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Research Honors Program

The Research Honors Program provides students with a special opportunity to work with a faculty mentor to experience the research process. The Bachelor of Science degree with "distinction in research" is conferred upon those students who, in addition to having completed the requirements for the Bachelor of Science degree, have satisfactorily completed the honors program in their area of major interest and have been recommended for the distinction by the honors committee. 

Successful completion of the honors program requires a research report, written in the style of a master’s thesis or scholarly journal article. Original research is often published in professional journals. Each year, in recognition of the research performed by honors students and their faculty mentors, a compilation of abstracts is published in the CALS Research Honors Abstracts.

Research may be performed in the following program areas: animal sciences, biological sciences, biology & society, communication, entomology, environment and sustainability, information science, landscape studies, nutritional sciences, physical sciences, plant sciences, and social sciences. Students in any CALS major may be eligible to participate in any of these program areas, except for nutritional sciences (only for nutritional sciences majors). Each program area has its own requirements in addition to the college’s requirements. After reviewing the requirements of each program area, additional questions may be directed toward the appropriate program area chair.

Learning Outcomes

Students will be able to

  • Identify a question or topic requiring original research through critical examination of existing literature.
  • Formulate the question into one or more testable hypotheses or central arguments and develop methods suitable to evaluate these hypotheses or arguments
  • Obtain information relevant to the hypotheses or arguments through effective use of contemporary methods and research techniques
  • Critically analyze the evidence obtained to refute or support the hypotheses or arguments
  • Integrate the findings of this research to the findings of others and to larger issues in the discipline
  • Communicate effectively through writing the thesis and oral or poster presentations

Research Honors Application Process

See details under Research Honors Program Requirements. For general questions about the program, contact sh51 [at] cornell.edu (Sharon Loucks), CALS Office of Academic Programs.