Honors in Integrative Biology

What is the Honors Program?

The Honors Program in Integrative Biology provides an exciting opportunity to gain valuable professional experience by working closely with a faculty sponsor to conduct a biology-related independent research project. It is also a great way to receive recognition for your outstanding academic achievements.

If you are a sophomore or junior, interested in pursuing honors your senior year, now is a good time to look for a lab position. You can get some tips on how to find a lab on our research page, or talking to a staff or peer advisor.

What are the Requirements of the Honors Program?

  • Maintain a 3.3 GPA overall AND in the IB major.
  • Take two semesters of Honors courses: H196A and H196B (3 units each, letter-graded).
  • Design and carry out a biology-related independent research project in consultation with a principal investigator (a.k.a. PI: the person in whose lab students are performing research).
    • Honors students are allowed to conduct research in either on-campus or off-campus labs. On-campus labs do NOT necessarily have to be in IB.
    • Students who are working in non-IB labs are required to have both a PI and an IB faculty sponsor.
  • Submit an Honors thesis after completing two Honors courses.
    • The thesis should summarize the work students have done and the results students have obtained.
    • Students must submit their thesis to their PI, IB faculty sponsor (if needed), and the IBUSSO.
    • Sample theses are available for viewing in the IBUSSO.
    • PDF guidelines for composing a thesis.
  • All Honors students enrolled in honors in their spring semester are required to present a poster describing their findings at Cal Day (a public event held each April).

**An Honors student's PI and Faculty sponsor will correspond with one another to give students a letter grade for each honors course, research project, thesis and poster. Students are required to submit their project and thesis to both their PI and Faculty sponsor.

Program Restrictions 

  • It is not permissible to use the same research for IB H196 to count for IB Honors and other academic credit.
  • Participants may not retroactively earn IB Honors credit for research ideas that were completed before enrolling in H196A. 
  • Participants in IB H196 are not permitted to receive employment compensation for research while in the Honors program but students may speak to a faculty advisor to determine if alternative arrangements can be made. Research grant are permissible (e.g. Biology Fellows Program). 
  • Participants may select 3 units of either H196A or H196B to count towards IB upper division elective requirements. This option is not available if IB 191 has already been selected to count for IB upper division elective requirements. 

What are the deadlines and events for Fall 2016?

  • Wednesday, August 24 @6pm in VLSB 2063: Info Session for Prospective IB Honors in the 2016-2017 Cohort
  • Friday, September 23: Deadline to enroll in Honors Research for H196A

What are the deadlines and events for Spring 2017?

  • Friday, February 17: Deadline to enroll in Honors Research for H196B.
  • Fridays, March 10, 17, 24, April 14, 28, May 5: Informal group writing time from 9-11am in VLSB 3053.
  • Tuesday, March 14, 4pm, VLSB 4110: Poster Workshop.  
  • Thursday, March 23, 12pm, VLSB 5053: Thesis Workshop.  
  • Thursday, April 13, by 3pm: Poster Submission Deadline for Departmental Sponsorship 
  • Saturday, April 22, 10am-2pm: Cal Day Poster Presentations in VLSB 2066 and 2070.
  • Friday, May 5: Thesis and Grading sheet are both due to IBUSSO (have your PI review and sign prior)

What is the Application Process?

  • An application for IB H196A can be obtained from the IBUSSO or online at our forms page.
  • Most students conduct their honors projects over the course of their senior year, taking H196A in fall and H196B in spring. Other options (e.g. summer and fall) are possible, if arranged in advance.
  • All applications, regardless of semester, are due by the end of the 5th week of the semester. 

How Do I Get More Guidance and Information?