Honors in Biology


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

For at least two semesters, you must have enough time in your schedule to devote to the research. Two credits are given for each semester of research. This is the equivalent of a 2-credit laboratory (6 hours per week), but if you are enthusiastic about your project, you will want to spend more time on it than that.

In addition to the requirements for the Bachelor of Science (or Bachelor of Arts) degree in Biology, a student must complete specific courses/seminars, as listed under Requirements. To have the statement "Graduated with Departmental Honors in Biology" on your final transcript, you must have completed the required courses and public presentation, have a final G.P.A of 3.5 in Biology and 3.3 overall, and have your senior thesis reviewed and accepted by a faculty committee.

You must download and submit this Honors application to Cox 233, with all appropriate signatures. Due date: December 3, 2019.


Tuesday, December 3, 2019: 
Last day to submit an application for Spring 2020 graduates (Cox 233)

TBA: Deadline for Research and Creativity Forum Applications

TBA: Powerpoint Files for RCF Posters due. 

TBA: Research and Creativity Forum (undergraduate presentations)

TBA: Honors in Biology Theses (2 copies) due in Biology Honors Director Office (Cox 233)

The Honors in Biology Program (for biology majors) gives you an opportunity to do original research in an area of your choice, working closely with a faculty member. You will also have an opportunity to discuss your research and that of other students by participating in Honors Seminars.

Requirements for admission are:

  • Sophomore Status
  • Completion of at least 2 semester of science laboratories or calculus courses
  • An overall GPA of at least 3.3.



Getting Started (sophomore or junior year)

  • Biology Seminar Courses (2 required) – BIL 253/257/299/374/375.

Begin Research (junior year)

  • Choose a mentor and register with the Office of Undergraduate Research.
  • Complete application to the Honors Program in Biology.
  • Research courses; BIL 495 and 496.

Almost There (first semester, senior year)

  • Continue research (BIL 497, if needed).
  • One BIL course at the 500 level (if not already taken).

Final Steps (second semester, senior year)

  • BIL 498 (Senior Thesis).
  • BIL 499 (Research Colloquium).
  • Public poster presentation of results.
  • Submission of two copies of your thesis to the Director of the Honors Program in Biology.

Note: Please consult with the Director of the Honors Program in Biology prior to registration for each semester to review your progress.


Biology 299 (2 cr.) Research Problems

A course designed to acquaint you with the research of individual faculty members. It is especially useful if you have not yet decided on a research project, and if you take it in the spring semester of your sophomore year. It may also be used as one of the required seminars.

Biology 253, 257, 374, 375 (1 cr. each)  Seminars in Biology

Small discussion classes dealing with current questions in biology. Specific course offerings and contents may vary from semester to semester. Two of these courses (200-level or above) are required.

Biology 495, 496, 497 (2 cr. each) Projects in Biology (research credits)

A minimum of two semesters on a single topic is required (495; 496); many students extend their research into a third semester (497). BIL 353 or 555 may be substituted for BIL 495.

Biology 498 (2 cr.) Senior Thesis

Credit for preparation of your senior thesis (in consultation with your faculty research supervisor and sponsor); usually taken in your final semester. 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.

Biology 499 (1 cr) 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.


Dr. Dan DiResta, Director, Biology Honors Program

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