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Honors Program

The Earth Systems Honors program provides students with an opportunity to pursue individual interdisciplinary research. It consists of a year-long research project that is mentored by one or more Earth Systems-affiliated faculty members, and culminates in a written thesis. The Earth Systems Honors application deadline for 2019-20 is November 6th, 2018 and Monday, April 29, 2019. All majors will receive application information by email, or email the Student Services Manager for the application.

To qualify for the honors program, students must have and maintain a minimum overall GPA of 3.4. Potential honors students are encouraged to complete the EARTHSYS 111 Biology and Global Change and EARTHSYS 112 Human Society and Environmental Change sequence by the end of the junior year. Qualified students can apply in Spring Quarter of the junior year, or the fourth quarter before graduation (check with program for specific application deadlines) by submitting a detailed research proposal and a brief statement of support from a faculty research adviser. Students who elect to do an honors thesis should begin planning no later than Winter Quarter of the junior year.

A maximum of 9 units is awarded for thesis research through EARTHSYS 199 Honors Program in Earth Systems. Those 9 units may not substitute for any other required parts of the Earth Systems curriculum. All theses are evaluated for acceptance by the thesis faculty adviser and one additional faculty member, who is the second reader, and the Director of Earth Systems. Both the adviser and second reader must be members of the Academic Council. Acceptance into the Honors program is not a guarantee of graduating with the honors designation. The thesis must be accepted and approved by both readers and the Director of Earth Systems, and a minimum overall GPA of 3.4 must be maintained.

Honors students are required to present their research publicly at the School of Earth, Energy & Environmental Sciences' Annual Honors Symposium, which highlights undergraduate and graduate research in the school. Faculty advisers are encouraged to sponsor presentation of student research results at professional society meetings.

More Information: 

1) Earth Systems Honors Guide


Further Questions?



Dr. Kevin Arrigo
Donald & Donald M. Steel Professor in Earth Sciences
Victoria and Roger Sant Director, Earth Systems Program
Gerhard Casper University Fellow in Undergraduate Education
Professor, Department of Earth System Science
Yang and Yamazaki Environment and Energy Building, Room 141
(650) 723-3599