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Departmental Honors Program
— Policies —

MIMG 198A, B, C

Please read carefully.  All of the following requirements supercede any other information found elsewhere.

What is Department Honors?

To achieve departmental honors in MIMG, the student must:

  • be an MIMG student.
  • complete three consecutive quarters of MIMG 198 (individual honors research) in the lab of an MIMG faculty member (the first quarter of 198 must be started by Spring quarter of the third year)
  • complete MIMG 191H (a 2-unit seminar class)
  • have a GPA of at least 3.5 in the upper division major courses at the time of graduation
  • write a comprehensive thesis, to be approved by the Faculty Honors Advisor (see below)

How do I qualify for Departmental Honors?

Before beginning the first quarter of MIMG 198, the student must:

  • have experience in the lab of an MIMG faculty member (non-MIMG faculty are not allowed, no exceptions).  Experience consists of SRP (MIMG 99), MIMG 199, or from volunteer work.
  • have a GPA of at least 3.2 in the pre-major courses and at least 3.5 in the major courses.
  • meet with Faculty Honors Advisor (see below)

Faculty Honors Advisor:

Dr. Jeffrey H. Miller
437 Molecular Biology Institute
310/825-8460
email: jhmiller@microbio.ucla.edu

Before beginning the first quarter of 198 research, the student must meet with Dr. Miller to discuss the proposed project.  Because the student has already been working in the lab, the person should have a basic idea of what will be researched.  Dr. Miller must sign the Honors Application (available from Bridget in 1602B Mol Sci Bldg), indicating his approval for the student to join the departmental honors program.

How do I enroll in MIMG 198?

  • Enrollment requires a contract, just like SRP and MIMG 199.  Contracts are available at www.my.ucla.edu, under “Contract Courses”.
  • Contracts must be filled out, signed by the mentor, and submitted to Bridget for every quarter of 198.  There is no “automatic enrollment”.
  • The Department Chair does not need to sign the contract, ever!
  • Contracts are due by Friday of the second week of classes.
  • All 198 contracts must include a thoughtful and well-described proposal for research, to be approved by the Department.  The proposal is written by the student with the guidance of the mentor.
  • When submitting the 198A contract, the student must also include the Honors Application, signed by Dr. Miller, and a current DPR signed by the mentor.
  • The Department Chair does not need to sign the contract, ever!

How am I graded for MIMG 198?

  • For 198A and 198B, a progress report, in the form of a rough draft/working draft of the thesis (see below), must be submitted to the mentor and to Bridget by Friday of Finals week.  No such report is needed at the end of 198C, to allow the student to work on the thesis.
  • The mentor grades the research (198A, B, C) of the student.  Whether or not the mentor uses the report as basis for a grade is at his/her discretion.  The student should inquire about this before starting 198A.
  • The final thesis must be approved by Dr. Miller.

What about Path 2?

  • Students who are in Path 2, or enter Path 2, while doing Departmental Honors should enroll in the 198 series, not 199, so that their transcripts reflect the Honors research.
  • See Bridget for more information.

Honors Thesis Guidelines:

The honors Thesis should adequately describe the research carried out during the three quarters of honors work.  The paper should be in the format of a journal paper, please use the format of the Journal of Molecular Biology.  The thesis should have the following sections:

  1. Title
  2. Abstract
  3. Introduction
  4. Experimental Design
  5. Results
  6. Discussion
  7. Materials and Methods
  8. Future Experiments
  9. References
  • The paper should reflect only the student’s own experiments and should be written completely by the student (a copy of a multiauthored publication or paper submitted for publication cannot substitute for an honors Thesis).
  • The paper should also include figures, tables, and legends to both.
  • The Introduction section should be a short review of the field of study, and is a minimum of 1500 words.
  • The Discussion section and Future Experiments section are a combined minimum of 1500 words.
  • It is not a requirement that experiments work or yield a publishable result.  It is important to analyze the experiments, and particularly in the case where few results were obtained, to suggest future experiments that might shed light on the problem.  The Experimental Design section and the Future Experiments section are important for demonstrating an understanding of the experimental system.
  • The Introduction and Discussion should demonstrate a knowledge of the larger field, and represent a mini-review of the topic of the paper.
  • The References should include the names of all authors, the journal, beginning and end pages, and the full titles of the articles.
  • The Thesis must be signed by the mentor.  All signed theses must be turned in to the Faculty Honors Advisor, Dr. Jeffrey H. Miller, no later than MAY 1st of the Senior (last) year.  The Thesis must receive final approval from Dr. Miller for the student to receive departmental honors.  Please feel free to discuss your honors thesis with Dr. Miller at any time.

What is MIMG 191H?

  • MIMG 191H, taught by Dr. Jeffrey H. Miller each Winter quarter, is a seminar course that involves reading, discussion, and presentation of current research topics.  Students must be in their Senior (last) year to enroll in 191H.

What counts toward the MIMG major requirements?

  • At least 8 units of research, and 2 units from MIMG 191H.

Additional Information

  • Three consecutive quarters of honors research must be completed in the same sponsor's lab.  Summer quarter does not count.  That is, Spring and Fall are considered consecutive quarters.  MIMG 198 is not offered in the Summer (no exceptions), although the student is permitted work in the lab over the summer.
  • Students are expected to work in the lab 12-16 hours per week, per quarter.  The student and mentor will decide upon a schedule that works for both of them.
  • Students are not allowed to enroll in 198 in the same research laboratory in which they are working for pay.  Exceptions to this rule require prior approval by the Faculty Undergraduate Advisor (Dr. Steven Smale).

The Department Chair does not need to sign the contract, ever!