The Biology Honors Program

Megan Warburton
SURF Conference 2014
Irina Maglysh and Kayla Hersy
SURF Conference 2014
Taylor Ferrare
SURF Conference 2014


The Honors Program in Biology is a distinction bestowed on outstanding students who have demonstrated marked academic progress and who have completed an in-depth independent research project under the guidance of a biology faculty member.


Do you possess?

  • a strong interest in the natural sciences?
  • a desire to learn modern techniques of biological discovery?
  • strong self-motivation?
  • avid curiosity?

Pursuit of an honorary degree in biology will afford you the opportunity to apply these characteristics as you grow and develop as a young scientist and enter the world of scientific discovery.


  1. The first step is to find a research mentor. A great way to find out which faculty are engaged in collaborative research with students is to look around the hallways of Fogarty at the student research posters. You can get a general idea of the types of research projects are performed by students in these laboratories. We also recommend that you contact several faculty members and ask to discuss their research and their availability.
  2. Once you have identified a mentor, you should decide on a project together and then you will write a research proposal and submit an application to the Biology Honors Committee. For a detailed description of the requirements for admission into the program and the granting of honors Adobe PDFplease click here.
  3. You will then be required to take at least 4 credits of independent study over the course of a couple semesters (note that 3 credits of research will count towards one of your 300+ level Biology electives for graduation).
  4. During the semester before graduation you will summarize your project and results in a formal written thesis (link here to thesis info) and also present them orally at the Honors Symposium held in late April.

For answers to more common questions see our FAQ page


Sara Moore and Leah Smith

Participating in an independent research project will enable you to receive one-on-one contact with a biology faculty member who will help you develop critical problem solving skills, and who will provide technical expertise, career guidance and long lasting encouragement and support through all of your academic pursuits. You will also receive acknowledgement for your efforts when you are granted graduating honors and if you elect to present your work to biology students and faculty. Finally, the laboratory experience gained while completing your project will give you a glimpse into the world of scientific research, prepare you for graduate or professional school or aid in establishment of your future career goals. While successful completion of the Honors Program in Biology will require a significant amount of commitment and time, the rewards will far outweigh the effort! Click on "The voices of program alumni" to hear what previous participants have to say about their experience.

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Page last updated: November 18, 2015