The School of Molecular and Cellular Biology

Undergraduate Instructional Program

UIP Wordmark I Mark

Graduation with Distinction in MCB

To provide recognition of senior students in the MCB major, who have demonstrated excellence in both their academics and in research, the MCB Distinction Committee, composed of MCB faculty members and staff, may award the graduation honor of "Distinction in MCB", "High Distinction in MCB" "Highest Distinction in MCB" or "Distinction for Academic Excellence". Students in MCB can qualify for Distinction via one of the following:

Distinction for Excellence in Research:
To be eligible for graduation with Distinction a student must:

  • Complete a minimum of 3 semesters of MCB 290 for 2 credit hours or more each semester, in the same lab. Participation in any of the MCB sponsored Summer Research Opportunities Programs can be substituted for one semester of MCB 290.
  • Register for MCB 290, for at least 2 credit hours, in their final semester, (this can count as one of the 3 required semesters). This is in addition to the form of intent.
  • Maintain a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.25 at the end of penultimate semester (next to last semester).
  • Submit a form of intent to graduate with Distinction by the posted deadline. This is in addition to registering for MCB 290.
  • Give at least one poster presentation at the Undergraduate Research Symposium or other approved venue.
  • Submit a PDF of their poster to the Distinction committee by the posted deadline. The poster must be submitted as a PDF. No other formats will be accepted.
  • Obtain a letter of support from their Principle Investigator (faculty advisor).
  • Be free of academic integrity violations.

To be eligible for graduation with High Distinction a student must:

  • Complete 2 semesters of MCB 290 for 2 credit hours or more each semester, in the same lab. Participation in any of the MCB sponsored Summer Research Opportunities Programs can be substituted for one semester of MCB 290.
  • Register for MCB 492, in their final semester, for 3 credit hours or more. This is in addition to the form of intent.
  • Maintain a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.25 at the end of penultimate semester (next to last semester).
  • Submit a form of intent to write a senior thesis and earn distinction by the posted deadline.  This is in addition to registering for MCB 492.
  • Give at least one poster presentation at the Undergraduate Research Symposium or other approved venue.
  • Submit a PDF of their poster to the Distinction committee by the posted deadline. The poster must be submitted as a PDF. No other formats will be accepted.
  • Obtain a letter of support from their Principle Investigator (faculty advisor).
  • Submit a written thesis, in PDF format according to these guidelines, by the posted deadline. The thesis must be submitted as a PDF. No other formats will be accepted.
  • Be free of academic integrity violations.

To be eligible for graduation with Highest Distinction a student must:

  • Complete 2 semesters of MCB 290 for 2 credit hours or more each semester, in the same lab. Participation in an MCB sponsored Summer Research Opportunities Program can be substituted for one semester of MCB 290.
  • Register for MCB 492, in their final semester, for 3 credit hours or more. This is in addition to the form of intent.
  • Maintain a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.90 at the end of penultimate semester (next to last semester).
  • Submit a form of intent to write a senior thesis and earn distinction by the posted deadline.  This is in addition to registering for MCB 492.
  • Give at least one poster presentation at the Undergraduate Research Symposium or other approved venue.
  • Submit a Submit a PDF of their poster to the Distinction committee by the posted deadline. The poster must be submitted as a PDF. No other formats will be accepted.
  • Obtain a letter of support from their Principle Investigator (faculty advisor).
  • Submit a written thesis, in PDF format according to these guidelines, by the posted deadline. The thesis must be submitted as a PDF. No other formats will be accepted.
  • Be free of academic integrity violations.
Distinction for Excellence in Academics:
To be eligible for graduation with Academic Distinction a student must:

  • Achieve a major GPA of 3.90 or higher in the MCB major (biology, chemistry, physics and math courses for the MCB major) at the end of their penultimate semester (next to last semester).
  • Be free of academic integrity violations.
  • No forms of intent are necessary for academic distinction. All students earning the appropriate GPA will be notified that they will be receiving academic distinction prior to graduation.

