• Microbiology Honors Program

    Advisor: Linda McCarter, Ph.D.

    Microbiology Honors is a program for undergraduates majoring in Microbiology. This curriculum exposes students to basic laboratory research and the scientific method. Upon successful completion of the program, the student receives “Honors Graduate” designation on his/her diploma.

    The requirements for acceptance into the program are a minimum Grade Point Average of 3.33 in all classes, as well as a minimum 3.33 GPA in the core microbiology courses. If these requirements are fulfilled, the student should then consult their faculty advisor and decide upon a mentor to guide their honors research. For this program, the mentor must be selected from primary or secondary Microbiology Department faculty unless express permission is given from the Honors Advisor to do research outside of the department.

    Once a mentor is selected, the student signs up for MICR:4171 Honors Undergraduate Research in Microbiology. In general, this is arranged as three credit hours per semester. It is expected that the student conduct 15 to 20 hours of laboratory research per week for the successful fulfillment of Honors Research. Two semesters (six hours) of research is necessary to fulfill the requirement for graduation with honors. This means that students should begin their research at the beginning of their senior year, AT THE LATEST. Under extraordinary circumstances a student may complete all six hours of MICR:4171 in a single semester, however this is STRONGLY discouraged.


    • Approximately 9 weeks before graduation, you must submit an application for graduation with honors to the Honors Program (this is in addition to your regular application for graduation, which is due at the same time).
    • Students are required to give a 10 minute oral presentation of their thesis work at the Department of Microbiology Honors symposium, which will be held prior to graduation.
    • Your Title Page must be submitted to and approved by the Honors Program before being approved and signed by the Microbiology Honors Advisor and your Honors Thesis Supervisor.
    • Your final thesis with its Abstract and Title Page must be submitted to your Honors Thesis Supervisor, who will sign the Title Page. After that, it should be submitted to the departmental Microbiology Honors Advisor for approval. Once the departmental approvals have been obtained, the thesis should be deposited with the Honors Program.
    • On the Wednesday before graduation, a hard copy of your honors thesis is due in the Honors Program office. This final version is also due for deposit in the Microbiology Department. An electronic version (pdf or word file) is preferred by the department and it should be sent to the Microbiology Honors Advisor (linda-mccarter@uiowa.edu).

    Other important points:

    • The Honors programs requires 23 hours of Microbiology credits, of which six must be MICR:4171.
    • You may NOT receive honors credit for paid research (either as a work study or through the undergraduate employment program).
    • You may hold research scholarships while conducting undergraduate research (such as the Howard Hughes Undergraduate Internship).
    • Sign up for the Honors Listserv, which disseminates information on programs, activities, scholarships and other announcements of interest to Honors students (see Honors Program website below).
    • Please follow the Department of Microbiology's Honors Thesis Guidelines.
    • Be sure that you meet the deadlines for turning in all appropriate graduation materials. There is additional paperwork that is required for Honors Graduation. Your status should be checked with the Honors office at the beginning of your final semester.
    • In some instances, you may be allowed to start Honors Research if your GPA is lower than 3.33 IF you can demonstrate a strong chance that your GPA will be above 3.33 upon graduation. In this case the final decision will rest with the honors and undergraduate advisors.

    Important Links:

    Microbiology Department Homepage

    Undergraduate Honors Office

    If you have any additional questions, please contact Linda McCarter, PhD.