Honors for Graduating Seniors

Of the graduating seniors in the School of Biological Sciences, the top 16 percent will be awarded academic honors (Latin Honors): approximately 2 percent will be awarded summa cum laude, 4 percent magna cum laude, and 10 percent cum laude. Latin honors is determined and awarded based on a student’s cumulative GPA at the end of their final term at UCI. Students must have completed at least 72 quarter units in residence at a University of California campus. As a reminder, students who have any recorded incident of academic dishonesty are not eligible to receive Latin Honors.

For students completing their degree requirements in the Spring, Latin Honors for the annual commencement ceremony will be conditional (based on Winter quarter grades). The official honors notation posted on your transcript and diploma will be based on your class standing and GPA after your final quarter.

As a GUIDELINE, Fall 2020 through Summer 2021 ranges are as follows:
• Summa (top 2%): 3.988 – 4.0
• Magna (next 4%): 3.935 – 3.987
• Cum (remaining 10%): 3.813 – 3.934

NOTE: The cutoffs for Latin Honors fluctuate year by year, depending on final class standing. The ranges shown above are a moving target – the numbers are an estimate of preliminary levels and final levels for each term.

Congratulations on all your achievements thus far! Zot on!

Biological Sciences Honors Program

The Honors Program provides Bio majors the opportunity to pursue advanced independent research through participation in the Excellence in Research Program and earn Honors in Biological Sciences upon graduation. Parameters of the Honors Program include:
– Minimum 3.5 cumulative GPA
– Minimum 3.5 major GPA

  • Major GPA includes required bio courses only.  Bio 197,198,199 and  lower-division bio courses not required for the degree (e.g. Bio Sci 45) are not calculated in this GPA.

– Minimum 4 quarters enrollment in research (Bio Sci 199)
– Successful completion of the Excellence in Research Program Enrollment and completion of Bio Sci H195, a 4-unit Honors seminar

  • Bio Sci H195 is reserved for graduating seniors; students who meet eligibility for the Biological Sciences Honors Program will be invited and authorized to enroll into a section of Bio Sci H195.


The UCI School of Biological Sciences offers scholarships for motivated, high achieving majors in the school each year. The following is a list of the Scholarships available through the Bio Sci Student Affairs office.


1. Brian Atwood Scholarship
Awarded to Junior-level Biological Sciences major who has demonstrated outstanding achievement in both scholarship and service to the UCI community. Evidence of corporate internship or laboratory research experience.

2. Carol Becker McGaugh Award
Awarded to a Junior-level student for outstanding research in the neurobiology of learning and memory. This particular scholarship (Carol Becker McGaugh) is not reviewed by the Honors Committee (like all the others on this page). This scholarship goes directly to a committee formed by the Center for Neurobiology of Learning & Memory.  Instructions on how to apply can be found here.

Neuroscience Specific Awards:

Instructions and the 2021 application for the following three Junior level scholarships will be available on this site soon.

The following three awards are specifically for Bio majors completing their 3rd year of study, who have participated in neuroscience research. These award applications go directly to a committee formed by the Center for Neurobiology of Learning & Memory and the Department of Neurobiology and Behavior.

Carol Becker McGaugh Award–3rd year student scholarship
Awarded to 3rd year student for outstanding research in the neurobiology of learning and memory.

Carol and James McGaugh Award–3rd year student scholarship
The award recognizes a hard working student with a strong moral character, integrity, and demonstrated potential for making a difference in neuroscience.

The James Tait Goodrich Award for Excellence in Neurobiology in honor of James McGaugh–3rd year student scholarship
The award recognizes an undergraduate completing his/her junior year, for outstanding achievement in neurobiology.


1. Robert H. Avnet Memorial Scholarship 
In memory of Robert H. Avnet, the Avnet Scholarship was established to support a graduating biological sciences major accepted to medical school (or has a great likelihood of being accepted).
Criteria: Biological Sciences major, acceptance into medical school, and demonstrates financial need.

2. Kyle Farol Memorial Award
The Kyle Farol Memorial Award is presented to an outstanding undergraduate Biological Sciences major who has dedicated their time as a volunteer in a clinical setting.

3. M. Marlene Godoy Award
Awarded to a graduating senior in the Biological Sciences.
Criteria: must be pre-med or pre-dental, demonstrate outstanding academic achievement, actively involved with philanthropic community service, University service, and active in undergraduate research.

4. William F. Holcomb Scholarship Fund 
The scholarship is to be used to support an undergraduate or graduate student conducting research in the area of biomedical, marine biology, and/or related studies.

5. Laurence J. Mehlman Prize
Established to honor the memory of Larry Mehlman, an outstanding undergraduate of Biology at UCI.
Criteria: Undergraduate Biological Sciences student demonstrating outstanding achievement in both scholarship and service to the school. The student should be of extraordinary character and integrity; a person esteemed by his/her peers for ethical and moral strength.

6. Edward Mittelman Memorial Fund Scholarship
A scholarship in memory of Mrs. William D. Redfield’s first husband, Edward Mittelman, and her son, Dr. David C. Redfield.
Criteria: Outstanding Biological Sciences student pursuing a career in the medical field.

7. Jayne Unzelman Scholarship 
Criteria: Undergraduate student, academic excellence, service to the School of Biological Sciences and/or the University, and service to the community.