Honors Program

Students are encouraged to initiate planning and discussion of their honors research project with their honors mentor during the summer before or fall semester of their junior year. Acceptance into the honors program is selective and based on the following criteria:

  • A minimum overall GPA of 3.20 at the time of proposal submission, typically March of the junior year;
  • Availability of research positions with a particular Biology Department faculty member. Projects conducted entirely off-campus or internships are not suitable.  However, this does not prohibit collaborative research that may include an interdepartmental or off-campus component.
  • Approval by an Honors Committee of the student’s research proposal, which was developed in consultation with the honors mentor.

Department honors will be granted at commencement to majors who have fulfilled the following conditions:

  • The candidate has met the expectations of two course units of research by conducting research with a faculty member for two semesters or one semester and the summer immediately prior to graduation.  For those students with a December graduation date, the research units can also be accomplished the spring semester and summer before graduation. These expectations will be clearly established by the faculty member;
  • The candidate has presented a 50-minute seminar to the College community on his/her research project.  Typically this is done approximately a month before the candidate graduates.
  • The candidate has written a thesis according the thesis guidelines and submitted it to the Honors Committee by the Friday after spring break (or earlier as established by the faculty mentor for December graduations). The Committee will judge the thesis based on the research performed, scientific merit of the work, and quality of writing.  The honors mentor has voice but no vote, while the three other members of the Honors Committee will have a silent vote to either award honors or not.  
  • Together, all of the Honors Committees for that year will meet to discuss the theses and determine the degree of honors to be awarded (none, honors, or highest honors) for each honors candidate. Candidates who have met the standards outlined here and in the Guidelines, will be awarded Honors. Candidates who have have significantly exceeded the standards and have demonstrated unusual dedication to the life of the biology program, may be awarded Highest Honors. 

For more information:

Biology Honors Proposal Guidelines (Guidelines for Muhlenberg College Biology Honors Thesis Proposal)

Biology Honors Thesis Guidelines (Guidelines for the Muhlenberg College Biology HonorsThesis)