Departmental Honors: Biology

Majors who plan to seek special honors in biology should apply to the honors advisor, Dr. Ruth Buskirk,, for admission to the honors program no later than the beginning of their senior year. A University grade point average of at least 3.00 and a grade point average in biology of at least 3.50 are required for admission. The requirements for graduation with special honors, which are in addition to the requirements of the major, are (1) Biology 679H or two semesters of Biology 379H, Honors Tutorial Course; (2) a thesis or presentation based on original research and approved by the supervising faculty member and the honors advisor; honors students in the Human Biology option must select both a thesis supervisor and a second reader, one of whom must be a tenure-track faculty member or senior lecturer in the School of Biological Sciences; (3) a University grade point average of at least 3.00 and a grade point average in biology of at least 3.50; and (4) completion at the University of at least sixty semester hours of coursework to be counted toward the degree.

Biology majors who have completed BIO 325 (Genetics) and have a minimum GPA of 3.0 in all Biology courses taken at UT are eligible to become members of Beta Beta Beta (Tri-Beta), the Biological Sciences Honor Society. Eligible students receive an invitation at the beginning of each semester sent to their local address, so students interested in joining Tri-Beta are advised to keep their local address up-to-date!

College of Natural Sciences Honors

The Dean's Scholars program is the honors program for the College of Natural Sciences. Visit their website for more information:

University Honors

Each semester, undergraduates who complete a full course load and earn outstanding grades are recognized by inclusion on the University Honors list. Each time a student is included on the list, his or her official record also shows the award of University Honors for that semester. The list is compiled at the end of the fall and spring semesters but not at the end of the summer session. To be included, a student must earn at least 45 grade points and a grade point average of at least 3.50 on courses completed in residence and must have no incomplete grades (symbol X). Credit by exam, correspondence, or extension coursework do not count towards honors. This program replaced the College of Natural Sciences Dean’s Honors List.

Graduation with University Honors

To be eligible to graduate with University honors, an undergraduate must have completed at least sixty hours at the University of Texas at Austin. Graduation with University honors is based on the average of all grades earned in courses taken at the University, whether the courses were passed, failed, or repeated. Courses taken pass/fail are counted in the sixty-hour minimum, but only letter grades (including F’s in pass/fail courses) are used to determine the grade point average.

The faculty of each college or school determines the percentage of the graduating class of that division to receive honors (cum laude), high honors (magna cum laude), and highest honors (summa cum laude), and the minimum grade point average for each category, subject to the following requirements:

  1. No more than 20 percent of the graduating class of each college or school may receive honors, high honors, and highest honors. No more than 10 percent of the class may receive high honors and highest honors. No more than four percent may receive highest honors.

  2. Honors graduates must have a University grade point average of at least 3.30.

For additional information, go to