Honors Requirements

The Biology Honors Program

An Honors degree in Biology requires substantial laboratory or field research that is supervised by a faculty member. To qualify for the Honors Program and graduate with an Honors designation, students must meet the following requirements:

  1. Registration for the Honors Program including an acceptance signature of the faculty research advisor, before research begins. Visit the Biology Advising Center to pick up the registration form.
  2. Completion of all requirements for the major in Biology.
  3. Minimum 3.3 GPA in all upper division Biology courses. (Includes 300 & 400-level outside departmentally approved courses. See Biology Advising Center for list.)
  4. Minimum of three quarters of intensive research (summer counts as a quarter), with at least four quarters and summer research experience being strongly encouraged.
  5. Minimum of four BI 401 credit hours with a single advisor. (Up to four credits may be applied towards 44-upper division elective Biology credits.)
  6. Completion of the year-long BI 403 Honors Thesis sequence, for a total of 4 credits
  7. Thesis
    1. Thesis committee to be comprised of two faculty members: primary advisor and one faculty member on the Biology Undergraduate Affairs Committee.
    2. A final version of the thesis must be provided to the committee one week prior to the thesis defense.
    3. Both committee members must sign the thesis within one week of the thesis defense.  A final, signed copy must be submitted to the Biology Advising Office.
  8. Thesis defense
    1. Thesis committee must attend the thesis defense.
    2. Defense must happen at least two weeks prior to the end of the term in which the student is graduating.
    3. The thesis defense will be an open seminar.  Other faculty, students, and staff will be encouraged to attend.

Refer to Faculty Research Interests to find a laboratory that is compatible with your goals. It is then your responsibility to find a professor who will sponsor you.

The Chair of the Biology Undergraduate Affairs Committee will notify you during your senior year, with the name of the Biology Undergraduate Affairs Committee member who will serve as your second thesis committee member. You should contact both of your committee members via email sometime during the term before your defense to start working on a range of possible dates for your defense.

Email the Chair of Biology Undergraduate Affairs Committee for more information.

The Marine Biology Honors Program

An honors degree in marine biology requires laboratory and/or field work which is supervised by a faculty member. If you are interested in undertaking a marine biology honors project you should contact the OIMB faculty member with whom you wish to work. To qualify for the marine biology degree with Honors, students must meet the following requirements.

  1. Completion of all the requirements for the major in marine biology.
  2. A minimum cumulative GPA of 3.3 for all upper division biology courses required for the major.
  3. All biology courses used to satisfy the marine biology degree requirements must be taken for letter grades.
  4. Registration for the honors program before research begins. (This requires approval of the honors thesis topic by the OIMB faculty sponsor and the selection of a second faculty member of your thesis approval committee.  This 2nd member should be one who can provide substantive advice and be an OIMB faculty or another UO faculty with professional interests relevant to the thesis topic – signatures required below).
  5. A minimum of 4 credits of research over at least 3 terms. One of these terms can be accomplished on the main UO campus while the thesis is being written but may require periodic visits to OIMB.
  6. Completion of a thesis, based on laboratory and/or field research that is approved by the OIMB faculty advisor and the second thesis committee member. These two pages should be included at the front of the thesis: a title page and the thesis defense committee approval. A final copy of the thesis is to be submitted to the OIMB library.
  7. A public defense of the thesis at OIMB.

If a student is on main campus while enrolled in the marine biology honors program, they should consider enrolling in the BI 403 Honors Thesis course. Contact the Biology & General Science Advising Center for information and times of this course.

For further inquiries related to the honors degree in marine biology please contact Maya Watts mwolf1@uoregon.edu or the marine biology peer adviser.