Senior Fellows Honors Program

Senior Fellows Honors Program 

  • Dave Junker, Director
  • Office: (512) 471-9466
  • Fax: (512) 471-7018

About the Program

Senior Fellows is a college-wide honors program for juniors and seniors with a proven desire to go beyond the typical requirements of the undergraduate curriculum. Students may come from any major within the Moody College of Communication and must apply for admission in the spring prior to their junior year. Over the course of their final two years as undergraduates, students will take four courses designed like graduate seminars to emphasize discussion and critical reading and writing. The seminars are interdisciplinary communication courses that feature an array of special topics taught by top faculty from all majors within the Moody College. The curriculum also includes special lectures by leading scholars, artists, and professionals working in various communication and media fields. Beginning with the Fall 2016 semester, an intellectual service component will also be required of all Senior Fellows.

How it Works

  • Students take 4 Senior Fellows classes over the course of their junior and senior years, about 1 per semester
  • Students must take Senior Fellows Symposium (COM 370) during their first semester in the program
  • Students are free to choose their other 3 seminars over the course of their 2 years in the program

Who Can Apply

Students must have a minimum 3.3 GPA to apply

Students must maintain that GPA to stay in the program

Students can be majors in any department of the Moody College of Communication

Students should apply before their junior year so they can take coursework as juniors and seniors

Other Perks

You get to know a lot of smart and interesting people and learn a lot from each other

Our annual reception honors our graduates and awards prizes to top students and papers

The program prepares you for the rigors of graduate school and law school

Our alumni include leaders in research, politics, journalism, and entertainment and media industries


Frequently Asked Questions

Is there more to the Senior Fellows Program than just the seminars?

Senior Fellows are given special opportunities to meet with the many guest scholars and communication practitioners who regularly visit the Moody College of Communication. In addition, Senior Fellows are invited to special receptions and other social activities during the year. Fellows therefore have a unique opportunity to get to know faculty members on a personal basis.

Are there other special benefits to the Program?

The Senior Fellows Program is highly selective. It includes only the College's best students, students who understand that "becoming skilled" no longer ensures success. Each day, reports in the media tell us that people cannot get by on technical education alone. Employers in the corporate and public sectors, industrial recruiters, graduate school selection committees, and law school admission boards are looking for well-rounded students who can think independently. They want to hire university graduates who have that something extra. Senior Fellows have just such qualities. That is why graduating Fellows are singled out for special recognition during Commencement exercises.

What are the effects of the Program?

Senior Fellows is approaching its 25th anniversary. Our alumni are out there changing the world, doing a number of impressive things. You can read the newsletter for some profiles of alumni and current students. If you do, you'll notice that Senior Fellows are intersting people whose lives are often shaped by their expereince in the program.   

Should I apply to the Program?

If you like to learn, to question, to achieve, to wonder, to grow, then yes. Senior Fellows is for you, and you should apply. It is designed for students who want to expand their horizons, who wish to be broad rather than narrow, who are not afraid to think for themselves, who like being challenged.

Is the Senior Fellows Program a separate major?

No. All students in the Program carry a regular major in one of the departments of the Moody College of Communication. In most cases, you would substitute the 12 hours of Senior Fellows courses for upper-division electives. Alternatively, courses taken as part of the Program can fulfill the six-hour "Moody College of Communication" requirement that is part of all departmental majors in the College. Often these classes receive credit as "Communication and Culture" classes as well.

What if graduation requirements make it hard for me to participate in the Senior Fellows Program?

This is unlikely to be a problem for two reasons:

  1. With special permission, a student may use a Senior Fellows seminar to substitute for select departmental requirements. This is not automatic. You need to appeal for a course substitution through the adviser in your major department.
  2. With special permission, the maximum number of College of Communication classes can be raised by six hours.

The Dean of the College, the Associate Dean for Student Affairs, and the Departmental chairpersons will make every effort to help students in the Program solve problems created by graduation requirements.

How do Senior Fellows classes count toward graduation?

  • Depending on your department and catalog, either 42 or 48 hours of Communication coursework may apply toward your degree requirements.
  • Senior Fellows courses may count for the required six hours of Communication coursework outside the major (if you haven't already filled those hours with other classes).
  • If a student completes all 12 hours of Senior Fellows courses, the Moody College will allow the student to count an additional six hours of Communication coursework for the degree.

For example, if your department limits Communication hours to 42, you would be allowed to count 48 hours toward the degree.

Likewise, if your department limits Communication hours to 48, you would be allowed to count 54 hours toward the degree.

  • And, remember: With special permission, a student may use a Senior Fellows seminar to substitute for select departmental requirements. This is not automatic. You need to appeal for a course substitution through the adviser in your major department.

Can I take one of the Senior Fellows classes without participating in the whole program?

No. The Senior Fellows Program is just that -- a program. Each seminar has been carefully selected for its capacity to give students both depth and breadth of insight. To take only selected courses would be to miss this "total experience”.

Will Senior Fellows courses be offered during either summer session?

Not at this time.

Do Senior Fellows classes duplicate other courses in the College curriculum?

No. All seminars are unique. They give students an education available nowhere else in the Moody College of Communication.

How are the classes run?

With discussions rather than lectures, papers rather than multiple-choice exams, general books rather than textbooks. In addition, all of the seminars are designated Substantial Writing Component courses. Original research is encouraged.

I am planning to graduate in December rather than May. May I become part of the Program?

We can handle such situations on a case-by-case basis. The most important thing to remember is that all Senior Fellows must begin the Program in the Fall semester.

I am now a sophomore. If I do not begin the Program next year, will I still have a chance to do so during my senior year?

No, students must begin the program in their junior year.