Major in Communication Studies

Communication Studies courses give students a foundation in communication theories and their interrelated contexts, the application of theories to contemporary issues and the scholarly methods of studying communication. The Communication Studies major has a three-fold function:

  1. It allows students a greater understanding of the role that communication plays in shaping culture and identity.
  2. It looks at the ways in which the process of meaning-making (whether through the use of words, images, symbols or technology) is used strategically to influence human judgment and actions.
  3. It sharpens students’ critical thinking abilities, thus enabling them to become ethical producers and consumers of messages.

This three-fold function is accomplished through a theoretical and practical focus on argument development and through a close examination of the ways ideas are discussed, advocated for, and circulated in public and private life. These emphases give students the opportunity to develop speaking, writing, and analytical thinking skills that will allow them to become better ethical participants in the process of creating, critiquing, and disseminating meaning.

Graduates with majors in Communication Studies have found careers in the public sector, private industry, non-governmental organizations and education. Communication Studies alumni work in areas such as public affairs, corporate relations, law, religion, sales, lobbying, entertainment, human resources, conference and meeting management, training and development, health communication, teaching, and consulting.

Graduation Requirements

All major requirements must be completed with a grade equivalent of 2.00 or higher. The Pass grading option is not available for courses applicable toward the major.

Bachelor of Arts Degree Option

Students may earn a Bachelor of Arts degree by completing the intermediate (202) level of a foreign language.

Requirements for the Major

The Communication Studies major requires a total of 42 units: 21 units of required courses, 18 units of elective courses and a 3-unit horizons course requirement. 

Required Courses
COMM 131PUBLIC SPEAKING3
COMM 201INTRODUCTION TO COMMUNICATION STUDIES3
COMM 300RESEARCH METHODS3
COMM 311RHETORICAL THEORY & CRITICISM3
COMM 419ORGANIZATIONAL COMMUNICATION3
COMM 450CAPSTONE IN COMMUNICATION STUDIES3
COMM 477INTERCULTURAL COMMUNICATION3
Public Discourse & Advocacy Electives
Select two of the following:6
ADV PUBL SPEAKNG
PERSUASION
ADVOCACY & ARGUMENT
COMMUNICATION AND SOCIAL PROTEST
VISUAL COMMUNICATION
COMMUNICATION AND POLITICS
COMMUNICATION LAW
TOPICS IN PUBLIC DISCOURSE AND ADVOCACY
Identity & Culture Electives
Select two of the following:6
INTERPERSONAL COMMUNICATION
INTRODUCTION TO PERFORMANCE STUDIES
SEXUAL COMMUNICATION
COMMUNICATION AND POPULAR CULTURE
AFRICAN AMERICAN COMMUNICATION
COMMUNICATION AND GENDER
TOPICS IN IDENTITY AND CULTURE
Leadership & Organizational Communication Electives
Select two of the following:6
NONVERBAL COMM
BUSIN & PROF COMM
BUSINESS COMMUNICATIONS
LEADERSHIP COMMUNICATION
COMMUNICATION TRAINING AND DEVELOPMENT
EVENT PLANNING
TOPICS IN LEADERSHIP AND ORGANIZATIONAL COMMUNICATION
Horizons Course
Select minimum three units from the following:3
PRACTICUM I
PRACTICUM II
INTERN COMM STUDY
STUDY ABROAD
INDEPENDENT STUDY IN COMMUNICATION STUDIES
SPECIAL TOPICS IN ARTS, MEDIA, AND COMMUNICATION
SPECIAL TOPICS IN SOCIAL ACTION
INTERDISCIPLINARY FINE ARTS INDEPENDENT STUDY
Total Units42

Suggested Four-Year Plan

Based on course availability and student needs and preferences, the selected sequences will probably vary from those presented below. Students should consult with their adviser to make the most appropriate elective choices.

Freshman
Term 1UnitsTerm 2Units
COMM 131 (Core 5)3COMM 2013
Core 1 (or Core 2)3Core 2 (or Core 1)3
Core 33Core 103
Core 43Core 113
Core 63Core 123
 15 15
Sophomore
Term 1UnitsTerm 2Units
COMM Elective3COMM 300 (Core 9)3
COMM Elective3COMM Elective3
Core 74Core 83-4
Core 133Elective3
Core 143Elective3
 16 15-16
Junior
Term 1UnitsTerm 2Units
COMM 4193COMM 3113
COMM Elective3COMM Elective3
Elective3Elective3
Elective3Elective3
Elective3Elective3
 15 15
Senior
Term 1UnitsTerm 2Units
COMM 4773COMM 4503
COMM Elective3COMM Horizons Elective3
Elective3Elective3
Elective3Elective3
Elective3Elective3
 15 15
Total Units 121-122
  1. The student should understand the principles of communication in interpersonal, organization and public settings.
  2. Student should demonstrate proficiency in critical thinking, structuring and delivery in interpersonal and public settings.
  3. Student should demonstrate an ability to conduct communication research.