Explore Student Experiences

We offer a variety of multiple semester project experiences where first-year undergraduate through professional master’s students earn course credit while gaining real-world experience.

Recruitment occurs every fall with a common application deadline in mid-October for Faculty Research and Industry Sponsored Teams.

Faculty Research

Under the direction of a Faculty Principal Investigator (PI), teams of 12 to 45 students are flexibly structured into sub-teams and collaborate on projects that support the PIs research agenda.  

  • Students develop research experience and team skills over multiple semesters of engagement, preparing for a future in research and/or professional practice.
  • There are apprentice positions reserved for 1st and 2nd year students. These do not require specific skills, only willingness to work hard and develop new skills. 
  • Students enroll in 2 ENGR course credits per term, with a 2-term minimum beginning in January.
  • Students are encouraged to continue participating beyond the minimum 2-term requirement. More experienced students are a natural fit for leadership roles on the team as their knowledge grows over time.

Learn about the faculty research student experience

See all faculty research projects

Industry Sponsored Projects

Gain experience and solve real-world problems on an industry or non-profit project. Small teams of 5-7 students are guided weekly by dedicated faculty and sponsor mentors. International students on F1 visas must be eligible to use required CPT time for these projects.

  • Students develop core translatable skills for professional practice.
  • Complete a full design cycle from literature review to final project handover in one year.
  • All industry sponsored projects begin in January and end in December, with participation in both semesters required (summer generally not included).
  • Undergraduate students earn 7-8 credits; split over the 2-semester project. Graduate students earn a total of 4 credits, generally 2 credits each semester. Many students can earn degree course substitutions.

Learn about the industry sponsored student experience

See all industry sponsored projects

In addition to our main fall semester project recruitment, MDP offers a curricular (“for credit”) course structure for dedicated work on engineering-focused student organization teams.

Student Org Teams

Members of engineering student organizations can work with MDP to earn academic credit.

  • Returning student organization members have the potential to earn academic credit for technically advanced work on the team.
  • Any design-based engineering team with at least 3 majors represented, and a faculty advisor to supervise and grade their work, is eligible to earn academic credit.
  • Over thirty engineering student organizations currently earn academic credit through MDP courses.
  • Students can begin earning credit in either fall or winter semesters, once they have completed a full semester on the team.

Learn about the student org team experience