Honors Program

The SOJC Honors Program is designed to give advanced students the opportunity to develop analytic, critical thinking and research skills in a small-group, discussion-oriented setting. The program contributes to pre-existing major requirements and encourages the development of a small, multidisciplinary community of budding scholars from within the SOJC. All students completing the program will receive both an SOJC diploma that reads “With Honors” and Honors regalia to wear at commencement ceremonies.

Who is eligible for the Honors Program?

SOJC full majors considered for the program:

  • Have at least a 3.50 UO GPA and/or are in good standing in the Clark Honors College.
  • Are entering their junior year. Sophomores may be considered on a case-by-case basis.

How is the program structured?

The SOJC Honors Program has two primary components: a class component and a thesis component.

Class Component

Students take three Honors courses focusing on media theory, research, or issues, each of which is specially developed by a SOJC faculty member for this program. These classes are J 315H Media Theory and Research and two sections of J 424H Special Topics in Media Theory and Research. The 424H offerings will change for every cohort, but some past topics topics have included Journalism and Human Rights and Digital Curation. Most students in the Honors Program will take this series of classes with their cohort, one class each term of their junior year. However, taking classes during the senior year is also a possibility to address study abroad or internship plans.

The series of three Honors classes fulfills three of the four classes necessary for the SOJC’s “core context” requirement. For Public Relations majors, their fourth core context class must be J 494 Strategic Communications Research Methods. For other SOJC majors, any approved core context class (from either list “A” or “B”) can finish the requirement.

Thesis Component

Students will complete a one-credit thesis workshop during fall term of the senior year and then prepare and present an original piece of scholarship or creative work by the end of the senior year. The thesis must have a theoretical base (developed during the sequence of Honors courses) and will demonstrate the student’s advanced thinking and ability. A traditional thesis would consist of a research project under the supervision of a faculty member. Depending on your academic concentration, you might also create a documentary, a prototype of a magazine, a public service campaign, or some other type of professional-level work that you can also present to prospective employers.

If you are a student in the Clark Honors College, your CHC thesis will be accepted as your Honors Program thesis as long as an SOJC faculty member is your primary adviser. The CHC one-credit prospectus class would also take the place of the SOJC-specific workshop.

What does the application process look like?

The application for the 2020-2021 cohort is now closed. Applicants will be notified in early May. Call for applications for the 2021-2022 cohort will open in early 2021.

The application materials are:

An online application form that includes the names of two potential faculty references (one must be affiliated with the SOJC) and a brief statement on what you will bring to the Honors Program. The brief statement (500 word max) should address three points:

  • Why you want to be part of the program?
  • What you can personally contribute to it?
  • Why are the SOJC core context courses important for communicators in the 21st century?

A 2-8 page writing sample that reflects your writing, research and critical thinking skills. A research paper from a journalism course is preferred, but papers written for other subjects are acceptable. A “professional” sample such as a newspaper article would not be suitable. This writing sample should be uploaded as a .pdf through the online application. The online portal will only accept one .pdf. If you would like to submit a second writing sample, send it separately to sgarner@uoregon.edu with the words “Second Writing Sample for Honors Program” in the email subject line.


If you have any questions about the program or the application process, please contact Professor Nicole Dahmen or Director of Student Services Sally Garner.