Honors Program

The Honors Program for Communication majors is designed to provide opportunities for the most talented and well-motivated students to work closely with each other and with the faculty.

You may apply for admission at any point during a semester and may reapply if rejected after the close of that semester or thereafter. Decisions of the Honors Committee on admission are final and not subject to review or appeal.

Here are the two criteria to be admitted to the Honors program:

  • You need to be a major in the department with a 3.50 average in the required course for admission to the major.
  • You must have completed at least two full-time semesters of college study at Albany, with an overall average of at least 3.50, or the equivalent in the case of transfer students.

You can also be admitted to the program on a provisional basis if you have fewer than 12 credits in communication. Upon completion of 12 credits, your admission will be finalized.

Once you meet these requirements and want to be admitted to the Honors Program, contact the director of the Honors Program, Professor Piotr Szpunar (SS 365). He will then ask you to write a letter in which you will officially apply for admission to the program.

If you are accepted in the Honors Program, you will be required to complete a minimum of 36 credits, meeting all requirements of the major, except for a special requirement among courses at the 300 level or above. This special requirement functions as follows: instead of 6 credits of electives at the 300 level or above, you will have to complete one of the two options:

  • An Honors Project for 6 credits (A COM 499)

  • A Senior Honors Project for 3 credits (A COM 499) plus 3 credits in a graduate course in communication (for undergraduate credit) with approval of the undergraduate director.

The Honors Project or the Senior Honors Project has to be completed under the supervision of a faculty member in the department. While students can contact by themselves the faculty member with whom they want to complete one of these two projects, the final selection must be approved by the director of the Honors Program.

Note that the Honors Committee will put students on program probation at the end of any semester in which their cumulative GPA in the major falls below 3.50 or their term GPA that semester is below 3.30.

Students will be dismissed from the program if they are placed on program probation in two consecutive semesters, or if they receive a grade below B in A COM 499. Students dismissed from the program cannot be readmitted unless the grades on which dismissal is based were in error and are officially changed.

After completion of the requirements above, the records of candidates will be reviewed by the Departmental Honors Committee, who shall recommend to the department candidates for the degree with honors in rhetoric and communication.