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Honors Program in Chemical Engineering

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Honors programs allow undergraduates with strong academic records and enthusiasm for independent research to engage in a significant project leading to a degree with departmental honors. 

This option is particularly valuable for students who intend to pursue a PhD after college because it provides research experience that helps prepare a student for doctoral-level work. These programs require that the student find a faculty member from the Academic Council in the School of Engineering to supervise the work, in addition to a second reader.  Note that in order to be eligible for submission to the VPUE for university prizes, the final version of an honors thesis must be turned into the advisor/department in mid-May; check criteria for specific deadlines within your major program.

Chemical Engineering Honors Program

This program offers an opportunity for undergraduate majors with a GPA of 3.5 or higher to undertake research at an advanced level with a faculty mentor, graduate students and other undergraduates. This three-quarter sequential program involves:

  1. Submission of a research proposal for faculty review
  2. Appropriate faculty approvals
  3. Enrollment in CHEMENG 190H and concurrent enrollment in the undergraduate honors seminar CHEMENG 191H
  4. In-depth research over a minimum of three quarters 
  5. Completion of a faculty-approved thesis
  6. Participation in the Chemical Engineering Honors Symposium held annually during the Mason Lecture Series, Spring Quarter.

The last requirement may also be fulfilled through an alternative, public, oral presentation with the approval of the department chair. Work should begin a minimum of four quarters prior to graduation.

Chemical Engineering majors who wish to be considered for the honors program should see departmental student services no later than the beginning of Winter Quarter of their junior year for more information about the application process, for a research proposal template and for other assistance. An application includes a proposal describing the research project, endorsement by a chemical engineering faculty sponsor and a transcript of courses taken at Stanford. A faculty review committee will select the successful candidates.

To qualify for departmental recommendation for the degree of Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering with Honors, degree students must:

  1. Maintain an overall GPA of 3.5 or higher as calculated on the unofficial transcript.
  2. Complete at least three quarters of research with a minimum of 9 units of CHEMENG 190H for a letter grade. All quarters must focus on the same topic. Maintain the same faculty advisor and faculty reader throughout, if feasible.
  3. Enroll in CHEMENG 191H, Undergraduate Honors Seminar, concurrently with each quarter in 190H
  4. Participate with a poster and oral presentation of thesis work in the Chemical Engineering Honors Poster Session held during Spring Quarter or, at the faculty’s discretion, in a comparable public event.
  5. Submit final drafts of a thesis simultaneously to both the advisor and the reader (and if appropriate to the Chemical Engineering faculty sponsor).
  6. Complete all work and thesis revisions and obtain indicated faculty approvals on the Certificate of Final Reading of Thesis forms by the end of the last full of April or the first week of the graduation quarter.
  7. Submit to Chemical Engineering Student Services one (1) final copy of the honors thesis as approved by the appropriate faculty. Include an original, completed, faculty signature sheet immediately following the title page. 
  8. Submit to student services one copy of the honors thesis in electronic PDF format at the same time as the final hard copy
  9. Submit one copy of the thesis, upon departmental approval, to the School of Engineering’s Office of Student Affairs in 135 Huang.

All requirements for the honors program are in addition to the normal undergraduate program requirements.