During fall of the junior year, BIO Honors Program applications will be considered from BA or BS majors with a GPA of 3.6 or greater.
Accepted students will take a course during Spring of the junior year (Bio 487, Honors Research Methods, 2 credits) that is solely for our honors students. Earning a grade of B- or above in the course will allow students to continue in the honors program as seniors.
The senior year of Honors will be devoted to research in a faculty lab of the student’s choosing. All labs, in department or outside of it, are acceptable so long as the student 1) is accepted by a research advisor and 2) will be doing biologically relevant research at the honors level. Six credits of research (Bio 497, Honors Research in Biology) must be completed during the senior year, resulting in a project that the student can present at our departmental symposium for undergraduate honors research (held during May of the senior year).
Students who have done 498 level research are allowed, and even encouraged, to continue in their labs for the senior year to complete honors projects in their home labs, but students are also allowed to switch to new labs before the senior year begins. All Bio 497 credit must be received from the same lab to count toward the honors program.
Both BA and BS students completing the honors program will have their Bio 497 honors research coursework applied to count for two of the required labs for their degree. All the Bio 497 credits and the credit for Bio 487 will be counted toward the total required for the major. Students must maintain a 3.6 or greater GPA through graduation to graduate with honors. Students falling below this level will be given one semester to raise their GPA back to a 3.6 or above.
Honors students with a GPA of 3.6-3.79 will graduate with Honors. Students with GPAs of 3.8 and above will graduate with High Honors. Students preparing to graduate with High Honors can volunteer to give a short talk on their research at the spring symposium. Two students will be selected to give talks and these students will graduate with Highest Honors. Successful participation in the honors program and distinction level will be reflected on student diplomas.