Awards and Honors

Graduation with Distinction in Chemistry

Majors may be considered for Graduation with Distinction honors provided they have all of the following:

  • At least a B average in chemistry courses (courses listed on the advisory report having the prefix CHEM) is required at the time of application and at graduation.
  • Satisfactory completion of at least two semesters of independent study in chemistry or in an approved chemistry-related area.
  • Enrollment and participation in CHEM 295 (197), Introduction to Research Independent Study, preferably concurrently with their enrollment in their first independent study course.
  • Enrollment and participation in CHEM 496 (198), Graduation with Distinction in Chemistry, in the spring semester of the senior year. No formal declaration of candidacy is required. A major automatically becomes a candidate for GwD by enrolling in CHEM 496 (198).
  • Submission of a high quality research thesis based upon the results of independent study.
  • Formal nomination for GwD by the research advisor based on the completed research thesis.
  • Presentation of a poster based on the results of the independent study.
  • Oral defense of the research thesis, completed as part of CHEM 496 (198). Suggestions for preparing and delivering oral reports are given at http://www.chem.duke.edu/undergraduate/oral-reports
  • Selection for the honor by the Chemistry Department Undergraduate Awards Committee.

The process for awarding Graduation with Distinction is as follows: The student's work is evaluated first by the supervising professor and then, upon his/her recommendation, by a committee of Chemistry faculty. Final decisions on Graduation with Distinction rest with the departmental awards committee. Of the 55 majors who graduated in in 2010, 28 earned Graduation with Distinction.

Graduation Awards

The following Awards and Honors are conferred each year and are recorded in the Special Prizes and Awards section of the annual Commencement Program in May.

  • Chemistry Department Award This award is given annually to an outstanding senior, usually a candidate for the B.S. degree. The basis for selection is the student's independent research and interest in pursuing advanced work in chemistry. The award consists of a one-year membership in the American Chemical Society and a one-year subscription to one of their online journals.
  • Merck Index Award This award is given annually to a graduating senior intending to pursue a career in medicine. Selection is based upon scholastic excellence. The prize consists of a copy of the Merck Index, donated by Merck and Company.
  • Hypercube Scholar Award This award is given to a B.S. chemistry major who has maintained an outstanding academic record and intends to pursue graduate study in a field of chemistry which makes extensive use of molecular modeling. The award consists of a molecular modeling software package which is donated by Hypercube, Inc.
  • American Chemical Society Undergraduate Award in Analytical Chemistry Each year this prize, a one-year subscription to the journal Analytical Chemistry is presented by the Analytical Division of the American Chemical Society to an advanced student on the basis of interest in analytical chemistry and/or performance in CHEM 401, 401L (131/133L).
  • University Honor: Latin Honors by Overall Academic Record(See general description in the Bulletin). Overall academic excellence for the entire college career is recognized by the designations summa cum laude (highest 5%), magna cum laude (next highest 10%), and cum laude (next highest 10%).