The Biology Department Honors Program acknowledges and rewards students undertaking and completing a more rigorous, research-oriented curriculum while pursuing their Bachelors degree in Biology at the University of Utah. The centerpiece of the Biology Honors Program is a research project culminating in the submission of a written thesis, and presentation of the student's thesis research in a public forum.
The Biology Honors Program is intended to be flexible and to provide maximum access to transfer students and to the approximately 800 Biology majors. To receive a Bachelor degree in Biology with Departmental Honors, students must:
- Meet all University and Departmental 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 at least 9 cr (3 semesters of independent research (Biology 4995 or Biology 4955) in a laboratory approved by the Biology Honors Committee.
- Complete Biology 4999: Thesis preparation (3 cr) and submit their thesis to the Honors Program. All students must complete and submit a thesis discussing the results of their research project. To receive honors at graduation, students must receive a grade of B or better in Biology 4999.
- Present the results of their research in an appropriate forum (i.e. Biology Undergraduate Research Symposium, University Undergraduate Research Symposium) approved by the Biology Honors Committee. Students should consult with the Biology Honors Advisor to arrange their presentation when they enroll in Biology 4999.
- Complete at least additional 12 cr of Biology Honors courses.
Admission to the Biology Honors Program
Applications for admission to the Biology Honors Program should be submitted to the Biology Honors Advisor, Dr. Darryl Kropf. Applications should include:
- a transcript of all college-level courses completed;
- a brief written proposal (<5 pages) outlining the research project to be undertaken;
- a letter of support from the research advisor, and
- an Honors application form available at the Biology Advising office.
For more information about Honors requirements, Honors application and instructions, and a list of Biology Honors electives, dowload the Biology Departmental Honors Program (PDF)
Frequently asked questions
- Can I get both University and Departmental Honors?
- Yes! Students completing 9 cr of research (3 semesters of 4955 and/or 4995), 1 semester of Biol 4999, two Honors ITW courses (of Hon 2101, 2101, 2103), one Honors writing class (Hon 221 or Hon 3200), and one additional Biology Honors elective (3 cr) are eligible to receive University and Departmental honors upon successful completion of their thesis and Bachelor requirements.
- 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 Biology Department offer Honors courses recognized/accepted by the University Honors program?
- The Biology Department offers three 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, F only).
- What Biology courses count as electives for the Biology Honors Program?
- In addition to Biol 2870 (Faculty research seminar;1 cr) and Biol 2021: Principles of Cell Science (4 cr), upper division Biology courses with 35 or fewer students count as Biology Honors electives.
- Does Departmental Honors appear on my Diploma?
Questions not answered?
Contact the Biology Honors Advisor: