Culminating Undergraduate Experience (Thesis)

All Kettering University baccalaureate programs require completion of the Culminating Undergraduate Experience (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:  Entre/Intra/Social E-ship Thesis, Research Thesis, or Professional Practice Thesis. Students become eligible to conduct work on the CUE when they have earned a minimum of 88 credit hours (Senior I Standing). The CUE project is an academic requirement approximately taking two terms to complete.  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.

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. Students have four options to choose from to fulfill their CUE graduation requirement: Co-op Thesis Project (through student’s co-op employer), Research Thesis Project (with degree program faculty), E-ship Thesis Project (student idea for a new business, new product, etc.) or Professional Practice Thesis Project (Interdisciplinary Team Project executed for local community organizations and companies).

Please Note: Students facing challenges for completing their CUE requirement, including students who have completed all other graduation requirements, please contact CCUE@kettering.edu 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 company to CCUE 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 topic idea is submitted by the student with validation of approval from the Employer Thesis Advisor and review/approval by a Kettering University Faculty Thesis Advisor.  Upon approval, the student will be registered for the thesis project and will begin work on the project.

E-ship Thesis

This is a student generated idea whereby the fundamental basis of the thesis is a value proposition that goes beyond the design/build/technology of what may -- or may not be – a new idea, gadget, solution or improvement (“a better mousetrap”).  As such, the E-ship proposal contains criteria for consideration of the possible markets (customers), needs, approach, benefits, and competition.  The student is required to submit the topic for approval and the proposal is available on CCUE’s website. Upon review and approval from the E-ship Thesis Proposal Review Committee, the student will be registered for the thesis project.  Students are encouraged to find a Faculty Thesis Advisor to advise over the course of the thesis; however, one will be appointed if needed.  For more information, please contact:  CCUE - Center for Culminating Undergraduate Experiences 3-301 AB, 810.762.9947 CCUE@kettering.edu

Research Thesis

This is a project focused 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. The topic is provided by a Kettering faculty member.  The Kettering faculty member is required to submit the topic for approval and the proposal is available on CCUE’s website. Upon review and approval from the Department Head, the proposal is submitted to the Center for Culminating Undergraduate Experiences and the student is registered for the thesis project. These projects are usually provided by the student’s degree department. 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 as indicated by major below:

Biology:  Dr. Stacy Seeley, 3-213 MC 810.762.9561 sseeley@kettering.edu
Business:  Karen Cayo, 4-345 AB 810.762.7969 kcayo@kettering.edu
Chemistry:  Dr. Stacy Seeley, 3-213 MC 810.762.9561 sseeley@kettering.edu
Chemical Engineering:  Dr. Steven Nartker, 2-230 AB 810.249.4041 snartker@kettering.edu
Computer Science:  Dr. John Geske, 2-300I AB 810.762.7963 jgeske@kettering.edu
Electrical/Computer Engineering:  Dr. Karen Palmer, 2-939 AB 810.762.9779 kpalmer@kettering.edu
Industrial Engineering:  Dr. Srinivas Chakravarthy, 1-700N AB 810.762.7906 schakrav@kettering.edu
Math:  Dr. Leszek Gawarecki, 2-100 A AB 810.762.9557 lgawarec@kettering.edu
Mechanical Engineering: Dr. Bassem Ramadan, 2-223 MC 810.762.9928 bramadan@kettering.edu
Physics: Dr. Kathryn Svinarich, 2-323J AB 810.762.7471 ksvinari@kettering.edu

Professional Practice Thesis

This is a project focused on professional practice in a group setting and is normally interdisciplinary.  It is an opportunity for the senior student to apply his/her academic and co-op experience to a realistic problem.  It is a pre-selected project at an external organization.  These projects are determined by the Center for Culminating Undergraduate Experiences with consultation from members of the Office of Sponsored Research. Projects are limited and students are selected based on their major and expertise matching the project scope. Upon student selection, the student is registered for the thesis project. For more information contact: CCUE - Center for Culminating Undergraduate Experiences 3-301 AB, 810.762.9947 CCUE@kettering.edu

Please note: Students, who have not found a thesis topic by the end of their Senior I Academic Term, are to contact CCUE at CCUE@kettering.edu. These students will complete the Directed Thesis Request Form that will be reviewed by their degree department and will assist with providing a thesis project for the student.

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 and CCUE 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 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, when 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 two terms.  If the final grade is not received within those two terms, the “I” grade will convert to a grade of “F” (Fail). 

CUE Options & Topic Submission Flowchart

For more information visit the Center for Culminating Undergraduate Experiences office at 3-301 AB, call ext. 9947 or visit the website.

Center for Culminating Undergraduate Experiences (CCUE)
3-301 Academic Building, (810) 762-9947
CCUE@kettering.edu