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BE Advised

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Honors Program

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“With Honors” Designation

The Bachelor of Science degree with honors will be granted to engineering students who, in addition to having completed the requirements for a bachelor’s degree, have satisfactorily completed the honors program in the Department of Biological & Environmental Engineering and have been recommended for the degree by the honors committee of the department. To be eligible for field honors, a student must enter the program with and maintain a cumulative GPA ≥ 3.50 (no rounding). A BE honors program shall consist of at least nine credits beyond the 126 minimum required for graduation in BEE plus a presentation in a public scholarly research forum. These credits shall be drawn from one or more of the following categories (A, B, or C) with at least six credit hours in category A:

A. A significant research experience or honors project under the direct supervision of a BEE faculty member using BEE 4990 (Undergrad Research) and BEE 4993 (Honors Thesis). A written senior honors thesis must be submitted as part of the 2nd component. A minimum grade of A- in both courses is required for successful completion of the honors requirement. It is expected that the two research courses will be taken in consecutive semesters.
B. A significant teaching experience under the direct supervision of a BEE faculty member or as part of a regularly recognized course in the department under BEE 4980 – Undergraduate Teaching.
C. Advanced or graduate courses. These additional courses must be technical in nature and related to the student’s research area (i.e., engineering, mathematics, biology, chemistry and physics at the 4000 and graduate level).
D. Research Forum. The student must present a poster or oral presentation in a public research forum, such as a national or regional professional society meeting, Cornell Bio Expo, or another
university or regional event by the end of the last semester of the project.

A written proposal for the honors project must be accepted by the student’s research advisor. Advisor approved proposals must be submitted to your honors research advisor, faculty advisor and Brenda Marchewka by the end of the 7th week of classes in the term in which BEE 4990 is taken, for review by the BEE Committee on Academic Programs.

A preliminary draft of your honors thesis is due to your honors research advisor, faculty advisor and Brenda Marchewka by the end of the 9th week of classes in the term in which BEE 4993 is taken.

A final spiral bound copy of the honors thesis is due to your research advisor, faculty advisor and Brenda Marchewka by the Wednesday after the last day of classes in the semester in which BEE 4993 is taken.

Timing: All eligible students desiring to enter the honors program must complete a written application no later than the end of the third week of the first semester of the senior year, but are encouraged to make arrangements with a faculty member during the second semester of their junior year. A student must be in the program for two consecutive semesters during their senior year. Students planning to graduate early should consult with Brenda Marchewka about completing the honors program in the spring and fall before their December graduation.

Procedures: Each applicant to the BE honors program must have a BEE faculty advisor to supervise the honors program. Written approval is required from the faculty member who will direct the research.


Latin Honors Designation

Cum laude is awarded to all engineering students with an overall GPA >3.50. Cum laude is also awarded to all engineering students who received a semester GPA >3.50 in each of the last four semesters of attendance at Cornell; in each of these semesters, at least 12 letter-grade credits must be taken with no failing, unsatisfactory, missing, or incomplete grades. If the student is an Engineering Co-op student, then the Engineering Co-op summer term will count as one of the last four. Students who were approved for prorated tuition in their final semester will be awarded cum laude if they received a semester GPA >3.50 in their last semester and meet the conditions above in the prior four semesters. Magna cum laude is awarded to all engineering students with a GPA >3.75 (based on all credits taken at Cornell). Summa cum laude is awarded to all engineering students with a GPA >4.0 (based on all credits taken at Cornell). All GPA calculations are minimums and are not rounded.


Deans’ List Designation

Dean’s List citations are presented each semester to students with exemplary academic records by the college in which the student is enrolled. Currently the requirements are a semester GPA of 3.50 or higher (without rounding); no failing, unsatisfactory, missing, or incomplete grades (including physical education); no grade below a C- (CALS only) and completion of at least 12 letter-grade credits.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q1.  Do I have to TA in the BEE department to be eligible for graduation with honors? Can TA experience in another department count?

A1. You can graduate with honors without any TA experience at all, by taking advanced coursework. However, if you plan to use TA experience toward your honors program, only TA experience in the BEE department counts.

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