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Honors Thesis Preparation and Submission

To graduate with Honors, you will need to write an Honors Thesis and have it signed by your thesis supervisor and the Microbiology Honors Advisor, and submit electronically to the Honors Program before the specified due date preceding graduation. Please follow the guidelines below.

Thesis Sections

Your thesis should have the general format of a scientific paper and should contain the following components in the order indicated below. Begin each section on a new page.

  • Title Page
  • Abstract
  • Introduction
  • Materials and Methods
  • Results
  • Discussion
  • Acknowledgements
  • Literature Cited

A combined Results and Discussion section is permissible, but must be approved by your thesis supervisor.


Please use Times or Times New Roman with a font size of 12.

Formatting of Title Page and Abstract

The UI Honors Program (UIHP) has instructions and templates for formatting your Title Page and Abstract; these can be viewed at Honors Program details.

Submission to the UI Honors Program and Thesis Repository

Review the policies for the electronic submission of your  Honors Thesis:

For more details. visit Honors Program details.


The length should be determined by you and your advisor. Although there is no page limitation, brevity is important in writing scientific papers.

Page Margins for Remainder of Thesis

All pages, except for the Title Page and Abstract, should have margins (top, bottom, left, and right) of 1.0".

Page Spacing

All pages, except for the Title Page, Abstract, and the legends to Tables and Figures, should be double-spaced.

Tables and Figures

Tables and Figures with relevant legends should NOT be provided as a collection at the end of the thesis. There are two acceptable ways to include them:

  • Method 1: Insert them into the thesis, printed one Table or Figure to a page along with relevant legends, immediately following first mention of that Table or Figure in the text.
  • Method 2: Embed Figures and Tables along with relevant legends within the text, close to first mention within the body of the text. Allow ample space between the embedded Figure or Table and the text.

Whichever method you choose to use, make sure that you draw the reader's attention to a specific Figure or Table by inserting a "flag" within the text, e.g. "β-galactosidase levels were elevated in the mutant strain compared to the wild-type strain (Figure 1)".

Page Numbering

The Title Page should NOT be numbered. Use Arabic numerals for the remainder of the thesis, beginning with the Abstract as page 2. Number the pages centered at the bottom of each page. If you chose Method 1 above for insertion of figures and tables, don't forget that pages bearing these components should also be numbered.

Preparation of Thesis for Submission

Do not staple or punch your thesis pages in any way. The UIHP will bind your thesis for their library.

Submission Deadline

Your thesis should be approved and signed by both your Thesis Mentor and your Honors Advisor no later than the last day of classes of the semester in which you intend to graduate (i.e., one full week before Commencement). This will allow the Advisor sufficient time to review your thesis before submission to the Blank Honors Center by the UIHP stated deadline (Wednesday of Finals Week).


Please feel free to contact the department at 319-335-7809 any time if you have any questions or concerns.