Honors in the Major

To be admitted to the honors program in chemistry, students must have declared a major in chemistry; have a GPA of 3.3 or higher for all chemistry courses taken; and must fill out an honors declaration form (available in Room 1328 Chemistry Building, make an appointment with the undergraduate adviser to fill out the form.)

Once admitted, honors majors must select a faculty research mentor by the fall semester of their junior years. Mentors may come from chemistry or from a related department such as chemical engineering, pharmacology, or biochemistry. Students who choose a mentor from outside the department are responsible for providing the mentor with the requirements for the honors major in chemistry.

Candidates for honors in the major must:

  • Take at least 3 credits of additional advanced work, beyond the 5 credits required for the major
  • Complete at least two consecutive semesters of research on a single topic
  • Submit an honors thesis in their senior year
  • Present their work to their peers in a symposium
  • Maintain an overall 3.3 GPA in all their courses

The requirement for additional advanced work may be met in one of three ways:

  1. with additional 500 level or higher courses in chemistry or biochemistry;
  2. with additional breadth courses in other related disciplines; or
  3. with additional research credits beyond what is normally required for honors in the major (vide infra).

Examples of breadth courses include engineering, physics, molecular biology, computer science, water chemistry, and business. Advanced level courses should be chosen in consultation with the student's research mentor. Courses required for the major in chemistry cannot be used to simultaneously satisfy the advanced course requirement for honors in the major.

Chemistry 681-682 (Senior Honors Thesis, 6 credits total) guides honors candidates through the process of writing the required honors thesis. Honors theses must conform to the guidelines published by the department, available from the undergraduate advisor (Room 1328 Chemistry Building). At the end of their senior years, honors candidates have the opportunity to present their work at the Undergraduate Chemistry Poster session.