Important Changes in 2015-2016 Honors deadlines!

Students planning to graduate with Honors in May or December, 2016  should please be aware of the following important deadlines:

Oct 1, 2015 - Registration deadline for graduation with Honors in May, 2016 - see
May 1, 2016 - Registration deadline for graduation with Honors in December, 2016 - see

If you are planning to graduate with Honors in May, 2016 please contact one of the Honors co-chairs immediately since it will take some time for you to complete and submit your Honors application (form attached below) before the October 1 deadline:
Biochemistry - This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Chemistry - This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Departmental Honors in Chemistry and Biochemistry

Requirements and Expectations, 2015-2016



Departmental Honors are awarded to qualified undergraduate majors in recognition of scholarly

achievement. To be eligible, a student must:

1.         Be a Chemistry and Biochemistry major with a cumulative grade point average in the major of at

least 3.3, or obtain permission from the Departmental Honors Advisor.

2.         Complete a research project in chemistry or biochemistry. This requirement is normally satisfied

by taking 6 (or more) credit hours of independent study (CHEM 4901). With the approval of the

Department Honors Advisor, a student may substitute an equivalent amount of research work

done through the UROP or Hughes Initiative programs, or through other individual arrangements.

Students may carry out their research with a faculty advisor from another department, so long as

the work is chemistry or biochemistry related. In exceptional circumstances, with prior approval,

students may satisfy the requirements for advanced work with 3 credit hours of independent study and 3 credit hours in a formal, graduate level course.

3.         During the final semester of undergraduate study, submit a written thesis and make a formal oral

presentation based on this research to a committee of three faculty members. The thesis is

typically 25- 50 pages in length and provides experience with data analysis and interpretation,

The oral presentation provides experience in scientific speaking and answering questions posed

by a discerning, but friendly, committee. The committee normally includes the student’s research

advisor, the Departmental Honors Advisor, and the one faculty from outside the department of

Chemistry and Biochemistry. The oral presentation, which is a University requirement for the

granting of Departmental Honors, is arranged in consultation with the Honors Advisor.

The faculty committee for each candidate recommends the award of summa cum laude, magna cum

laude, cum laude, or in rare cases no honors. The recommendation if then considered by the Honors

council of the College of Arts and Sciences, and the council votes upon the award of Honors for each

candidate. The departmental recommendation is based upon the candidates GPA, research

accomplishments, and written and oral presentations. A strong performance in one area can compensate

for an average showing in another. The following general guidelines apply:

Cum laude: GPA in the major greater than 3.3. Satisfactory research paper and oral


Magna cum laude: GPA in the major greater than 3.5. A research paper describing publishable

work and a good oral presentation reflecting general knowledge of chemistry and biochemistry in

addition to knowledge of the specialized areas.

Summa cum laude: GPA in the major greater than 3.8. A superior research paper and oral

presentation describing publishable work of high quality. The oral presentation and paper should

reflect considerable familiarity with the research area and also a general knowledge of chemistry

or biochemistry and its place in the modern world.

For more information, students should consult the one of the departmental Honors Co-Advisors:

Robert Parson (Chemistry) or Joe Falke (Biochemistry), and the Honors website

Spring 2016 Honors Application