Honors in Biology

Overview

The H.B.S in Biology is a collaboration between the Honors College and the School of Biological Sciences to reward students undertaking and completing a more rigorous, research‑oriented curriculum while pursuing their Honors Bachelor’s Degree in Biology at the University of Utah. The centerpiece of the Biology Honors Track is a research project, culminating in the submission of a written thesis, and presentation of the student's thesis research in a public forum.

Requirements

The Biology Honors Program is intended to be flexible and to provide maximum access to all Honors students, including transfer students. To receive a Honors Bachelor degree in Biology, students must:

  • Meet all University and School requirements for a Bachelor degree in Biology.
  • Maintain a cumulative GPA of 3.5 overall, a minimum grade of B in all Biology courses, and a cumulative GPA of 3.5 in all Biology courses.
  • Complete two courses in the "Honors Core in Intellectual Traditions" Series (Hon 210X)
  • Complete one honors writing course (Hon 2211 or 3200)
  • Complete at least 3 semesters of independent research (Biology 4995 or Biology 4955 or other research in a laboratory approved by the Biology Honors Faculty Advisor).
  • Complete Biology 4999: Thesis preparation (3 CR) and submit their thesis discussing the results of their research project, first to the Honors faculty advisor and ultimately to the Honors College. To receive honors at graduation, students must receive a grade of B or better in Biology 4999.
  • Present the results of their research at the University Undergraduate Research Symposium or other approved public venue.
  • Complete at least additional 9 CR of Biology Honors courses not fulfilled by Biology 4995, 4955 or 4999. Honors coded Biology, Chemistry, Physics and Math courses are acceptable.

Admission to the Biology Honors Program

All students admitted to the Honors College that declare as Biology majors are eligible for the Biology Honors Program. Students that wish to delare their intent to complete a Biology Honors degree should meet with a Biology advisor and plan their academic curriculum specific to the Honors Biology degree. As early as possible (first or second year), Honors Biology students should meet with the Biology Honors Faculty Advisor, Dr. Michael Bastiani, to explore research areas and begin laboratory research for their Honors Biology Thesis.

Before taking Honors Thesis 4999 students must complete the Honors Thesis Proposal Form.

For more information about Honors requirements, Honors application and instructions, and a list of Biology Honors electives, download the Biology Departmental Honors Program (PDF)

Frequently asked questions

 
Does Honors research fulfill lab requirements for my Biology degree?

Yes! Upon successful completion of their thesis, students may count a maximum of 3 semesters of research taken as Biol 4955 or 4995 toward their requirement of four lab courses, for a total of 6 lab units. If a thesis is not submitted and approved (grade B or better), Biol 4955/4995 can only be counted once, for a max of 3 cr and 2 lab units.

Do the 9 cr of research classes and 3 cr of Biol 4999 count towards the upper division electives required for a Biology degree?
Yes! Upon successful completion of their thesis, students may count a maximum of 3 semesters of research taken as Biol 4955 or 4995 toward their requirement of four lab courses, for a total of 6 lab units. Biol 4999 credits can be applied towards a Biology degree with a grade of C- or better (a B or better is required for Honors to be conferred). If a thesis is not submitted and approved (grade B or better), Biol 4955/4995 can only be counted once, for a max of 3 cr and 2 lab units.
Does the School of Biological Sciences offer Honors courses recognized/accepted by the Honors College?
The School of Biological Sciences offers several recognized Honors courses: Biol 4999 (Honors Thesis, 3 cr, offered F/S/U), Biol 4995 (Honors Research, 3 cr, offered F/S/U), and Biol 2021: Principles of Cell Science ("Honors Cell Biology," 4 cr, Spring only) , BIOL 2005 (“Biology of Variation”) and BIOL 3551 (“Physical Principals of Biology”) and any upper division (above 5000) Biology course with 35 students or fewer.
 
Does Departmental Honors appear on my Diploma?
Yes!

Questions not answered?

Contact the Biology Honors Faculty Advisor:

 

Dr. Michael Bastiani
Email: email Dr. Michael Bastiani