Undergraduate Honors Biology

Honors Program Committee Chair:
Richard Cunningham

[From 2015-16 Undergraduate Catalogue]

Honors Program

The honors program is designed for outstanding students in programs leading to the B.S. degree in either Biology or Interdisciplinary Studies with a concentration in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. Students may apply for admission to the honors program by submitting a letter of request to the departmental honors committee no later than April 15 of the freshman or sophomore year (for admission for the fall) or November 15 of the sophomore year (for admission in the spring). Junior transfers may apply at the time of their admission to the University. Students found acceptable by the committee must find a research adviser to supervise the independent study leading to an HONORS THESIS.

The requirements for admission include: (1) the candidate must declare the major and have completed (or have in progress at time of application) 12 credits of course work required for the biology major, including A BIO 120 & 121 and A BIO 201 & 202Z; (2) an overall grade point average of 3.50; (3) a grade point average of 3.50 in courses required for the major; and (4) a written recommendation from an adviser, professor or teaching assistant if possible. Primary emphasis will be placed on indications of academic ability and maturity sufficient for applicants to complete with distinction a program involving independent research.

Students in the program are required to complete a minimum of 65 or 66 credits as specified for the respective program for the B.S.  and must include: (1) at least 6 credits of independent study (A BIO 399, 499); the independent study, or honors research project, which will result in an HONORS THESIS; (2) at least 3 credits of course work at the 500 level or higher (not including A BIO 515) in the student’s area of interest; and (3) oral presentation of research at a public seminar.

Students in the program must maintain both a minimum grade point average of 3.50 overall and in biology courses taken to satisfy major requirements during the junior and senior years. The progress of participants in the honors program will be reviewed at the end of the sophomore and junior years by the student’s advisor and the departmental honors committee. Students not meeting academic and independent research standards may be precluded from continuing in the program during their senior year. These students may, of course, continue as Biology majors.

After completion of the requirements above, the departmental honors committee will make its recommendation to the faculty to grant the degree “with honors in biology” based upon (1) overall academic record, (2) performance and accomplishments of the independent study project(s), (3) the quality of the Oral Presentation (4) the evaluations of departmental faculty members who have supervised these activities.