Honors in Chemistry

A Chemistry professor teaching a class.

Students can graduate with University Honors by being a member of the Honors Program. Consult with the Blank Honors Center (420 BHC) to learn more. Chemistry majors can also graduate with Departmental Honors by meeting the criteria listed below. Students do not need to be members of the University Honors Program to graduate with Departmental Honors in Chemistry. To graduate with honors in chemistry, students must do the following:

  1. Students must maintain an overall UI GPA of at least 3.33.
  2. Students should conduct independent research of sufficient quality and quantity to satisfy the research advisor that an honors thesis can be written. Independent undergraduate research in chemistry has the same general meaning as it has for graduate students.  We do not require that the basic research idea originate with the student, but we do require that the student have his/her own project and be responsible for the day-to-day decisions (in consultation with the research advisor, postdoc, or advanced graduate student) on which steps to take in completing the project.  Students should consult with their research advisor to determine whether the research is of sufficient quality and quantity for an Honor’s thesis. Students will typically enroll in Undergraduate Research, CHEM:3994 (004:162) but can also consider enrolling in one of the Undergraduate Research Experiences units, URES:3992-3995, which are 0 credit hour courses that have no tuition or fees associated with the registration. Students in the University Honors Program may register for the Honors Practicum, HONR:3994 (143:100) or the Honors Thesis, HONR:4990 (143:199).
  3. A Student must declare that they are pursuing honors in Chemistry by meeting with the Chemistry Honors Advisor as soon as possible. Otherwise the option to graduate with honors in the major will not be available when they apply for graduation. Even when a Student selects the option to graduate with honors in the major, this will not be reflected in their transcript unless an honors thesis is written satisfactory to the Research Advisor and approved by the Honors Advisor.
  4. A student downloads the Chemistry Honors Form and presents it together with the completed honors thesis to the Research Advisor; with these documents signed, the student then visits with the Honors Advisor --who checks that all Chemistry requirements are met-- to obtain a second signature. This triggers a change in status from pursuing to having achieved the requirements for graduating with honors in the major. Notice that this procedure is different and, must occur before, uploading a thesis for publication online at the UI Institutional Repository. The deadline to obtain these signatures is always the Wednesday before Final Examination Week at 4:00 p.m
  5. A Student must discuss with their Research Advisor if they would like a thesis to be uploaded/published in the UI Institutional Repository –this is not mandatory to graduate with honors in the major–. There is an agreement form that the Student, the Research Advisor and the Honors Advisor must sign and the deadline to submit this form is always the Wednesday of Final Examination Week at 11:59 p.m. Details are provided here https://clas.uiowa.edu/faculty/honors-thesis-or-project-submission
  6. A thesis acceptable in Chemistry at Iowa should be in the form of a research report with a title page indicating that the thesis is in partial fulfillment of honors requirements. The thesis should follow the format of an article in an ACS journal, such as the Journal of the American Chemical Society or the Journal of Physical Chemistry.