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The Moody College Honors Program is a four-year enrichment program designed for undergraduates majoring in the Moody College of Communication. The program has three main components:

  • COM 307H and COM 308H
  • Elective seminars on special topics
  • A capstone requirement, with options that include a creative or service project or a traditional academic thesis

Current students can visit the program Canvas page for updates on new classes and other guidelines and information.

Curriculum

The Moody Honors Program curriculum consists of 15 credit hours designed to supplement major degree plans, with honors course work counting toward degree requirements or electives.

The courses in the program have been developed to provide a strong foundation in the intellectual traditions of the sciences and humanities, provide the opportunity to explore critical topics in communication fields, and to offer opportunities for independent research and writing. For all classes, emphasis is given to critical thinking, writing and discussion, and courses are taught by top instructors in the college.

The curriculum includes two interdisciplinary courses in critical thinking and dialogue, two special topics seminars, and a senior year experience.

Introductory Courses

6 hours of:

COM 307H Life of the Mind: This is an initiation into the Moody Honors Program's Socratic culture of critical thinking and open dialogue, where challenging questions are asked, assumptions are examined, and blind certainties held up to the light.

COM 308H Life of the Community: This course considers the social responsibilities of intellectual leadership and the role of communication in a world characterized by political divisions, varieties of inequality, and global challenges to health and sustainability.

Advanced Courses

Choose 9 hours from:

COM 370H Special Topics: These classes offer deep engagement with a special topic related to a discipline within the college, and emphasis is given to independent inquiry, class discussion, critical or creative writing, and special projects. Students taking 3 Special Topics courses in lieu of the Capstone or Thesis will be required to write a final reflection paper.

COM 330H Honors Capstone: This is a substantial independent project that can be a long-form feature article, report, creative work, outreach community service project, or a work of the student’s own design with approval from the faculty.

COM 679H Honors Thesis (2 semesters): Students opting to complete a traditional academic thesis will take this 6 hour course over two long semesters. Students will submit a proposal and follow University guidelines for the research and writing of an undergraduate thesis with a faculty advisor.

Please see the Course Schedule for up-to-date course information.

Spring 2021 Special Topics Courses

COM 370H Neuroscience, Technology, and Communication

Thanks to technological breakthroughs, few areas of contemporary science have developed as rapidly or had such wide-ranging impact as neuroscience: the study of the human brain. But how does this science affect the study of communication? And how is this science communicated to the public? This team-taught course will cover recent technological breakthroughs in the neuroscience of communication and how the science of these breakthroughs is covered in mass media and specialized media. Topics will include innovations in brain-computer interfaces for speech and language, silent speech devices, and alternative or augmentative communication. In addition to studying original research and how it is presented in the media, students will create their own press materials to explain the science and its real-world impact.

COM 370H Travelers’ Tales: The Art and Craft of Observing the World

From time out of hand, the intrepid among us have leapt beyond familiar boundaries, explored the wider world and then sought to describe the wonders (and horrors) they’ve encountered to people back home. Indeed, there’s nothing more human than the urge to explore. For communicators like us, this includes the urge to tell about it, for ourselves and our communities. This course will explore some of the history, evolution and modern practices of observing the world, with an eye toward critical questions that help us better understand the barriers to seeing the world more clearly and the challenges of explaining what we experience more deeply.

Fall 2020 Special Topics Courses

COM 370H Data-Driven Storytelling

Data Analysis & Visualization will immerse students in an experiential learning environment to obtain hard skills regarding data exploration, analysis, and data visualization while discussing and reflecting upon the ever-increasing dependence on data in our society. Students will master hard skills, such as coding techniques, analytics techniques, and Tableau data visualization software, that will elevate students on the job market upon graduation. Additionally, students will regularly discuss and debate key issues involving the intersection of data and society, such as consumer privacy; privilege, power, and data; quantifying social influence; and the formulation of meaningful data protection regulations.

COM 370H Visual Media, Culture, and Ethics

Whether in the form of cave paintings, photographs or digital animation, images have a role in the formation of our culture, ideology and social identity. This course explores the power of visual media in society, their production in media and the ethics of their use. This course covers the essential language of visual critique with the goal of helping students become more visually literate so that they can be better readers and creators of visual messages.

COM 370H Finding Purpose Through Communication

This class offers a unique blend of introspective experiences that will shape students’ journey as they learn more about who they are. The class will be divided into two main sections: 1) Figuring out what is my purpose? (focusing on Internal Communication), and 2) Expressing/Pitching that purpose outwards (focusing on External Communication).

Spring 2020 Special Topics Courses

COM 370H Rhetoric of Public Memory

This course will examine how public memory is created, shaped, and shared through processes and forms like commemorations, public speech, museum exhibits, historic sites, and monuments. Our goal is to begin to understand how public memory creates shared understanding about our past, present, future, our culture, and our national purpose. Although the focus in this class is American public memory, you will have an opportunity to explore the same types of practices in other cultures through your own projects.

COM 370H Analyzing Media Bias

Critical analysis of the ways news is presented, misrepresented and critiqued, with an emphasis on perceived bias in the news media. The goals of media literacy have traditionally included teaching the ability to decode media messages and understand the media system producing them. This course addresses these goals by examining the traditional modes of journalistic knowledge production--including both strengths and historical blindspots--emphasizing contemporary problems (and opportunities) for journalism: including technological, political, and professional perspectives. These issues include increasing concerns over the rise of algorithm-based news selection, giant intermediaries for news distribution (e.g., Facebook, Google), populist attacks on journalists, trolling (domestic and foreign), and self-serving claims of “fake news.” Analyzing “bias” means engaging with perhaps the most common concern that the public thinks of when it comes to media.

COM 370H Maymester: Global Public Relations Strategies - Amsterdam

STUDY ABROAD COMPONENT CANCELLED DUE TO COVID-19
Amsterdam is a cultural center of Europe, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and a global hub for communication, the arts, creative industries, sustainable infrastructure, and technology and international business. As the capitol of the Netherlands -- closely linked to neighboring cities the Hague, Rotterdam and Brussels -- it is also at the epicenter of international diplomacy and global trade. In this program, we will examine how Public relations strategy goes beyond the effective positioning of a brand or a product, as organizations must navigate social, economic and global change, sometimes making strategic decisions to advance change, stem negative impacts, or help influence opinion and drive change.