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Honors Program
Undergraduate students in the lab

Introduction to honors in BMB.

Schreyer Honors College students are eligible to obtain their honors degree from the Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (BMB) Department. The BMB department has a very robust honors program with approximately 75 members. For the scholastically inclined who is interested in laboratory research, the BMB honors program has much to offer. Honors sections are available for the introductory Microbiology and Cell Biology courses and for the more advanced General Biochemistry courses. In addition, students can choose to do honors options (at the approval of the instructor) to enhance non-honors courses. Students interested in understanding biological processes at a molecular level will have the opportunity to do independent research in any laboratory on the University Park campus as long as the project uses molecular approaches to investigate biological mechanisms. Hence, research with faculty in BMB, Biology, Chemistry and other programs are suitable for obtaining an honors degree from BMB.  


Honors Thesis

The Honors Thesis is an important aspect of your Honors work in BMB. Normally, this will involve presenting original research results that you have performed over the previous semesters. Guidelines are outlined below.


Entrance into the BMB honors program

To be eligible for an honors degree from BMB, students must first apply to the Schreyer Honors College. Students can apply for acceptance into the Schreyer Honors College at the time of their application to Penn State when their acceptance will be judged by the Schreyer Honors College. Alternatively, students already at Penn State with at least a 3.7 GPA can apply to the Schreyer Honors College at the end of their first or second year. Those Penn State students wanting to obtain an honors degree from BMB and meeting the eligibility requirements of the Schreyer Honors College, are then evaluated by honors advisors in BMB. Judgement is based on the student’s performance in Math and Chemistry courses as well the introductory Microbiology (Micrb 201) and Cell Biology (BMB/Micrb 251) courses. Since most students do not take the introductory Microbiology and Cell Biology courses until their second year, those students planning to obtain honors from BMB usually apply at the end of their second year if not already accepted to the honors college at the time of first enrolling into Penn State.  


Fall 2020 Deadlines

  • September 11, 2020 - Friday – Honors Option Deadline
  • September 13, 2020 - Sunday – Schreyer Plan Deadline for New Scholars

Graduating Scholars

  • November 16, 2019 - Saturday – Thesis Proposal Deadline
  • September 13, 2020 - Sunday – Thesis Midpoint Check-In Deadline
  • November 1, 2020 - Sunday – Thesis Format Review Deadline
  • November 8, 2020 – Sunday – Final Thesis Submission Deadline
  • November 15, 2020 – Sunday – Thesis Faculty Approval 
  • November 18, 2020 – Wednesday – Thesis Schreyer Approval Deadline
  • December 18, 2020 – Friday – Senior Reception: Location & Time TBA
  • December 18, 2020 – Friday – Medals Ceremony: Penn Stater Conference Center Hotel, 5:00 pm

Spring 2021 Deadlines

  • January 22, 2021 – Friday – Honors Option Deadline
  • March 1, 2021 – Monday – Schreyer Plan Deadline for All Scholars

Graduating Scholars

  • May 15, 2020 – Friday – Thesis Proposal Deadline
  • January 22, 2021 – Friday – Thesis Format Midpoint Check-In Deadline
  • March 5, 2021 – Friday – Thesis Format Review Deadline
  • April 5, 2021 – Monday – Final Thesis Submission Deadline
  • April 12, 2021 – Monday – Thesis Faculty Approval
  • April 14, 2021 – Wednesday – Thesis Schreyer Approval Deadline
  • May 7, 2021 – Friday – Senior Reception: Location & Time TBA
  • May 7, 2021 – Friday – Medals Ceremony: Bryce Jordan Center, 4:30 pm


Submitting your Thesis Early

Theses may be submitted to the Schreyer Honors College prior to your intended semester of graduation if you will be student teaching or studying abroad. If you submit your thesis early, please note the correct semester of graduation on your thesis title page.

Schreyer Honors College
Schreyer Honors College


The Schreyer Honors College (Penn State's Honors College) website has information on honors courses, news and events, list of honor's courses and advisers, scholarships, your Honors Thesis and many more topics.