Honors in Environmental Sciences
Qualified students are encouraged to pursue an honors degree in Environmental Sciences. This degree offers
students an opportunity to engage in independent research under the guidance of a faculty sponsor chosen from
the affiliated faculty representing six departments (Anthropology, Biology, Chemistry, Civil and Environmental
Engineering, Geography and Geoscience).
Students also learn to write up the results of their research in the format of a scientific paper and they have
the experience of formally presenting their research as either a short seminar or a poster.
The Environmental Sciences Honors requirements are as follows:
How to Get Started
- GPA of 3.33 - Complete the requirements for a B.S. in Environmental Sciences with a GPA of 3.33 or higher in all
Environmental Sciences course work (Science and Mathematics Foundation, Environmental Sciences Foundation and
Environmental Sciences Tracks).
- Research Proposal - Identify a faculty member with whom you would like to undertake a research project
and discuss it with them. Submit a research proposal to the Honors Advisor within two months of the beginning of
the semester in which the research is initiated. The proposal will identify the background, goals, methods and significance of the project.
- Honors Research - Complete a minimum of 6 s.h. of honors research (either 002:196 Honors Investigations,
004:162 Undergraduate Research, 012:119 Directed Study or 044:195 Undergraduate Research, depending on the
departmental affiliation of the faculty sponsor) taken over two or more semesters.
- Honors Thesis - Submit a thesis with the research presented in the format of a scientific paper with
abstract, introduction, methods, results, and discussion and conclusions (the thesis also must include a title
page and abstract formatted according to the specifications of the Honors Program) to the Honors Director a
minimum of one week prior to the Honors Program deadline for submission.
- Formal Presentation - Present either a short seminar or poster about the research at a professional
meeting and/or at the University of Iowa.
- Potential Faculty Sponsors - Identify potential Environmental Sciences faculty sponsors through a web-based survey of research interests of affiliated faculty members. To allow sufficient time to complete all requirements, you are advised to initiate the process of identifying a faculty sponsor in your sophomore or junior year.
- Make Contact - Contact potential sponsors to learn whether they would be willing to accept an honors student and what research projects you might undertake.
- Research Proposal and Research Project - Once you have identified a sponsor and the two of you have agreed on a project, you should begin preparation of your research proposal and your research under the guidance of your sponsor.
- Questions? - You are welcome to discuss your plans with Prof. Ann Budd, the Environmental Sciences Honors Advisor, at any stage in this process.