Skip to Content

Honors Program

For students with strong academic records and a desire to pursue individual scholarly research, the honors program in Communication Studies offers a special opportunity. Students admitted into the honors program design and conduct an individual research project during their senior year and write a senior thesis on the results of their research. Upon successful completion of the thesis, students graduate with Honors, High Honors, or Highest Honors in Communication Studies depending on their grade point average in Communication Studies and the evaluation of their thesis.

Students accepted for the honors program take a year-long seminar during the senior year (CommunicationStudies 491 and 492) while conducting research and writing a thesis. A maximum of three (3) credits fromCOMM 491 or 492 (Honor’s Seminar) may apply to major requirements (additional credit may be applied to the general bachelor’s degree requirements).

Reasons to consider the honors program

  • Opportunity to conduct in-depth research in a mass media or emerging media topic of your own choosing
  • Small group, intensive study with like-minded Communication Studies peers
  • Individual mentoring from leading research faculty
  • High-level writing and research experience
  • Excellent preparation for graduate school

Eligibility criteria for the honors program

  • At least a 3.4 overall grade point average
  • At least a 3.5 Communication Studies grade point average
  • Completion of (or concurrent enrollment in) the 300-level Communication Studies ULWR requirement
  • Serious interest in a scholarly research area
  • Ability to work independently

Applications for admission into the honors program in Communication Studies are accepted after March 1st of a student's junior year.

What to do if you are interested

Interested students who meet above requirements should submit an Honors application to the program honors
advisor between March 1-April 1 of junior year. Application is highly recommended by March 15th.

For additional information, schedule a General Advising appointment.

Honors Grading

Thesis Grade
The thesis is read and evaluated by the honors advisor and by the faculty thesis advisor. Together the honors
advisors reach consensus on the grade earned.

There are 3 grading categories: Excellent, Excellent/Outstanding and Outstanding.

Excellent - Any honors thesis that is acceptable is at least excellent. Most theses fall into this category and
genuinely are excellent.
Excellent/Outstanding - Used to denote theses that are significantly better than the average completed thesis
but not quite outstanding.
Outstanding - It is the rare thesis that is rated outstanding, perhaps only one per year and sometimes none.

Awarding of Honors in the Major
Program honors designations are assigned at the end of Winter term based on the student's Communication
Studies GPA and the student's thesis grade. The program honors designation (Highest Honors, High
Honors
, or Honors in Communication Studies) is independent of the college honors designation (Highest
Distinction, High Distinction, or Distinction
) which is determined simply by overall grade point. Both honors
designations appear on the student's diploma. The major honors designations and guidelines are as follows:

If the thesis is rated as unacceptable or if the overall GPA < 3.4 or if the Communication GPA < 3.5, no honors
are earned in Communication Studies.

If the thesis is rated as Outstanding,
And the Comm GPA≥ 3.70, Highest Honors in Communication Studies are awarded,
If the Comm GPA≥ 3.5 but <3.7, High Honors in Communication Studies are awarded

If the thesis is rated as Outstanding/Excellent,
And the Comm GPA≥ 3.90, Highest Honors in Communication Studies are awarded,
If the Comm GPA≥ 3.7 but <3.9, High Honors in Communication Studies are awarded
If the Comm GPA≥ 3.5 but <3.7, Honors in Communication Studies are awarded

If the thesis is rated as Excellent,
And the Comm GPA≥ 3.90, High Honors in Communication Studies are awarded,
If the Comm GPA≥ 3.5 but <3.90, Honors in Communication Studies are awarded