Honors

 

Media Studies Honors Program 

MEDIA STUDIES H194: Honors Thesis Preparation Enrollment – FALL 2021

Attention: Students with expected graduation terms of spring 2022, summer 2022 or fall 2022

Students interested in earning Honors in the major must take Media Studies H194: Honors Thesis Preparation in fall 2021 and Media Studies H195: Honors Seminar in spring 2022. Enrolled students must meet the GPA and grade eligibility requirements.  

If you are eligible and interested in enrolling in Media Studies H194, you must do the following:

        1. Follow the instructions on the Media Studies H194: Honors Thesis 
Preparation
            Course Application and submit your rough proposal to Dr. Ian Kivelin Davis via
            the Google Form no later than 
Sunday, August 22, 2021.

            Link to submit your proposal: https://bit.ly/2UInq3y

        2. Attend the first class meeting of Media Studies H194 on Wednesday,
            August 25, 2021 from 5:00 – 7:00 p.m. in 201 Giannini Hall.
            Attendance is mandatory. 

Dr. Davis will review your proposals. GPAs will be verified. If you are eligible to enroll, Dr. Davis will email you a permission code to enroll after the first class meeting.

Your GPA in the major is based on core and elective courses taken so far. Your GPA overall is noted in CalCentral; it does not include transferred courses. 

If you have any questions about the course or course application, contact Dr. Davis at iankdavis@berkeley.edu.

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Graduating with Honors 

There are two kinds of honors distinction that students can earn upon graduation.

Distinction in General Scholarship (UC Berkeley)

Students who meet specific criteria can graduate with UC Berkeley honors. Honors for overall achievement at Berkeley are noted on the transcript and diploma as Distinction, High Distinction, and Highest Distinction (roughly equivalent to cum laude, magna cum laude and summa cum laude). See Dean’s List/Honors on the Berkeley L&S Advising website for more details.

Honors in the Major

The second form of honors is awarded by individual departments and programs to students who successfully complete their major 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 the Media Studies Honors Program: Media Studies H194: Honors Thesis Preparation offered only in the fall semester and Media Studies H195: Honors Seminar offered only in the spring semester each year. Students who maintain the required GPAs and complete a thesis of “superior distinction,” demonstrated by earning A- or better in both honors courses, will be awarded departmental honors at graduation. 


To participate in the Media Studies Honors Program, you must complete the following two courses, meeting the enrollment requirements for each:

Media Studies H194: Honors Preparation

1. Be able to graduate with 3.5 GPA in the major and overall. This means that at the time of enrollment in the honors program, you must meet the minimum 3.5 GPA requirements. If you need help calculating your possible future GPA, use a GPA calculator, such as the Berkeley Residential Life GPA calculator or see your Media Studies Student Academic Advisor. Please note the GPA is not rounded up.

2. Be in your final or second to last fall semester before your final spring at Berkeley.

3. Be concurrently enrolled in or have already completed an approved research methods course.

4. Attend the first honors preparation class meeting.

5. Fill out a Media Studies H194: Honors Thesis Preparation Course Application, which is specific to each fall semester.

Media Studies H195: Honors Seminar

1. Be able to graduate with 3.5 GPA in the major and overall. This means that at the time of enrollment in the honors program, you must meet the minimum 3.5 GPA requirements, which will be verified by the Media Studies staff supporting the Honors Program. If you need help calculating your possible future GPA, use a GPA calculator, such as the Berkeley Residential Life GPA calculator or see your Media Studies Student Academic Advisor.

2. Be in your final spring semester at Berkeley.

3. Have taken a methods course prior to enrollment in the honors program.

4. Have completed, or be concurrently enrolled in, all of the core courses.

6. Attend the first honors seminar class with your completed project proposal, preliminary bibliography, and literature review from Media Studies H194.

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 seminar with an A- or better.

THE HONORS THESIS

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 45 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.

STILL CONSIDERING THE HONORS PROGRAM

The Honors Program is a rewarding opportunity for students who are eligible. The experience of researching and writing a thesis in consultation with your instructor and the commitment to do both are valuable whether you choose to go to graduate school or search for a job after you graduate.

As you plan your senior year, think about what is most important to you. How do you want to spend the remaining time you have at Cal? Some students who are eligible choose to focus on other goals beyond satisfying their remaining requirements to graduate. There are so many options to consider, such as interning or working, finishing a second major or a minor, studying abroad or in Washington, D.C., preparing for the transition to the world of work, enjoying being a liberal arts student, or focusing on other personal goals. Others choose to pursue the Honors Program, because they want the academic challenge of completing a project and becoming an expert on a specific media-related topic that is meaningful to them.

