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Bachelor of Science with Honors

The Neuroscience Honors Program is open to Neuroscience Majors. The centerpiece of the honors program is extended research under the direction of a member of the neuroscience faculty.  Research includes full time paid effort for 10 weeks over the summer between the third and fourth years and part time effort throughout the fourth year, and incorporates a dedicated research course (for a grade) in each quarter of fourth year.  Students will write up their work as a paper in the format of a journal article and must also make an oral presentation of their work to the Committee.

Students must complete three quarters of scholarly or experimental research under the supervision of a NSCI faculty member. For all quarters of research intended to fulfill the Honors research requirement you must register in advanced, for NSCI 29200 series. To obtain honors in Neuroscience, students must maintain a minimum GPA of 3.5 in the major and a cumulative GPA of 3.25.

Tips for Finding a Research Mentor

Honors Application Process

Eligible candidates should have a GPA of at least 3.5 in the major, and 3.25 overall, which must be maintained to receive Honors. Students must identify a faculty sponsor and decide with their sponsor on a research topic before applying.  The Honors Committee will look for evidence of commitment and unusual promise in each student’s record. This includes excellent grades, possible previous research experience, and the quality and interest of the research proposal. Applicants should submit to the following in a single pdf

  1. A one-page statement describing motivation to pursue the Honors degree, any previous research experience, selection of the mentor, overall intellectual goals and any plans for post-graduate education.
  2. Completed Honors Elective Form
  3. You will need a letter of faculty support. Administrative staff will reach out to your faculty sponsor and request a letter on your behalf, be sure to make prior arrangements. You must email us the name of your intended faculty sponsor by April 3rd.
  4. A project description: Abstract of no more than 500 words describing overall project goals and rationale; Detailed project description of no more than 3 pages (minimum font size 11; including figures and tables) covering the significance and aims of the scientific research project and the proposed methods of study.
  5. A bibliography of up to 30 references.

Applicants are responsible for submitting their single pdf to by April 10th, 2019.

Procedure for thesis submission & presentation

Your written thesis will be written in the format of the Journal of Neuroscience paper. The reason is to train students to write publishable papers, rather than produce a meandering thesis. This means an Abstract of 250 words, Introduction of 650 words, Materials and Methods, Results, and Discussion of 1500 words. Honors thesis will be due no later than the end of the fifth week in Spring quarter.

Presentation and Thesis Defense
Students should select their thesis committee which will include Peggy Mason, Liz Grove, 2-3 faculty members chosen by the student and mentor with the approval of the honors director. The presentation will last for 30 minutes with questions for clarification only. There will be 15-20 minutes after the present for committee members to ask more in-depth questions. 
*Student must work with NSCI administrator to schedule presentations and defenses. 
Honors Research Course

(NSCI 29200/201/202)

Meetings of the honors students and the Honors Director, or guest speakers, will continue weekly through the fall, winter and spring quarters. Each student will also make an appointment with the Honors Director towards the end of each quarter to discuss progress.  As the academic year progresses there will be decreasing emphasis on research and increasing emphasis on writing up the Honors Thesis.

Summer Meetings

Honors students and the Honors Director will meet weekly for one hour to discuss research progress or for student presentations of journal papers in their neuroscience specialty.  This series of meetings will acquaint students with work that may differ from their own, and serves as a venue in which students can present their own work and receive input from the others.

If you have any questions please contact:

Honors Program Director: Elizabeth Grove
Phone: (773) 702-9909

Undergraduate Administrator: Stephanie Thomas
Phone: (773) 702-7388