Graduating with Honors in Biology

The Honors Program in Biology is designed to recognize the accomplishments of students in research and independent study – activities perhaps growing out of, but distinctly different from, most classroom work. A student graduating with Honors in Biology has committed himself/herself to pursuing ideas in depth and over an extended period in the laboratory or field while working closely with a faculty advisor.  Such an experience may lead not only to new knowledge in a chosen field but, perhaps more importantly, gives the student a real appreciation of the diverse ways in which science confronts and explores the natural world. The research that the student chooses to submit for consideration for Honors need not be completed in the senior year.  The work could have been completed before the senior year.

To be graduated with the distinction “Honors in Biology”, a student must:

  • Have a minimum GPA of 3.0 in all courses and a 3.3 in Biology courses.
  • Submit an Honors paper describing the research, written in the form of a scientific paper, which must be  defended successfully before the Advisory Committee.
  • Prepare a 10 minute Power Point presentation derived from your Honors thesis. This will be delivered on the Wednesday before the last day of classes in the spring semester, at the Department’s Honors and Awards Ceremony, where you will be recognized for your accomplishment.

If the paper is approved by the Advisory Committee, the minimum GPA requirements are met, and student has presented his/her work to the department, the student will graduate with Honors in Biology.

A student wishing to graduate with Honors in Biology must inform the chair of the Under-graduate Studies Committee (USC) of that intention during the first semester of the senior year by completing an application (click) to pursue Honors in Biology. The application must include the Honors advisor’s signature, the major advisor’s signature, the title of the research project and the names of two faculty who will serve with the research advisor on an advisory committee.  Research assistant professors may serve on the advisory committee; however, if two faculty from the same lab are on the committee, one should serve as an additional (fourth) member, and be non-voting. The research assistant professor may not chair the committee.

Complete Honors in Biology form and submit to Undergraduate Studies Committee chairperson.

Schedule thesis defense.

Defend thesis before the advisory committee.  Present summary of research at Honors and Awards Ceremony.