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​​The Biology Honors Program

The Biology Honors Program offers students the opportunity to enhance their education with hands-on laboratory or field-based research experience.  Working with a faculty research mentor, each Biology Honors student develops a research project that explores a specific topic in biology, collects and analyzes data, and writes an honors thesis based on his/her findings. 


Melanie Cragan and Sam Restrepo were summer research students in Dr. Patterson’s lab.  As part of the Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF) program, they received paid stipends for their work.  

Biology Honors research helps students hone critical thinking skills, learn modern scientific techniques, and build relationships with faculty and other students.  This provides an excellent foundation for a successful transition to jobs, graduate school, or professional schools.   


Undergraduate research projects can result in the opportunity to attend a scientific meeting.  Helen Magana, Jocelyn Betancur, and Raquel Villot present their research at the SURF conference, held annually at URI.  

To be admitted to the Biology Honors Program, you must:

  • be a Biology major
  • have successfully completed at least 30 credit hours of classes, including Bio 111/112
  • have a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.5, and a minimum Biology GPA of 3.0

To apply to the Biology Honors program, this is what you need to do:

For more information, contact a member of the Biology Honors Committee:

Dr. Geoff Stilwell
Dr. Deb Britt
Dr. Dan Hewins 

Some frequently asked questions:

Q:  How much research will I do?

A:  Biology Honors students are expected to take 4-6 research credits (BIOL 49X Research in Biology), in two or more semesters.  Up to 3 of those credits may be used to satisfy one of the Biology upper division elective requirements.

Q: Do I have to be an Honors student to do research?

A: No, any Biology student can take Research in Biology for course credit, but only students that complete the Honors Program will have “Biology Honors” stamped on the official college transcript 

Q: Is Biology Honors the same as College Honors?  

A:  No, College Honors is a separate program; you can do Biology Honors without College Honors.  If you are eligible, you are encouraged to do both!  

Q:  How do I register for research?

A:  Once you find a faculty research mentor, you will complete an Independent Study form which includes a short research proposal. This form​ must be submitted to the Chair of the Biology Department and you will be registered automatically.  There is no signup through MyRIC.  

Page last updated: August 31, 2018