Honors in Biology
To earn departmental honors in Biology, a student must complete an independent research project, present the project in the form of a written thesis and oral defense, and have a GPA of at least 3.65 overall and in the major.
Honors students often are authors on scientific publications reporting their results and have gone on to top graduate programs and medical schools.
Honors students must take research for credit (4-credit Independent Study or 4-credit Internship): we strongly recommend that students complete these credits before the end of their Junior year to gather data in advance of the Fall Honors course, below. If necessary, it is possible register for research credits as a co-requisite in Fall of Senior year. Students must also complete two additional Honors courses in the senior year. In the Fall they take Becoming a Scientist (BIOL-UA 995) (4 credits), taught by Professor Gloria Coruzzi, a member of the National Academy of Sciences and former chair of the Biology department. In this course, students learn about the practice of science (choosing a good scientific problem, writing grants and papers, delivering effective presentations, and conducting ethical research) and various career paths. In the Spring they take Undergraduate Research Thesis (BIOL-UA 999) (2 credits), also taught by Professor Coruzzi, which guides them through the process of writing the thesis and preparing a presentation for an oral thesis defense.