Baccalaureate Honors

The following information details how to graduate with baccalaureate honors from the department of Microbiology & Cell Science:

Cum Laude

Students graduating with an upper division GPA of 3.50 will graduate cum laude (with honors).  No research, thesis or enrollment in a specific course is required for graduation cum laude.

Magna or Summa Cum Laude

GPA participation and graduation requirements:

  • Magna cum laude (3.75 upper division GPA
  • Summa cum laude (3.85 upper division GPA)

Undergraduate research:

Enroll in a minimum of 4 credits of MCB 4911 (Supervised Research) or MCB 4915 (CALS Honors Supervised Research) to conduct research that will be used for the Thesis. These may be taken for a maximum of 6 credits and a maximum per semester total of 0-3 for the fall and spring semesters.  For summer A or Summer B, you can register for a maximum of 0-1 credits and for Summer C a maximum of 0-2 credits.  Once you max out at 06 credits, you may continue to register for 0 credit hours. Summer enrollment: if MCB4915 or MCB4911 is the only course on your schedule and you choose to register for 0 credits, you will be charged fees for 01 credit.

Senior thesis:

Attend an annual mandatory Graduating with Honors meeting scheduled in the fall semester of your senior year. This applies to both the baccalaureate and Honors Scholar Certificate programs. The meeting date will be published via the MCS/MCB listserv. If you are in the fall or spring semester of your senior year, you are required to bring your Thesis Project Approval Form (signed by your research mentor and containing an abstract of your thesis research project) to this meeting. The Departmental Honors Thesis Committee will approve your honors thesis project at this meeting, and you will be assigned a Departmental Honors Thesis Reviewer at this time. You must have your thesis project approved by the Department Honors Thesis Committee before you start your thesis. Once your research thesis plan has been approved, you must write the thesis and have it approved by 1) your thesis research mentor, and 2) the departmental honors thesis reviewer. All departmental and college deadlines must also be met.

Note: For the CALS Honors Certificate Program, a Thesis Proposal must also be submitted to the departmental honors thesis reviewer (Dr. Larkin) and to the college dean (Matthew Brannan). The Thesis Proposal has more stringent guidelines than the Abstract required by the department. The Abstract must be submitted at the fall meeting, and the Thesis Proposal must be submitted to the departmental review chair within two weeks of the fall meeting. The Thesis Proposal must be first approved by the departmental reviewer (Dr. Larkin) and then submitted to the CALS dean for final approval.

Thesis Research

Thesis research is carried out over a period of at least two or more academic terms, during which time the student is expected to register for a minimum of 4 credits in MCB 4911 (Supervised Research). Supervised research conducted under any departmental prefix other than MCB must have prior approval by the Department Honors Committee Chair, Dr. Larkin to substitute for MCB 4911. To ensure successful completion of the thesis, students are highly encouraged to adhere to the sample timeline below (example is for completion in spring of the student’s senior year). Students are also strongly encouraged to apply for undergraduate research awards such as UF Science for Life and UF University Scholars.

Thesis Format

The Microbiology and Cell Science honors thesis format recommends following the CALS honors thesis guidelines with respect to font and page formatting, content and layout (i.e. abstract, introduction, materials and methods, results, discussion, references), and formatting of references/bibliography. In terms of thesis length, you should aim for 15-20 double-spaced pages (excluding references).

  • FAQ: Can a research paper (publication) substitute for the senior research thesis? No; unless the student is the first author and was responsible for writing the manuscript. Having your name listed as one of the authors does not in itself qualify as a written senior thesis on your part. If you are an author you will have prepare an original manuscript communicating your individual research results in the format outlined below. If you have any questions please contact Dr. Larkin, Honors Thesis Committee Chair before the deadline.

Thesis Submission Process:

Mentor and Department Honors Committee approval:

  • First, your Honor’s Mentor has reviewed, approved, and signed a TYPED Honors Thesis Submission form for the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences (CLAS) and the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences (CALS) Certification for Honors Form for CALS. For Fall 2013:  Your proposal is due to the CALS Honors Program Director by Friday June 14, 2013.  For Spring 2014:  Your proposal is due to the CALS Honors Program Director by Friday, September 24, 2013.  You will be assigned a department reviewer at the Department mandatory meeting in September, 2013 for Fall and Spring projects.  You must have an initial proposal ready at this meeting regardless of your college.
  • Second, the Department Honors Thesis Committee Chair Dr. Joe Larkin and/or a designated committee reviewer, has reviewed, approved, and signed the form also.  You can reach Dr. Larkin at or contact your assigned reviewer to schedule an appointment for the review of first draft of your thesis and also for the final interview and final Department review of your thesis.
  • After your final meeting with the department committee please submit one copy of the TYPED Honors Thesis Submission Form signed by your mentor and Department committee reviewer or committee chair to the department academic advisor in Room 1047 in the Microbiology building. CLAS majors take your original copy to:  Ms. Linda O’Donnell, CLAS Advisement Office, 120 AAC, Farrior Hall – 352-273-5068 majors take your original form to Matthew Brennan 2002 McCarthy D. 352-392-1963.
  • The final copy of your entire thesis and form is submitted electronically to UF at follow the links to Academics/Thesis. Please also provide a pdf file of your final thesis the departmental academic advisor in room 1047 in the Microbiology & Cell Science Department.

Final Thesis Submission: Forms:

Documents and Forms:

Documents and Forms:

College and Department Procedures:

  • Colleges: CLAS and CALS – Final thesis approval via an appointment with your department reviewer by the department deadline. The final form signed by your research mentor, and your department reviewer is then submitted to the Academic Advising office in room 1047. The advisor will make a copy of the form. The last stop is submission of the form to the CLAS college contact, Linda O’Donnell and the CALS contact, Matthew Brennan – (see above) along with the electronic submission of the final theses to the UF Honors website and also to Dr. Bryan Korithoski (
  • Department: You department requires an electronic copy for their department file. Both CALS and CLAS students please see Dr. Bryan Korithoski (MCS Academic Advisor) also before turning in your final form to the college contact. He will make a copy of your thesis submission form with signatures. You also must submit an electronic copy of your final thesis to the departmental academic advisor (Dr. Korithoski).   A hard copy of the final thesis is no longer required for the department. The academic advisor will also contact your College to report to them your final thesis designation.