BIOL 486

and Thesis


Biology 486 is a sequence of three or more semesters of original research work performed by undergraduate majors in biology under the guidance of research faculty at West Virginia University. After completing the requirements for Biology 486, students graduate with Honors in Biology. To register for Biology 486, students must have a GPA of 3.4 or better and a Biology GPA of 3.0 or better, have junior status or higher, and have completed the biology core courses (Biology 115, 117, 219, 221). Students interested in registering for Biology 486 must have a member of WVU research faculty (from the Biology department or related department) who is willing to serve as their mentor through all the semesters of Biology 486. During the course of your Biology 486 experience, you will write and defend a proposal describing your plans for original research, conduct that research, analyze data, and finally write and defend a thesis.

If you fulfill the above requirements and need to find a faculty member who will serve as your 486 mentor, take a look at the list of biology faculty, along with their research interests. Note that the webpage also includes teaching faculty, who do not conduct research. If you click on a professor's name, you can see a overview of their research. You can also take a look at an overview of research at Health Sciences, organized by institute or center. Follow your research interests to find a potential researcher to contact. You will need to contact a faculty member and see if they are willing to mentor you. Provide the faculty member with a link to this page so that they understand the requirements of Biology 486 mentorship.

Here is a copy of the Biology 486 approval form. Once completed, bring this to Dr. Sue Raylman's office in 4234 LSB or to her mailbox in the biology office.

Here is a list of frequently asked questions written for mentors of 486 students.

Here is a list of frequently asked questions written for prospective and current 486 students.

Here is a list of a few projects completed by past 486 students from a range of topics . It includes the semester schedule and grading rubric.

Here is a copy of the Biology 486 syllabus. It includes the semester schedule and grading rubric.

Here are the guidelines for Biology 486. These guidelines list the requirements for Biology 486 provide an outline for the three semesters.

The guidelines include help with formatting for your proposal and thesis. To further help you, here is a sample proposal title page with committee signature lines. It is .doc file that can be opened in Microsoft Word. If you have trouble opening the .doc file, you can use this .pdf version instead.

Here is a sample thesis title page with committee signature lines (.doc file) or .pdf version instead.



Susan Philhower Raylman, Biology 486 coordinator

Biology Department at WVU

West Virginia University Main page

To email questions, comments:
This site was created and is maintained by Susan Philhower Raylman.