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Microbiology Honors Program

Book and pencil

Advisor: Theresa Ho, PhD

Microbiology/Immunology Honors is a program for undergraduates majoring in Microbiology/Immunology. This curriculum exposes students to basic laboratory research and the scientific method. Upon successful completion of the program, the student receives “Honors in the Major” designation on his/her diploma.

During the fulfillment of Honors in Microbiology and Immunology, an undergraduate will seek guidance from 3 advisors. The Academic Advisor is assigned when declaring the Microbiology/Immunology Major and helps students to develop their course schedules. The research mentor is the faculty member in whose honors lab research is conducted. The research mentor guides the student in their research project and helps in the preparation of written and oral research presentations. The Honors advisor coordinates the completion of Honors requirements.

Microbiology/Immunology Majors interested in pursuing Honors in the Major should consult their academic advisor and seek a faculty research mentor to guide their honors research as early as in their undergraduate career as possible. For this program, the faculty research mentor must be selected from primary or secondary Microbiology Department faculty.

Honors in the Major students must contact the Microbiology/Immunology Honors Advisor prior to registration in MICR:4171.  Students should also meet with their assigned academic advisor at the beginning of their final semester to ensure all requirements and deadlines can be met.

Honors in Microbiology/Immunology Distinction Program requirements:

  • Maintain GPA of 3.33 minimum in the major and overall.
  • Complete 6 semester hours of MICR:4171 (Advanced Undergraduate Honors Research in Microbiology/Immunology). Recommended that 6 hours be spread over at least 2 semesters. It is expected that the student conduct 15 to 20 hours of laboratory research per week for the successful fulfillment of Honors Research.
  • Orally present an outline of their research at the beginning of the final semester (Week 3) to the Honors Advisor, Director of Undergraduate Studies and Honors colleagues.
  • Submit thesis introduction and abstract 4 weeks prior to the end of the final semester. Introduction and abstract must be edited and approved by the research mentor prior to electronic submission to honors advisor.
  • Give a 15-minute oral presentation at the Departmental Undergraduate Research Symposium at 2:30pm on the last Friday before Finals week. Students should work extensively with their research mentor on this presentation.
  • Submit the final draft of the Research Honors Thesis. The thesis should be in a format of a scientific paper and must be edited and approved by the research mentor prior to electronic submission to the honors advisor on or before the Monday of Finals week.

Timeline and Deadlines:

  • Enroll in MICR:4171 no later than two semesters prior to graduation and contact Honors Advisor.
  • At the beginning of the final semester (Week 3), orally present an outline of research.
  • Before Week 6 of the final semester, submit Degree Application and indicate Honors status.
  • By Week 9 of the final semester, submit thesis introduction and abstract.
  • Give a 15-minute oral presentation at the Departmental Undergraduate Research Symposium at 2:30pm on the last Friday before Finals week.
  • Submit the final draft of the Research Honors Thesis on or before the Monday of Finals week.

 

Previous Honors Undergraduates

2016/2017  Shondra Olson
Juan Pablo Munoz Gonzalez*
2017/2018 Emily Hoeper*
Page Kies
Breanna Kramer-Reiberg
Samantha Ryken
Yuxun Zhang
2018/2019 James Girsch
Evan Lamb*
Sarah Mullen
Robert Nordell
Tom Osborne
Molly Sharp
2019/2020 Graham Ausdal
Barbara Badovinac
Alix McCullough
Patrick Schwartzhoff
Alexandria Sturtz*
2020/2021 Shelby Andersen*
Lanci Bulman
Alex Dorbria
Lindsey Grady*
Molly Gunter
Nathan Schwery
Abigail Wischman

* Stinski Undergraduate Research Fellowship Awardee

 

Students must apply for the degree during the semester in which all requirements will be met.  A Degree Application must be filed for a student to be considered eligible for the degree. The University of Iowa does not confer degrees without a complete application. Please note the important deadline for this application. Students are urged to apply as soon as possible.

Students should meet with their undergraduate advisor before completing a degree application to ensure appropriate timing for completing all needed requirements for graduation. The undergraduate advisor and the faculty research mentor, and honors advisor must be kept aware of your progress as you complete the requirements for Honors in the Major.

Students apply for degree via the MyUI student portal during the semester of completion of all requirements for the degree and for Honors in the Major. A Degree Application must be filed for a student to be considered eligible for the degree. The University of Iowa does not confer degrees without a complete application. Visit the Registrar's page for more information on the application for graduation and related questions.

Other important points:

  • Honors in the Microbiology major requires six semester hours of Honors Undergraduate Research in Microbiology MICR:3171 (up to 4 s.h. of which may be applied to the Advanced Electives requirement for the major)
  • You may NOT receive honors credit for paid research (either as a work study or through the undergraduate employment program).
  • You may hold research scholarships while conducting undergraduate research (such as the Howard Hughes Undergraduate Internship).
  • Sign up for the Honors Listserv, which disseminates information on programs, activities, scholarships and other announcements of interest to Honors students (see Honors Program website below).
  • For information about style and formatting of the Honors Thesis, please follow the  Honors Thesis Guidelines.
  • Be sure that you meet the deadlines for turning in all appropriate graduation materials. There is additional paperwork that is required for Honors Graduation. Your status should be checked with the registrar at the beginning of your final semester.
  • In some instances, you may be allowed to start Honors Research if your GPA is lower than 3.33 IF you can demonstrate a strong chance that your GPA will be above 3.33 upon graduation. In this case, the final decision will rest with the honors and undergraduate advisors.
  • Students earning Honors in the Major are not required to be members of the University Honors Program; however, many students earn both University Honors and Honors in the Major. The UI Honors Program allows undergraduates to complete Honors in the Major for the 12 s.h. experiential learning requirement for UI Honors.
  • Each student's goals and needs are unique and all students are strongly encouraged to talk with advisors and mentors who can support the student's individual choice about how to pursue honors opportunities at the University of Iowa.