Rice University

Rice University Center for Civic Leadership

Civic Research and Design Courses

Civic Research and Design (CRD) courses are primarily upper-level undergraduate courses that are built around or include a significant community-based research or design project. In CRD courses, students complete as a major assignment a community-based research or design project that could be utilized by a community partner. The scope and nature of the projects will vary by class. Most courses offer some opportunity for students to interact with a community partner or the community at-large to help define the research or design problem, conduct the research, and/or present the research findings publicly to campus or community audiences. Examples of presentation opportunities include in-class presentations, forums, such as the Rice Undergraduate Research Symposium (RURS), academic conferences, and conferences promoted by the Office of Fellowships and Undergraduate Research.  

CRD Courses are offered across campus through a wide variety of academic departments. A complete list is available below. The Registrar's Office also identifies Civic Research and Design courses. Select Cntr for Civic Research Course under the "Distribution" or "Attribute" dropdown menu to see the list of courses for the current semester. Many of these courses have prerequisites for enrollment. Please check with your advisor and/or the department offering the courses to determine enrollment criteria.  

Course Guidelines.  


ANTH362 (Jeff Fleisher) 

ARCHAEOLOGICAL FIELD TECHNIQUES Methods used in fieldwork, laboratory analysis, and interpretation of archaeological data from a local site excavated by the class.   

BIOE360/GHLT360 (Rebecca Richards-Kortum)  

APPROPRIATE DESIGN FOR GLOBAL HEALTH Seminar-style introductory design course covering epidemiology, pathophysiology, health systems, health economics, medical ethics, humanitarian emergencies, scientific and engineering design methods, and appropriate health technology case studies. To register, you must be enrolled in the GLHT minor and submit a 250 statement to beyondtraditionalborders@rice.edu by Monday of preregistration. The minor and course prerequisite is waived for students majoring in Bioengineering.  

BIOE452 (Eric Richardson)  

BIOENGINEERING DESIGN II Senior Bioengineering students will design devices in biotechnology or biomedicine. This project-based course covers systematic design processes, engineering economics, FDA requirements, safety, engineering ethics, design failures, research design, intellectual property rights, environmental impact, business planning and marketing. Students will be expected to compile concise documentation and present orally progress of their teams. It is required that students take both parts of this course in the same school year. BIOE 451 and 452 must be taken the same academic year.   

CEVE512 (Philip Bedient)  

HYDROLOGIC DESIGN LAB Use of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and design of GIS-developed hydrologic models commonly applied in the water resources field. The course covers principles and operation of the ArcView/ArcGIS programs, design and implementation of standard hydrologic and hydraulic models, and the linkage of these models to engineering analysis of current water problems. Hec-HMS and Hec-RAS are covered in detail with full watershed project. Class presentations.  

ENGI 120 (Ann Saterbak and Matthew Wettergreen)  

INTRODUCTION TO ENGINEERING DESIGN Students learn the engineering design process and use it to solve meaningful problems drawn from the community and around the world. Teams of students evaluate design requirements and construct innovative solutions in the Oshman Engineering Design Kitchen. Juniors mentor first-year undergraduates in design, leadership and communications. Only first year students may enroll.

GLHT 400 (Zillah Oden)  

GLOBAL HEALTH TECHNOLOGIES This course enables undergraduates pursuing the Global Health Technologies Minor to perform independent research on a specific design challenge in global health technology and innovation. Students are advised by the faculty and often mentored by a graduate student/post-doc. 

SOCI 328 (Ruth Lopez-Turley)  

HERC RESEARCH WORKSHOP This course offers the opportunity to work with a faculty member on that faculty member's existing research project. The course involves intensive pedagogy and mentoring including a pedagogical plan developed in conjunction with the sponsoring faculty member. 

SOCI 436 (Stephen Kleinberg)  

RESEARCH SEMINAR: HOUSTON AREA SURVEY Continuation of the series of annual surveys on how Houston residents are reacting to the ongoing economic and demographic changes. Includes sampling procedures, questionnaire construction, interviewing, data analysis, and the logic and skills of survey research. Culminates in a research report that develops empirical hypotheses and tests their validity with the survey findings. 

SOCI 470 (Heather O'Connell)  

INEQUALITY AND URBAN LIFE This course combines classroom study with seven hours of fieldwork per week, working on projects with a local organization. We study how urban areas generate wealth and poverty, the experience of inequality, and issues of community development. Enrollment is by permission only. 

SWGS 201 (Carley Thomsen and Andrew Campell)  

INTRODUCTION TO LESBIAN, GAY, BISEXUAL, AND TRANSGENDER STUDIES An introduction to the interdisciplinary examination of sexual desires, sexual orientations, and the concept of sexuality, with a focus on the construction of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender identities. The course looks at how identities interact with other social phenomena such as government, family, popular culture, scientific inquiry, and especially gender, and highlights the complexity and variability of sexualities of both across historical periods and in relation to race, class, ethnicity and nation. The course also introduces the concept of engaged research and the public service component of LGBT activity.  

SWGS496 (Carley Thomsen)  

ENGAGED RESEARCH PRACTICUM  An applied research complement to the Seminar consisting of six hours/week participating in a research-based project at a local public service agency that addresses the needs of women or is focused on gender and/or sexuality related work. Planning for the practicum takes place during the previous fall semester in consultation with the SWGS Director. Practicum projects are presented to a public audience. Permission of the instructor and some background in the study of women, gender or sexuality required.  

SWGS 497 (Carley Thomsen)   

ENGAGED RESEARCH SEMINAR  Taken in conjunction with SWGS 496, the Seminar develops students' research skills and situates the practicum project within a range of perspectives on feminist theory and practice, grassroots organizing, and policy-making around the issues of women, gender, and sexuality, for example, domestic violence, gender and the prison industry, reproductive freedom, the feminization of AIDS. Permission of the instructor and some background in gender or sexuality studies are required.