Honors in the Major/Senior Thesis

Why complete Honors in the Major?

Honors in the Neurobiology Major is intended for students who are interested in original research and who wish to graduate with the best possible undergraduate training in neurobiology. Students must communicate their intent to complete honors in the Neurobiology Major with a Neurobiology Major advisor. Honors in the major must also be declared with L&S Honors Program, complete an L&S Honors in the Major declaration form.


Requirements – Honors in the Major

To earn the B.A. or B.S. with Honors in Neurobiology, students must satisfy both the requirements for the major and the following additional requirements:
• Earn a 3.300 University GPA
• Earn 3.300 GPA in all major courses.
• Complete at least 14 credits in honors courses in the Neurobiology Major while in residence at UW-Madison. This requirement can be broken down as indicated below:

o Two of the following 3 Required Neuroscience Courses for honors:
PSYCHOLOGY 454- Behavioral Neuroscience
ZOOLOGY 523- Neurobiology
ZOOLOGY 500- Neuroscience Seminar
o At least 1 additional Distributed Neuroscience Course for honors (see our courses page).
o 6 credits of a Two-semester Senior Honors Thesis – 681-682; a Course Authorization Form may be required to enroll. The Honors Thesis project MUST show relevance to a neuroscience-related topic.


Honors Thesis and  Senior Thesis Proposal and Final Thesis due dates:
Proposal: A proposal is required for all honors and senior theses to be submitted to the Neurobiology Major for approval. Email a single PDF copy to Dr. Catherine Auger: cauger@wisc.edu. It is recommended that the proposal be submitted one month prior to beginning your thesis work.

Proposal submission steps (in one PDF file, include):

1. An Honors Thesis/Senior Thesis proposal form (this should be signed by you and your mentor).

2. A 2-3 page double-spaced proposal for your thesis project, which should include the following components:

A. The experimental question
B. The rationale for this experiment
C. A brief description of the methods
D. The expected results

3. A Course Authorization Form to be given authorization to enroll in thesis courses in Zoology.

    • Honors Thesis – enroll in 681 semester 1, and 682 semester 2
    • Senior Thesis – enroll in 691 semester 1, and 692 semester 2

Thesis: On the last day of finals, of your second semester of an honors thesis or senior thesis course (course numbers 682 or 692), a signed electronic copy of the thesis is due to the Neurobiology Major (see Thesis title page template link below). Additional formatting guidelines are linked below. If you are unsure about appropriate formatting see your Neurobiology Major advisor. Email a single PDF copy to Dr. Catherine Auger: cauger@wisc.edu.

Grading: It is the responsibility of your PI/mentor to grade your final thesis. Once you have finished writing, turn in your thesis document to your faculty mentor for approval/grading. The final version of the thesis must be approved/graded before submission to the Neurobiology Major. The faculty mentor must also input your grade into their Faculty Center.

Where to submit: A single PDF copy of each proposal or final thesis should be emailed to Dr. Catherine Auger :cauger@wisc.edu.

Useful links for students completing a Honors/Senior Thesis:
• A timeline for completing the thesis can be found on the L&S Honors Program website.
Formatting guidelines can be found here.
• The writing center can help with every aspect of the writing process.
Thesis title page template
• The UT-Austin Senior Thesis Manual provides useful guidelines and tips for writing the thesis.