The Hugh Downs School

Human Communication Honors Program 

We are proud to attract many of the best and brightest students!

     Honors Guidelines 

     Honors Thesis Application: Com 492/493 registration

The Hugh Downs School of Human Communication (HDSHC) welcomes all Barrett students.  Whether you are a communication major, or minor, or taking our classes as electives, we would like to help you chart your pathway to excellence in our program. 

Participating in the Communication Honors Program provides students with various useful academic opportunities. Connecting with communication faculty and professionals can open doors to networking, research experiences, and skills development. Students will benefit from the diverse perspectives and experiences that faculty provide to study and improve communication in global, organizational, and relational contexts.

Barrett Honors College, one of the nation’s top honors colleges, offers students rewarding academic opportunities for personal and professional growth. The program supports students from diverse majors interested in studying a wide range of communication topics.  

Advantages of simultaneous enrollment in the Barrett Honors College and the Communication Honors Program include:

  • Priority registration for classes
  • Specially designed honors courses taught by award-winning faculty
  • The ability to work directly with professors and honors advisors
  • Participation in research collaboratives 
  • Summer study abroad
  • Career skills development
  • Eligibility for communication scholarships and endowed awards 
  • Opportunities to attend and present at professional conferences
  • Creation of a unique honors thesis and/or exhibition
  • Pathways for building qualifications for prestigious graduate programs

Any Barrett student who is considering majoring or minoring in Communication and has questions about the Communication Honors Program should contact Professor Laura Guerrero at

Enrichment Contract Advisor Criteria
Honors Enrichment Contracts may only be supervised by Honors Contract Faculty.  An Honors Enrichment Contract may only be negotiated with approved Honors Faculty in the Hugh Downs School. Graduate students and staff may not supervise a contract.

Thesis/Creative Projects
Completing an Honors thesis in the Hugh Downs School of Human Communication (HDSHC) allows for a broad range of possible topics and methodologies, which include both quantitative and qualitative research. A thesis also gives you valuable experience with research or a creative project. The thesis process will help you hone your investigative and critical thinking skills and your oral and written communication skills, which all COM majors and employers recognize as vitally important in today’s competitive work environment.

Honors Thesis Directors: 
All full-time faculty (i.e., core faculty and full-time instructors) with Ph.D. degrees in the HDSHC can serve as Honors Thesis Directors (see Honors Thesis Directors for a list of these faculty). The second reader can be any faculty listed on our website and/or other qualified faculty with terminal degrees (e.g., Ed.D., JD, MS, MA, MFA). A third reader is OPTIONAL. A third reader can be determined by the student and faculty director and is anyone with the expertise or experience relevant to the thesis. This can include graduate students.

Each honors student in the Hugh Downs School selects a program of study that mixes core requirements and electives. Information regarding Honors Enrichment Contracts, thesis planning, course registration, selecting a thesis advisor/director, and much more is available. This program of study is best developed with time spent discussing your interests with COM advisorsBarrett advisors, and HDSHC faculty honors advisors.  All work with you to help you make the most out of your Honors Program experience. 

Barrett, The Honors College, one of the nation’s highest-ranking honors colleges, offers students rewarding academic opportunities for personal and professional growth. To learn more about what the honors college has to offer, the requirements for acceptance, and how to apply, be sure to visit

Barrett, The Honors College