Honors and Scholars

The Honors program is an opportunity to be challenged, take advanced courses, and explore your interests in-depth through research engagement. The Department of Animal Sciences within the CFAES offers Honors Programs for students earning bachelor degrees in Agriculture and Nutrition.

On this page:

Honors Program

Scholars Program

Reasons You Should Join the Honors Program

  1. Explore your interests through an individualized curriculum.
  2. Challenge your academic abilities in advanced and accelerated courses.
  3. Become part of an academic community with faculty, staff, and peers in and outside the classroom.
  4. Be recognized for the critical thinking, problem solving, and communication skills you will gain and enhance.

Honors Program Requirements

Fulfillment of the Honors Program requires commitment at each stage of your academic career and begins with the development of an individualized Honors Curriculum and culminates with the Honors Research Project (Honors Program Checklist (pdf)). The Honors Curriculum is tailored to challenge and grow students through incorporating advanced and accelerated courses within the program of study. Specialized honors courses with the H (Honors) or E (Embedded) designation are a requirement of the program and provide opportunity for more enriched learning experiences in a more personal atmosphere. Critical thinking, problem solving, and communication skills are enhanced through the completion of the Honors Project, a research project developed within the students interest areas. The Honors Project is an opportunity for students to develop, conduct, analyze, and disseminate cutting-edge research knowledge. 

Honors Curriculum

The Honors Curriculum is prepared in consultation with the Departmental Honors Coordinator, Dr. Pasha A. Lyvers Peffer. Note that the following forms may take a few moments to open. If you have difficulty opening the document, click the "Open with different viewer" button on the top right-hand side of your window.

The first step in preparing the Honors Curriculum is to develop a set of academic goals that state interest areas and short-term and long-range goals for your curriculum. In developing your academic goals, you should reflect on why you have selected your program of study, what you aim to accomplish with your program of study, what are your career objectives, what knowledge areas you expect to gain, what co- and/or extra-curricular and service activities will you pursue, and how your course work and curricular activities will move you toward achieving your goals. Honors students should plan for advanced level courses within the GE and the major plan of study and are encouraged to participate in diversity experiences, which may be fulfilled through study abroad. When developing the Honors Curriculum consider:

  • A minimum of 121 credits are required to earn a degree.
  • A minimum of 37-40 credits in the major are required for a BS in Agriculture and a minimum of 58 credits in the major are required for a BS in Nutrition.
  • Minimum college requirements for each of the GE categories must be met.
  • An internship (minimum of 200 hr in duration) is required.
  • At a minimum, the Honors Curriculum must contain 6 Honors courses (a maximum of two of these courses may be designated as Honors Embedded). Honors courses must be completed within the first three years of tertiary study. Honors courses may support the GE, Major, Minor, or General Electives, but at least two Honors courses must originate outside the college of study (CFAES). Honors courses can be identified through the Course Catalog (under Academics at link) by selecting Additional Search Criteria.
    • A study abroad (6 weeks in length) may be substituted for an Honors course.    
    • Upper division letter graded courses (Microbiology 4000, Molecular Genetics 4500, Biochemistry 4511, or 5000- level or above) completed within the first 2 years of tertiary study may substitute for an Honors designated course.
  • Honors Research Workshop is required and should be planned for no later than autumn term of the third year. The Honors Research Workshop is an on-line training tool to familiarize students with requirements of the Honors Research Project and guide students through completion of writing the Honors Project Proposal. The Honors Research Workshop is available through Carmen (carmen.osu.edu) to CFAES Honors affiliates.  Completion of the Honors Research Workshop is required for enrollment in 4999H.
  • Honors Research (4999H) is required and supports conducting and reporting of the Honors Research project. Enrollment in 4999H occurs after completion of the Honors Research Workshop and completion requires two terms of course enrollment (1-5 credits per term, 6 credits total).

Honors Research Project

The Honors Research Project is a distinguishing element of the Honors Program. Prior to conducting the Honors Research Project, each student is required to submit a research proposal in consultation with their Honors Research Project advisor. Expectations in preparing the Honors Research Proposal (pdf) are discussed through the Honors Research Colloquium course (Honors Research Workshop). Honors Research Proposals by students that have completed the Honors Research Workshop are eligible for submission to the CFAES Honors and Scholarship Grants competition held each spring term. Submitted proposals are evaluated by honors faculty and scholarships and small grants are awarded based on proposal quality. Students are highly encouraged to submit their Honors Research Proposals to this competitive program. Awarded proposals are a way to demonstrate and document knowledge and technical skills.

