Research Opportunities

The Communication Studies Department requires all students taking COMM1500 and COMM1110 to satisfy a 2 credit departmental research requirement. Students must earn 2 credits for each Communication Studies class that requires or offers research participation (e.g., students cannot use one research opportunity to apply to two classes). The Research Requirement must be completed on or before the last day of class (i.e., the day before Reading Day). Failure to fulfill the research requirement will result in a grade of Incomplete (I). In order to remove the Incomplete (I), you must complete the research requirement in a future semester.


About Research Opportunities

Scholarly inquiry in the field of communication aims to systematically advance knowledge about how humans create, interpret, and respond to messages. Ultimately, our research helps us to understand how and why humans communicate the way they do. Therefore, the research contributions made by students of the Department of Communication Studies are a lasting part of the body of social scientific knowledge about communication.

Undergraduate students have six options to satisfy the research requirement:

· Option 1: Participation in a lab-based research study = 2 credits

· Option 2: Participation in an online study = 1 credit

· Option 3: Written analysis of a Communication research article = 2 credits

Click here for guidelines of the Research Requirement Process. 

Registering with SONA online system:

Since Summer 2020, the Department of Communication Studies Research Pool has been using the Sona Systems portal to manage research participation. To view available opportunities and sign up to participate in studies, students need to log into the system to (1) view the list of available studies, (2) sign up for studies they are interested in and qualify for, and (3) track their progress throughout the semester. Instructors can also view their students’ research requirement fulfillment status by logging into the system.

Below we provide “How-to” pdfs for students, researchers and instructors to help them navigate the SONA system:

If you have any questions, please contact the Research Participant Pool Coordinator at

Click here to find out currently available research opportunities.  

Removing Enrollment from a Research Opportunity

If you have signed up for a research opportunity but can no longer participate, you may request to have your name removed from the opportunity sign-up list. Please email the researcher who is in charge of the study listed on the research opportunity website with the subject "Request Removal from Research Opportunity Sign-up." If you do not hear back from the researchers, e-mail the department's Research Coordinator, Dr. Jiaying Liu ( In your email you need to include all of the following: your full name, the email address you used to sign-up, the name of the research opportunity, the day and time slot of the research opportunity (if applicable), and the reason for your removal. You will receive a follow-up email after you have been removed.