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Honors Research and Internships


  • What is the Biology Honors Research program?
    • The Biology Honors Research Programs gives those students who have performed exceptionally well in their Biology coursework the opportunity to gain valuable research experience under the mentorship of a faculty member. Approval to conduct Honors research is an indication of the Biology Department's high regard for a student's abilities, and is an excellent experience to have on your resume or graduate/professional school application. Students who complete an Honors project must take three quarters of Biology 401, including three credits of Honors Reading and four credits of Honors Thesis. In addition to engaging in research, Honors Program students must complete a written academic thesis detailing their research and findings by the end of their third term of work on the project. If you are considering going on to graduate school in Biology, doing Honors research is a great way to see whether pursuing this kind of academic research is a good fit for you. View the Honors Thesis Guidelines here.
    • How to apply:
    • In order to apply to do Honors research, you must be a Biology major with a minimum 3.0 GPA (bother overall and in the sciences). Submit the following materials to the Biology Honors Research Program during Winter Term of your junior year at PSU:
    • • Your transcripts.
    • • The names of three faculty members in science departments who could serve as references.
    • • A brief paragraph (250 words or less) about what you expect to gain from the Honors Research Program and what forms of guidance you think would be most appropriate from your sponsor.
    • • A list of the areas of research that you would be most interested in pursuing and the names of any faculty members that you would be particularly interested in working with.
    • • An address and a phone number where we can contact you.
  • Why should I participate in an internship or practicum?
    • There are many reasons to do an internship or practicum in Biology or a related field. Although many students may feel like they don't have the time or money to "work for free," internships and practica are a very important part of laying the groundwork for landing the job you want after college and/or getting into graduate or professional school. Internships and practica may not always pay now, but they will pay off later.
    • Completing an internship or practicum offers the following benefits:
    • • You gain important experience that makes you more attractive to employers, as well as graduate and professional schools.
    • • You have the opportunity to try out different kinds of work related to your field of study, which will help you decide what you want (and what you don't want) to do with your degree.
    • • You have an opportunity to network professionally. Unpaid internships often lead to paid employment, either at the place where you intern or through the connections you make with people working in that field or industry.
    • • You have a chance to cultivate professional references within your field that will be important for later job and/or graduate/professional school applications.
    • • Taking on unpaid work for the experience demonstrates your professionalism and your genuine commitment to your field, which also impresses employers and graduate/professional schools.
    • • You can often get academic credit for practicum or internship experiences related to your major.