Honors Program

Philosophy:

Any science can be described as having two major aspects: 1) an organized body of knowledge classically gleaned from coursework and 2) a formal way of adding new information to the existing body of knowledge. Thus, science is related to
method and process and it is not merely a collection of factual information.

The Biology Department at WSU believes that students who desire advanced careers in biology need significant experiences which involve them directly in an intimate and meaningful process of biological inquiry. The Honors in Biology Program is designed to provide this enhanced opportunity to eligible biology majors.

Students who are admitted into the Honors in Biology Program and successfully complete the process will, upon graduation:
1. Have their official transcripts stamped with the words "Graduated with Honors in Biology";
2. Have their transcript show the title of their honors thesis; and
3. Have their graduation status (Honors in Biology) indicated on the graduation program.

Eligibility:

To be eligible for the Honors in Biology Program, a student must normally:
1. Be a Biology (any Option), CLS or Cytotechnology or a Life Science Major,
2. Have completed the biology core sequence (Basics of Life, Organismal Diversity, Ecology, Cell Biology and Genetics),
3. Have a 3.75 GPA both overall and within the major,
4. Identify a WSU faculty member who is willing to serve as a research advisor to the student,
5.Apply for and be granted admission into the Honors in Biology Program by the Biology Department Honors Committee prior to the preliminary proposal deadline of the last Friday in September.

Requirements*:

Students will be recognized as having successfully completed the Honors in Biology Program after satisfying the following requirements:
1. Completion of two Seminars in Biology (BIOL 495) in non-concurrent semesters and presentation of their original research in one of the seminars.
2. Completion of a preliminary proposal at a preliminary proposal session. The preliminary proposal sessions will be open to all interested students and faculty. The date of the preliminary proposal sessions is normally the last Friday in September. The preliminary proposal is less about the mentor’s science and more about developing a collegial exchange of scientific ideas among the students and the attending faculty.
3. Oral presentation of their research at the WSU Research Celebration and;
4. Submission to and approval of an Honors Thesis in the appropriate format and style. The format and style will be determined by the research advisor. Evaluation and approval of the thesis will be by the major professor and one other biology faculty member. The second biology faculty member will be selected by the student.
5. Submission of two final and fully approved copies of the Honor Thesis and an electronic copy to the committee.

* In the event that a student performs research or other scholarly activity that significantly exceeds normal capstone research in quality and/or quantity, and if that student petitions the Honors Committee in writing and provides a written copy of the research report and if the honors committee is impressed with the student’s research or other scholarly activity, then the honors committee may award Honors in Biology to a student not otherwise eligible.