Honors in Biology

How do you apply?
Students interested in applying to the Honors Program are strongly encouraged to begin discussing research with faculty in the fall of their Junior year.  Information on faculty research interests is available on the department web site.  Discuss becoming an Honors candidate with your research advisor.  If your research advisor agrees to an honors research program and you are eligible (see below), you must submit a written application to the Biology Chairperson before the sixth week of classes of a student's sixth semester.  The biology faculty will act upon each application.

Are you eligible?
Students seeking honors must have completed five biology courses that count toward the major by the end of their fifth semester, and their grade point average in these biology courses must be at least 3.3 (B+).  In addition, they must demonstrate in their work a scholarly intent.  Students not qualifying for the honors program after five semesters may be invited by the faculty to enter the program at a later time.

What do you do in the Honors Program?
You will conduct at least two semesters of original research planned with and approved by your faculty advisor.  (Usually this includes enrollment in BIOL 419 or 425 and BIOL 403).  In the spring, you will enroll in Honors Thesis (BIOL 497), concurrently with Research in Biology (BIOL 419 or 425) and Research Seminar (BIOL 404).  Throughout the spring semester, you will write and revise your thesis according to the department’s timetable.  See the Biology Honors Thesis Guidelines for writing guidelines.  These drafts will be reviewed by your thesis advisor and members of your thesis committee.  Near the end of the semester, you will present your research in a public presentation, and finally, submit your complete thesis for department approval.  The department will meet to vote and award honors to those candidates it deems qualified.  Under exceptional circumstances, the department may consider for honors research students who are not enrolled in the honors program but who produce particularly distinguished work.  To remain eligible for Honors, you must maintain a grade point average in all biology courses of at least 3.3 (B+).