Departmental Honors Program

Departmental Honors provides recognition of outstanding research and scholarship by Biology majors. This accolade is given to those students whose grade point average (GPA) in the major at the time of graduation is 3.3 or higher and who do at least a year (or the equivalent) of research and write an Honors thesis. The major GPA includes required Biology, Chemistry, and Physics courses. If a student has a GPA in the major of 3.5, the research and thesis requirements are optional. The diploma will read "Bachelor of Science with Honors in Biology", and the distinction will appear in official records and transcripts. To earn High Honors, the research and thesis requirements are the same, but the student must have a GPA in the major of 3.67. The diploma will read "Bachelor of Science with High Honors in Biology", and the distinction will appear in official records and transcripts.

Research effort

Honors in Biological Sciences is based on a minimum of one academic year of research. A student will typically work on research 7-10 hours a week for 2 semesters or more. Many students continue with research for 2 or 3 years; some students concentrate their effort during the summers. Specific arrangements may be flexible, but the student and the faculty advisor should agree to common goals and requirements early on.

Graduation Requirements

Students requiring research for honors must make an oral presentation at the Spring Undergraduate Symposium and submit a written thesis of their research. The thesis must be submitted before the last week of classes of the graduating semester of the student's senior year, and must be accompanied by written approval of the faculty advisor.


Undergraduate majors in Biological Sciences with a grade point average of at least 3.3 for all courses in the major apply for admission to the Honors Program in Biology using the honors application form. You must find a faculty research advisor as described above, and apply for admission after spring semester of your freshman year, but generally before the beginning of your senior year. A completed application, containing an honors application form, a transcript and a letter of recommendation and agreement to act as research advisor from a faculty member, should be submitted to Dr. Edwin Griff (

University Honors

In addition to departmental honors, there are several other honors that an undergraduate can earn at UC. Latin Honors are based on the overall GPA at the University: cum laude (3.6-3.7499), magna cum laude (3.75-3.8999), summa cum laude (3.9 or higher). Students awarded Latin honors receive a gold seal placed on the diploma and it appears on their transcript. The University also has an Honors Scholars Program, and students completing that program can graduate as a Distinguished Honors Scholar (3.75 or higher) or Honors Scholar (3.2-3.7499).