Division of Undergraduate Education’s Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program. UROP guides students through all phases of the research process, providing them with the necessary skills to succeed in their future careers.
To date, two-thirds of our undergraduate students have participated in faculty-led research projects by the time they graduate, and our goal is to boost that number to 100 percent.