The Honors Program at Occidental College is designed to allow the superior student’s attention to be focused on a directed investigation for a sustained period of time.
Honors in Biology - last revised Sept 2011
It is expected that students admitted to the College Honors Program will have established themselves as outstanding prospects for individualized work in the department of their major and will also have established themselves as doing work of very high quality in all that they have undertaken at Occidental. Student admission to the College Honors Program will be by formal action of the faculty in the student’s major department (taken from the College Catalogue statement on Honors).
Student typically will have worked on a research project for 2 semesters (or 1 semester + summer session) minimum, before applying for honors
Student must have an average GPA of 3.25 (college policy)
Students should discuss with their research mentor and submit an official Letter of Intent to the Biology Chairperson by the beginning of their senior ayear, or sooner.
The letter of intent should include a summary of research results (realized and projected), as well as significance of the research and any projects in progress at the time of submission.
Applications will be evaluated by the Biology faculty.
Students nominated for honors will be notified by the Biology Chairperson.
At the time of nomination, each candidate will be assigned an honors thesis committee of two Biology faculty members, in addition to their faculty mentor. This committee will be available for guidance and to help ensure that milestones are met in a timely manner.
Milestones will include a thorough literature review, written drafts of the introduction, methods, and results sections, including draft figures, and a final discussion section, as well as preparation of a public seminar.
Candidates must complete a written thesis of their work. It is expected that students will spend part of their final semester or directed research writing the thesis.
The final written thesis will be due by the end of the 1st week in April.
The thesis will be reviewed by committee, and final revisions requested by the end of the 3rd week in April.
Honors candidates will also give a presentation on their research during the last week of April. These presentations will last approximately 20 minutes, with 5-10 min for questions.
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