Departmental Honors Program

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

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 honors 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 MBB department. 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). 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 thesis is in a format of a scientific article.  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 of at least two faculty members, one who has to be a member of the MBB Dept.   Each faculty member of the committee will submit an Honors Evaluation Form 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.

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 2019 MBB graduates the application is due by June 1, 2018.  Contact the MBB Undergraduate Director This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for more information.

  • 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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