Communication Studies

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Welcome to Communication Studies

Communication is central to the ongoing processes of culture and society and is therefore a vitally important field of study. At CSUN, the Department of Communication Studies offers a curriculum that embraces a wide range of disciplinary traditions in the study of human communication. These include: rhetorical studies, performance studies, cultural studies, language behavior and communication theory. Coursework includes introductory and advanced study in interpersonal communication, group communication, organizational communication, intercultural communication, rhetorical analysis, textual analysis and performance studies. Read more about us

Why Comm and not Comms?


If you do not understand why we call ourselves the Department of Communication Studies and not Communications, you will after reading the following paragraphs. The term “communication” reflects our department’s focus and approach to communication—which simply means the process by which humans use symbols, verbal and nonverbal, to create meaning and form relationships with other humans within a variety of contexts, cultures, and mediated environments. This definition of Communication is the essence of what we teach, research, and do in our department through Performance Studies, Rhetorical Studies, and Communication Science.

“Communications,” on the other hand, is often used to refer to the products—the messages that are transmitted or distributed—or to the equipment (like wireless or fiber optic cables) that conducts the transmission. While these are integral elements of communication studies, they do not form the basis for our program at CSUN. You might consider Journalism or Cinema Television if this is your interest. Thus, we prefer “communication” to emphasize more than an applied art of communicating (a verb) but rather the study of communication (a noun). We hope you have a better understanding of why we are not called “Communications.”

NOTE: The paragraphs above were slightly modified from the Department of Communication Studies at Cornell University and it provides an accurate and adequate answer to why we use Communication and NOT Communications.

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