Genetics and Biochemistry

Departmental Honors

The purpose of Departmental Honors is to provide honors students a unique opportunity to do advanced, in-depth study and research within their major academic disciplines. Specific requirements are set by the student's department; however, it is expected that all students, regardless of major, will complete a thesis, portfolio of creative works, or major research project under the guidance of a faculty member or committee of faculty.

Generally, Departmental Honors is completed during your junior and senior years. To be considered for any Departmental Honors program, you must have a cumulative GPR of 3.40 or higher and the approval of your department.

Normally, student achieve Departmental Honors in the academic discipline of their major. However, Departmental Honors can be earned in an area of study other than that of the student's major. Students wanting to complete Departmental Honors in two different disciplines must complete the Dual Departmental Honors form available on the Honors web site.

Courses taken for Departmental Honors may not also count for General Honors requirements.

Biochemistry or Genetics Departmental Honors

Requires the following sequences of courses totaling 11 credit hours:

GEN/BIOCH H491 - Special Problems in Genetics/Biochemistry
Requires at least two semesters of research with ≥4 credits per semester (for a total of ≥8 credits) under the same faculty mentor. Only regular tenured or tenure-track faculty within the department may serve as mentor for departmental honors in genetics or biochemistry. Please refer to the departmental page on undergraduate research ( for more information on selecting a research mentor.

Three (3) additional hours taken from the following list of GEN Honors courses for Genetics Honors:

GEN H302 - Molecular and General Genetics(3)
GEN H405 - Molecular Genetics of Eukaryotes (3)
GEN H410 - Fundamentals of Genetics I (3)
GEN H420 - Fundamentals of Genetics II (3)
GEN H440 - Bioinformatics (3)
GEN H450 - Comparative Genetics (3)

Three (3) additional hours taken from the following list of BIOCH Honors courses for Biochemistry Honors::

BIOCH H301 - Molecular Biochemistry (3)
BIOCH H431 - Physical Approach to Biochemistry (3)
BIOCH H432 - Biochemistry of Metabolism (3)
BIOCH H436 - Nucleic Acid and Protein Biosynthesis (3)

The GEN/BIOCH H491 requirement includes completion of a senior research thesis and oral presentation of the thesis to the departmental faculty in a seminar setting. The thesis must be approved by the research advisor and then submitted to the department and the Calhoun Honors College.

To be eligible for Departmental Honors in Genetics or Biochemistry you must achieve a grade of C or better in all required Genetics or Biochemistry courses, a GPR of 3.30 or better in all required Genetics or Biochemistry courses, and an overall GPR of 3.40 in all courses.

Up to eight credit hours of GEN/BIOCH H491 may be used towards the science requirement or the genetics requirement so that the total credits taken by honors students need not be more than those taken by non-honors students.

Note: For information on the General Honors Program please visit the Calhoun Honors College web site or office.