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Departmental Honors in Research FAQs

Does a student need to apply to the Honors College to receive Departmental Honors in Research?
No. Admission to the Honors College is not required for participation in Departmental Honors in Research program.

Can a student take BIOL 499 and BIOL 497H in the same semester?
No. BIOL 497H is a third semester of research, with an extra scientific communication component added on top of the student’s research expectations.

Can a student take BIOL 499 and BIOL 499L in the same semester?
Yes, but to qualify for Departmental Honors, a student must do 3 semesters of research in a faculty mentor’s lab. A student must take either 3 semesters of BIOL 499 + BIOL 499L, or 2 semesters of BIOL 499 + 497H.

Can the Honors BIOL 499/497H sequence be used for the BIOL degree requirements?
Yes, but only for the BIOL BS degree. BS students can use two semesters of BIOL 499 and one semester of BIOL 497H as one of their upper level lab electives. Independent research cannot be used towards the BIOL BA electives.

Will departmental honors be documented anywhere in my student record?
Yes, students completing the Biology Honors program will receive a “Departmental Honors” notation on their transcript.

Do I receive any sort of certificate or cord after finishing the requirements?
Students who complete Departmental Honors program will receive a green cord to wear at Commencement. Students should receive an informational email from someone in the Biology Department a few weeks before Commencement. Please do not wait until the day of Commencement to pickup your cord. A “Departmental Honors” notation will also be placed on the student’s transcript.

How do I find seminars to attend for BIOL 497H and BIOL  499L? 
Students can find seminars across campus to attend. Biology Department seminars are held every Wednesday at noon in BS004. Eminent Speaker seminars are held on the first Thursday evening of every month. See a full list of these seminars posted on myUMBC. Seminar flyers will also be posted on the bulletin board outside the Biology Office (BS480).

Students can also attend biology-related seminars from other departments. Both the Chemistry Department and the Center for Urban Environmental Research and Education (CUERE) host seminars on Fridays at noon. The Geography and Environmental Systems (GES) Department holds their weekly seminar series the same time as the Biology seminars, Wednesday at noon. The MARC U*STAR’s monthly seminars are held on Mondays at noon. If another department’s seminar is of more interest in a given week, and is biology-related, student are welcome to attend. If a student wishes to attend a seminar off-campus, they are welcome to do so as well, just ask Dr. Tamra Mendelson if it is appropriate.