Honors & Awards

Honors Requirements

Chemistry and Chemical Physics
1) Greater than 3.50 GPA in concentration (based on courses approved in ASK)
2) Poster presentation (generally a week or two before Spring break) on your research
3) Thesis that has been approved by advisor and department

  • Note that AB candidates are also eligible for Honors if you satisfy these criteria (i.e. earning the ScB is not a requirement for Honors.)
  • Oral presentations (typically held during Reading Period) are required for students who want their thesis to be considered for the Clapp Prize, but others are welcome to present as well.  

1) A strong grade record in concentration courses.* 
2) Two semesters of Independent Study (CHEM 0970CHEM 0980 or equivalent. Guidelines and requirements associated with Independent Study are in the Undergraduate Concentration Handbook.  Please note students enrolled in BIOL1950/1960 must complete a project proposal form, please see more information here and discuss with your concentration advisor.
3) A Thesis in a form approved by the research advisor, and recommended by the research advisor.  Additional information about thesis guidelines will be provided by the Concentration Advisor in the first half of the fall semester.

2022 Senior Presentations can be found here.  

*Quality Grades

Students who have earned a majority of "A" grades in courses required for the concentration and who are are in good academic standing are eligible to apply for honors at the start of their penultimate (typically 7th) semester at Brown. Classes taken S/NC will count as qualifying towards that majority if they are marked "S* with distinction" indicating that had the student taken the course for a grade, the grade would have been an "A". Courses with a grade of S may be counted when a Course Performance Report indicates a grade of A. Students just shy of meeting the grade requirement for honors are encouraged to apply. Grades earned in penultimate semester concentration courses will be accounted for in the determination of quality grades made in the final semester.  Students in the class of 2021: A strong grade record in concentration courses. This means a grade point average for the concentration that is higher than 3.25. For students in the classes of 2022 and after: Students must have a majority of either As or S with distinction grades in concentration courses.

Thesis Archival in the Brown Digital Repository

Fill out the archiving form here and upload your thesis.  The BDR is Brown University's online archive of student and faculty scholarship maintained by the Brown University Library. By choosing to deposit your honors thesis in the BDR, you are making your scholarly work discoverable and accessible into the future.  Information on access and licensing are provided in the form.

Sigma Xi

The Brown University Chapter of Sigma Xi invites applicants from chemistry, biochemistry, and chemical physics seniors.

Submit an application to Sigma Xi. Please submit your application no later than March 1, 2023. 

Qualifications for Associate Membership

Seniors (semester 7 and semester 8) who have demonstrated a high level of competence in science qualify. 


 1. A grade point average of 3.4 or better in the sciences. If your G.P.A. is close to this, and you have done research, please submit an application.   
 2. Twelve semester courses in sciences, including courses at the elementary level. 
 3a. Two courses beyond the elementary level in a science outside the student's department, OR
 3b. Three courses, including courses at the elementary level, in two or more sciences outside the student's department, OR
 3c. Involvement in a research project under supervision for at least one semester.

These qualifications are intended to be guidelines.


Undergraduate Prizes & Awards

The Department of Chemistry recognizes outstanding undergraduates at the annual Awards Ceremony in May. 

Junior Prize in the Concentration

Biochemistry – Filip Aubrecht, Samara Cummings, and Claire Hightower

Chemistry – Peter Gonzalez, Liam Haas, and Tony Pan

American Chemical Society Prizes from each division

Division of Physical Chemistry – Noah Whepley

Division of Organic Chemistry – Casey Chan

Division of Inorganic Chemistry – Luis Tsatsos-Montoliu

RI ACS – Outstanding Chemistry Student Award 

Casey Chan

Paul  C. Cross Prize is awarded to an undergraduate with extraordinary potential for achievement in the field of physical chemistry, broadly defined.

Noah Feng

The Llealyn B. Clapp Prize for Outstanding Undergraduate Thesis 

Biochemistry  - Troy Kanji “The Evolutionarily Conserved Alternative Splicing of the TDP-43 C-Terminal Domain and its Association with Male Fertility and Neurodegenerative Disease”        Thesis Advisor: Robert Reenan

Chemical Physics – Noah Feng “Uncovering Novel Structural Insights into Lubricin’s Mucin Domain via Replica Exchange Molecular Dynamics Simulations” Thesis Advisor: Brenda Rubenstein

Chemistry (2 this year)

Jacob Kaiserman “Development of a Novel Oxindole-Based Antiviral Against JC Polyomavirus” Thesis Advisor: Walter J. Atwood

William Pelit “Independent Versus Combined Neurotoxic Effects of Cigarette Smoke and Ethanol Exposure on Frontal Lobe White Matter in an Experimental Rat Model” Thesis Advisor: Suzanne de la Monte

Elaine B. Chase Award for Leadership and Service 

The Chase Award recognizes students whose extraordinary leadership and service contributions during their years at Brown improved the department or the academic and educational experiences of all undergraduate students.

Pedro Camacho-Leon, Jacob Kaiserman, Abbie Macher, and  Rebecca Schwartz

There are two new awards this year

The Herbert H. Uhlig Award for Excellence as an undergraduate teaching assistant

Prof. Uhlig received his BS in chemistry from Brown University in 1929 and his PhD in physical chemistry in 1932 from MIT.  He had a long and distinguished career as a professor at MIT and endowed this gift in support of the chemistry department.

Inaugural recipients of the Uhlig award are: Ian Bartlett, Peter Gonzalez, Josh Saskin, and Anna Shlimak

The Reade Y. Tompson Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Research

Reade Tompson passed away 1 year ago at the age of 103.  He earned a BS in chemistry in 1940 and his PhD in organic chemistry from Duke in 1945.  He worked at Dupont for over thirty years.  Reade Tompson wish to support the chemistry department at Brown with a generous donation and we are pleased to name this prize in his honor. 

The winners of the Reade Y. Tompson Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Research are: Oren Lederberg Aaron Gruen Ainsley Baker