Please check with the MCB Core Curriculum Office in 252 Davenport if you have any questions regarding Graduation with Distinction.

Submitting Thesis for grade in MCB 492 only:
To earn a grade in MCB 492 a student must:
  • Complete 2 semesters of MCB 290 for 2 credit hours or more each semester, in the same lab. Participation in an MCB sponsored Summer Research Opportunities Program can be substituted for one semester of MCB 290.
  • Register for MCB 492, in their final semester, for 3 credit hours or more. This is in addition to the form of intent.
  • Submit a form of intent by the posted deadline. This is in addition to registering for MCB 492.
  • Submit a written thesis, in PDF format according to these guidelines, online by the last day of classes during the semester you will be graduating. Note the thesis must be submitted in PDF format. No other formats will be accepted.
  • Obtain a letter of support from their Principle Investigator (faculty advisor).

Sample Theses from Previous Students

Exploration of Optical Topometry to Study the Epidermal Surface of Arabidopsis thaliana, written by Ryan David Kelsch May 2013. Research performed in Dr. Thomas Jacobs' lab, Department of Plant Biology University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Thesis awarded High Distinction.

Coordination of silencing of two cis- linked reported genes using bacterial artificial chromosomes (BACs), written by Jurgis Alvikas May 2013. Research performed in Dr. Andrew S. Belmont's lab, Department of Cell and Developmental Biology, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Thesis awarded Highest Distinction.

Additional theses from past students are available to view in room 164A Burrill Hall. You will need to check them out using your University ID and they cannot leave the advising office.

Guidelines for Senior Thesis Format

Submission Deadlines for Graduation With Distinction and Senior Thesis

If you intend to submit a senior thesis or poster presentation for a grade or distinction consideration, you must complete the online Form of Intent by the deadline listed below.

If you are writing a senior thesis for a grade or distinction, you must be registered for MCB 492. Please use this MCB 492 Request Form for registration and have it processed in 252 Davenport Hall by the campus add deadline.

If your cumulative GPA is 3.25 or above, and you would like to be considered for Graduation with Distinction in MCB you must also submit the following items by the deadlines indicated below:

  • Letter of support regarding your research from your faculty research advisor by the thesis deposit deadline listed below. The letter of support can be uploaded at http://go.illinois.edu/recletter. The letter should reference your P.I's opinion of your research performance, the quality of your thesis/presentation, and the specific contributions made by you and other laboratory members to your project (maximum file size: 50MB).
  • Electronic copy of your final research thesis and/or poster as a PDF using the appropriate online submission forms. Note, the thesis and poster must be submitted in PDF format. No other formats will be accepted.

Graduation Date
Thesis Deposit
Deadline for High and Highest Distinction
Notification Date
Spring
2017
March 6, 2017, 5pm
March 27, 2017, 5pm
April 27, 2017
April 18, 2017
Summer
2017
July 10, 2017, 5pm
July 20, 2017, 5pm
July 20, 2017, 5pm
August 7, 2017
Fall
2017
Oct. 30, 2017, 5pm
Nov. 29, 2017, 5pm
Nov. 29, 2017, 5pm

Dec. 15, 2017

Theses submitted after the deadline will not be considered for Distinction. If you miss the deadline, but still wish to receive MCB 492 credit and a letter grade, you may still write and submit a thesis online using this Late Submission Form by the last day of classes during the semester you will be graduating. A letter from your research advisor approving your thesis must also be submitted by the last day of classes in your final semester. The letter of support can be uploaded at http://go.illinois.edu/recletter and should reference your P.I's opinion of your research performance, the quality of your thesis, and the specific contributions made by you and other laboratory members to your project (maximum file size: 50MB). Your P.I. will be responsible for issuing your grade for MCB 492 in the Enterprise system prior to the university deadline for submitting final semester grades.

For additional questions regarding Senior Thesis and Graduation with Distinction please call 217-244-6239.