Program Requirements

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Degree Requirements

In order to graduate with Honors in Biology or Honors in Biomedical Sciences, students are required to:

  1. fulfill the regular requirements for a Biology B.S. or B.A. degree.

  2. graduate with a grade-point average of at least 3.33, both overall and in the biology major. The biology major gpa can be found on your degree audit and ncludes all biology courses as well as cognates in chemistry, physics, biochemistry, mathematics, and statistics taken at UI.

  3. complete a minimum of 6 semester hours of BIOL:4999 Honors Investigations. This requirement is intended to be fulfilled over 2 or more consecutive semesters. One semester hour is generally equivalent to 3-5 hrs/wk in the lab in the Fall and Spring semesters, and 6-10 hrs/wk in the 8 week Summer session. Biology honors students typically perform their honors research in the laboratory of a Department of Biology faculty member. For Biomedical Sciences students that want to pursue research projects outside the department, the student must submit a prospectus on the research plan to the Director of the Biomedical Science program (Prof. Bryant McAllister).

  4. write a brief research proposal (not exceeding 5-6 double-spaced pages) summarizing the background, goals and significance of the honors research that is to be undertaken. This proposal should be approved by the research supervisor approximately 2 months after beginning your honors research project. Students who are not ready to write a research proposal within the first semester of research for academic credit should register for BIOL:3994 or volunteer until the semester when ready to prepare the proposal.

  5. write an honors thesis upon completion of your honors research. This thesis should have the general format of a scientific paper and should be printed double-spaced. The text of the thesis, which does not include the tables, figures or references, will ordinarily range from 15-30 pages. After its approval by your research supervisor, the thesis should be submitted to the Department of Biology to be kept on a secure departmental server.
  6. give a brief oral presentation of their research findings to other biology honors students as part of a colloquium held at the end of the Spring semester.

  7. Complete one of the following seminars designed to foster science communication skills prior to graduation:
    1. BIOL:4898 Communicating Research.
    2. BIOL:4998 Honors Seminar in Biology
    3. OR an advanced-level biology seminar course approved by your faculty honors research advisor.

In addition to satistfying an Experiential Learning requirement for the major, Honors in Biology will satisfy requirements for a University Honors degree Level Two: Learning by Doing – 12 semester hours or equivalent in honors experiences.

For further information or answers to any questions you may have, consult your faculty academic advisor or Anna Gaw, Biology Undergraduate Advisor (Phone: 353-2484; Email:anna-gaw@uiowa.edu).