Departmental Honors Program

To qualify, a student must have attained, at the end of the junior year, an overall cumulative grade-point average of 3.4 or better and a cumulative grade-point average of 3.4 or better in courses required for the major. Exceptional students not meeting these criteria but wishing to apply for honors research may petition the department undergraduate director. Students accepted to the program are expected to complete two terms (6 credits per term) of honors course work in their senior year.

Each student in the Departmental Honors Program is required to write a thesis on their research project by the end of their senior year. The format of the thesis uses that of a scientific article.  Honors students are also required to have an oral presentation and defense of their thesis research with two faculty members.

At the time of graduation, a student may have earned two types of honors: General Honors or Departmental Honors. These are all distinct types of honors, although they often overlap, and many students are eligible for all of them.

Note: You must apply to be considered for the MBB Departmental Honors Program. Applications are submitted and reviewed by the MBB Dept. Applications for Honors research during the senior year are due at the end of the spring semester of the junior year. For 2017 MBB graduates the application is due by June 1, 2016.  Contact the MBB Undergraduate Director This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for more information.  

General Honors

General Honors are based soley on GPA, and are determined in the few days between the end of exam period and graduation day. General honors are the ONLY type of honor to appear on a student's diploma. The general honors status also appears on the student's permanent transcript.  There is no application required for General Honors.

Departmental Honors

Departmental Honors are given at the discretion of the department, and can be based on the criteria the department sets. To qualify, a student must have attained, at the end of the junior year, a cumulative grade-point average of at least 3.4 and a grade point average of 3.4 or better in courses required for the major. (In exceptional cases students with a GPA < 3.4 can petition the department to be allowed into the departmental honors program.) Students accepted to the program are expected to complete two semesters (6 credits per semester) of the MBB Honors Research Course (694:495, 496). A written thesis and an oral thesis presentation are required. Near the end of the project, late in the Spring semester of their senior year, Departmental Honors students must turn in a written honors thesis and present it before a convened thesis committee.  Each faculty member of the committee will submit an Honors Evaluation Form (doc) (pdf) to the department which includes a recommendation as to the level of honors (Highest Honors, High Honors, Honors, or No Honors) that the student should receive.  The students research advisor who directly supervised the honors project will decide the letter grades for both semesters.

Students must apply to be considered for Departmental Honors. Students must provide by June 12, 2015:

  • Completed Application Form signed by your research advisor. The form is posted on the on the MBB Honors Proposal Site on Sakai.  This must be handed to the MBB Undergraduate Secretary, Shalene Montgomery, Rm A-325, Nelson Labs, Busch Campus (732 445-3979)
  • Project Overview: A description of the project (at least two pages with references) read by your advisor. This should be submitted into your Drop box on the MBB Honors Proposal Site on Sakai.
  • Curriculum vitae (resume) with research and employment experience and awards. This should be submitted into your Drop box on the MBB Honors Proposal Site on Sakai.

Final Honors Decision

The final decision as to what level of Departmental Honors to assign a student is decided by a departmental committee consisting of the instructor(s) of the senior seminar series (01:694:484) and the undergraduate director.  The decision process includes a review of the Honors Evaluation Forms submitted by the faculty on the thesis committee as well as other relevant information.

Students participating in the Departmental Honors Program are acknowledged in the SAS commencement program, as well as in the student's permanent transcript.

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Nelson Biological Laboratories

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