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Undergraduate Studies

Guidelines for a Bachelor's Degree with Distinction in Chemistry

Distinction in Chemistry is awarded by the Chemistry Department to recognize graduating seniors who show both academic and research excellence in the field. To be eligible for distinction in chemistry, students must meet minimum GPA requirements, and participate in a significant research experience. The research culminates in the preparation of a high quality thesis. For more information, contact Professor Nancy Totah (ntotah@syr.edu).

Requirements for the degree with distinction are as follows:
• chemistry major
• high quality chemistry research thesis (approved by the thesis committee)
• cumulative GPA of 3.4* by the end of the senior year (Syracuse coursework)
• GPA of 3.4* in chemistry courses by the end of the senior year (Syracuse coursework)
* Final GPAs will be verified by the Chemistry Department. Please note that a GPA of 3.400 is needed to meet each requirement.
It is recommended that students start their research as early as possible, but not less than three semesters before graduation. The amount and scope of the research required will vary somewhat with the specific problem studied. It is highly unlikely that students beginning research in their senior year will be able to amass enough data, and have the time to prepare a high quality thesis that meets the requirements for the degree with distinction.
The thesis committee will consist of the research advisor and two additional chemistry faculty members. The committee should be identified at the time the distinction proposal form is submitted. All members of the committee will need to read and approve your thesis prior to submission.
A completed Distinction Proposal Form must be submitted to the Chemistry Department office in the semester prior to graduation. Submission deadlines are as follows:

May graduates: November 15th
December graduates: April 15th
Students should begin drafting chapters of their thesis and reviewing them with the research advisor in the fall of their senior year (May graduates). Early in the spring semester, a completed draft should be submitted to the research advisor. The document should be revised as needed, then submitted to the entire thesis committee. Keep in mind that additional corrections may be required before the final approval. As such, the final draft of the thesis should be submitted to thesis committee members at least three weeks prior to the final submission deadline. A suggested timeline for thesis preparation is provided below:

Feb 15th                      Submit completed draft to research advisor
Feb 16 - March 31st     Confer with advisor and make necessary revisions
April 1st - April 20th     Submit revised draft to entire thesis committee Confer with committee members; make necessary revisions
April 20th - deadline     Prepare final research thesis for submission Get final approval and signatures from thesis committee
last Friday in April        Submit final document (2 hardcopies + electronic)

Oct 1st                       Submit completed draft to research advisor
Oct 15 - Nov 15th       Confer with advisor and make necessary revisions
Nov 15th - Nov 25th    Submit revised draft to entire thesis committee Confer with committee members; make necessary revisions
Nov 25th - deadline     Prepare final research thesis for submission Get final approval and signatures from thesis committee
first Wednesday in Dec.   Submit final document (2 hardcopies + electronic)
Two copies of the final approved thesis, with original signatures, must be submitted to the Chemistry Department office. An electronic copy must also be provided. One of the hard copies will be bound and returned to the student. Deadlines for thesis submission are: May graduates: last Friday in April
December graduates: first Wednesday in December
Chemistry student's who are writing a thesis to fulfill the requirements of the Honor's Program may use the same thesis for the Degree with Distinction requirement. The title page should be modified appropriately. See the Thesis Guidelines for formatting instructions.