As leaders in transformative education, Boston College seeks to aid students in their formation and education to set them on a path of service to others. The Communication Department mission models this goal as it is committed to the intellectual and ethical development of analytical and creative communication skills in our students, with particular emphasis on the effective functioning of circuits of communication, the impact of technological innovation on human beings and institutions, and the power relationships that develop through this interaction.
The Department of Communication's honors program is targeted towards exceptional communication majors, defined as those whose overall GPA is 3.70 or higher. The honors program offers smaller class sizes to allow more focused discussion and faculty-student interaction. Honors courses will also be more rigorous than non-honors courses and may include additional reading, written assignments, or exams. Students in the honors program will complete a thesis and present their thesis research to graduate with departmental honors. Students in the honors program are automatically eligible for membership in Lambda Pi Eta, the national Communication honors society. Questions about eligibility or other aspects of the department's honors program should be directed to Professor Celeste Wells, Director of the Communication Department Honors Program.
To be invited to apply to the honors program, a student must have an overall GPA of 3.70 or higher after their Freshman year (summer courses will be counted if taken for BC graded credit). Students will be invited to apply to the program in the Fall semester of their Sophomore year before Spring registration.
Honors Course Requirements
Once accepted to the program, students must complete (or take concurrently) the required introductory courses in the communication major (marked with a *) before beginning the honors program. The honors program requires the same number of courses as the standard communication major; however, three courses are specific to Honors only (marked with a +) and replace standard courses.
- Rhetorical Tradition*
- Survey of Mass Communication*
- Public Speaking*
- Honors Communication Methods + must be taken Sophomore Spring; replaces standard methods
- One Critical Issues Course of your choice
- One Theory Course of your choice
- Introduction to Honors (COMM4475)+ must be taken either semester Junior year; replaces one writing-intensive
- One additional Writing Intensive course of your choice
- Honors Thesis (COMM4961)+ must be taken Senior Fall; replaces one communication elective
- Two additional Communication Electives of your choice
Honors Program Timeline
(Only Honors classes are addressed in this timeline)
Fall Semester: Notice of eligibility sent (notification sent before enrollment for spring semester courses) to students with a 3.70 GPA or higher. Because of potential changes in a student's academic status (grade changes, study abroad, transfers, etc.), students may receive notification anytime between Freshman Summer and Sophomore Fall/Winter.
Spring Semester: Students will take COMM 3335 - Communication Methods: Honors (in place of COMM3330 or COMM3340). This course will count as the methods course required for the standard major.
Fall or Spring Semester: Students will enroll in COMM 4475 - Introduction to Honors. This course will count as one of the two writing seminars required for the standard major.
Study Abroad Caveat: Students who plan to study abroad during fall or spring semester of junior year should plan to complete COMM4475 – Introduction to Honors in the alternate semester (i.e., if a student plans to study abroad fall semester, they will take COMM4475 in spring semester upon return to BC). If a student plans to study for a full year abroad, it is not possible to complete the Communication Honors Program.
Students Considering Writing a Thesis in More Than One Department: This is a decision made after significant discussion with the honors program directors in both majors. This is not a regular occurrence and will only be considered if there is a strong case to be made about the value of interdisciplinary research for the student's particular topic of focus. If a student wants to write a thesis in more than one department (e.g., they are in the honors program in Communication and Economics), they must disclose this during their Junior (Intro to Honors) course to discuss the feasibility of this endeavor as well as discuss any arrangements/agreements that must be made with the other department. Additionally, joint theses are not guaranteed as they require a special approval process between both departments.
Fall Semester: Students will take COMM 4961 - Honors Thesis. This course counts as one of the three communication electives required for the standard major.
The final deadline for submission of a thesis is the first study day of the fall semester. Faculty advisors and student writers should be in clear communication before this deadline so that the advisor's exact specifications and revisions are fully incorporated into the thesis by this date. Detailed information is listed under "Thesis Requirements."
Spring Semester: Students will present their thesis research in poster format at the Departmental Honors Event, generally held the first Friday in May. Students will be given guidelines regarding poster format and requirements in mid-February.