Graduating with Honors is a special distinction recognized by the university in a number of ways, including through a designation on your diploma and a special Honors graduation event. The levels of honors awarded include cum laude, magna cum laude and summa cum laude.  You can only earn honors at CU by completing an honors program. The Honors program allows you to work closely with faculty and to meet other honors students. A capstone piece of the Honors experience is writing an honors thesis; this allows you to create and pursue a research project (with the assistance of a faculty advisor) on a topic that you select.


Requirements for graduation with departmental honors:

  • 3.3 or higher cumulative grade point average and a grade point average of 3.5 in COMM.
  • Completion of a thesis which involves original research you have conducted (with the guidance of a faculty advisor).
  • Successful completion of a thesis defense. This is a meeting with your honors committee (your thesis advisor and two other faculty members) in which you present your study and answer questions about it

How do you pursue honors in the Department of Communication?

  • Attend an honors information meeting and let the honors coordinator know you are interested
  • Take classes that will allow you to begin to see what you might pursue for an honors thesis. Human communication theory (3210) and rhetorical foundations (3300) are two excellent courses that will allow you to learn about the range of issues studied in communication.
  • Meet with the honors coordinator in your junior year to see if you can identify a potential research methods course or senior seminar to help with your thesis.
  • Register for COMM 4100 in the fall of your senior year when you will begin work on your thesis in earnest.


What is the honors thesis?

The honors thesis involves original research you have conducted with the guidance of a faculty advisor. Completing a thesis involves conceptualizing a communication issue that needs to be investigated and conducting a study that explores the issue. This means that you are reading extensively about an issue and developing a project that explores the issue (beyond just looking at what other people have said about it). The thesis is an opportunity for you to study an issue of real interest to you. Completion of the honors thesis takes about two semesters.


Can I earn credit for completing the honors thesis?

Yes. You can earn up to 10 hrs. of credit while working on the honors thesis. You can take COMM 4100 (which counts as a senior seminar) in the fall of your sr. year, and you can enroll in the 1-hr. pro-seminar the spring semester of your senior year. You may also be eligible to take Sr. Thesis Writing (COMM 4950) hours as way to help you complete your thesis. (Enrollment in COMM 4950 requires approval of your thesis advisor and the honors coordinator. These hours count as upper division elective credit.)