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College of Arts and Sciences

Honors FAQ

communication department

Q: I am in A&S Honors. Can I also receive Communication Department Honors?

To graduate with A&S Honors, you have two options: 

  • to graduate without a thesis; or
  • to graduate with a thesis. As the A&S Honors Handbook indicates, if you choose not to write a thesis, you must take two HP Honors Seminars.

The Communication Department requires both A&S Honors and Department Honors students to:

  • enroll in two Honors Writing-Intensive Seminars; and
  • after finishing their second seminar, to choose a thesis advisor (from one of the two seminars), and enroll in a Communication Honors Thesis (COMM 4961) section offered by that professor. The Honors Thesis is three credits, and conducted as an independent study, with the completed thesis as its final product.

Q: What if I have taken a seminar before I was invited to be in the Communication Department Honors Program?

Any seminar you have taken prior to an invitation to the department honors program will count only as an elective, not as one of your two required honors courses. There are simple reasons for this:

  • while all writing-intensive courses are rigorous, honors courses, understandably, "raise the bar" higher than the others; and
  • after taking the two honors seminars, you are expected to choose your thesis advisor—if you have taken only one honors course, you only have one choice.

Q: What happens if I plan to study abroad?

It is easiest for a student to study abroad during the fall semester of junior year if they qualify for Honors and intend to complete an Honors thesis. The student would enroll in an Honors Writing Intensive during the spring semester of junior year, upon return from abroad study. The student would then enroll in an Honors Writing Intensive during the fall semester of senior year, and choose an advisor for the thesis to be completed during the spring of senior year.

If a student qualifies for Honors by the end of sophomore year (with a minimum 3.75 cumulative GPA) and is planning to study abroad during the spring semester of junior year, then he or she should enroll in an Honors Writing Intensive in the fall of junior year, prior to studying abroad.

If a qualifying student enrolls in a non-honors Writing Intensive course, this will not count as one of the required Honors Writing Intensives, and will be counted only as an elective. Two Honors Writing Intensives must be conducted prior to writing the thesis. Therefore, if a junior takes a non-honors Writing Intensive in the fall of their junior year before studying abroad, it would be virtually impossible to complete the Honors Program. It would mean taking two Honors Writing intensives during the same semester in the fall semester of senior year. The Department discourages students from this type of doubling up.

Q: I would like to create a special project (i.e., a documentary) to submit as my honors thesis. Is this permitted?

The Communication Department accepts only traditional, bound theses in a paper format. Please see “Thesis Guidelines” on this department’s website for further details.

Q: Can I conduct interviews or surveys while researching my honors thesis?

Federal regulations and University Policy require prospective review and approval of all human subject research conducted by faculty, staff, or students. The Boston College Institutional Review Board (IRB) should review all research proposals.

Q: Where do I obtain more information about Scholar of the College?

Information regarding awards, fellowships, and prizes at Boston College.

Q: Whom can I contact for more information about the Communication Department Honors Program?

Please email Professor Michael Keith, Faculty Advisor of the Communication Department Honors Program.