Research Experience

Whereas majors will get first-hand experience conducting independent research in the Communication Studies Capstone course (COMM 495), students also have the opportunity to work directly with faculty on the ongoing research projects in the department. Assisting with research allows students to refine analytical skill sets, become familiar with various research methodologies, enhance writing and critical thinking skills, and make significant contributions to academic literature. Serving as a research assistant is a great way to prepare for graduate school. Undergraduate students can earn course credit serving as a research assistant through COMM 397. Research assistant opportunities are limited and are generally secured at the invitation of a faculty member who sees a good fit between a current undergraduate student who has demonstrated excellence in the classroom and an ongoing research project. While these opportunities are offered by invitation, if you are interested in learning more about this option, please contact our Director of Undergraduate Education, Dr. Kathy Castle or you can contact a faculty member with whom you’d like to work directly.

Undergraduate Thesis

Students who are eligible to graduate with distinction based on their cumulative GPA may wish to attempt to graduate with highest distinction. In this case, students will need to write an undergraduate thesis through the department. In an undergraduate thesis, students work on an independent research project under the supervision of a faculty member in the Department of Communication Studies and must pass an oral examination upon completion of the research. The department follows the guidelines and process of the College of Arts & Sciences for graduating with distinction. Below is a list of undergraduate theses recently completed by students in the department.

  • Lee Kriemer. Communication, Community, and Identity in Refugee Populations
  • Nick Gilber. The Rhetoric of Veritasium
  • Laura Olson. Age Identity and Attitudes Toward Aging as Indicators of Candidate Credibility
  • Emily Schlichting. A Prescription for Disclosure: A QualitativeAanalysis of Lesbian and Gay Patient Perceptions of the Doctor-Patient Dyad.
  • Lindsey Stodden. Parental Communication Influence on Multiethnic-Racial Identity
  • Amanda Villegas. Uncertainty Reduction and Relational Satisfaction in Interracial Couples