Culminating Undergraduate Experience (Thesis)

The Culminating Undergraduate Experience (CUE) represents a Kettering student’s crowning achievement – the tangible proof of growth, knowledge, understanding, and mastery of applicable, real-world skills necessary for the student’s transition to professional status upon graduation.  All Kettering University baccalaureate programs require completion of the CUE, also known as the senior thesis. The senior thesis is a professional document describing a comprehensive project performed by the student. The project is generally performed for the student’s co-op employer (Co-op Thesis); however, with employer permission the student is eligible to perform another option for his/her CUE: Research Thesis Project (with degree program faculty) or Entrepreneurship/Innovation (E-ship/I-ship) Thesis Project (student idea for a new business, new product, etc.). Students become eligible to conduct work on the CUE when they have earned a minimum of 88 credit hours (Senior I Standing). The CUE is an academic requirement approximately taking two twelve week terms at 20 hours per week to complete the project work and write the thesis document.  Students are introduced to the CUE in a required five week CUE-495 Introductory Course at Junior I standing. There are 4 credit hours awarded upon completion of the CUE and the student will earn a grade of Pass with Distinction, Pass or Fail upon the Faculty Thesis Advisor’s approval of a Kettering standardized written thesis document.  The focus of this project may be a product, system, creation of a comprehensive business plan, results of investigation of a new idea, etc. 

Please Note: Students facing challenges for completing their CUE requirement, including students who have completed all other graduation requirements, are to contact the Center for Integrated Learning Experiences - Culminating Undergraduate Experience (CILE - CUE) office for immediate advisement.

CUE Options & Finding a CUE/Thesis Topic

For all of CUE options, it is the student’s responsibility to find a topic for his/her thesis project.  If the student is unable to secure a thesis project through his/her Co-op Employer, with employer approval provided by the company to CILE - CUE the student can pursue one of the non-Co-op Thesis options.

Co-op Thesis

A topic idea for the project is determined by the employer and student, perhaps a project the company needs performed and a topic that is of value to the employer. The student is required to complete and submit a Proposed Thesis Assignment (PTA) in the thesis software tool, KqUest. Upon submission, the PTA is electronically forwarded to the students Employer Thesis Advisor and degree department for evaluation.  Upon approval, the student is notified via e-mail of their assigned Faculty Thesis Advisor and acceptance to begin work on the project.  The CILE-CUE Office will notify the Registrar's Office of the CUE project registration.

E-ship/I-ship Thesis

This is a student generated idea. An applicant for an E-ship/I-ship thesis project will select one of the three pathways:  Product Development (innovation for a new product, process or service) Business Concept (a detailed plan for bringing a concept for a product, process, and/or service to the market, before (or while) performing extensive development of the product, process and/or service.) or Business Plan (a comprehensive “business plan” that can be used in an effort to secure funding for the establishment and/or expansion of a new or existing operating venture). The student is required to complete and submit the E-ship Thesis Proposal form which is available for preview in the CUE/Thesis software tool, KqUest under downloadable "Documents". However, for official E-ship Thesis Proposal form access and submission, please contact ccue@kettering.edu to get login access to the CILE - E-ship Thesis Proposal Blackboard organization. Upon submission, the proposal is evaluated by the E-ship Thesis Proposal Review Committee. Determination of the Faculty Thesis Advisor is dependent upon the E-ship/I-ship pathway the student pursues. Upon approval, the student is notified via e-mail of the acceptance to begin work on the project. The CILE-CUE Office will notify the Registrar's Office of the CUE project registration.

Research Thesis

This is a project focusing on conducting research most often on campus due to laboratory usage.  It is an opportunity for the senior student to apply his/her academic and co-op experience to the investigation and experimentation of new ideas. Usually the topic is provided by a Kettering faculty member in the student's degree department. The student is required to complete and submit the Research Thesis Proposal which is available in the CUE/Thesis software tool, KqUest under downloadable "Documents"; however, the Faculty Thesis Advisor may choose to complete the proposal form. Once the proposal form is completed, the student and Faculty Thesis Advisor will obtain approval signatures from the Department Head, the proposal is then considered approved. Upon approval, the proposal form is submitted to the Center for Integrated Learning Experiences - Culminating Undergraduate Experience (CILE-CUE) and the student can begin work on the project. The CILE-CUE Office will notify the Registrar's Office of the CUE project registration. The projects are limited and students are selected based on their expertise matching the project scope. For more information contact your degree department head or appointed Thesis Administrator within your degree department.

Please note: Students who have exhausted all efforts to identify a CUE/Thesis topic and require Kettering’s assistance to find one, are to complete a Directed Thesis Request Form. The form can be provided by sending a request to ccue@kettering.edu.  Upon completion, the form will then be sent to the students degree Department Head as an alert that the student needs assistance.  The degree Department Head will attempt to identify a thesis topic that fits the students skill set and experience defined in the Directed Thesis Request Form. Please note:  CILE-CUE recommends this request form to be submitted if the student is unable to identify a CUE/Thesis topic by the end of the students Senior I term co-op term.

CUE Process

Students will be educated on the entire CUE/Thesis during Module 1: CUE Introductory Course (Junior I term).  Students will have two advisors upon topic approval through completion that will serve as mentors and review the written thesis document.  The written thesis document will be archived in the Thesis Digital Archive on Kettering’s Library website for viewing. Both the student and employer with receive a bound copy of the thesis within two months upon completion.  All confidential theses will not be bound nor will be available for viewing in the Digital Thesis Archive.  Kettering’s Confidential Agreement is available in the software tool KqUest, for the student’s employer to determine the sequestering period and for signature. Students are required to complete Kettering’s four modules for his/her CUE/Thesis which include:

Registration

While the CUE project is designed to be completed within two terms, there is only one registration.  In most cases, the registration is placed in the academic term nearest to the approval of the student’s thesis topic. Upon completion of the CUE project, after a final, passing grade is received in the Office of the Registrar and posted to the student’s record, the student will receive four credit hours for the project which is tied to the CUE registration.

The CUE project will be considered “in progress” until a final grade is received in the Office of the Registrar and posted to the student’s record, or until the expected term of graduation passes, whichever comes first.  If the project is not completed by the expected term of graduation, a grade of “I” (Incomplete) will be issued by the Office of the Registrar and will remain for four (4) terms.  If the final grade is not received within those four (4) terms, the “I” grade will convert to a grade of “F” (Fail). 

For more information visit the Center for Integrated Learning Experiences - Culminating Undergraduate Experience at 3-341 AB, call (810) 762-9947, CCUE@kettering.edu or visit the website.