The Department of Biological Sciences offers an Honors in the Major Program that recognizes research accomplishments of talented undergraduates. The mission of this program is to provide an enriched learning experience for high-performing students and increase opportunities for biology majors to develop high-level proficiency in skills required for graduate school and careers in science through direct participation in cutting-edge research experiences and enhanced relationships with faculty mentors. Students will develop skills in critical thinking, the identification of research questions, experimental design, collection and reporting of data, techniques in biological research, and the ethical standards of the field. Participants will exit the program prepared for continuation of their education in a graduate program and/or for the highly competitive STEM job market.
Eligible students must have a minimum of 20 credits in biology and an overall GPA of 3.2 or greater at the time of degree conferral will receive a designation of Honors in the Major on their transcripts. Students usually begin the program in their sophomore or junior year and conduct independent, supervised research during their junior and senior years. There are two paths to attaining the Honors in the Major designation. A written paper and a seminar describing the results of their research are required in the senior year for the "Honors in Biological Sciences - Research Thesis" pathway. Submission of a grant application (internal or external) and a seminar or poster presentation at a local, regional, national, or international scientific conference or symposium are required in the senior year for the "Honors in Biological Sciences - Research" pathway. Interested students should contact the Biological Sciences Department faculty member whose research interests are closest to those the student wishes to pursue.