Focus Areas


8692252363_2aa62d5fcf_kFocus Area

The focus area is designed to help students build the foundation for their capstone project. The focus area consists of 9 credits selected by the student that fall into one of five focus areas.

The five different focus areas of the Honors Program are:

The focus area courses students select must meet these guidelines:

  • 9 credits of advanced electives
  • 300-level or higher
  • Courses can come from technical electives, general electives, or intellectual breadth
  • Independent study, special topics, directed study, or research credits must include a detailed description of the work completed for credit, and how it will support your capstone project; up to 3 credits of independent study or research may be approved
  • Courses may not double-count with your core major requirements or academic minor requirements (unless the student has more than one minor)
  • Students may arrange credit hours for their capstone, but these credit hours may not be used towards the focus area
  • For multi-semester projects (research, MDP projects, etc.), a maximum of 3 credits may count towards the focus area. The final semester of capstone credits may not count towards the focus area.

Focus areas and focus area courses are discussed in more detail in Honors Seminar 1, and during your first semester in the College of Engineering Honors Program with the Honors Advisor. Students will submit a focus area proposal no later then the last semester of their junior year.

Focus Area & Capstone Examples



Erich Rasch
BSE Nuclear Engineering and Radiological Sciences 2016
MSE Nuclear Engineering and Radiological Sciences 2017

Capstone Experience: Aluminum Oxide CMC Cladding For Accident Tolerant Fuel in BWR Station Blackout Conditions

Related Focus Area Coursework:

  • NERS 462: Reactor Safety Analysis (3 credits)
  • NERS 499: SiC Fuel Cladding Research (1 credit)
  • NERS 524: Nuclear Fuels (3 credits)
  • NERS 585: Transportation of Radioactive Materials (2 credits)



Alex Ottenwess
BSE Industrial and Operations Engineering 2016
BSE Computer Science 2016

Capstone Experience: Stumped (mobile app)

Related Focus Area Coursework:

  • ACC 471: Accounting Principles (3 credits)
  • IOE 422: Entrepreneurship (3 credits)
  • EECS 441: Mobile App Development for Entrepreneurs (3 credits)


Dhruv Madaan
BSE Mechanical Engineering 2017

Capstone Experience: Global Multidisciplinary Design Program with General Motors

Related Focus Area Coursework:

  • MECHENG 461: Automatic Control (3 credits)
  • STATS 412: Introduction to Probability and Statistics (3 credits)
  • MECHENG 599: Special Topics in M E: Nanofab and Nanomfg Technology (3 credits)

Public Service

Anya Laroche

Anya LaRoche
BSE Civil Engineering 2016

Capstone Experience: Elementary Engineering Partnerships

Related Focus Area Coursework:

  • CEE 431: Construction Contracting (4 credits)
  • INTERSS 201X: Interdepartmental Social Science Transfer (3 credits)
  • SPANISH 302X: Departmental Transfer (3 credits)

Business/Global Operations (EGL Specialization)

Matthew Riley
BSE Chemical Engineering 2016
MSE Industrial and Operations Engineering 2017

Capstone Experience: Tauber Project at Fresenius Medical Care

Related Focus Area Coursework:

  • ACC 300: Financial Accounting (3 credits)
  • MFG 501: Topics in Global Operations (3 credits)
  • TO 605: Manufacturing and Supply Operations (3 credits)