Honors Program


The Honors Program in the Department of Communication Studies aims to identify, encourage, nurture and recognize students with exceptional analytical, creative and communicative skills potential. The program stresses guided but self-directed independent study, and each Honors Student will be evaluated by a faculty committee based upon uniquely developed criteria for each Honors Student.


Upon the recommendation of the Department Honors Committee and upon certification by the University Honors Council, the Honors candidate shall be graduated with Honors in Communication Studies. Recognition of this distinction shall be annotated on the student’s permanent record.


Petition for admission to the Honors Program may be initiated by the student or by a full-time faculty member of the Department of Communication Studies on behalf of the student. Minimum eligibility criteria include:

  • An overall GPA of 3.3 or higher; this standard must be maintained throughout the period of participation in the Honors Program;
  • A GPA of 3.3 or higher in all Communication Studies and Journalism courses; this standard must be maintained throughout the period of participation in the Honors Program;
  • Completion of at least 30 (at UNC Charlotte) but not more than 90 credit hours at the time participation in the Honors Program will begin (determined by the start date of the student’s first Honors Program regularly scheduled course or independent study);
  • Completion and submission of the Honors Program application form (attached) to the Department Chair for distribution to members of the Department Honors Committee;
  • Successful completion of interviews with at least two members of the Department Honors Committee and approval for admission by that Committee.


Successful Honors Program candidates will complete at least nine credit hours of Honors courses (which count toward the 120 hours required for graduation and toward the Related Coursework requirement for all Communication Studies tracks).

Specific requirements are:

  • Complete at least one 3-credit academic Honors course (not including experiential or project-based courses) offered through the University Honors Program
  • Complete at least one Honors 3-credit independent study with a Department of Communication Studies faculty member; this course should (but need not) emphasize research methods and should lead logically and contribute to the student’s thesis project
  • Complete a 3-credit Honors Thesis research course based on a proposal approved by the student’s Honors Committee; the thesis must meet the following criteria:
  • An original research project examining a communication issueo Include both secondary and primary researcho Follow traditional scholarly research structure with chapters appropriate to the research method and contexto At least 35 and not more than 75 pages; double-spaced, 12-point font, 1-inch margins
  • Compliant with an appropriate scholarly writing style such as APA, MLA, etc.
  • Orally defended (with optional public presentation)
  • IAW the policies of the University Honors Program, “A” is the only acceptable grade for the Honors Thesis research course
  • Maintain at least a 3.3 GPA in all honors courses
  • Complete and submit a Candidacy Application in accordance with deadlines set forth by the Honors College.


A Standing Honors Committee, led by the Honors Program Coordinator, will review Honors Programs applications and approve or decline those applications. The Standing Honors Committee will comprise:

  • The Honors Program Coordinator
  • The Department Chair
  • The Associate Department Chair (if one is designated)
  • The Undergraduate Coordinator (if one is designated)
  • The Department Adviser (if one is designated)
  • The Department Graduate Coordinator


Each Honors student must obtain the participation of three full-time Communication Studies faculty members to shepherd him/her through the Honors Program. Members of this committee will advise the student on course selection, evaluate the student’s thesis proposal, and evaluate the completed thesis. One faculty member will serve as committee chair and primary contact for the student. At least one of the three members must be tenured/tenure-track. When appropriate, based on the student’s academic interest, one of the three faculty members may be selected from an outside department. The student is responsible for scheduling and coordinating all meetings with the committee as a whole or with individual members; this includes the thesis defense.


Applications for beginning the Honors Program with the summer sessions or in the fall semester must be submitted not later than April 15. To begin the program in the spring semester, applications must be submitted not later than November 15.
The Honors Thesis must be successfully defended not less than 30 days prior to the desired graduation date.
Students may withdraw from the Honors Program in writing at any time without penalty. Any Honors courses in progress must be completed unless the student withdraws from the course under normal university procedures.

Honors Program Application

Once students are accepted into the Communication Studies Honors Program, they must submit an Honors Thesis research proposal as part of the Honors College Application to Candidacy process. See link below for more details on the Application to Candidacy process:

Honors College Application Information


All students planning to graduate with honors must submit to the Honors College an Application to Candidacy Form with a thesis/project proposal by the deadline the semester PRIOR to the semester in which they expect to complete the thesis/project. This process includes review of the proposal by Honors Faculty and sometimes requires revisions. Plan ahead and contact your honors program director in your junior year to facilitate this process; he or she, as well as your thesis advisor and any reader(s), must review the proposal and approve it via signature before submission. This Application to Candidacy process is required before taking any honors thesis/project courses on campus. For more information, including the form, deadlines, and guidelines, see: https://honorscollege.charlotte.edu/living-honors/graduation-process. Students who fail to complete this required step will not be able to proceed with the thesis/project, nor graduate with honors.