Departmental Honors Program
The same professors teaching your classes are also engaged in research within their particular discipline, and the opportunities to work in their labs can provide you with experiences that are not necessarily available when completing your structured course work. Should you choose to complete a degree with Departmental Honors, you can then substitute the time and credit hours that you would spend completing elective courses with research on your own project.
Requirements for Admission to the Departmental Honors Program
- You must be declared as a Biological Sciences major.
- You must complete a total of 60 semester hours of coursework, the last 30 of which must be in residence.
- You must have earned a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.50/4.00. This GPA must be maintained for the remainder of your time at Eastern. Students dismissed from the program because their cumulative grade point average has fallen below 3.50 may petition for readmission. Students must raise their cumulative grade point average to 3.50 by the end of the term immediately following dismissal for reinstatement.
You can complete a Departmental Honors degree in any one of the tracks or emphases within the Biological Sciences major and even as a double major in another field. Please consult the list of faculty in the department whose research interests might be aligned with your own interests.
Requirements for Completion of a Departmental Honors Degree
In consultation with your faculty mentor, you must write a brief proposal describing the research that you intend to complete. This document should be submitted to the Departmental Honors Coordinator. You must complete at least 12 semester hours with some combination of the following courses:
- Bio4444 Honors Independent Study (1 to 6 semester hours).
- Bio4555 Honors Research (1 to 6 semester hours).
- Bio4644 Honors Thesis (3 sem. hours; to be completed during the last semester of your degree program).
- Bio4666 Honors Seminar (1 to 2 semester hour).
You are eligible for all of the same benefits that are available to Honors students outside of the major once you have been accepted into the Departmental Honors Program. These include: An earlier registration period, so you can sign up for the courses that you want before they reach their enrollment quotas; Eligibility for both scholarship and grant awards as well as eligibility for university housing that is set aside for Honors students.
Additional information about the Departmental Honors Programs is available at Eastern's Departmental Honors Program website. If you have questions about completing Departmental Honors within the Department of Biological Sciences, please contact the Departmental Honors Coordinator. If you are interested in applying, please fill out an application form (PDF) and consult with a faculty mentor before submitting your application to the Departmental Honors Coordinator, Prof. Barbara Carlsward (Life Science Building 3074, 217-581-3223)
Download the Honors Program Flyer.
Current Honors Program Advisors, Students and Projects
- Valerie Thompson, Remapping the Black-capped - Carolina Chickadee Contact Zone using Song Playback.
- Lindsey Wood, Do Strepsipteran Parasites Infect Paper Wasp Hosts Based on Sex?
- Sarah Mummel, Evaluating the Role of Temperature on Feeding Performance of the Leopard Frog Litobathes pipiens.
- Noah Wright, Plasticity of Critical Thermal Thresholds Via Acclimation on Lepomis cyanellus.
Recent Honors Program Advisors, Students and Projects
- Kylee Gochanour, Exploring the Microbiota Associated with the Periocular Region of Dogs.
- Jessica Rohr, Dispersal and Seasonal Patterns of Tick-borne Disease.
- Lindsey Caudle, Effects of Turbidity on Vision and Feeding Habits of Lepomis megalotis.
- Kaitlyn Hammock, Evolution of Median Fins in Basal Bony Fishes.
- Ashley Donnel, Soil Microbial Control of Plant Performance: The Role of Dispersal and Disturbance.
- David Constantinescu, Effects of PsINP and LEA Proteins during Anhydrobiosis.
- David Grimm, The Effects of Pioglitazone on Liver Cell Bioenergetics.
- Jocelyn Herrera, Structure and Function of MitoNEET in Regulation of Glutamate Dehydrogenase
- Robert Skolik, Assessing the Protective Properties Conferred by LEA Proteins on Enzyme Activity in Cell Extracts.
- Daniel Webster, The Function of Late Embryogenesis Abundant Protein Expression on Bioenergetics and Growth Kinetics during Cell Stress.
- Nicholas Smith, How ApoE4 Interacts with Estrogen to Cause Alzheimer's Disease.