General Communication Studies Major

Students majoring in communication learn different ways in which communication has been conceptualized and investigated, as well as ways in which members of the communication discipline have used their knowledge and scholarship to engage a variety of social problems. Students are given opportunities to study how effective communication enhances well-being and relationships, promotes civic engagement, and allows for effective participation in a global community.

Courses focus on organizing principles and patterns of social life through observation, analysis, and criticism of human interactions, communication behavior, mediated systems, and technological innovations. This major is firmly grounded in the liberal arts and sciences and is intended to prepare students to be effective members of society, as well as valued employees in whatever careers that they may choose to pursue. Graduates have often found positions in occupations such as sales, human resources, training, education, and consulting, or have pursued advanced academic or professional degrees in fields such as law, management, and marketing.

IMPACTED PROGRAM
Communication is an impacted major at SDSU. Students can only be admitted to the pre-major, and will be restricted from taking certain classes available only to majors, until the impaction criteria are met. Transfer students must meet the impaction criteria.

View the Impaction Criteria

IMPACTED PROGRAM

Communication is an impacted major at SDSU. Students can only be admitted to the pre-major, and will be restricted from taking certain classes available only to majors, until the impaction criteria are met. Transfer students must meet the impaction criteria.

To fulfill the impaction criteria, students must:

  1. Complete general education oral communication requirement (3 units) and two courses (6 units) selected from Communication 160, 201, 204, and 245, each with a grade of "C" or higher and an average grade of 2.75 or higher. These courses cannot be taken for credit/no credit (Cr/NC).
  2. Complete a minimum of 45 transferable semester units and a maximum of 90 semester units.
  3. Have a cumulative grade point average of 2.75 or higher.
  4. To gain entry into the major, students must fulfill the pre-major requirements described in the catalog in effect at the time they declare the pre-major at SDSU (assuming continuous enrollment).

ANOTHER MODAL!!!

Degree Learning Outcomes

Degree Learning Outcomes

THE COMPETENT CITIZEN COMMUNICATOR: The School of Communication seeks to graduate students who can communicate competently in the major walks of life they will encounter.
DISCIPLINARY AWARENESS: The School of Communication seeks to graduate students with an awareness of the history, nature, scope, and evolution of the communication discipline.
CENTRAL CONCEPTS AND ASSUMPTIONS OF COMMUNICATION: The School of Communication seeks to graduate students who have a working knowledge of the core concepts, definitions, and assumptions of the communication discipline.
KNOWLEDGE OF THEORY, MODELS, CONCEPTS: The School of Communication seeks to graduate students who can identify, differentiate, and relate core paradigms, theories, and models in the communication discipline.
KNOWLEDGE OF APPLIED CONTEXTS, FUNCTIONS: The School of Communication seeks to graduate students who can diagnose the relevance and implications of paradigms, theories, and models of communication in hypothetical and actual contexts.
KNOWLEDGE/APPLICATION OF RESEARCH METHODS & APPLICATIONS: The School of Communication seeks to graduate students who can identify, differentiate, relate, and apply the major methodological paradigms in the generation of original research.
COMPETENT ARGUMENT CONSTRUCTION, ANALYSIS & PRESENTATION: The School of Communication seeks to graduate students who can extemporaneously and proactively generate and competently present sound arguments in communicative performance contexts.
WRITING: The School of Communication seeks to graduate students who can competently locate, filter, retrieve, evaluate, and cite scholarly research in the composition of well-written textual documents employing APA format.

Preparation for the Major


Major Requirements


  1. Complete one of the following:
    • Foreign language - (3rd semester of one foreign language for those choosing the Liberal Arts and Sciences degree) OR
    • Mathematics competency - (3 semesters of college mathematics or a 3-course statistics sequence for those choosing the Applied Arts and Sciences degree).
  2. Complete the Graduation Writing Assessment Requirement by scoring a 10 or higher on the Writing Proficiency Assessment OR by completing RWS-305W with a grade of "C" or higher.
  3. Complete a minimum of 36 upper division units, following the below schedule (select the items from this list to view course detail):

Foundations of Communication

6 units, prerequisite for all 400-level courses:

COMM 300 - Conceptualizing Communication (3 units)
Prerequisite: Admission to a major, minor, or certificate program in the School of Communication. Communication theory, concepts, principles, and practices. Communication as art and process on micro and macro levels, integrates understanding of sources, messages, transmission, and feedback in creating meaning and culture.
COMM 350 - Investigating Communication (3 units)
Prerequisite: Admission to a major or minor in the School of Communication.
Study of human communication, from methodological and epistemological perspectives.

