Honors in Chemistry and Biochemistry

Junior majors in chemistry and biochemistry may apply for the departmental honors program if they have a minimum grade point average of 3.5 and are enrolled in undergraduate research CHEM 48498 or CHEM 48499. Application should be made to the Director of Undergraduate Studies on the application form by the end of the first week of classes in the fall or spring semester of the Junior Year. The requirements for completion of the honors program are a minimum of two semesters of undergraduate research after the beginning of the junior year and the course CHEM 48500 (research thesis) with a grade of B or better.  Successful completion of the requirements will result in the designation “honors in chemistry” or “honors in biochemistry” in your student transcript.

CHEM 48500: Research Thesis in Chemistry or Biochemistry (0-0-1)

A course in scientific writing to produce a thesis that describes work undertaken in the course of an undergraduate research project. Through written drafts of a thesis that are critiqued by the thesis director, skills in organizing and presenting scientific data, scientific literacy, and writing are enhanced.

Prerequisites: At least two semesters of CHEM 48498 or CHEM 48499 after the beginning of junior year, one of which can be taken concurrently. Restricted to chemistry and biochemistry majors who have been accepted into the departmental honors program.

Thesis Format:

  1. Abstract (200-250 words). This is a synopsis of your work, a condensed version of the entire thesis. It should provide enough information for the reader to understand the rationale and significance of the work. It includes: background, rationale for the study, methods, important results, analysis and conclusions.
  2. Background/Literature Review (5-6 pages). This section reviews pertinent literature in sufficient depth that the reader will come to appreciate why you are conducting the research.
  3. Methods (3-4 pages). This section documents the methodology used in conducting the research and should include sufficient detail for the study to be repeated by the reader.
  4. Results (4-8 pages). This should include all pertinent results presented in a concise and readily understandable format. In general, all data should be presented and not restricted to the data that supports the conclusions. Figures and tables should be included in the text to support the results section.
  5. Analysis/Conclusions (8-12 pages). This should integrate the results you obtained with existing knowledge and summarize the analysis. Conclusions and final comments should be clearly highlighted. It is useful to end this section with specific recommendations for further studies in the area.
  6. Bibliography (literature cited). Cite all sources of information using a standard and consistent method of citation appropriate to the discipline.