Honors in Math 2023

Honors in the Major

Students majoring in mathematics have the opportunity to graduate with honors in the major. Students must maintain a cumulative University of Iowa g.p.a. of at least 3.33, as required by the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences; additionally, students must maintain a cumulative g.p.a of at least 3.40 in mathematics. Membership in the UI Honors Program is not required to earn Honors in Math. However, Honors in Math can be applied toward UI Honors Program requirements. It is recommended that students who attempt Honors in Math pursue a B.S. degree.

Students who declared math major for the first time at the UI in Fall 2023 or later must use this Honors in Math 2023. Students who declared math major at the UI by Summer 2023 may choose to follow this Honors in Math 2023 or the previous Honors in Math.

To graduate with Honors in Math, students also must complete one of the two options below.

Option 1: complete five upper-level math courses as defined below, with at least a B average for the five courses.


Upper-level Math courses are MATH:3900 and MATH courses numbered 4000 or higher except MATH:4010, 4020, and 4120. Mathematics courses (prefix MATH) numbered 6000 or above must be approved by the Mathematics Honors Advisor, Prof. Yangbo Ye, in advance.


Option 2: complete three upper-level math courses and write an honors thesis. A student who chooses this option must contact the Department of Mathematics Honors Advisor and find a faculty member who is willing to supervise their honors thesis project. The Department of Mathematics Honors Advisor will then appoint a thesis committee of at least two faculty members. The student needs to get a pre-approval at the beginning of their thesis project and a midterm approval from the thesis committee and pass a defense.


Department of Mathematics encourages students to use their sole-authored or co-authored research papers as honors theses if the papers have been published, accepted, or submitted to a research journal. Satisfactory peer reviews or referee’s reports may be accepted in lieu of pre-approval and midterm approval.


When writing their honors theses, students are required to follow the format outlined at https://grad.uiowa.edu/academics/thesis-and-dissertation/preparing-formatting. In case of a student submitting a reprint of their published paper as an honors thesis, front matter as listed on the above website before Manuscript Chapters must be added to the published paper. On the Title Page, please change “Graduate College of” to “Department of Mathematics of”.


An honors research project may only produce a research report but not a formal thesis. A research report will be counted as one upper-level math course towards Option 1 by enrolling in MATH:3996 Individual Study & Honors in Mathematics for 3 s.h. A research report must be approved by the honors research project supervisor.


For information about the submission of a thesis or project to UI Iowa Research Online, a service provided by UI libraries, please see this page. All students are encouraged to participate in sharing their work through the UI IRO Repository, but students are not required to submit a thesis to this site. Likewise, students are not required to submit the thesis to a central CLAS location nor to University Honors.


University of Iowa Honors Program

In addition to honors in the major, students have opportunities for honors study and activities through membership in the University of Iowa Honors Program. Visit Honors at Iowa to learn about the University's honors program. Honors in mathematics is awarded by the Department of Mathematics and is separate from the University of Iowa Honors Program.

Membership in the UI Honors Program is not required to earn honors in the mathematics major. However, honors in mathematics can be applied toward UI Honors Program requirements.