HONORS IN BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES
The Faculty of the College awards honors at
graduation to a small fraction of seniors who excel in their major. In the
Biological Sciences Department, honors will be recommended for
graduating seniors who:
- Achieve a GPA of greater than
3.6 for their first seven semesters of courses taken toward their major.
- Remain in good standing in
- Carry out supervised but independent laboratory research before graduation. The research must be done at Columbia or must be supervised by a Columbia faculty member, and it must culminate in the writing of a research paper (published or not). Research required for honors must be completed before graduation; one semester of the research must be completed by the end of the seventh semester. The intensive research requirement can be met by any one of the following:
- two semesters of
- one semester of SURF
- a project lab (that
culminates in a paper).
To apply for honors at graduation, students should
be sure to submit to the Department Office -located in 600 Fairchild:
1) their calculated GPA for majors courses (all the
courses required for the major, not just Biology courses). GPA can be calculated from the GPA Calculator. If you have taken more than the number of required courses, you may choose which ones to include in your GPA calculation.
2) one page with 2 lists that includes math, statistics, physics, chemistry, biology and psychology (if you are a neuroscience and behavior major) courses which are:
i. included in the GPA calculator
ii. not included in the GPA calculator
3) their transcript (an unofficial transcript,
printed from Student
Services Online, is fine)
4) a copy of the final paper
prepared for their Independent Research course or the equivalent; plus
a one-page double-spaced summary of their results written so that another CU student that took introductory biology at CU would understand the research question and the findings (it should be clear what findings, if any, were obtained by the student).
5) a recommendation for honors from their research
These items should be received by the Departmental
Office no later than the day before spring break of the student's eighth and
final semester. If there are any questions, contact Jaya Santosh at firstname.lastname@example.org, or the director of undergraduate studies, Dr. Deborah Mowshowitz, at email@example.com.
Not all seniors who qualify for honors necessarily receive them because only a fixed percentage of students in each department may receive honors. Preference will be given to students that have done more than the minimal major requirements.