Skip to Main Content

Biological Sciences Departmental Honors in Research

Students who maintain a minimum overall GPA of 3.25 in select courses in the major will earn Departmental Honors by the satisfactory completion of the following curriculum in addition to completion of other requirements for a Bachelor’s Degree in Biological Sciences.

The Honors Curriculum consists of nine credits

  • BIOL 499: Independent Research
    – 2 semesters (a minimum total of 4 credits)
  • BIOL 497H: Honors Thesis and Capstone Course
    – 1 semester (3 credits, graded)


Biological Sciences majors who have completed the following requirements will be eligible to enter the Departmental Honors Program. The following courses, or acceptable transfer equivalents thereof, will have been completed with a cumulative GPA of 3.25: BIOL 141, BIOL 142, BIOL 302, BIOL 303, BIOL 300L, CHEM 101, CHEM 102, CHEM 102L, CHEM 351, CHEM 351L, MATH 151 (or MATH 155 for BA degrees), STAT 350, PHYS 111 (or 121), and PHYS 112 (or 122).

Two semesters of BIOL 499

Two semesters of undergraduate research provides exposure to problem solving, planning, and executing experiments directed toward the research goals of a faculty mentor. An honors student will complete a minimum of 4 credits of undergraduate research, which is equivalent to two semesters of laboratory work averaging 12 hours per week.

Honors Thesis and Capstone Course, BIOL 497H

The Capstone of the Biology Honors Program will be a course introducing each honors student to the various ways in which scientists present their work to the scientific world and to the diversity of research areas presented in departmental seminars. To further develop their written skills, each student will be expected to write short abstracts of a limited number of these seminars. (See catalog for details.)

The culmination of the research project will be a thesis to be written in the form of a research journal article. Each student will be assigned to one member of the Honors Committee who, along with the research mentor, will provide guidance and advice regarding the writing of the honors thesis. Upon completion, the thesis will be evaluated and graded by the mentor and Honors Committee member.

In addition, the results of the project will be presented in the form of an oral presentation and/or poster presentation to be given at one or more of public forums such as a scientific meeting, UMBC’s annual spring Undergraduate Research and Creative Achievement Day, the Department’s spring GABS symposium, UMBC’s Summer Undergraduate Research Fest, or the fall Undergraduate Research Symposium in the Chemical and Biological Sciences.

Application for Departmental Honors in Research