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Undergraduate Communication Experience + Theory

Com 489: Research Credit

In addition to internship credit (COM 49000), the School offers students two other ways to pursue their interests in more depth: research credit and directed studies.  Both are available for 1-3 hours (variable credit), both require faculty advisors, and the forms for both are available below and on the directed studies page.

Research Credit (COM 48900)

The purpose of COM 48900 is to give students hands-on experience doing communication research.  By working with a faculty member on a research project, students will gain expertise in specific kinds of research, insight into whether or not they might be interested in graduate studies, and closer relationships with faculty that might result in mentoring and letters of recommendation.


Before registering for the course, a student must find a faculty member who has an active project in need of student assistance.  The faculty member, by signing the student into the course, agrees to supervise the student’s research and help the student gain research experience.  The learning agreement below must be signed by both student and faculty members and deposited with the director of undergraduate studies.

COM 489 Learning Agreement 


  • The course can be taken for 1-3 credit hours.  For each credit hour, students are expected to work 3 hours per week during the regular spring/fall semester.  During the 8-week summer session, students are expected to work 6 hours per week in order to earn 1 credit hour. 
  • Due to the pass/no pass structure, as long as students work the requisite number of hours, they will receive passing grades.
  • The course can be repeated for credit an unlimited number of times.  Because it is a pass/no pass class, however, it cannot count toward major or minor requirements.  And only up to 3 total hours can count toward the 120 hours required for graduation as elective hours.  These 3 hours can be earned in a single semester (9 research hours per week) or over multiple semesters with fewer research hours per week.
  • No research learning agreements will be accepted after 30 calendar days from the first day of the semester.