The Biotechnology major offers an Honors thesis option for highly motivated undergraduate students who are interested in professional careers in biological research. The series offers students a research experience that integrates hypothesis building, experimental design, experimental execution and written documentation. This option is available to students in any biologically oriented major on campus.

The overall structure of this series closely mimics that of successful graduate programs. Students participating in the thesis program enroll in three courses in addition to those required by their major. The first course, BIT188 Undergraduate research proposal writing, is taken spring quarter, typically the year before the student plans on graduating. In this writing intensive course, students work with the course instructor and individual faculty mentors to develop an experimental plan that addresses fundamental questions relating to the proposed thesis. In some cases the student has previously worked with the mentor on a 199, in other cases the instructor helps the student identify the mentor.

Following successful completion of BIT188, students enroll in BIT189L and undertake the proposed research. BIT189L is a variable unit course similar in format to 199s, the difference being that students in BIT189L have a thesis committee comprised of the faculty mentor, major advisor, and a third faculty member knowledgeable of the proposed research to direct and monitor the student’s progress.

The third component of the series, BIT194H, offers the students an opportunity to write up their research in an undergraduate thesis. This generally takes place the student’s last quarter before graduation. Satisfactory completion of the thesis is at the discretion of the student’s thesis committee.

Students that complete this program will have accomplished a complete research package from experimental design, execution, and write up. Completion of the program will be recognized by a passing grade in BIT194H: Honors Thesis in Biotechnology.