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 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.

Transfer Credit Policy 

The department will accept up to 15 credits of compatible transfer courses.

Requirements for the Major

The Communication Studies major requires a total of 39 units; 9 units of lower-level courses, 18 units of upper-level courses and 12 units of electives as listed below.

Required Core Courses
Lower-Level Courses:
COMM 131PUBLIC SPEAKING3
COMM 201INTRODUCTION TO COMMUNICATION STUDIES3
COMM 215INTERPERSONAL COMMUNICATION3
Upper-Level Courses:
COMM 300RESEARCH METHODS3
COMM 311RHETORICAL THEORY & CRITICISM3
COMM 331ADVOC & ARGUMT3
COMM 3773
COMM 419ORGANIZATIONAL COMMUNICATION3
COMM 450CAPSTONE IN COMMUNICATION STUDIES3
Electives
Select 12 units from the following:12
NONVERBAL COMM
SPEECH AND DEBATE I
SPEECH AND DEBATE II
ADV PUBL SPEAKNG
PERSUASION
BUSIN & PROF COMM
INTRODUCTION TO PERFORMANCE STUDIES
PRACTICUM I
PRACTICUM II
COMMUNICATION AND GENDER
COMMUNICATION TRAINING AND DEVELOPMENT
COMM/LEGAL PROCEDURES
CONFERENCE PLANNING AND MANAGEMENT
TOPICS IN PUBLIC DISCOURSE AND ADVOCACY
INTERN COMM STUDY 1
INDEPENDENT STUDY IN COMMUNICATION STUDIES 1
MEDIA CRITICISM
IDFA 480
Total Units39

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)3TSEM 102 (Core 1)3
ENGL 102 (Core 2)3COMM 2013
Core3Core3
Core3Core3
Core3Core3
 15 15
Sophomore
Term 1UnitsTerm 2Units
COMM 2153COMM 3003
Core3Elective3
Core3Elective3
Core3Elective3
Core3Elective3
 15 15
Junior
Term 1UnitsTerm 2Units
COMM 3313COMM 3113
COMM Elective3COMM Elective3
Core 93Elective3
Elective3Elective3
Elective3Elective3
 15 15
Senior
Term 1UnitsTerm 2Units
COMM 4773COMM 4503
COMM 4193COMM Elective3
Elective3Elective3
Elective3Elective3
Elective3Elective3
 15 15
Total Units 120
  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.