Honors in Biology

Honors in Biology Program

To apply for Departmental Honors, Wheaton College requires a student to have an overall GPA of 3.50 at the time of applying.  Any student wishing to participate in the Biology Department Honors Program must submit an application by the third Friday of February of their junior year.   Decisions on acceptance to the program will be made and announced by Spring Break. 

A student wishing to apply to the Honors Program must meet the following criteria:

  • Meet the submission deadline
  • Completion of or current enrollment in BIOL 252.
  • An overall GPA of 3.50 at the time of applying for Honors in their junior year.
  • In position to have a 3.70 GPA in the major (including supporting courses) at the time of graduation.
  • Two semesters of research (taken with or without BIOL 495 course credit) with a Wheaton professor or one summer (on-campus or off-campus) and one semester of research with a Wheaton professor.  (It is acceptable for students to be conducting their second semester of research at the time of applying.)
  • The applicant must include a statement (i.e. a letter or email) from their research supervisor(s) that corroborates the past research experience(s).
  • A written commitment from a Wheaton College Biology professor to supervise the Honors research on a project that has tangible outcomes.
  • A research proposal, approved by the supervising professor that includes:
    • A literature review.
    • A detailed description of the questions and methodologies.
    • A reasonable timeline to conduct the study.

Students accepted to the Biology Department Honors Program must fulfill the following requirements:

  • Successful completion of BIOL 499 Biology Honors Research and Seminar (2 credit hours) in the fall and spring semesters of their senior year.  (This course will require research conducted with a Wheaton Biology professor, attendance at weekly class sessions, and presentations.)
  • A written thesis evaluated in the Spring semester by the Honors student’s supervising professor and a second reader (also a biology faculty member).
  • An oral defense of their research as well as their general knowledge of biology.
  • An overall GPA of 3.50 and a 3.70 GPA in the major (including supporting courses) at the time of graduation.

All students will present their honors research in a symposium-like setting at the end of the spring semester.  The departmental honors designation will appear on a student’s transcript and on the printed program at graduation.  All honors theses will be kept in the Biology Department and in the College library.