Many who choose to participate in the Honors Program complete it and earn honors; however, that is not always the case due to GPA, a grade or personal choice. Students who complete Media Studies H194 and do not take Media Studies H195 earn three upper-division units towards graduation and research experience. Students who complete Media Studies H194 and Media Studies H195, but do not satisfy the GPA and/or grade requirements, earn six upper-division units total towards graduation and complete a senior thesis.

Media Studies H194 and Media Studies H195 are enrichment courses. They are not required courses for the major and do not satisfy major requirements.

* Beginning Fall 2020, all students planning to declare the Media Studies major MUST complete Media Studies 10 or W10 at UC Berkeley.

** For California community college prerequisite course equivalents, visit assist.org. If you are transferring from another school and wish to use a course you have taken to satisfy a prerequisite requirement, you may submit this course substitution form and Dr. Josh Jackson will review your request.

Areas of Concentration

Digital Studies
Digital Studies is an intersection between humanities, social sciences, art, and computer sciences. This area offers courses on a variety of digital, social, and creative media as a means of exploring networked connectivity as the sum of technologies, industries, and user practices. It also examines how various areas of scholarship are reshaped by new technologies, behaviors, and data-driven inquiries.

To fulfill this area of concentration, students must complete an elective from each of the three categories below. Click on this link to view a list of pre-approved courses for this area.

  • DS.1 Research Methodologies 
  • DS.2 Virtual Communities and Social Media 
  • DS.3 Digital Projects and Digital Storytelling

Global Cultural Studies explores how textual, audio, and visual cultures as well as representational practices are produced and circulated within and across local, national, regional, and global social fields. This area examines a broad spectrum of concerns including global communication, postcolonialism, diaspora, consumerism, identity and community, and public cultures.

To fulfill this area of concentration, students must complete an elective from each of the three categories below. Click on this link to view a list of pre-approved courses for this area.

  • GCS.1 Research Methodologies 
  • GCS.2 Visual Culture
  • GCS.3 Popular Culture

Media Law and Policy 
Media Law and Policy recognizes it would be impossible to understand law and politics without appreciating the significance of media. This area uses media to study a wide range of legal, regulatory, political, and activist concerns, including the First Amendment, privacy and surveillance, cyberlaw, and intellectual property as well as social movements, social justice, and political transformation.

To fulfill this area of concentration, students must complete an elective from each of the three categories below. Click on this link to view a list of pre-approved courses for this area.
 
  • MLP.1 Research Methodologies 
  • MLP.2 Institutions 
  • MLP.3 Citizenship 
 
FAQ
Below are a series of answers to potential student questions on the new curriculum. We’ll add additional information with time. Current answers are subject to revision.
 
Can majors declared in the old curriculum switch to the new curriculum?
Yes – currently declared majors who want to switch from the old curriculum to the new curriculum can do so using this form here. Students should ensure that by switching to the new curriculum, they will still be able to graduate by their Expected Graduation Term. Students should carefully review the information at the top of the form before submitting it.
 
Can new admits opt for the older curriculum or opt out of an area of concentration?
No, that in effect creates an additional, unapproved curriculum path.
 
Can an elective meet two area electives from the same area?
No, the students must complete three area electives, each from a different category.
 
Is there a minimum number of units necessary for a class to count as an elective?
Yes, an elective must be at least two units.
 
Do the electives need to be upper-division (numbered 100-199)?
Yes, with the exception of the research methodologies elective (since such courses are often introductory by nature).
 
Can students fulfill the research methodologies elective at a community college?
No, students must take the research methodologies course at Cal in order to better guarantee topics, assignments, and readings comparable with those research methodologies courses offered by our program. Students may still complete three of the four prerequisites (exempting Introduction to Media Studies) at another college or university. Approved prerequisites at California community colleges can be found on assist.org. Students may request for courses from other colleges and universities to be reviewed as possible prerequisites by submitting a course substitution form.
 
How many courses can a student take from the same outside department or program?
Students may take no more than two upper-division courses (numbered 100-199) from  the same outside department or program. This includes cross-listed and combined (room-shared) classes (e.g., Information C167  counts as both an Information class and Sociology class, because it is cross-listed with Sociology C167).  This limit does not apply to lower-division courses (numbered 1 – 99). It does apply to upper-division prerequisites and research methodology courses. 
 
Do the electives need to be upper-division (numbered 100-199)?
Yes, with the exception of the research methodologies elective (since such courses are often introductory by nature). Only the course that applies to the research methodologies category can be lower-division. All electives, whether they count as research methodologies in other areas of concentrations or not, must be upper-division.