Program: B.A., Communication Studies


The Department of Communication Studies offers a strong curriculum that embraces a range of traditions in the discipline. We use humanistic, aesthetic and social scientific methods to examine communication processes and patterns in a variety of contexts and the promises and challenges people experience when they use language and other symbolic systems to work with and influence others. We provide instruction in the knowledge and skills people need to communicate and function effectively in business, law, government, the ministry, teaching, the performing arts, politics, international relations and numerous other areas. The knowledge and skills offered in the department help students to build satisfying and productive relationships in their careers as well as in their personal lives, and to become active and reflective global citizens.

Program Requirements

1. Core Requirements (18 units)

COMS 301 Performance, Language and Cultural Studies (3)
COMS 321 Rhetorical Discourse (3)
COMS 327 Rhetorical Theory (3)
COMS 351 Communication Theory (3)
COMS 356 Intercultural Communication (3)

One of the following methods courses:

COMS 430 Rhetorical Criticism (3)
COMS 440 Performance and Cultural Studies Criticism (3)
COMS 450 Communication Research Methodology (3)

2. Divisional Requirements (9 units)

a. Performance and Cultural Studies

(COMS 301 is a prerequisite for all courses in this band.)

Select 3 units from the following courses:

COMS 303 Narrative in Performance (3)
COMS 304 Poetry in Performance (3)
COMS 401 Performance and Social Change (3)
COMS 404 Theories of Interpretation (3)
COMS 445 Communication and Popular Cultures (3)

b. Rhetorical Theory

(COMS 327 is a prerequisite for all courses in this band.)

Select 3 units from the following courses:

COMS 425 Theories of Argumentation and Deliberation (3)
COMS 435 Rhetoric of Women (3)
COMS 442 Rhetoric of Peace and Conflict (3)
COMS 444 Political Rhetoric (3)
COMS 448 Rhetoric of Extraordinary Claim (3)

c. Communication Theory

(COMS 351 is a prerequisite for all courses in this band.)

Select 3 units from the following courses:

COMS 320 Communicative Functions of Language (3)
COMS 350 Nonverbal Communication (3)
COMS 431 Persuasion (3)
COMS 451 Advanced Interpersonal Communication (3)
COMS 453 Organizational Communication (3)

3. Community Involvement Requirement (3 units)

Select 3 units from the following courses:

COMS 323 Group Communication (3)
COMS 400C Directing Oral Performance (3)
COMS 410 Community-Based Performance (3)
COMS 437 Communication for Youth Institute (3)
COMS 452 Communication Training and Development (3)
COMS 494/L Internship in Communication Studies and Lab (1/2)

4. Major Electives (15 units)

Select an additional 15 units of Upper Division courses in Communication Studies. These units may come from the courses listed above, as well as from those listed below.

COMS 309 Advanced Public Speaking (3)
COMS 325 Legal Argumentation (3)
COMS 360 Communication and the Sexes (3)
COMS 420 Language and Symbolic Processes (3)
COMS 428 Freedom of Speech (3)
COMS 443 Rhetoric of Business (3)
COMS 446 Rhetoric of Crime and Punishment (3)
COMS 454 Communication and Technology (3)

5. General Education (48 units)

Undergraduate students must complete 48 units of General Education as described in this Catalog.
Communications Studies majors may count COMS 309 in Basic Skills, Oral Communication.

Total Units in the Major: 45

General Education Units: 48

Additional Units: 27

Total Units Required for the B.A. Degree: 120


Chair: Kathryn Sorrells
Manzanita Hall (MZ) 220
(818) 677-2853

Student Learning Outcomes

  1. Identify, describe and explain the role of communication in constructing reality through concepts, practices and rituals.
  2. Analyze communication practices, structures, messages and effects in a variety of contexts.
  3. Describe and explain the relationship between communication and culture.
  4. Appropriately identify effective and ethical communication.
  5. Identify and apply techniques for effectively communicating in a multicultural global society.