SIGMA XI, the Scientific Research Honors Society

  • TO
    : Seniors (who have completed Semester 7) and are Biological Sciences Concentrators in the following programs:

    Biology, Human Biology, Bioengineering, Biophysics, Marine Biology, Applied Math-Biology, Computational Biology

  • Note
    : Biochemistry/Molecular Biology concentrators are handled separately by the Chemistry Department and no application form is used, ditto for Neuroscience concentrators.

  • FROM: Interim Associate Dean of Biology, Katherine Smith

Sigma Xi is a national scientific honor society whose purpose is to encourage original investigation in science, pure and applied. It recognizes academic and research achievements in science at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. Students who will graduate this spring may qualify for Associate Membership in the Brown University Chapter of Sigma Xi if they have demonstrated a high level of competence in science.

Complete the {Google} application provided in the sidebar that we use for screening candidates in the Biological Sciences programs and submit the form online. Application Deadline: Friday, January 29, 2016.

Criteria for nomination are described below. If you think you qualify, submit your application to our office using the online form (link on the right) by the deadline so you can be considered for election at a meeting in February. The induction ceremony and dinner for new members will be in the spring. Please include your courses and grades up to the present.

You may include science courses taken outside of Brown, but please indicate the school and location.

CRITERIA FOR Sigma XI ELECTION____________________________________________________________________

The traditional qualifications are

  1. A grade point average of 3.4 or better in the sciences.
  2. PLEASE NOTE: National Sigma Xi election criteria include a GPA minimum. However, at Brown, there is no official GPA computed. Therefore, please do this calculation of average based on the values as follows:
    • A = 4.0
    • B = 3.0
    • C = 2.0
    • S with distinction = 4.0
    • S = do not enter into the computation

    Include all science courses taken in the following areas: Applied Math, Biology, Chemistry, Engineering, Geology, Mathematics, Neuroscience, Physics, Computer Science, and Psychology (include CLPS courses).


  3. 12 semester courses in sciences, and including courses at the elementary level.
  4. and either:

    1. 2 courses beyond the elementary-year level in a science other than the one in which the student is concentrating.
    2. 3 courses, including courses at the elementary level, in two or more sciences other than the science in which the student is concentrating.
  5. Involvement in a research project under supervision for at least one semester.

  • Even if your GPA is below 3.4, but is at least 3.3, and you have done substantial research work, submit an application for consideration to Sigma Xi.
  • These criteria are met automatically in any of our Biological Sciences concentration programs!
  • Students who have elected science courses on a satisfactory/no credit basis may be evaluated on criteria provided by instructors (CPR's useful here).