Honors in Biology
The H.B.S in Biology is a collaboration between the Honors College and the Biology Department 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.
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 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 two courses in the "Honors Core in Intellectual Traditions" Series (Hon 210X)
- Complete one honors writing course (Hon 2211 or 3200)
- 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 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.
- Complete at least additional 9 CR of Biology Honors courses. Honors coded Biology, Chemistry, Physics and Math courses are acceptable.
Admission to the Biology Honors Program
Applications for admission to the Biology Honors Program should be submitted to the Biology Honors Advisor, Dr. Martin Horvath. Applications should include:
- an unofficial 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
- 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 Honors College?
- 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, Spring only) , BIOL 2005 (“Biology of Variation”) and BIOL 3820 (“Physical Principals of Biology”) and any upper division Biology course (above 5000) with 35 students or fewer..
- Does Departmental Honors appear on my Diploma?
Questions not answered?
Contact the Biology Honors Advisor: