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BIOL 692H – Senior Honors Thesis

To graduate with Highest Honors or Honors in Biology, Senior Bio majors/2nd majors must meet the following requirements:

GPA requirement. Senior Biology majors/2nd majors can choose to do their senior honors thesis in either the fall or spring semester of their senior year at UNC.   You must have an overall CUM GPA of at least 3.300  and a BIO GPA of at least 3.300 based on grades from your current semester.  All final grades used to determine GPA eligibility must be posted by the end of the semester in which you are applying.  This is defined as the date all grades are due to the Registrar (72 hours after the last scheduled exam).  Any temporary grades (AB or IN) still posted after the grade deadline will not be counted.  Any grade changes after the deadline will not be considered or recalculated.  GPAs must meet the minimum 3.300 and can NOT be rounded up.  The Bio GPA must include all cross-listed BIOL courses and one semester of BIOL 395 (your most recent 395 grade).  Do NOT count BIOL 101 and BIOL 101L in calculating your Bio GPA.



Research requirement. Students must have completed at least 3 credit hours of BIOL 395.  Please note that you don’t have to take 395H prior to taking 692H.  Also, you don’t have to be a student in the honors program to take BIOL 692H.

Thesis statement requirement.  On a separate sheet of paper to be submitted with your BIOL 692H application, answer ALL of the following (typewritten, please):

1. Proposed thesis title

2. Rationale for the research in the form of background on the subject and  “but it was not known whether . . .” (1-2 sentences)

3. Central hypothesis (1 sentence)

4. Methods that you employed and Findings* (3-4 sentences)

*Your BIOL 395 final paper/abstract/poster may be requested to clarify whether the completed research is substantive.

5. Predicted relevance to ecology, human health or other broader impacts (1 sentence)

6. Relevance to long-term career goals (1 sentence)

 All candidates must be approved by the BIOL 692H semester director listed on the application:  Dr Amy Shaub Maddox (Spring 2019) and Dr Steve Matson (Fall 2019).

Senior Honors thesis expectations:  The honors thesis is the culmination of high quality research performed in the preceding semester(s) of undergraduate study.  The products of BIOL 692H are a written thesis (minimum of 10 pages) and an oral presentation.  The BIOL 395 paper or poster will serve as a first draft for the honors thesis.  Beginning early in the semester, the class will work in teams to refine each written thesis and prepare oral presentations.  Thus, new results should not be counted on to go into the honors thesis.  Instead, the research findings that comprise the written and oral theses should be completed before the start of the last semester of undergraduate coursework.  However, extension of that research can and should be going on in parallel to the preparation of the written and oral presentations in BIOL 692H.  Research should continue in the same lab as for BIOL 395.

Senior Honors thesis course (BIOL 692H). Senior BIOL majors/2nd majors can BIOL 692H in the fall or spring semester of their senior year at UNC.  In addition to doing your research, presenting your research in an oral talk and writing a senior honors thesis paper, you also need to attend the BIOL 692H class.  Students receive a letter grade for BIOL 692H and also will get the designation of Highest Honors or Honors added to their transcript.  You must take 692H for 3 credit hours.

Enrollment. To enroll in BIOL 692H students should fill out a application from Summer Montgomery, Biology Registrar ( in 213 Coker Hall. Please note that if your research involves working with infectious agents, you will need to complete an IA form with your application.  If you plan to do your senior honors thesis in the fall semester of your senior year, your application is due by 5 PM on Monday, April 15, 2019.  If you plan to do your senior honors thesis in the spring semester of your senior year, your application is due by 5 PM on Friday, November 15, 2019. You don’t have to submit an internal transcript.  After your CUM & BIOL GPAs have been verified and your application has been approved, the Biology Registrar will register you.  If your grades don’t make the minimums, you can continue doing research in BIOL 395 or 495.  If you decide  you want to drop BIOL 692H, please email the BIOL 692H semester director by the end of the first week of classes.

Written work. BIOL 692H students must write an Senior Honors Thesis (minimum of 10 pages) based on the independent research project.  Your thesis will be stored electronically in the Wilson Library repository.

Symposium presentation. BIOL 692H students must present and defend their thesis research during the John Koeppe Biology Undergraduate Research Symposium.  The exact day/time  you will give your presentation will be assigned within the first 4 weeks of class.  Two graders will independently evaluate the content and presentation of your work.

Biology Honors Director – Dr Amy Shaub Maddox

Fall 2019 Koeppe Undergraduate Research Symposium (Dr Steve Matson, Fall Semester Director) – TBA in November, 2019 in Coker 215

Spring 2019 Koeppe Undergraduate Research Symposium (Dr Amy Shaub Maddox, Spring Semester Director) – Monday-Friday, April 1-5, 2019 in Coker 215.