Disciplinary Honors in Biological Sciences

Director: Dr. Krassimira Hristova
Disciplinary Honors in Biological Sciences in the Undergraduate Bulletin  

The Disciplinary Honors Program in Biological Sciences focuses on experiential learning, in the form of either laboratory research or internship, and on science communication. The program is open to students in all of the majors offered by the Department of Biological Sciences.  Students majoring in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology may choose to follow either the Biological Sciences or Chemistry Disciplinary Honors Program in consultation with their advisors.

Curriculum Requirements

The following prerequisite courses are recommended:

Students must complete one of the following:

  • BIOL 4956H Honors Laboratory Research Project in Biological Sciences (3 cr)
  • BIOL 3986H Honors Internship in Biological Sciences - Part-time (0 cr) or
  • BIOL 3987H Honors Internship in Biological Sciences - Full-time (0 cr)
  • BIOL 9002H Honors Student Study/Research Placeholder in Biology (0 cr)

With the approval of the BSCI Disciplinary Honors Director, students may also take one or more of the following courses for additional research experience:

  • BIOL 3802 Experimental Microbiology (3 cr)
  • BIOL 4102 Experimental Molecular Biology (3 cr)
  • BIOL 4403 Tropical Ecology in Panama  (3 cr)
  • BIOL 4995 Independent Study in Biology (3 cr)

Students must also complete one of the following (similar seminar courses in MSCS, Physics, or other Arts and Sciences departments may be substituted with prior approval by the BSCI Disciplinary Honors Director):

  • BIOL 4931 Topics in Biology (1 cr)
  • BIOL 4953 Seminar in Undergraduate Research (1 cr)
  • BIOL 6011 Advanced Concepts in Genetics and Cell Biology (3 cr)
  • BIOL 6012 Advanced Concepts in Cell Biology and Biochemistry (3 cr)
  • BISC 4146H Honors Physiology In Depth: Contemporary Issues (1 cr)
  • BISC 4151H Honors Advanced Pathology (1 cr)
  • BISC 4214H Honors Advanced Biochemistry (1 cr)
  • BISC 4341H Honors Advanced Cellular Genetics and Cancer (1 cr)
  • BISC 4851H Honors Advanced Systems Neuroscience (1 cr)

Additional Requirements

All Biological Sciences Disciplinary Honors students must give a public presentation (talk or poster) describing the results of their research or internship. The Director will inform students of presentation opportunities and determine which presentations fulfill the requirements of the program. Students are also strongly encouraged to present their work at the annual University Honors Program Research Symposium. Students must have at least a 3.2 cumulative major GPA to graduate with Disciplinary Honors in Biological Sciences.

Eligibility and Application

All applicants must have a cumulative overall GPA of at least 3.2, and should have identified a faculty mentor or faculty internship sponsor by the time of application.  Students are encouraged to apply in the spring of sophomore year, but applications will also be accepted by students in the fall of junior year.  Applications should be made to the Biological Sciences Disciplinary Honors Director, Dr. Krassimira Hristova, who is also happy to consult and answer questions about the program. The application consists of a written proposal identifying the Honors courses in which the student is planning to enroll and explaining how these courses will benefit the student’s anticipated career.