compiled image of honors thesis projects, microscope image of a plant, two diagrams of a plant and a student examining a barn swallow's wing

What is it?

EBIO Departmental Honors is a program for students in the Ecology and Evolutionary Biology Department who engage in independent research with a faculty advisor, and write and defend an Honors thesis. Graduation with Latin Honors is dependent on the written thesis, the oral defense of the thesis, and a good GPA. We support graduating Honors candidates with a two-credit class (EBIO 4980) offered every Spring, where candidates give a practice defense and receive support and constructive feedback from their peers. For more information, please contact Prof. Pieter Johnson and Prof. Barbara Demmig-Adams who are EBIO’s Honors Program Directors & Honors Council Representatives.

Why do it?

Students who complete an EBIO Honors thesis often report that this experience was the single most rewarding aspect of their academic experience at CU! It allows engagement in your education in a unique and challenging way, and strengthens your development as an independent thinker and good communicator. The Honors thesis is also a highly valuable asset for a number of additional reasons:

  • Opportunity to explore professional interests in a customized program outside the classroom
  • Helps with entry into graduate programs or medical school
  • Gives access to personal and insightful letters of recommendation from your thesis advisor
  • Boosts your résumé/CV and makes you stand out for future employers and professional programs

What do I need?

To graduate with departmental Honors, you need:

  • Official application to the CU Honors program, deadlines vary
  • A cumulative GPA of 3.3 or higher by the end of the semester prior to graduation
  • Those working with empirical data are expected to have taken Biological Statistics
  • EBIO 4980 Spring Honors seminar is required (additional Independent Research/Thesis Writing credits via EBIO 3390 or 4990 are optional)
  • Honors thesis and defense

With whom can I work?

The faculty members in EBIO are excited to invest in you! Choose from many different research topics and types of research (ranging from field projects to lab projects and scholarly literature syntheses on topics in public health and environmental science). Please see next page for a list of EBIO Faculty Advisors and their research areas. Do not hesitate to start contacting faculty early in your career at CU, even in your freshman year. CU funding opportunities are offered through the Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (UROP) and the Biological Sciences Initiative which include sources directed especially at first- and second-year students. We recommend making a short list of faculty with research areas that might interest you, visiting the EBIO department's faculty page and the respective groups’ websites for a little more detail, and then contacting several faculty via email to inquire about opportunities to get involved in research. You may also work with a faculty advisor from beyond EBIO or CU if approved by the EBIO graduate directors. If you have ANY questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us!

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