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Honors Program in Biological Sciences

Requirements for an in Honors thesis in the Biological Sciences

The following requirements must be met for a student to graduate with an in Honors diploma:

1. In order to receive the in Honors diploma designation, a student must:

  • Maintain a cumulative grade point average of 3.5 or greater.
  • Meet with the appropriate representative of the Honors Program in the fall of their junior year to complete the candidacy form and confirm plans for completing the diploma.
  • Meet with Honors personnel approximately 2 months before graduation to apply for an appropriate Honors diploma designation.
  • Complete 21 hours of Honors credits including 6 credits of Honors Undergraduate Research.
  • Meet the requirements of their major department(s) for this diploma. For more information go to

2. The Biological Sciences requirements for an in Honors diploma include:

  • Complete a minimum of six hours of undergraduate research. This research does not have to be done in the Department of Biological Sciences; life sciences research properly supervised can be conducted any where within the life sciences at Virginia Tech and off campus in independent or government programs such as NIH. If the research advisor is not from the Department of Biological Sciences, there must be a co-advisor from the department.
  • The results of the undergraduate research must be written in the scientific style of a reputable journal in the area of research.
  • Copies of the in Honors thesis must be given to the members of the committee at least two weeks before the thesis defense.
  • The results of the research must be defended to a committee of three or more faculty; a minimum of two committee members must be from the Department of Biological Sciences and may include an Honors Advisor from the department.
  • Prepare a thesis cover sheet similar to this one:   Honors Thesis Cover Sheet Example (PDF | 8KB)
  • After the defense of the thesis and all revisions to the thesis are completed, the committee members will sign two (2) copies of the in Honors thesis cover sheet.
  • The two copies of the cover sheet are also signed by the departmental Honors Advisor. A signed cover sheet will fulfill the requirements of the Honors Program and affirm that all departmental requirements have been met for an in Honors diploma.
  • Two signed copies of the in Honors thesis must be submitted at least two weeks prior to graduation. One signed copy must be submitted to the Department of Biological Sciences and the second signed copy must be submitted to the University Honors Program.

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