ENGRC 3341: Guided Fieldwork in Engineering Communications

Formerly known as the "ECR Petition Process."

One option for fulfilling the Engineering Communication Requirement is via ENGRC 3341. Cornell Engineering (CE) has an upper-level Engineering Communications Requirement for undergraduates that may be fulfilled through a specialized course designation that has an application process. Historically, this option was created in order to allow a student's  Undergraduate Honor Thesis to fulfill the Engineering Communication Requirement, when appropriate. However, other projects, supported and lead by Engineering faculty, have come to fulfill this requirement when such projects are appropriate, proposed well in advance, and approved by the Engineering Communication subcommittee of the College Curriculum Governing Board’s Subcommittee (CCGB).  Below, learn about this process and how to begin an application.

ENGRC 3341 Application Process

Prepare well in advance!


  • All 3341 paperwork MUST be submitted by 22 August 2023 for Fall 2023 semester consideration.
  • All 3341 paperwork MUST be submitted by 18 January 2024 for Spring 2024 consideration. 
  • Students who are approved for 3341 will enroll in a 1cr graded course using a PIN provided by the ECP Director. 

Students cannot simply enroll in ENGRC 3341; there is an application process that involves an Engineering professor, the academic advisor, the ECP Director, the College Curriculum Governing Board subcommittee, and the student.

Students must use the ENGRC 3341 application process, not any general College of Engineering application or petition form. To obtain this form and individual guidance for the ENGRC 3341 application, contact the Engineering Communications Program to arrange an appointment to discuss the process and paperwork. Send your email to engrcomm_info@cornell.edu  using subject line "3341 request."

Upon sending a request to the email above, students will be given specific information on how to proceed; there will be an informational packet and a document to fill out and submit.  The informative email may also include some clarification questions and/or an invitation for a quick meeting with the ECP Director, in order to better understand the intended proposed project.  

ENGRC 3341 Considerations and Background Information

Upon receiving the email requested above, the Director of the Engineering Communications Program will advise each student on how to submit an ENGRC 3341 application.  Applications often go through revision cycles before they are accepted; most--but not all-- are eventually accepted.

In some cases, students may plan to engage in a significant amount and variety of communication work elsewhere in the CE. Such work is not merely fulfilling coursework already expected by engineering faculty; this petition option is for work above and beyond regular coursework expectations. This work might be accomplished through any of several avenues, such as undergraduate research, independent study, an honors project, or even an outreach activity. In such cases, it may be appropriate for students thus engaged to petition the Cornell Engineering College Curriculum Governing Board's Subcommittee on Engineering Communications for permission to use their upcoming communication work to meet that requirement.

  • The student's communication work must be directly related to engineering or computer science or must be approved by the student’s faculty advisor as a relevant and important application of engineering and computer science expertise.


  • The communication work must be completed either under the direct supervision of an engineering faculty member or of the appropriate faculty member (approved by the faculty advisor in the student’s major course of studies), and must commence after the petition is approved. TAs, post-docs, and lab directors who are not faculty are not eligible to fulfill this role in the process. 

Beginning Fall 2023, fulfilling the Engineering Communication Requirement via  this method will require a 1cr enrollment in ENGRC 3341, which will be administered by the Engineering Communications Program Director via PIN.

Note:  While the petition is facilitated by the Engineering Communications Program, engineering faculty who accept student petition work are assuming responsibility for aligning acceptable levels of performance indicators and learning outcomes within their own departments or majors in regards to meeting CE, ABET, or other review bodies’ requirements and reporting.  While the Engineering Communications Program is always glad to advise, ECP does not and cannot monitor faculty within the CE’s departments or programs to fulfill these requirements.

Each student will be offered advice and guidance about 3341 application materials from the ECP Director. Generally speaking, students and faculty alike should anticipate that a "portfolio" of materials should grow during the semester, not just be populated at the end of the semester. There should be

  • full evidence of substantive iterative revisions at least two significant communication endeavors, one of which should be writing-based (such as an NSF grant, a technical report, a conference paper, or work on a for-publication journal article). Other work might include substantial multimodal artifacts, such as a conference poster or longer, formal video training on a particular process in a lab. 
  • original sets of written comments by the identified professor on the student's papers and application;
  • documented evidence of meetings with the engineering faculty member during the semester, where the writing/revising was the subject of the meeting.

Commonly, some petition applications are denied, such as those below. This is not a complete list; rather, it is illustrative.

  • Communication work that is substantially complete before the 3341 application is filed will not be considered.
  • Communication work not related to engineering or computer science or that does not require the application of engineering and/or computer science expertise will not be considered.
  • Communication practices that are not substantial are welcomed to be documented as part of the learning, but they cannot be the bulk of anticipated work. Such work can fall in the category of weekly team meetings, coding, git commenting, lab notebooks, and the like. 
  • Communication work that stems from a standard pedagogical approach for all students in an engineering course (such as writing papers or giving presentations as a normal part of the coursework). Within each major, many, many engineering professors use writing and presenting as ways to learn content and concepts within their courses; those professors do not intend to teach a communication-intensive course or an ENGRC 3341 option, and those instructors do not want the responsibility that comes with that weightier course designation. If a course/major has decided within the major's department to offer it as a C-I course, that makes the course fall into Category B for the ECR.
  • Communication work supervised by individuals who are not CE faculty may only be considered with the approval of the faculty advisor.

Note: Sometimes, not often, students are working with faculty from other colleges on projects, where students are applying their expertise in the context of the other disciplines. ENGRC 3341 will typically allow the faculty advisor to determine if the project(s) are appropriate. Faculty mentors and advisors alike need to sign the 3341 application form as well. 

To obtain the application form and individual guidance for the ENGRC 3341 application, contact the Engineering Communications Program. Send your email to engrcomm_info@cornell.edu  using subject line "3341 request."