Honors in Biology


The Biology Department recognizes students who have achieved excellence in original research and coursework by awarding Honors in Biology. Biology Honors students work closely with faculty members first to design a research project and then conduct it for a minimum of two semesters. The centerpiece of the program is a written thesis that is submitted to the Biology Department, and presentation of the thesis research in a public forum.


Requirements for the Honors in Biology program are listed in the Academic Bulletin. In addition to being a biology major (BS or BA), you must have completed the required courses and public presentation, have a final GPA of 3.5 in Biology and 3.3 overall, and have your senior thesis reviewed and accepted by a faculty committee.

Your senior thesis presents the results of your independent research. You and a faculty member of your choice agree on a suitable research project. Before deciding on your project, consider talking with several faculty members to discuss possible projects. The Director of the Biology Honors Program, the Office of Undergraduate Research, or individual faculty members can assist you in finding a faculty mentor on the Coral Gables, Marine or Medical campuses.

You should expect to conduct your thesis project for at least two semesters, and plan to have enough time in your schedule to devote to the research. In at least one semester, you must sign up for Projects in Biology (BIL 495, 496 or 497), two credit courses that are the equivalent of a 2-credit laboratory course (6 hours per week). If you are enthusiastic about your project, you will want to spend more time on it than that.

You must download and submit this Honors application to Cox 233, with all appropriate signatures during the fall semester of your senior year. Contact Dr. Diresta (diresta@miami.edu) for specific deadlines.

In the spring semester of your senior year, two required courses will help you to complete your senior thesis. BIL 498, Senior Thesis, is a two credit class that prepared you to write your thesis. This involves further background reading in the area of your research, data analysis, organization and writing of preliminary and final drafts of your thesis, and public presentation of your research [in a poster session or a Platform (oral) Session]. The thesis will be reviewed for acceptance by a faculty committee. In BIL 499, Research Colloquium, you will discuss the background and progress of your research with other students and prepare a poster on your research which you will present in a public forum. This course is usually taken in the spring of your senior year, concurrent with BIL 498. Participation in the annual Research, Creativity, and Innovation Forum in your final spring semester is strongly recommended.



Dr. Dan DiResta, Director, Biology Honors Program

233 Cox Science Center
Phone: (305) 284-1715
Email: diresta@miami.edu