Honors Program

We offer numerous options for our honors majors, including stand-alone honors classes, co-convened undergraduate/graduate courses, thesis support, and study abroad opportunitites.

Honors Advising

Speak with Professor Nancy Sharkey at least once a semester to ensure you are meeting your honors requirements. Be sure to also check-in with your advisor as well to stay on top of your academics.

Honors Course Requirements

You will need 30 units of honors credits from classes across the university to graduate with honors, and we recommend that you take at least half of the units in Journalism. See Honors graduation requirements.

You will receive six units of honors credit for your senior thesis, and you should plan on taking the one-unit honors class in preparation for your thesis. We regularly offer stand-alone honors courses and most of our classes can be taken for Honors contracts with the professor. We also offer dozens of co-convened undergraduate/graduate-level courses of interest to majors, for which you can earn Honors credit.

JOUR 498H Honors Thesis or Project

You must complete and submit the Honors Thesis Prospectus at the end of the semester prior to beginning the thesis.

To select a thesis advisor, consult with the honors major advisor or, if you already have someone in mind, contact them directly the semester before you want to start your thesis. A faculty thesis supervisor can be anyone in the Journalism School, or a faculty member in another department (with prior approval from the Journalism honors advisor), but they must be a full-time University faculty member (not a graduate student or adjunct faculty member). Once a faculty member agrees to supervise your thesis, have them sign an Add form for the semester you will begin the thesis.

You have the option of doing a traditional research project – using qualitative or quantitative methods, or both – or a professional project, which can be a magazine-length reportage, a documentary film, a multimedia website, or a series of investigative stories.

You are strongly advised to complete the journalism research seminar, JOUR 396A, in your Junior year before beginning the two-semester commitment to the thesis or project.

Special Honors Classes in Journalism

JOUR 472H Science Journalism

This applied course covers the fundamental elements of producing news reports about science events and issues. We will examine the principles of journalism, the scientific process and the differences between science journalism and science communication. Guest speakers—prominent science journalists and scientists—will explore key issues involved in communicating with the public about science. Readings, case studies, and discussions will examine issues of balance, scientific uncertainty, accuracy and ethical codes for science journalists. 

Science journalism students often visit Biosphere 2 on reporting trips.

You'll write professional-quality science articles for general interest and specialized news media. You'll learn how to gather, evaluate, and organize information in ways that will produce accurate, comprehensive information for the public. Each student will write one short piece, and in pairs, you'll research and produce an in-depth article. 

JOUR 493H – Honors Internship

Work on-site for a news or news-related organization under the supervision of an experienced communication professional, performing to the standards of the Honors College.  The internships are guided by the Journalism internship coordinator, Renee Schafer Horton.

Study Abroad

Journalism offers honors credit in faculty led study-abroad programs in Orvieto, Italy and Costa Rica.