Departmental Honors

1.  To participate in Departmental Honors, students must be members in good standing of CHC with the ability to complete 45 graded (not pass/fail) credits in residence (registered at UMass Amherst, not transferred) and maintain an overall 3.4 GPA

2.  Students must meet with the Departmental Honors Coordinator, kdtrembl [at] (Kim Tremblay, PhD)  to discuss requirements and departmental opportunities. If you are already enrolled in CHC then the Departmental Honors Coordinator will ask for some information and send the change of major request to CHC digitally. If you are not yet enrolled in CHC you will have to apply for departmental honors using the online application form that is found on this website

Course Requirements for Department Honors:
Completion of CHC honors course requirements as specified on the student’s CHC contract. The following honors courses are required unless accommodations are contracted in the student’s CHC file:    
                 1.   One ANIMLSCI honors course any level
                 2.   One ANIMLSCI honors course at the 300-level or higher
                 3.   ANIMLSCI 499Y “Honors Research”
                 4.   ANIMLSCI 499T “Honors Thesis”
                 5.   The minimum grade accepted for any departmental honors course is a “B”. 
                 6.   The Veterinary and Animal Science Department will often accept related departments’ honors courses as substitutes for the ANSCI honors courses outlined above or graduate courses. All substitutions must be vetted by the Departmental Honors Director
                 before being accepted and sometimes require the further approval of the CHC.


All Veterinary & Animal Sciences Departmental Honors students must register with and be a member of the Commonwealth Honors College (CHC).
1. Junior year or earlier:
a. Select a faculty honors thesis advisor prior to the junior year.  Begin working in the lab and undertake some library research to become familiar with the lab and the field of study. 
b. Begin preparation of the thesis proposal and identify (with your thesis advisor) a research project.  Some students begin work on a closely related project up to two years before the start of their thesis while others start during their junior year.       
c. Enroll in 499Y in April or May of your Junior year. You must identify a proposal topic, a research chair, selected reading and a date for the completion of your          499T proposal. Information regarding the Individually Contracted Thesis Form Part I/499Y and instructions for the proposal can be downloaded at the CHC website:
The proposal must be submitted through the CHC PATHS online system:

2. Senior year:
a. Enroll in 499T by submitting the honors thesis proposal through CHC PATHS. The due date is typically at the end of the semester prior to when it is to be completed (ie end of November for Spring semester). The contract and instructions for the Part II: 499T Honors Thesis Proposal are found at the CHC website:
A full thesis 499T proposal is approximately 15 pages and consists of: a 5-10 page review of the relevant research literature, a discussion of the research project, a description of the methodology and other criteria as listed in the instructions for the proposal. The proposal is first presented to the thesis chair and the selected committee member for discussion prior to submitting online. Once submitted through CHC PATHS, the proposal is routed to the chair, then the co-chair and then to the Departmental Honors Director for further review.  Once all permissions have been obtained and the proposal deemed satisfactory by those individ-uals it is then routed to the Academic Review Panel at CHC where it needs to be reviewed BEFORE the student can be registered. This process may take more time than expected so be sure to submit the proposal for review in a timely manner. You will receive a Y at the end of the 499Y semester, which keeps the course out of the GPA calculation. The grade is awarded at the time of completion of 499T at which time the 499Y grade will also be awarded.
b. Prepare and deliver an oral defense of your thesis to the Veterinary & Animal Sciences Department on Science Day, which is held prior to finals during the reading period in the spring semester.  Students are also encouraged to participate in the state sponsored Undergraduate Research Conference held annually at UMass and coordinated by the CHC.
c. Submit the final thesis and forms to the CHC by the graduation deadline. The department does not dictate the particular structure of the thesis however an Animal Science thesis usually consists of several sections including: a literature review (background), an introduction to the problem being studied, materials and methods, results, discussion, future studies and references. CHC does have particular guidelines and formatting needs for the final thesis; these can be found at These criteria must be adhered to in order for CHC to accept the document. At this point, all thesis need to be submitted in paper form.

3. Departmental Honors Thesis students have the opportunity to enroll in a 1-credit Integrative Experience - Integrating Learning and Research - ANIML SCI 494TI. The goal of this one credit seminar is to enhance your Integrative Experience course and Departmental Honors Thesis Experience by examining and applying your general education learning. This highly interactive seminar class is designed to use your general education acquired skills to more successfully participate in your thesis and to think more deeply about the impact general education courses have had on how you approach aspects of your individual capstone.  Real-world skills and issues will be implemented and discussed including: organizing a departmental "how to get involved with research" night, debating the ethics of embryonic stem cell research and learning how to deliver effective research presentations. This course is open only to students who are also enrolled in 499Y/499T and will be accepted as the University/Department Required IE in lieu of the 3 credit ANSCI IE (494GI) offered to all students.


4. All Departmental Honors students are encouraged to apply for a Research Assistant Fellowship which provides the student with a stipend to support research endeavors. Students actively engaged in thesis research are encouraged to apply for Honors Research Grants which provide money for required lab materials. Deadlines and applications can be found at