Welcome to the Department of Biology

Department of Biology at Illinois State University
Department of Biology
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Honors Program

We encourage all eligible students to participate in the University Honors Program!

Honors Program At Illinois State University

The School of Biological Sciences is pleased to offer students the opportunity to graduate with school honors. Honors students will complete various in-course honors projects as well as perform research projects in a faculty member's lab. As an honors student you may qualify for grants and scholarships related to your research project. You will have the chance to learn beyond the regular course content and have one-on-one access to your instructors. In order to qualify, you must satisfy the checklist below. For more information contact Megan Larson.

ISU offers a variety of Honors designations. More information on ISU Honors designations

Advantages of graduating with Honors in Biological Sciences

  • Students will complete a research project and write a research thesis
  • Unique opportunities to interact with faculty
  • Demonstrates a significant accomplishment to future employers or professional schools
  • Diploma and transcripts read "with Honors in Biological Sciences"


Q: I'd like to graduate with School Honors. Can you tell me what is required?

A: A student must be a member in good standing of the University Honors Program at the time of graduation  (See: http://www.honors.ilstu.edu/current/requirements/index.shtml). A student may be eligible for the designation “School of Biological Sciences Honors Scholar” without completing University/Honors Program designations requirements provided the following requirements are fulfilled:

  1. All regular requirements for the Biological Sciences Major
  2. One semester of biochemistry (CHE 242 or 342)
  3. Two semesters of calculus (MAT 145 and 146)
  4. 12 hours biological sciences completed with Honors credit with grades of A or B each
  5. Three hours of honors research (BSC 299)
  6. One hour of Senior Thesis (BSC 303).   A completed Senior Thesis must be defended before the student’s Senior Thesis Committee which usually consists of two (or more) faculty members.  These members will sign the cover page which signifies their approval of the research work.

  7. GPA at time of graduation:
    • a. 3.30 cumulative
    • b. 3.50 major
  8. A student must be a member in good standing of the University Honors Program at the time of graduation 

Q: What does "in-course honors" mean?

A: In course honors are designed by each professor to meet more rigorous course requirements by completing an Honors quality project.This may be a written paper, participating in a group discussion, reading material outside of class, or other types of projects.The first day or two of classes each semester you may ask the professor if they offer in course honors. The professor will describe to you what your project will be and give you a timeline.It's then up to you which classes you will do honors work in (an honors student must complete 3 hours of honors course work each semester).

Q: I'm thinking of applying to ISU. How can I get into the Honors Program?

A: Incoming freshmen are invited to apply for admission to the Honors Program based on ACT/SAT scores and high school academic performance. You must also submit an application due in April of each year .See the Honors Program Website for application information.

Q: I'm already at ISU. How can I join the Honors Program?

A: Current Illinois State students who meet the Honors Program requirements are invited to apply to the Program at any point during their time at the University. Admission for current students is based on GPA and a personal statement. Acceptance into the program is not automatic, rather it is based on information submitted in applications. Generally, current students are expected to have an Illinois State cumulative GPA of 3.5 or higher. Application deadlines are July 1 for fall admission and December 1 for spring admission.

For more information, visit the University Honors Program website!