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 both of them.

General Honors

General Honors is based solely on GPA, and will be determined upon completion of final exams and before graduation day. General Honors is 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 Undergraduate Director to be allowed into the departmental honors program.) Students accepted to the program are required to complete two semesters (6 credits in Fall and 6 credits in Spring semester of the student’s senior year) of the MBB Honors Research Course (694:495, 496).  In some cases (for example when a student has an overloaded senior year), the MBB department will allow 4 or 5 credits per semester, but students should contact the Undergraduate Director for approval as the department prefers to not water down the time and effort that goes into Departmental Honors.

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 give an honors oral presentation of the thesis 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 student's research advisor who directly supervised the honors project will decide the letter grade for the Spring semester 694:496 course.

The Fall semester 694:495 honors course comprises students meeting with an MBB faculty instructor to create a draft of the written thesis and a PowerPoint presentation that prepares the student for completing the Spring semester thesis requirements. The 694:495 Fall semester course will be graded by the MBB faculty instructor in consultation with the student’s research advisor.

Application to MBB Honors

You must apply to be considered for the MBB Departmental Honors Program.  In the Spring semester (typically by early March), the Undergraduate Director will set up an MBB Honors application site in Canvas that lists the deadline and three application documents as follows:

  • Application/Registration Form: completed and signed by you and your research advisor.   
  • Project Overview: A description of the project (4-5 pages not counting references) that has been read and approved by your advisor.  The Canvas site will have 1-2 examples of old Project Overviews as a guide. 
  • Curriculum vitae (resume) that includes sections describing your research and employment experience and awards.  

As stated, students must submit these three documents to the MBB Honors Canvas site by the deadline (typically June 1).   Students with questions should contact the Undergraduate Director This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for more information.

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.