You are here: Home Honors Program

Biology Honors Program

Timeline for Honors Candidates Graduating 2015

Timeline for Prospective Honors Candidates Graduating 2016

Information for Prospective Honors

The Honors Program in Biological Sciences is designed to offer advanced training in laboratory and field research through the performance of an original research project under the direct guidance of a member of the Cornell faculty. Applications for the Honors Program are available online (Honors Application 2016  ) and must be submitted to the Honors Program Committee at the end of the student’s junior year.  The deadline for this year is May 16th, 2014. Application forms for the Honors Program are separate from the enrollment forms for BIOG 4990, Independent Research in Biology.

Program Requirements

To qualify for the Honors Program, students must have:

  • Completed at least 30 credits at Cornell or be Junior standing for transfers
  • An overall Cornell cumulative grade-point average of at least 3.0
  • At least a 3.0 Cornell cumulative grade-point average in all biology, chemistry, mathematics, and physics courses. Grades earned in courses in other departments that are used to fulfill major requirements are included in this computation.
  • A Cornell faculty member who agrees to supervise the student's research program in a field of biological science

Accepted students will be notified and assigned to an Honors Research group based on the content of their work. The requirements of the Honors Program include:

  • Participation in Honors group meetings, one in late fall and one in spring.
  • Submission of an acceptable honors thesis
  • Public presentation of your research in the last semester
  • Completion of your major
  • Maintenance of the 3.0 Cornell cumulative grade point average overall and in all biology, chemistry, physics and math courses through graduation.

BIOG 4990

Honors candidates usually enroll for credit in BIOG 4990 under the direction of the faculty member acting as an Honors supervisor, although it is not a requirement of the Honors program. Students choosing to earn credit for honors research must register in BIOG 4990 using the enrollment process for that course (separate from the Honors Program application process). Students with questions about BIOG 4990 should go to 216 Stimson Hall.

Level of Honors

Recommendation to the faculty that a candidate graduate with honors is the responsibility of the Honors Faculty Committee. The most important factors considered in evaluating the thesis are the quality of the scientific work and thesis preparation. The student's final grade-point average is another factor determining the level of honors awarded. Over half of the theses in Biological Sciences are awarded Honors (cum laude) with a small percentage receiving High Honors (Magna cum laude) and Highest Honors (Summa cum laude). Students in the College of Arts and Sciences will be awarded Latin honors for their work. Students in CALS will receive Distinction in Research.

More Information

Students interested in applying to the Honors Program are strongly encouraged to begin their research project in their junior year. Applications for the program will be due at the end of the spring semester. Students should meet with their research advisor in the spring semester of their junior year to discuss becoming an Honors candidate.  Interested students are welcome to attend an Honors Information meeting held twice during the spring semester. Details pertaining to information meetings, thesis due dates, seminars, and other requirements can be found here or may be obtained from the Office of Undergraduate Biology, 216 Stimson Hall. Information on faculty research activities is available in 216 Stimson.


For further information about Honors in Biology, students should contact:


Colleen Kearns Kristy Long
Assistant Director of Research Administrative Assistant
Office of Undergraduate Biology Office of Undergraduate Biology
216 Stimson Hall 216 Stimson Hall
254-5233 255-6859
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.