Honors in Biology 2017-05-30T14:49:25+00:00

Honors in Biology

The Biology Department Honors Program is open to talented and motivated students pursuing any of our majors. Honors students are part of a vibrant community within the department with enriched learning experiences in both the classroom and research laboratories.


Students may join Biology Honors either as incoming freshmen or as continuing students.  Students joining as freshmen will gain the greatest benefit from the Introductory Biology Honors classes offered by the program.  Continuing or transfer students must join the program prior to taking sophomore level classes (Biology 213 or 214).

Incoming Freshman

Incoming freshmen should indicate their interest in the departmental honors program though the ApplyTexas site by choosing “Apply to Any Honors Program” after August 1. Students who have submitted their application but still wish to apply to the Biology Honors program can use the “Apply to Any Honors Program” link at the Texas A&M Honors programs site. Students can also request to join the Biology Honors program during their New Student Conference.  To be admitted to Biology Honors incoming freshmen should have an SAT score of 1300 or above (new test or concorded old test) or a composite score of 28 or above on the ACT (minimum 27 on both English and math sections).

Current or Transfer Students

Current or transfer students with a cumulative GPR of 3.5 or better can apply for admission to the Biology Honors by submitting a request including a brief (less than 300 word) statement describing your interest and motivation for joining Biology Honors to Dr. Duncan MacKenzie, Director of Biology Honors. Please email requests to biohonors@bio.tamu.edu . When applying, students should keep in mind that they will need to fulfill all Honors requirements described below.  It is recommended that students meet first with Dr. MacKenzie to determine whether they can satisfy all requirements.


Successful completion of the Biology Honors program requires both Honors classes and undergraduate research under the mentorship of a faculty advisor.  Research participation is documented through enrollment in a minimum of six credit hours of Biology 491 (Research).

Honors Courses

Students wishing to graduate with Honors distinctions in either Biology (BIOL), Microbiology (MICR), Zoology (ZOOL), or Molecular and Cellular Biology (BMCB) must take 21 credit hours of Honors courses meeting the following minimum requirements in addition to those listed in their degree plans:

* This requirement may be waived with a score of 5 on the Biology AP exam, a score of 6 on the IB exam, or replaced with an additional Biology Honors course at the 300 or 400 level.

Freshman Year BIOL 111H, BIOL 112H 4 Hours*
Sophomore Year BIOL 213H, BIOL 214H 3 Hours
Junior/Senior Year Any 300/400/600 Level BIOL Honors Class (except 485, 491, 495) 3 Hours
BIOL 491H Research 6 Hours
BIOL 495H Capstone 2 Hours
Any Year  Honors Courses outside the College of Science 3 Hours
Total 21 Hours

Continuing in the Program

To remain in Biology Honors students must maintain a cumulative GPR at Texas A&M of 3.5 and an Honors GPR of 3.25. Students falling below these standards will be placed on probation for the next semester.  Students unable to meet these standards for a second consecutive semester will be dismissed from Biology Honors.

Grade Requirements to earn a Biology Honors at time of Graduation

  • Cumulative Texas A&M University GPR of 3.5 or higher

  • Cumulative GPR of 3.25 or higher in all Honors courses

  • No grade lower than a B in courses counting toward Honors. (If a student earns less than a B in an Honors course they will still receive credit toward their degree. However, they will need to take a different course to fulfill their Honors requirement.)

  • No F* (given in cases of academic dishonesty) on the transcript

Honors Recognition

All Honors courses will be designated as Honors on a student’s official transcript.  Students completing the Biology Honors program will have the departmental Honors distinction, as well as any earned university or college level distinctions, noted on their official transcript.