BIOL 401-402: Honors in Biology

Qualifications for Admission to Biology Honors

Student at a lab computer

Students with a minimum GPA in biology courses of 3.30 and an overall GPA of 3.00 may apply to enter Honors after they have completed (or are currently enrolled in) BIOL 302 Research in Biology no later than the end of their Junior year. Application must be made to the Biology Curriculum Committee for admission to Honors. The application must include: current GPA overall, current GPA in Biology, and a 1 page summary of the proposed research project. The Curriculum Committee reviews the qualifications of the applicants, certifies that faculty sponsorship has been obtained, and then makes its recommendations to the department. The faculty of the Biology department votes on acceptance or rejection of the Curriculum Committee’s recommendation.

Procedures for Completion of Honors

When a student is accepted for Honors, an Honors committee is formed, consisting of the faculty sponsor (project director) and two other faculty members, one of whom must be from the Biology department. The student designs the Honors project in consultation with the faculty sponsor and must write up a proposal describing this project.

Proposals typically range from 2 to 10 pages, depending on the amount of prior research.  The proposed work should span two academic semesters. The proposal is submitted to the Honors committee no later than the third week of classes in the semester Honors research begins. The Honors committee must meet to discuss the proposal by the end of the fourth week of classes. The committee will then review the student’s progress at either the end of the first semester, or the beginning of the second semester, but no later than the second week of classes of the second semester.

At the culmination of the research, the student will write a detailed paper summarizing their findings and present them to the department. The final Honors paper must be submitted to the Honors committee one week prior to the oral presentation. Presentations will normally take place during the 2nd to last week of classes. During finals week, the student must meet with the Honors committee to discuss their research in detail. Following this meeting and review of the paper, the Honors committee will make a decision on whether or not to grant Honors in Biology to the student. 

Schedule for Honors in Biology Research Deadlines

two women in lab coats at microscope or holding beakers of m&ms

Spring of Junior Year, before registration:
           Select committee
           Prepare GPA documentation (3.3 in Bio, 3.0 overall)
           Prepare one page proposal
           Committee and advisor approves GPA and proposal
           Register for BIOL 401

Fall of Senior Year:
           No later than week 3: submit 2-10 page proposal
           No later than week 5: 1st committee meeting
           Before registration: 1-2 page summary of progress;
                     committee and advisor approves
           Register for BIOL 402

Spring of Senior year:
           No later than week 2: 2nd committee meeting
                      (decision to proceed or not)
           Oral presentation: penultimate week of classes
           Paper due: last week of classes
           Final committee meeting: finals week