The CECS Experiential Honors Program inspires the intellectual and leadership growth of students beyond academics. The program equips students with knowledge and skills that enhance their leadership and their preparedness to meet the challenges of their future engineering careers.

Program Features

The Experiential Honors Program has two groups of elements: An Academic Element and Experiential and Leadership Elements.  The Academic Element provides knowledge on design innovation and entrepreneurship. The Experiential and Leadership Elements focus on implementing academic knowledge in professional experience, engineering design, and/or engineering research.

Students will earn recognition for each element of the program by enrolling in Experiential Honors courses associated with the program elements. Those who complete the Academic Element and the Experiential Learning and Leadership Elements in a period of four consecutive semesters, will receive an Experiential Honors notation on their transcript upon graduation. It is worth noting that all program requirements can be completed within the academic requirements of the student’s degree program.

Apply via the online application:

Elements of the Program

Students are expected to enroll in a minimum of one credit hour for each of the four semesters that they are actively participating in the program.  Over the four semesters in the program, students should take at least one course listed in the Academic Elements and at least 3 courses listed in the Experiential Learning and Leadership Elements.

It is recommended that students accepted into the program meet at the beginning with their program advisor to plan their courses.  In addition, it is recommended that students meet with the advisor each semester to ensure they are completing the program in a timely manner.  An advising worksheet can be downloaded to help plan their courses.

Academic Elements

Complete at least one of the following courses (3 to 4 credit hours) that may also count as an elective in your academic program:

  1. ENGR 360 (4 cr. hrs.): Design Innovation: Process, Method and Practice
  2. ENT 400 (3 cr. hrs.): Introduction to Entrepreneurship
  3. ENGR 400 (3 cr. hrs.): Applied Business Techniques for Engineers 
Experiential Learning and Leadership Elements

Complete a combination of the following courses in the semesters in which a student is not enrolled in an Academic Element course.  The following courses also count toward fulfilling the professional elective requirements of the student’s academic degree.

  • Complete a semester-long faculty-supervised professional experience (ENGR 399*, 1 cr. hr.)
  • Complete 2 or 3 credit hours (1 cr. hr. per semester) in one or both of the following courses:
    • Experiential Honors Directed Research Project (ENGR 492, 1 to 3 cr. hrs.)
    • Complete Experiential Honors Directed Design Project (ENGR 493, 1 to 3 cr. hrs.) for performing hardware or software design for one of the CECS student club teams (e.g. SAE, MASA, etc.). Credit for ENGR 493 can also be earned for completing an industry/community/NGO/...sponsored "honors" design project**.



*Students who intend to take this class should make an appointment the semester before with Mr. Anthony DeLaRosa, Assistant Director in the CECS Experiential Learning Program.  Email:  The office is located at Fairlane Center North, SUITE 285. 


**The “Honors” Design Project is completed under the guidance of an “expert” who will challenge you to recognize and address global, economic, environmental, and societal impacts and implications of your proposed solution. An acceptable “honors” project is expected to require at least 50 clock hours of additional work during the semester in which the project is completed.

The project approval process involves:

  • Identifying a topic of interest
  • Identifying a faculty advisor to guide the project (if the topic is outside the expertise of your Experiential Honors Advisor).
  • Presenting the outcome of your project at the end of the semester in which the course is taken.
  • Submitting a project report that includes a reflection on the project and the lessons learned.

The honors design project may be an expansion of the scope of a senior design project. The credit hours for each activity is determined by the Faculty Advisor based on the effort required to complete the activity. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Who is eligible to participate?

The program is open to all students at CECS who are in good academic standing and who are interested in extending their educational experience beyond the classroom. The program is open to freshmen and transfer students who have completed at least one semester of study on campus.

Students can join the program by completing an application form. The program is open to all students and has no GPA requirement; however, to receive recognition, the students must accomplish the program elements and spend at least 4 full semesters of active participation.

Why apply to the program?
  1. Work on experiential projects that bridge the gap between engineering education and practice.
  2. Work on experiential research or design project above and beyond the requirements of the regular curriculum.
  3. Develop leadership skills.
  4. Receive recognition on your transcripts for participating in the program. 
How do I apply?

Submit the program application by the first day of the semester in which you wish to join the program. 

Who do I contact if I have questions?

Please contact the director of the program, Dr. Ghassan Kridli (, or the Experiential Honors Liaisons:

Liaison Department Email Office

Dr. Sridhar Lakshmanan

Electrical and Computer Engineering

212 SFC

Dr. Bruce Maxim

Computer and Information Systems

233 CIS

Dr. Eric B. Ratts

Mechanical Engineering

1250 HPEC

Dr. DeLean Tolbert

Industrial and Manufacturing Systems Engineering

2270 HPEC

Advising and Academic Success

Engineering Lab Building (ELB)
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