Honors in the Major

Students have the opportunity to graduate with honors in the major. Departmental honors students must maintain an overall grade-point average (GPA) of at least 3.33 in work for their major and a cumulative University of Iowa GPA of at least 3.33.

For BA Health & Human Physiology and BS Human Physiology

In order to graduate with honors in the major, students must successfully complete the honors research course sequence HHP:4800 Research Methods and Ethics and HHP:4900 Honors Research; write an honors thesis that is judged to be of honors quality; and make an oral or poster presentation of the honors thesis in an approved venue, such as a department research seminar or professional conference.

Prior to enrolling in HHP:4800 student must have secured a position in a research lab on campus. The lab can be in the HHP department. However, it can also be outside the department in related areas such as Biology, Chemistry, Psychology or the College of Medicine. Visit the Iowa Center for Research by Undergraduates (ICRU) for information on getting started in research. 

Honors course details


This course provides students an introduction to concepts, principles, and methods of research. Topics include research design, data collection, data analysis, and reporting research. Students identify and formulate research questions, design appropriate research, collect data using different methods, conduct data analysis, present research findings, and critically critique research literature, main ethical issues, and professional conduct in scientific research. Students must also develop a research proposal in consultation with a research mentor (faculty member who is actively involved in research) that explores a health or physiology problem related to their interests using the scientific method. The research proposal will consist of an Introduction section with review of related literature that develops an appropriate rationale for the experiment and a Methods section describing the subjects of study, experimental design, protocol, data collection and planned data analyses.


Each student, in consultation with their approved research mentor, will execute the research proposal presented in HHP:4800 and will develop a written report. This report will consist of: (1) Abstract–a brief summary of the purpose, methods, major results and conclusions, (2) Introduction–review of related literature that develops an appropriate rationale for the experiment, (3) Methods–describes the subjects of study, experimental design, protocol, data collection and planned data analyses, (4) Results–describes findings and includes appropriate tables and/or figures of the results, (5) Discussion–provides interpretation of the results and discusses the results in relation to major theories/models and previous research. Students will give a final oral presentation of the project at the end of the semester.

For BS in Therapeutic Recreation

In order to graduate with honors, students must successfully complete TR:4194 Honors Readings and TR:4195 Honors Problems, in which they conduct a reading or research project under the supervision of a faculty member in their major and write a paper summarizing the project's results.

Honors course details

TR:4194 Independent Honors Readings

Independent reading or research project under faculty supervision usually leading to an honors paper.

TR:4195 Independent Honors Problems

Completion of a project over and above normal independent study as an honors project; major research effort involving close work with an advisor.

University of Iowa Honors Program

In addition to honors in the major, students may pursue honors study and activities through membership in the University of Iowa Honors Program. University honors students must maintain a 3.33 grade-point average, complete 12 semester hours of coursework designated as honors courses, and complete 12 semester hours of an experiential learning project. Visit Honors at Iowa to learn about the university's honors program.

NOTE: Membership in the UI Honors Program is not required to earn honors in the major.