Prof. Kate Reck
Director of Undergraduate Studies
Chemistry Undergraduate Advisor
1. How is your honors degree program administered? Is there a specific
person who acts as coordinator? Is there a faculty committee?
The Director of Undergraduate Studies in Chemistry, Dr. Cathrine E.
Reck, and the Chemistry Academic Advisor, Carly Friedman, work with
the faculty who are teaching chemistry honors courses in administering
2. What are the requirements for admission into your honors program?
How are students recruited for your program? May students recommend
Incoming freshmen who score exceptionally well on the Chemistry Placement
Exam are invited to enroll in CHEM-S117, the initial chemistry honors
course. Entrance into the other chemistry honors courses (CHEM-S341,
CHEM-S342) is open not only to students who have done well in previous
honors courses but also to students who have done very well in the regular
(i.e., non-honors) sections. Student may also request approval from the course
instructor to be admitted into an honors course.
3. How does a student graduate with honors from your department?
To graduate with honors in chemistry, a student must have
completed a CHEM-G410 Chemical Research Capstone, completed the
requirements for either the B.S. in Chemistry or Biochemistry, and
earned a minimum IU cumulative GPA of 3.3. Although enrollment in
chemistry honors courses is strongly recommended, it is not required.
4. What courses do students take as juniors in order to prepare for working on the senior
project: How are these honors seminars and courses typically conducted? What are the usual
requirements in such couses?
No courses are required as prerequisites, but research directors may
require certain courses for specific projects (e.g. lab course work). Undergraduate research
(CHEM-C409) and completing an undergraduate research thesis (CHEM-G410) is
the heart of the Chemistry Honors Degree Program. Undergraduate research
begins during a student's sophomore year, although it can start earlier.
This program is open to superior students making good progress toward the
completion of a major in chemistry. The undergraduate research thesis
(CHEM-G410) is normally completed during the student's final year,
although it can also be completed earlier. Enrollment in CHEM-C409 or
CHEM-G410 must be approved by both the student's prospective research
director and the Director of Undergraduate Studies, Dr. Cathrine Reck.
5. Are there departmental resources available to support internships or
research projects related to the senior project?
Summer research scholarships are available from the department on a
competitive basis. Research advisors receive an allocation from the
department budget for consumable supplies.
6. What is the nature of the senior project and what are the
requirements for completing it?
At the termination of the research program and before the research
director assigns a final grade, the student, under the direction of
his/her research advisor, must prepare a final written thesis. This
thesis must be comprehensive and thoroughly prepared, following the
general format of papers in the best chemical journals. Final theses are uploaded into the
IU Libraries' IUScholarWorks database for use by the scholarly community
at IU and elsewhere. The student must also formally present the findings
of his/her research to a group of faculty members and colleagues before a
final grade is assigned.
7. How might the work required for earning an honors degree be
particularly beneficial in future endeavors?
Most students completing the program enter graduate or professional
school. A number of students go directly into industrial positions.
8. What are the advantages for students who pursue the honors degree
compared to a regular degree in your area?
Honors courses differ significantly in the depth and breadth of subject
manner. Enrollments are limited to ensure strong faculty-student
interaction. This interaction provides "role models" for students who
are innately talented. Many students are challenged by superior peers to
perform at their best. Undergraduate research is an advantage for any student
seeking entrance into graduate school and to those seeking industrial
9. Please list suggestions for other departments based on activities
that have worked well for your students.
Each semester the Chemistry Undergraduate Office sends each
research director and C409 student an update form to complete and
return. This information is used to track the student's progress in our