Graduation ceremony photo students

Honors in the Major or Senior Thesis

Why complete Honors in the Major?

Honors in the Major (HM) -Neurobiology 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 HM – Neurobiology with a Neurobiology Major advisor. You must also declare HM 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 declare HM with the L&S Honors Program, L&S Honors in the Major declaration form, and satisfy the requirements listed below in addition to their major 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:
  • Two of the following 3 Required Neuroscience Courses for honors:
    PSYCHOLOGY 454- Behavioral Neuroscience
    ZOOLOGY 523- Neurobiology
    ZOOLOGY 500- Neuroscience Seminar.
  • At least 1 course from the Distributed Neuroscience Course listing for honors (see our courses page).
  • 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.

Types of honors courses and how to enroll in them, see L&S Honors Program website on earning honors credit.

Senior Honors Thesis AND Senior Thesis

Proposal Due Date: By the end of the first full week of classes. This proposal needs to be approved by the Neurobiology Major before you can enroll in thesis credits. The approval process could take up to 2-3 weeks, please plan accordingly. Email a single PDF copy to Dr. Catherine Auger:

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. If a dual honors thesis is intended, you must still submit a proposal to Neurobiology, and note that you are pursuing a dual thesis on this form. Please talk to your Neurobiology advisor before beginning your research. 

2. A 2-3 page double-spaced proposal for your thesis project. This proposal should include the following components: experimental question, rationale for this experiment, description of the methods, and expected results.
The thesis proposal MUST show relevance to a neuroscience-related topic.

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
    • A Course Authorization Form must be submitted before enrolling each semester.

Thesis Due Date: The Monday after finals week. 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:

Grading: It is the responsibility of your mentor to grade your final thesis. Once you have finished writing, turn in your thesis to your faculty mentor for grading. The final version of the thesis must be graded before submission to the Neurobiology Major.  Your faculty mentor must also input your grade into their Faculty Center. The Neurobiology Major does not grade your thesis.

Where to Submit Proposals and Final Thesis: A single PDF copy should be emailed to Dr. Catherine Auger

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