Honors in Marine Science Application

The BU Marine Program is dedicated to teaching our students how to be scientists. For this reasons, original research is central to attaining the Marine Science degree. While all Marine Science majors obtain research experience during the Marine Semester, students wishing to attain Honors in the major are challenged to delve deeper in their exploration of marine science under the mentorship of a BU Marine Program faculty member. The Honors candidate must more fully engage in scientific inquiry and the process of doing science as an independent researcher by enrolling in two consecutive semesters of directed research during the senior year (MR401/MR402). In the course of this experience, Honors students learn first-hand the dedication, commitment, and perseverance required to see a project to fruition. This experience provides excellent preparation for graduate training and/or professional careers. The Marine Science Program Manager will announce deadlines for Honors in Marine Science application and completion of the thesis.


To graduate with Honors in Marine Science, a student must

  • Complete 8 credits of original research (MR401/MR402) during the senior year under the direction of a BU Marine Program faculty member.¬†Students work with faculty mentor to define and outline a research project, which is then submitted to the Director of the Marine Science Program for approval prior to registering for MR401/MR402. The student is expected to spend a minimum of 12 hours per week engaged in laboratory or field research, including time spent analyzing data and preparing an Honors Thesis. Students who take the Marine Semester in their senior year may complete MR401 during the Marine Semester by registering for 1 semester of directed research with the same faculty member who will serve as the research mentor for MR402 during the following Spring semester.
  • Author an Honors Thesis. The thesis must be signed by the student’s thesis committee and turned into the BU Marine Science Program Director.
  • Defend the Thesis before a committee consisting of their mentor and two other BU Marine Program faculty.
  • Present a talk on their Marine Science Honors Research at the annual BU Marine Program Honors Symposium.


To graduate with Honors in Marine Science, a student must also

  • Achieve a minimum grade of B+ in MR401/MR402. Grades are based on the student’s laboratory or field research, the written thesis, and the defense.
  • Achieve a cumulative 3.5 GPA in Marine Science courses. Includes¬†ES144, Marine Breadth courses, Marine Semester courses.
  • Achieve an overall cumulative 3.25 GPA.



Honors in Marine Science Application (for students)

Honors in Marine Science Application (for supervising faculty member)