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Over the past years, the electrical engineering laboratory has developed from an apprenticeship into a stereotyped demonstration program. In general, this program has been held in low esteem by both faculty and students. An attempt is made here to present the beginnings of a program which will lead to a solution of the laboratory dilemma. A brief historical review of the development of the laboratory in electrical engineering curriculums is given, and the Projects Laboratory and the Undergraduate Research Participation Program that have evolved at the University of Oklahoma are described. Two examples of typical student work performed in these advance programs are presented. At the present time, these programs are restricted to upper-division students. These are usually seniors, though outstanding juniors may participate. As the program continues to grow, and faculty experience is gained, it is expected that the laboratory philosophy described here will make itself felt downward through the cirriculum.