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School of Mathematics and Natural Sciences

Senior Honors Requirements

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In addition to the requirements for Senior Honors stated in the Honors College Handbook (refer to the Honors College for information concerning the current Handbook), the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry has specific requirements for the Senior Honors Project, Thesis, and Comprehensive Examination.

The Senior Honors Project will be a standard chemistry or biochemistry research project lasting at least one semester and conducted under the direction of a faculty member in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry. The student should sign up for his or her faculty mentor's section of CHE 492 or 496. The research project will normally be conducted on the campus. Exceptions can be made for special chemistry or biochemistry summer research projects at other universities if approved by the department chair and if a department faculty member is associated with the project.

The Senior Honors Thesis should meet all of the requirements stated in the Honors College Handbook and it is the responsibility of the student to see that these requirements are met. The thesis should detail the research conducted by the student in the Senior Honors Project and will be judged by the soundness of the research procedure followed, the thoroughness and clarity of presentation, and the thoroughness and clarity of thought evident in analyzing and critically evaluating the project results. It should be written in the style of a major scientific journal in the area. Examples of such journals might be the Journal of Physical Chemistry, the Journal of Organic Chemistry, the Journal of Biological Chemistry, etc. The thesis will normally be a minimum of 20 double-spaced pages long. The page minimum includes abstract and references but not cover page or figures. The thesis should also include a bibliography of not less than 20 primary literature references formatted in the manner of the journal selected.

The thesis defense will be scheduled for the end of the semester in which the student completed their research. The departmental Senior Honors Examination Committee will be composed of the mentors of all students completing their Senior Honors Thesis that semester. The comprehensive examination will normally be an oral one covering both their thesis research and general chemistry/biochemistry topics, and normally will be scheduled within a day of the student presentation to the Honors College. Students should request the comprehensive exam in writing from the department chair as stated in the Honors College Handbook.