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Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry

Chemistry Honors Program

The Department of Chemistry strives to provide students with innovative, hands-on instruction and research experiences to prepare them for careers in science, education, and health professions. The four semester Chemistry Honors Program is designed to support highly qualified students in the application of their understanding of chemical concepts through service and original scientific research. 

Participation in the program enhances honors students’ critical thinking, problem solving, and communication skills while they develop their professional network including meaningful 1-on-1 relationships with faculty and collaborators.


Program Overview

The Chemistry Honors program is a 10-unit program completed in the last four or five semesters of a student’s undergraduate degree program.  In addition to four honors courses, students are required to complete an independent research project resulting in an undergraduate thesis, complete a peer-instruction service requirement, and present their research at a scientific conference appropriate to their field.

Typical Timeline of Honors Program

Typical Timeline of Honors Program
Semester Expectation

February - students submit applications to the department office

March – students are notified of acceptance to honors program

April – student interview prospective faculty research advisors

May – welcome and program orientation
Year 1
CHEM 165SH – Peer Instruction in ChemistryStudents identify a faculty mentor and begin work in the lab
Year 1
CHEM 160H – Research TechniquesStudents develop a thesis proposal
Year 2
CHEM 180H – Honors Seminar in ChemistryStudents submit research progress reportStudent registers to present at a scientific conference approved by their research advisor
Year 2
CHEM 199 – Undergraduate ThesisStudent presents research at a scientific conferenceStudent submits thesis


How to Apply

Students should apply for the program in the spring semester when they have 4-5 semesters remaining in their undergraduate program. 

Eligibility Requirements:

  • Fresno State Student or a transfer student that has been accepted for the following fall semester.
  • Declared major in chemistry or biochemistry.
  • GPA of 3.5 or better (3.25 may be considered in exceptional circumstances)
  • Be able to complete all university degree and honors program requirements in 4 or 5 semesters taking less than 20 units a semester.
  • Though not required, students should generally have completed one semester of organic chemistry lecture and laboratory and be enrolled in the second semester of organic chemistry lecture.

To apply, complete the Adobe Sign Application Packet, linked below. Be sure to follow the directions on the first page of the Adobe Sign Packet.

Spring 2024 - Deadline to submit completed Adobe Sign Packet is Friday, February 23, 2024 at noon


Application Requirements:

  • Application (Chemistry Honors Program 2024 Application). This is an Adobe Sign Application Packet. You will need to attach your transcripts and personal statement to this application, so have them ready and saved on your computer. Once you complete your information and sign it, you will be required to enter your Department Advisor's email and the two Faculty email addresses that will attach their letters of recommendation to your packet. For all Fresno State email addresses, Adobe Sign will only recognize their "" addresses. All signatures will be gathered through Adobe Sign.
  • Transcripts for all college or university coursework.  A copy of the “unofficial transcript” from the MyFresnoState portal is acceptable for coursework completed at Fresno State.
  • A one-page personal statement of no more than 500 words in which you address the following questions:
    1. Why do you want to participate in the Chemistry Honors Program?
    2. Why are you interested in conducting original research?
    3. What are your future educational plans after completing your degree at CSU Fresno?
    4. What is (are) your career plan(s)?
    5. How would this opportunity enhance your ability to reach your career goal(s)?
  •  A completed academic progress form and degree completion plan signed by your department advisor (page 5 in the Adobe Sign application packet).
  • Two letters of recommendation (academic or professional) written on your behalf and attached to the Adobe Sign Application Packet. If you have participated in any kind of research, one of these letters should be from your research advisor. The Faculty Recommendation/Waiver Forms are included in the Adobe Sign application packet.