Honors in Environmental Science


Honors in environmental science recognizes students who have achieved excellence both in the classroom and in research or engagement that serves environmental science or its application to the community, respectively.  Honors in environmental science is separate from the University Honors Program, although the research component for honors in environmental science may fulfill the research requirement for the University Honors Program. Students are NOT required to be a member of the University Honors Program to complete honors in environmental science.

Criteria for consideration for Honors


  1. A minimum of five environmental science courses completed at the time of graduation.
  2. Grade point average of 3.50 or higher at the time of graduation (only courses counting toward environmental science major will be used in the calculation).
  3. Completion of a significant directed research project in an area related to environmental science and involving close supervision from an environmental scientist. The research must be both independent and intensive, typically requiring one academic year or an intensive summer research program to complete. It may occur at either Wittenberg or another academic institution and can be completed at any point during a student's college career.
  4. A faculty member in the environmental science program must serve as the research advisor. If the project is completed off campus under the supervision of a non-Wittenberg faculty member, a Wittenberg faculty member will serve as a liaison research advisor. The student must also obtain a letter of evaluation from their off campus advisor upon completion of the project.
  5. Completion of the application form during the senior year.

What research would not qualify for Honors?

  1. Research completed under supervision of Wittenberg faculty outside of the environmental science program and not pertaining to environmental science.
  2. Projects completed at other institutions in programs outside of the environmental sciences.
  3. Research that was generated as part of a course.

What is the Process for completing Honors once accepted into the program?

  1. Choose a research advisor from the environmental science faculty for your directed research project.  The research advisor will help you develop a project of appropriate scope and depth to qualify for departmental honors and oversee your research project.
  2. Choose two additional committee members. One committee member may be from outside the environmental science program. This committee supervises and periodically discusses the progress of the student's research and evaluates the end product.
  3. Write a comprehensive honors thesis based on your directed research project. The thesis must be in scientific format (abstract, introduction, methods, results, discussion). Copies of the thesis will be distributed to each honors thesis committee member and to the director of the environmental science program.
  4. Oral defense of the honor's thesis in front of the honors thesis committee. This defense typically includes a 20-40 minute PowerPoint presentation of your paper to the committee and others in attendance.
  5. After satisfactory completion of the above criteria, the honors thesis committee will recommend to the director of the environmental science program that departmental honors be conferred. The director will then instruct the University Registrar to note "Departmental Honors in Environmental Science" on the student's permanent transcript.

Coursework that may be affiliated with Environmental Science or University Honors:

A student may, if desired, register for 1-5 hours of ESCI 492: Directed Research per semester which may be applied to satisfy major requirements. Students will be awarded a letter grade by the research advisor for the directed research course(s) based on the research efforts, the Honors Thesis, and the oral presentation.

If student is a member of the University Honors Program, he/she must register for ESCI 499 (0-5 credits). For the first semester(s) of the research project, the student may register for ESCI 494: Directed Research. During the last semester of the research project, the student must register for ESCI 499 so that the Registrar's Office and the Honors Program can track students completing the research component of each honors program.

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