Students enroll in 4999H for conducting of the Honors Research Project. Enrollment in 4999H occurs after completion of the Honors Research Workshop and completion requires two terms of course enrollment (1-5 credits per term, 6 credits total). 

Results of the project are disseminated through one of three options that signify the Honors Exam: competing in the CFAES and University Denman Undergraduate Research Forums; or a scheduled 1 hr oral exam with a faculty committee of three members including the Honors Research Project advisor, the Departmental Honors Coordinator, and a third faculty member of the student's choosing; or an oral or poster presentation at a Scientific Meeting. Successful completion of the Honors Exam is conveyed through the Examination Report. The Examination Report is emailed to eligible graduating students. The Examination Report and the Honors Research Thesis (pdf) are due to the CFAES Honors Director and the University Libraries Knowledge Bank (thesis only) no later than the 12th week of class of the graduating term.

Application Criteria

Entering Freshmen

There is no minimum set of admission requirements to be considered for the Honors Program. Entering freshmen must show academic success in high school through competitive ACT/SAT scores and high school class rank. Students accepted into the University Honors Program through completing the Honors Affiliate Application during The Ohio State University admission process are eligible to apply to the Department of Animal Sciences Honors Program. To be considered a Department of Animal Sciences honors students, the following steps must be completed:

  • Earn a 3.4 CPHR.
  • Meet with the Departmental Honors Coordinator, Pasha A. Lyvers Peffer, to discuss your interests and goals for your individualized plan of study.
  • Develop, complete, and receive approval of the individual Honors Curriculum  through discussions with the Departmental Honors Coordinator. The individual Honors Curriculum (see links above for Honors Curriculum for BS in Agriculture or BS in Nutrition) is due to the Departmental Honors Coordinator by February 1 of the first year of enrollment at The Ohio State University.
  • Submit your approved individual Honors Curriculum to the CFAES Honors Program Director, Dr. Pat Whittington (info at top right), no later than the Friday before spring break of the first year of enrollment at The Ohio State University. 

Honors status and priority scheduling will be removed for those students that do not submit the individual Honors Curriculum by the deadline. Care should be taken to ensure the accuracy of the individual Honors Curriculum. If changes to the approved curriculum are needed, students must submit the Request to Revise Honors Curriculum (pdf) form prior to the requested change. Requests must be submitted for evaluation, and approval by the Departmental Honors Program Coordinator and the CFAES Honors director is required.

Transfer Students Enrolled at Ohio State

Transfer students from other colleges or universities within or outside of OSU that transfer into the Department of Animal Sciences with honors standing may maintain their honors status by completing the following:

  • Earn a 3.4 CPHR.
  • Meet with the Departmental Honors Coordinator, Pasha A. Lyvers Peffer, to discuss your interests and goals for your individualized plan of study.
  • Develop, complete, and receive approval of the individual Honors Curriculum (see links above for Honors Curriculum for BS in Agriculture or BS in Nutrition) through discussions with the Departmental Honors Coordinator. The individual Honors Curriculum should be submitted during the first term of enrollment within the Department of Animal Sciences to maintain Honors standing. 
  • Submit your approved individual Honors Curriculum to the CFAES Honors Program Director, Pat Whittington (info at top right).

Currently Enrolled Students

Current students of the Department of Animal Sciences, or from other colleges or universities within or outside of OSU that transfer into the Department of Animal Sciences, without honors standing may apply for honors status by completing the following:

  • Demonstrate comparable academic standing for admission consideration that includes earning at least a 3.4 CPHR at The Ohio State University for at least one full-time semester.
  • Have sufficient course work remaining in their plan of study to fulfill the Honors Program requirements.

Undergraduate and Graduate Combined Honors Program

Through this program, you will be enrolled in both the Graduate School and the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences. Because you will be completing degree requirements simultaneously, you can cut down on the time it takes to complete both degrees.

Reasons You Should Join the Scholars Program

  • Live and learn through Scholars housing (required).
  • Choose from 16 distinct programs.
  • Participate in program-specific, co-curricular activities.
  • Actively engage in theme-based activities and workshops.
  • Study abroad through your specific Scholars dorm.
  • Give back to the community through service projects.

As a Scholars student, you will be required to live in a Scholars residence hall with Scholars students in your particular program. Many of our animal sciences students in the Scholars Program will choose to participate in the Biological or Health Sciences programs; some of our students will also choose the Mount Leadership Society, a competitive program. 

The Scholars Program allows students to foster a strong sense of community through their residence hall and provides a peer network of high-ability students who are successful in balancing involvement in academic and social activities. Students will meet with their Scholars Coordinator on a regular basis as well as their academic advisor in the department.