AAE 49700 Rules and Procedures

This course is intended to allow undergraduate students to engage in independent study and individual or small group research projects under the direction of the faculty. Projects may be initiated by students or by faculty.

A limit of six credits can be applied toward specialization/selective degree requirements. If you are getting paid for your research, you cannot register and have it count toward your plan of study. You must choose between credit or payment. 

Interested students should follow this 3-step process:

  1. Register for AAE 49700 by the SECOND Friday of the semester
  2. Complete the Course Description Form with all the required information and signatures. 
  3. Submit the Course Description Form to the Undergraduate Advising office by the THIRD Friday of the semester.

Step 1: Registration


  • The student must have a faculty sponsor. Only an AAE faculty member or courtesy faculty member can award credit for an AAE 49700 project.
  • The student and sponsoring faculty member should discuss and agree on the intent and focus of the course and the individual expectations of both the student and faculty supervisor.


Use the scheduling assistant to register for a course with a variable title. For instructions, watch the video below. This step must be completed by the second Friday of the semester.


  • Use a course title such as "Independent study."
  • When calculating the number of credits, the student should spend 3 hours per week per credit hour. For example, a 2-credit-hour course will require 6 hours of work per week — or 90 hours for a 15-week semester.

Workflow after registering

  1. The faculty supervisor will need to approve the request first, then an academic advisor and department academic designee will review and approve it or return it to the student or faculty supervisor if changes are needed. Purdue University's Registrar’s Office is the final approver.

  2. Once the Registrar’s Office has approved and posts to the student's schedule (2-3 business days), the student needs to confirm everything posted as expected, as changes can be made during the approval process.

  3. For instructions on how to verify the request, watch the video, "How to confirm the creation of a variable title course request," and confirm everything posted as expected.

  4. Once the course has been posted and looks correct, fill out the Course Description Form to add the course to the plan of study, as explained next.

Step 2: Applying the 49700 to MyPurduePlan

Complete the AAE49700 Course Description Form, get the required signatures and submit the form via email by the third Friday of the semester (Step 3).

NOTE: This form is a fillable PDF and should be completed electronically.

Team Projects

  • Each team member must still submit their own Course Description Form. 
  • The team should agree on a basic description. Make sure the faculty supervisor has reviewed this description. 
  • The form must explain how each student's role is suited to the study area where that student wishes to apply the credit. For example, if one wants it to be a Structures major elective, be sure that the Structures component of the project is explained.

Step 3: Submit the form

Submit the form to aaeugradoffice@purdue.edu by the third Friday of the semester.