There are a number of opportunities for Rutgers University students to participate in honors programs and achieve honors distinction during their time at the University.
Aside from being enrolled in the Honors College-New Brunswick or the honors programs offered by the School of Arts and Sciences or the School of Environmental and Biological Sciences, all highly motivated students are encouraged to look into departmental honors options and pursue honors distinction during graduation.
To qualify for honors in Biological Sciences, a student must have previous research experience and a cumulative grade point average of 3.4 or better in courses credited toward the Biological Sciences major at the end of their junior year. At that time, the student should apply formally to the Director of Advising at the Office of Undergraduate Instruction.
Accepted students are expected to complete at least 6 credits in an independent research project resulting in a thesis, and to pass an oral defense (examination) before a faculty committee in the field of the student's program of emphasis. If the research is done in a laboratory outside of the Division of Life Sciences, which includes the Department of Genetics, Cell Biology and Neuroscience, and the Department of Molecular Biology and Biochemistry, the examination committee must include at least one individual from the Division of Life Sciences faculty. Honors students must register either for an honors course sequence in the Life Sciences or for a course sequence in a college honors program. These decisions should be discussed with an advisor. Click here for instructions on registering for honors credits.
School of Arts and Sciences (SAS) Honors Program
The School of Arts and Sciences Honors Program (SASHP) is open to first-year students, rising sophomores, and transfer students who have been invited to join. For more information about requirements, consult the SASHP website https://www.sashonors.rutgers.edu
Students in the SAS Honors Program may complete their Honors capstone requirement through the Honors Program in their major field of study, including departmental honors programs in any department in the Division of Life Sciences. In order to satisfy the SASHP Capstone Project requirement, a minimum of 6 credits (3 credits per semester) of a faculty-approved substantial writing or research must be completed.
School of Environmental & Biological Sciences (SEBS) Honors Program
The School of Environmental and Biological Sciences General Honors Program is a four year program comprised of first term honors courses, first and second year honors seminars, graduated research projects and usually culminates in a George H. Cook Scholars project during senior year.
The SEBS General Honors Program generally invites exceptional high school seniors who have applied to the school prior to the application priority deadline. Please see this page for information about applying to the program through other means.
Interdisciplinary Honors Thesis
The interdisciplinary honors thesis is an option for exceptional School of Arts and Sciences undergraduates who are interested in a topic that spans more than one academic discipline, who want to complete a research project in a field other than their major, or are in a major that does not have a departmental thesis program. The honors thesis is a two semester project (3 credits each semester) which culminates in a written thesis and an oral defense before a faculty committee. Students do not need to be in the School of Arts and Sciences Honors program to complete an interdisciplinary honors thesis. For more information on this program please contact Dr. Musu Davis, Administrative Director of the SAS Honors Program,
Paul Robeson Scholar
All SAS students who are completing a departmental honors thesis or an interdisciplinary honors thesis are designated as SAS Paul Robeson Scholars. SAS Paul Robeson Scholars will be eligible for extended library borrowing privileges and are invited to attend a spring celebration.
George H. Cook Scholars Program
The George H. Cook Scholars Program is the School of Environmental and Biological Science's senior honors thesis program. Candidates draft and present a proposal in the second term of the junior year, complete the six to twelve credit project in the senior year and defend the thesis publicly at its conclusion.
Graduating with Honors
The bachelor's degree is conferred with the distinction as follows:
- Summa cum laude for graduates with a grade point average of 3.850 or higher
- Magna cum laude for graduates with a grade point average of 3.700 or higher and
- Cum laude for graduates with a grade point average of 3.500 or higher
School of Arts and Sciences Honors Program
Dr. Musu Davis, Director
35 College Avenue
School of Environmental and Biological Sciences Honors Program
Dr. David Tulloch, Director
Ms. Janice Geiger, Program Coordinator
Room 104, Waller Hall, G .H. Cook Campus
Departmental Honors in Biological Sciences