Biology with Distinction

Bachelor of Science "With Distinction" in Biology

Undergraduate majors in Biology at the University of Nevada, Reno are strongly encouraged to participate in the Department of Biology's senior thesis program towards a Bachelor of Science with Distinction in Biology. This program allows students to work with one of the Biology faculty in her/his laboratory on an independent research project and to earn recognition as an outstanding biology student.

Are you a Biology major interested in research?

Preferably as a freshman or sophomore, but no later than your junior year, you should:

Step 1: Find an undergraduate research opportunity.

Explore undergraduate research opportunities

Step 2: Earn at least 3 units of research credits (BIOL 491 or BIOL 492). These will count towards your upper-division Biology electives.

Continue with your research and earn a Bachelor of Science "With Distinction" in Biology

Biology majors who complete Steps 1 and 2 and have a 3.0 overall GPA and a 3.5 GPA in Biology, are encouraged to:

Step 3: Submit your senior research proposal and letter of endorsement from your research supervisor to Drs. Cynthia Mastick and Elizabeth Pringle at least a year before graduation.

Step 4: Take BIOL 496 and BIOL 497, 3-credit Senior Thesis research courses.

Step 5: Write a thesis summarizing your research work. The thesis is due to your research supervisor and Drs Cynthia Mastick and Elizabeth Pringle at least two weeks prior to graduation.

Step 6: Present a research seminar prior to graduation (Spring graduates will present to the Biology Department on Prep Day, followed by the Annual Celebration of Biology).

Have questions?

Email the Biology with Distinction coordinators, Dr. Elizabeth Pringle ( and Dr. Cynthia Mastick (