Department of Biology
Undergraduate Honors

The Biology Department offers undergraduates the opportunity to perform independent lab research through a number of programs, including Biology 499R (Undergraduate Research), SURE (Summer Undergraduate Research Experience), and the Biology Honors Program (Biology 495A/495BW).  Beyond laboratories housed in the Biology Department, students can choose to work in labs located elsewhere on campus, such as the Medical School, CDC, Yerkes, and the Winship Cancer Center.  Undergraduates who perform research are often part of a team involving the lab P.I., postdoctoral fellows, research specialists, and graduate students.  The research available involves cutting-edge biomedical applications and trains students for subsequent careers in research, medicine, or both.

To earn Honors in Biology, students must have a 3.5 or higher GPA in the Biology major (using all courses required for the major), as well as a 3.5 GPA overall, after their junior year.  The Biology Department will invite eligible students to participate in the Honors Program during the summer semester.  Interested students will need to submit the Biology Department Honors Program Application to Barbara Shannon at by mid-August (deadline will be listed on the application).  Ms. Shannon will verify the student GPAs and provide the student with a signed copy of the application.  Students will need to find an Honors Research Advisor, who must also sign the application.

Honors candidates must take two semesters of Honors (Biology 495A and Biology 495BW) during their last two semesters at Emory.  Students approved to participate in the Biology Honors Program will need to contact Tonya Woolcock (tdavis6@emory.ed) each semester to request a permission number for the appropriate Honors course and add the course to their schedule before add/drop/swap ends at the beginning of the semester.

Honors candidates will be required to write and defend an oral thesis to a committee during their second semester in order to earn Honors.  Honors candidates are also required to take and pass a graduate-level course in either fall or spring semester that is related to their research.

Dr. Alexander Escobar (Director of the Biology Honors Program; will hold an information meeting at the beginning of the Fall semester (normally late August) to go over the requirements in depth and to answer any questions.  The meeting notice will be posted on the Biology Department website (News and Events section on the homepage), as well as on the Biology Facebook page and through the Biology Majors ListServ.

Requirements and Forms for the Honors Program in Biology can be found here:

    •  Requirements
    •  Application
    •  Checklist
    •  Progress Report Form
    •  Fall Grade Report Form
    •  Thesis Approval Form
    •  Spring Grade Report Form

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