Office of Undergraduate Instruction

There are a number of opportunities for Rutgers University students to participate in honors programs and achieve honors distinction during their time at the University.

Aside from being enrolled in the honors programs offered by the School of Arts and Sciences or the School of Environmental and Biological Sciences, all highly motivated students are encouraged to look into departmental honors options and pursue honors distinction during graduation.

Departmental Honors

To qualify for honors in Biological Sciences, a student must have previous research experience and a cumulative grade point average of 3.4 or better in courses credited toward the Biological Sciences major at the end of their junior year. At that time, the student should apply formally to the Director of Adivising at the Office of Undergraduate Instruction.

Accepted students are expected to complete at least 6 credits in an independent research project resulting in a thesis, and to pass an oral defense (examination) before a faculty committee in the field of the student's program of emphasis. If the research is done in a laboratory outside of the Division of Life Sciences, which includes the Department of Genetics, Cell Biology and Neuroscience, and the Department of Molecular Biology and Biochemistry, the examination committee must include at least one individual from the Division of Life Sciences faculty. Honors students must register either for an honors course sequence in the Life Sciences or for a course sequence in a college honors program. These decisions should be discussed with an advisor. Click here for instructions on registering for honors credits. 

School of Arts and Sciences (SAS) Honors Program

The School of Arts and Sciences Honors Program encourages first-year and transfer students to explore new concepts and ideas through interdisciplinary honors seminars, honors sections of regular courses, Honors Colloquia, a faculty and peer mentoring program, and a number of research and internship opportunities. To graduate with the distinction of School of Arts and Sciences Honors Scholar, students must complete the following:

  • A minimum of four departmental honors courses and/or interdisciplinary honors seminars
  • A minimum of two Honors Colloquia
  • A foreign language requirement and
  • A Capstone Project

Honors program members must maintain a GPA of 3.25 in their first year and a 3.5 in each semester thereafter.

In order to satisfy the Capstone Project requirement, a minimum of 6 credits (3 credits per semester) of a faculty approved substantial writing or research. must be completed. The project is usually completed in the senior year and can be completed as a Departmental Honors Thesis, Interdisciplinary Honors Thesis/Research or an Interdisciplinary Honors Project.

School of Environmental & Biological Sciences (SEBS) Honors Program

The School of Environmental and Biological Sciences General Honors Program is a four year program comprised of first term honors courses, first and second year honors seminars, graduated research projects and usually culminates in a George H. Cook Scholars project during senior year.

The SEBS General Honors Program generally invites exceptional high school seniors who have applied to the school prior to the application priority deadline. Please see this page for information about applying to the program through other means.

Interdisciplinary Honors Thesis

Interdisciplinary honors thesis is an option for exceptional School of Arts and Sciences undergraduates who are interested in a topic that spans more than one academic discipline, who want to complete a research project in a field other than their major, or are in a major that does not have a departmental thesis program. The honors thesis is a two semester project (3 credits each semester) which culminates in a written thesis and an oral defense before a faculty committee. Students do not need to be in the School of Arts and Sciences Honors program to complete an interdisciplinary honors thesis. For more information on this program please contact Dean Lord at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Paul Robeson Scholar

All SAS students who are completing a departmental honors thesis or an interdisciplinary honors thesis are designated as SAS Paul Robeson Scholars. SAS Paul Robeson Scholars will be eligible for extended library borrowing privileges and are invited to attend a spring celebration.

George H. Cook Scholars Program

The George H. Cook Scholars Program is the School of Environmental and Biological Science's senior honors thesis program. Candidates draft and present a proposal in the second term of the junior year, complete the six to twelve credit project in the senior year and defend the thesis publicly at its conclusion.

Graduating with Honors

The bachelor's degree is conferred with the distinction as follows:

  • Summa cum laude for graduates with a grade point average of 3.850 or higher
  • Magna cum laude for graduates with a grade point average of 3.700 or higher and
  • Cum laude for graduates with a grade point average of 3.500 or higher
  • School of Arts and Sciences Honors Program

    Dean Lord
    35 College Avenue
    (732) 932-7964
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    website

    School of Environmental and Biological Sciences Honors Program

    Dr. Watford and Dr. Casey

    website

    Departmental Honors in Biological Sciences

    Nelson Labs
    Room B112
    (848) 445-2075
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    Contact Us

    Nelson Biological Laboratories

    Nelson Biological Laboratories
    604 Allison Rd
    Piscataway, NJ 08854


    p. (848) 445-2075
    f.  (732) 445-5870