BME Honors Guidelines


Honors in Biomedical Engineering is an award given for excellence in scholarship and independent research.  Because students must enroll in BIOL1950/1960 or ENGN1970 as a vehicle for Honors, students should also consult guidelines for these programs.  Any questions concerning appropriateness of projects for Honors should be referred to the Honors Thesis Advisor.

In general, the goal of an Honors research project in biomedical engineering is to involve the student directly in scientific research and from this to produce original results that are worthy of publication in a scientific journal, or at least to make significant progress along that road.

The following rules and criteria pertain to Honors awards:

Independent study research.  
At least two semesters of independent study (either BIOL1950 and BIOL1960, or ENGN1970) are required for Honors.  Additional research during the summer before the senior year is strongly recommended.

Application for candidacy in the Honors program for seniors planning to graduate in May
must be made by the first Friday in November.  The student must complete an Honors application, co-signed by the faculty member who will mentor the independent study and the faculty member who will be the second reader of the thesis.  The application includes a listing of the student’s concentration courses and grades and a statement as to the nature of the proposed research to be done.  The student’s concentration advisor must be kept informed of the plans for the Honors project since BIOL1950/1960 or ENGN1970 registration requires his/her signature.

Oral presentation.  An oral presentation must be given by the honors candidate at or prior to the submission of the written thesis (and within the deadline for Honors recommendations set by the Honors Advisors-see below).  The oral presentation must be announced so that interested students and faculty can attend.  Most often, a Research Symposium will be organized in April to provide the opportunity for seniors to present their research.

Supporting faculty members must attend the presentation.  The faculty mentor and the reader for the thesis will submit to the Honors Advisor an evaluation of this oral presentation along with their comments on the thesis.  Evaluations will be in writing and will be forwarded to the Honors Advisor by the deadline.

Written Honors thesis. 
 The student’s Honor thesis should follow the format of a scientific journal article.  The thesis must be submitted far enough in advance of the oral presentation for both the faculty sponsor and the second reader to have time to read and evaluate it.  In general, the student should expect to provide the faculty mentor and reader with corrected copies of the thesis.  A copy must also be submitted to the Honors Advisor.

Electronic Abstract.  In addition to the thesis, the student must also submit at the same time an electronic abstract of the work.  This summary will include a one page abstract, photo of the student, and one figure.  Contact the Honors Advisor for the electronic form.

Honors will be awarded 
on the basis of the Honors thesis, oral presentation and the student’s grade point average in his/her biomedical engineering concentration.  A final grade point average of 3.4 or higher is required in the biomedical engineering concentration in order to be eligible for consideration for Honors*.

*Please note that any senior concentrator who completes either BIOL1950-1950 or BIND1970 may write a senior thesis; the GPA requirement applies only to consideration for Honors.

Final decision on awarding of Honors will be made by the Honors Advisor and a faculty committee based on written materials submitted by the Honors mentor and reader of the thesis.  The Honors Advisor may also consult with the Biomedical Engineering Curriculum Committee regarding the awarding of Honors.


SUMMARY OF DEADLINES: (For May graduates; other should consult Honors Advisor)

1.  Submission of application for Honors by 1st Friday in November
2.  Oral presentation of thesis by 4th week in April
3.  Submission of completed thesis and electronic abstract to Thesis Mentor, Reader, and Honors Advisor by 4th week of April
4.  Submission of Faculty evaluation of thesis and oral presentation to Honors Thesis Advisor by end of April