Honors in the Major

Honors in the major in zoology is intended for students who are eager to experience the excitement of original research and who wish to graduate with the best possible undergraduate training in the discipline. Honors in the major is especially appropriate for students who are considering graduate work in the biological sciences or who want an especially rigorous training in research, reasoning, and writing skills useful to a wide range of career choices.

To earn the B.A. or B.S. with honors in the major in zoology, students must satisfy the major requirements and:

  • Achieve a GPA of at least 3.300 in all zoology courses at the time of graduation.
  • Achieve a cumulative GPA of at least 3.300 in all courses taken at UW-Madison at the time of graduation.
  • Enroll in 6 credits of honors coursework in the major (these must be taken for official honors credit). Students may choose from the following courses: Zoology 300-680 or Approved Upper-level Courses Outside of Zoology.
  • Complete a two-semester senior honors thesis in Zoology 681 (3 cr) and Zoology 682 (3 cr). Students completing a senior honors thesis in an additional biological science major should consult a zoology advisor to determine whether the project may also apply toward zoology honors. It is recommended that candidates for the senior honors thesis take Zoology 699 (1-6 cr) during second semester junior year to prepare for the thesis.

Students are responsible for arranging a faculty member to supervise the project and are urged to consult a zoology advisor for guidance in finding faculty appropriate to their interests. Thesis mentors are not restricted to faculty in the Department of Integrative Biology. Students are encouraged to explore opportunities that best suit their individual research interests. They may select research mentors from among research faculty in the entire biological research community on campus.

By the beginning of the senior year, each honors student will develop a written thesis proposal that must be approved by the thesis mentor. Two semesters of Senior Honors Thesis research (681 and 682, 6 total credits) must be taken; the first semester can be done during the summer, especially for students doing field research. Completion of Senior Honors Thesis (682) requires a written thesis approved and graded by the thesis mentor.

Honors in the Liberal Arts

The Department of Integrative Biology offers the following courses for honors in the liberal arts:

  • Zoology 101: Animal Biology (3 cr)
  • Zoology 151/153-152: Introductory Biology (5 cr/3 cr-5 cr)

Note: Biocore curriculum courses can also be applied.

For more information on honors requirements, please visit the L&S Honors Program website.