Participating in the Communication Studies Honors program allowed me to challenge myself not only as a student but as a person. Despite loving my major and having the desire to pursue my master's degree, I felt that I wasn't "cut out" for graduate school. The honors program provided me with rigorous course material that challenged me to see beyond my self-doubt. I gained valuable research skills, confidence, and mentorship that gave me the extra push I needed to see myself as a true scholar.
- Tori Bowser, '20
 A picture of four students part of the COMM Honors Program.Members of our honors cohort at the Comm Awards Ceremony, May 2019


Graduating with honors is a mark of distinction, open to no more than 10% of the department's graduating class.

Students who have a strong academic record can achieve honors by taking one of our MA graduate seminars.

Eligibility for COMM Honors

(all requirements must be met by graduation)

  • Achieve a minimum GPA of 3.5 in their four-unit, upper division courses in the major (i.e., the F, I, and P courses), 101C, and 199C 
  • Receive a B+ or higher in COMM 100W or equivalent writing course
  • Earn an overall SJSU GPA of at least 3.0
  • Complete 22 units in SJSU's Communication Studies department
  • Complete a COMM graduate seminar (200-level course) with a B or better (students receiving a B- or lower will receive course credit but will not be eligible for honors)

To apply

  • If you believe you are eligible and wish to apply, please email the Honors Coordinator, Dr. Marie Haverfield at marie.haverfield@sjsu.edu with the subject heading "Application for honors (Name, ID#)." Please include in the email:
    • Your GPA for upper division COMM courses
    • Your overall SJSU GPA. (GPA Calculator)
    • A pdf copy of your unofficial transcript (MySJSU tutorial) (do NOT send a screen shot.)
    • Your anticipated graduation date
  • You will be contacted to confirm that you are a candidate for honors.

Honors candidates

Honors candidates must enroll in (and pass) one of the department’s MA graduate-level seminars. This course can replace one of the required courses in the undergraduate major (either COMM 199C or one of the F, I, or P requirements.) Alternatively, the seminar can be counted towards elective units, or it can be counted towards an MA in Communication Studies. (This option is contingent on acceptance to the MA Program.)


Applications are welcome anytime however, it is encouraged to apply around the registration period of the semester prior to graduation. For example, if you plan to graduate in the fall, contact Dr. Haverfield around April 15 of the previous semester.

Honors candidates will be notified of the available graduate seminars shortly before registration. Students are admitted to seminars at the discretion of graduate faculty. Applications received after the deadline will be accepted pending enrollment capacity.

Because no more than 10% of the graduating class can receive the honors designation, candidacy does not necessarily guarantee that a student will be awarded honors. In the event that more than 10% of the graduating class has achieved candidacy, applicants will be rated according to overall GPA. Those with top GPAs will receive priority. In recent years, all applicants who passed their MA seminars have received honors.


Please contact Dr. Marie Haverfield at marie.haverfield@sjsu.edu.