Languages, Literature and Mass Communication Honors Programs

The Academic Honors Program within the Department of Languages, Literature, and Mass Communication offers you an opportunity to enrich and expand what you have learned while studying English, Mass Communication, Philosophy, or Spanish. Completion of honors requirements varies by academic program, but each includes opportunities for you to actively engage in more advanced study through coursework and a capstone project that can include research or creative work and a presentation in a scholarly venue. Students completing a program's academic honors requirements are recognized at CMU's Commencement Ceremony.

Applying to the Program

To to be considered for admission into the Academic Honors Program, the applicant should submit:

  • The Academic Honors Program Application
  • An attached summary that describes the details of the applicant's scholarly background, community and/or University service, and academic awards.

Please submit the completed application to Dr. Barry Laga, 970-248-1119, or

Application Process and Qualifications: No other qualifications.

Requirements Specific to English Majors:

  • Be a declared major in English.
  • Develop a mini-program consisting of 9 upper division credit hours of credit from three different disciplines under the supervision of a faculty member whose field of study the student would like to pursue in more depth. (See note describing sample mini-program below).
  • Write a thesis showcasing the knowledge and methods of inquiry acquired from completing the mini program for a class taught by the professor who supervised the construction of the mini-program.
  • Complete specific coursework: 9 hours of upper division course work from three different disciplines.
  • Earn a minimum GPA of 3.5 in the major courses.

Sample Mini programs: An English Literature student might take courses in English, History, and Art that cover the English Renaissance period and develop a thesis project that synthesizes all three. Or, an English Literature major might take courses in Modern American Literature, Psychology, and Sociology and construct a thesis project that addresses the ways that psychoanalytic theory affects the ways critics read literature or the shifts in creative practice generated by this theory. English Writing majors interested in drama could take an upper-level English fiction writing class along with a theatre class in playwriting and a psychology class on personality and then write their own play.

Application Process and Qualifications: No other qualifications.

Requirements Specific to Mass Communication Majors:

  • Be a declared major in Mass Communication.
  • Develop a directed project in Media Law and Ethics (MASS 310) as an addition to the standard course. The project will include interviewing, attending sessions at Court, and presenting the paper to a panel during the semester.
  • Develop an individually-directed project in Seminar: Theory and Research (MASS 494), in addition to the team project required for the course.
  • Maintain a minimum GPA of 3.75 in the major courses.
Application Process and Qualifications: No other qualifications.

Requirements Specific to Philosophy Minors:

  • Be a declared minor in Philosophy.
  • Declare intention to participate in Honors Program to Faculty Director, or complete 9 hours of course work beyond the Philosophy minor requirements in upper division Philosophy courses.
  • Produce a cumulative project that is either published in an undergraduate Philosophy journal or produce a writing project that is suitable for application to graduate school in Philosophy.
  • Maintain a minimum GPA of 3.5 in the minor courses.
Application Process and Qualifications
General: Students seeking participation in an Academic Honors Program must have earned at least 45 semester credit hours with a minimum 3.5 overall grade point average (GPA) at the time of application. An application process occurs each semester, and interested students should submit materials to the Spanish Honors Program Advisor by the third week of the semester. In addition to the credit hour and GPA qualifications, an applicant also should submit: the application form; and a summary of no more than three pages that details the applicant's scholarly background, community and/or University service, and academic awards; and describes briefly why s/he is applying for an academic honors program of study.

Program Requirements
General Requirements: All students completing an Academic Honors program of study are expected to complete a senior capstone activity (FLAS 498). Students must present the results of their activity in a scholarly venue approved by their Academic Honors Program advisor (e.g., CMU’s Student Showcase, a regional meeting for the relevant discipline).

Requirements Specific to Majors in the Spanish Program (Hispanic Studies or Secondary Licensure):
  • Honors Work by Contract in three FLAS upper-division courses (nine credits).
  • During their junior and senior years, Honors Program students in consultation with the Spanish Honors Program Advisor arrange to do advanced work in upper-division courses; this is accomplished by speaking with the faculty that will teach the selected course prior to registering for the course.
  • During the junior or senior year, as approved by the Spanish Honors Program Advisor, commit to a project to promote Spanish on campus or community. Ideas may include serving as officer in the Spanish club, organizing the Mesa de conversación, organizing cultural events, serving as interpreter at community activities, etc.
  • Must maintain a 3.5 overall GPA.
  • Must maintain a 3.75 GPA in FLAS courses.

Program Contact: Dr. Mayela Vallejos-Ramírez,, 970.248.1097

For more information

Students are welcome to contact Prof. Barry Laga, Department Head of Languages, Literature, and Mass Communication at 970-248-1119 or via email at