Physical Sciences

Faculty committee: M. W. Wysocki, chair

The research honors program in physical sciences provides outstanding students with an opportunity to do independent research under the supervision of a faculty member in the Departments of Biological and Environmental Engineering, Food Science, Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, or Biological Statistics and Computational Biology.

Application Requirements and Procedures

In addition to meeting the requirements of the college, the student interested in applying to the Physical Sciences Research Honors Program is expected to:

  1. Identify a thesis advisor and thesis topic before the end of the junior year.
  2. Work with the thesis advisor to prepare a budget, short research proposal (2–3 pages), and application form. These materials must be received by the Physical Sciences committee chair by the end of the third week of senior year.

Honors Degree Requirements

Students who are accepted into the Physical Sciences Research Honors Program must complete the following in order to graduate with Distinction in Research:

  1. Enroll in the program for a minimum of two semesters.
  2. Enroll in the appropriate departmental undergraduate research course for a total of at least 6 credits.
  3. Submit an outline of the thesis to the chair of the committee by the end of January (for a May graduation).
  4. Submit a draft of the thesis to the thesis advisor with sufficient lead-time for revisions to be prepared.
  5. Submit three copies of the thesis and names of recommended reviewers to the chair of the honors committee by four weeks before the end of classes in the semester in which graduation is expected.
  6. Students may volunteer to publish their final, approved thesis at eCommons Cornell University Library, as long as doing so does not interfere with other plans, such as patenting or publishing in a professional journal. A permission form to allow a thesis to be made available online at Mann Library can be obtained from the honors committee chair.
  7. Each year, in recognition of student honors research achievements, CALS prints a booklet of honors theses abstracts (CALS Research Honors Abstracts). Students are responsible for submitting their formatted abstracts in accordance with abstract publication instructions.

There is no required format, but the thesis is usually written in the form of a research journal article or a master's thesis.

Further details of the program can be obtained from the chair of the Physical Sciences Research Honors Committee.