Graduating with Honors

The University awards two kinds of honors distinction at graduation.

The first is based on a student’s overall GPA and is awarded automatically at graduation. The qualifying GPAs are computed each year with a formula involving the GPAs of the last graduating class of each school or college.

The second form of honors is awarded by individual departments to students who successfully complete a departmental honors program and maintain a minimum GPA. The minimum GPA requirement in Media Studies is a 3.5 overall and 3.5 in the major. Students who meet this requirement are eligible to enroll in our Media Studies H195 Honors Colloquium, which is offered only in the spring semester each year. Students who maintain the required GPA and complete a thesis of "superior distinction," will be awarded departmental honors at graduation. 

Media Studies H195 – Honors Colloquium

In order to participate in the honors program, you must:

1. Be able to graduate with 3.5 GPA in the major and overall. This means that at the time of the enrollment in the honors program, you must meet the minimum 3.5 GPA requirements. If you need help calculating your possible future GPA please refer to the GPA calculator on the Media Studies website or see the supervising faculty.
2. Be in your final spring semester at Berkeley.
3. Have taken a methods course prior to the enrollment in the honors program.
4. Have completed, or be concurrently enrolled in, all of the core courses.
5. Attend the informational meeting in the fall or schedule an appointment with
supervising faculty during the fall semester.
6. Attend the first honors seminar in the spring – date and time to be posted on schedule of classes – with your preliminary bibliography and a 1-page project proposal completed. (Details will be given at the informational meeting.)

In order to graduate with honors after completion of the honors project you must maintain the minimum GPA requirement through graduation and complete the honors thesis colloquium with an “A.”


We encourage students with superior records to participate in the honors program. The thesis should be the culmination of the work that you have done in the Media Studies major and it should be drawn from the base of knowledge that you have acquired in your studies. In addition, it should involve original research and thinking on significant issues in the field of Media Studies. A superior thesis is conceptually well-formulated and organized, thoroughly researched and documented and, of course, very well-written. The minimum length requirement is 40 pages. While this may sound daunting if you have only written 5 to 15-page papers for previous classes, most students have found that length is not a problem when they are writing on a topic that is of vital interest to them. Early formulation of your topic and timely development of your research are the keys to a successful honors thesis.