Honors Program

Interested in graduate school? Want to work in policy? By completing honors, you show you can work independently and analyze complex phenomena.

The Communication Department Honors Program is designed for seniors who wish to undertake an extended research or creative production project under supervision of a Communication faculty member. Because the Honors Program requires a two-quarter sequence of courses and classes are generally smaller, students get an opportunity to work at length with faculty and other students on an individual project. Students who have special interests and plan to go on to graduate school or plan to work in fields of production are strongly recommended to apply to the Honors Program.

Requirements to Apply:

  • Application: Applications for the Honors Program are due Week 4 of the Fall Quarter of the student's senior year. Applications are available to students in the Spring Quarter of their junior year.
  • Faculty mentor: Seniors wishing to be considered need to list one faculty member who supports their admission to the program. Prior to applying for admission to the Honors Program, students should contact the faculty member with whom they hope to work and arrange a meeting to discuss their proposed project. Ideally, the faculty member is someone with whom a student has had one or more classes and whose subject area and is a good fit in terms of the research or creative interests a student hopes to pursue in the program. 
  • GPA: Students' overall GPA should be at least 3.0 and their GPA in the major should be at least 3.5.
  • Project proposal: The student needs to include a 1) brief description of the proposed research or creative production project that will be undertaken in the Honors sequence and 2) submit a writing sample. 

A faculty committee will review applications and accept students who have promising projects.

Once accepted to the Honors Program, students are required to complete a two-quarter sequence, COMM 196A and COMM 196B in the Winter and Spring Quarters of their senior year. At the end of COMM 196A, the student receives an IP or "In Progress" grade. The IP grade changes to a letter grade at the completion of the second course, COMM 196B. The letter grade will be based on attendance in the seminars, a successful completion of a research or creative production project. The project is then sent to a faculty committee for review and evaluation of a department Honors award designation will be determined.

Successful completion of the honors program enables the student to graduate "With Highest Distinction," "With High Distinction," or "With Distinction," depending on performance in the program.

  • With Distinction: At least a 3.25 GPA in the major and a "B" or better in the Honors Seminar
  • With High Distinction: A combined GPA above 3.7 - 3.89 (50% of the project grade; 50% on the major GPA)
  • With Highest Distinction: A combined GPA above 3.9 or above (50% of the project grade; 50% on the major GPA)

The 2018 - 2019 Honors Program application has two rolling admissions period: May 1 - June 11 and September 24 - October 22. Please contact the Honors Program Coordinator at commugrad@ucsd.edu if you have any questions.