Conceptualizing Communication

9 units from the following, *Must be completed before taking COMM 495 Capstone:

COMM 321 - Introduction to Health Communication (3 units)
Prerequisites: Completion of the General Education requirement in Communication and Critical Thinking I.1, Oral Communication or I.3., Intermediate Composition and Critical Thinking; and completion of the General Education requirement in Foundations of Learning II.B., Social and Behavioral Sciences required for nonmajors. Open to majors and nonmajors. Health communication topics to include patient-provider communication, health communication campaigns, supportive relationships, and public policy. Research methodologies, theories, and best practices in health communication. Required of all health communication majors prior to 400-level coursework.
COMM 371 - Intercultural Communication (3 units)
Prerequisites: Communication 103; completion of the General Education requirement in Foundations of Learning II.B,, Social and Behavioral Sciences required for non-majors. Open to majors and non-majors. Study of communication with emphasis on influence of cultural background, perception, social organization, language and nonverbal messages in the intercultural communication experience.
COMM 415 - Nonverbal Communication (3 units)
Prerequisites: Communication 300 and 350. Admission to a major or minor in the School of Communication. Theory and research on nonverbal aspects of communication, with emphasis on codes and function.
COMM 450 - Rhetorical Theory (3 units)
Prerequisites: Communication 300 and 350. Admission to a major or minor in the School of Communication. Development of rhetorical theory as a mechanism for generating and understanding public discourse. Theories from ancient Greece to the present.
COMM 492 - Persuasion (3 units)
Prerequisites: Communication 300 and 350. Admission to a major or minor in the School of Communication. Key variables and theories in the persuasion process; persuasive sources, messages, receiver variables, propaganda, brainwashing, cognitive, behavioral, and social theories of persuasion.

Investigating Communication

3 units from following - *Must be completed before taking COMM 495 Capstone:

COMM 420 - Quantitative Methods (3 units)
Prerequisites: Communication 300 and 350. Admission to a major or minor in the School of Communication. Quantitative research in communication. Construction and analysis of surveys and experiments.
COMM 441 - Critical and Cultural Methods (3 units)
Prerequisites: Communication 300 and 350. Admission to a major or minor in the School of Communication. Central concepts, examples, theories, and experiences of critical studies of communication in culture through cultural, rhetorical, and media literature and cases.
COMM 462 - Ethnography (3 units)
Prerequisites: Communication 300 and 350. Admission to a major or minor in the School of Communication. Naturally occurring interactions drawn from a variety of communication settings. Primary methods of gathering data include: participant observation, interviewing, document and artifact analysis, and other forms of communication.
COMM 465 - Conversational Interaction (3 units)
Prerequisites: Communication 300 and 350. Admission to a major or minor in the School of Communication. Sequential organization of naturally occurring conversational practices. Reliance on recordings and transcriptions for detailed examinations of interactants’ methods for achieving social actions and organizing interactional occasions.

Communication Electives

Any 15 units from following:

COMM 301 - Competitive Intercollegiate Forensics ( units)
Competitive Intercollegiate Forensics (1-3) - Two to six hours of activity. Prerequisite: Communication 103. Competitive intercollegiate debate and/or individual speaking events. Apply communication theory to comprehensively analyze relevant contemporary issues. Weekend travel to competitive tournaments required. Travel expectation commensurate with units. May be repeated with maximum credit three units applicable to the communication major.
COMM 307 - Communication in Professional Settings (3 units)
Prerequisites: Admission to a major or minor in the School of Communication. Communication principles in professional contexts including interviewing and technical and nontechnical oral presentations. Skills in meeting management.
COMM 405 - Performance as Communication (3 units)
Prerequisites: Communication 300 and 350. Performance as a tool to investigate aspects of identity. Performance ethnography, performance in everyday life, and personal narrative.
COMM 406 - Organizational Communication (3 units)
Prerequisites: Communication 300 and 350. Admission to a major or minor in the School of Communication. The organization as a communication system; role of the organization in persuasive campaigns; communication strategies and problems within the organizational structure.
COMM 407 - Communication Perspectives on Interviewing (3 units)
Prerequisites: Communication 300 and 350. Admission to a major or minor in the School of Communication. Application of communication theory to interviewing situations. Emphasis on perception, source, message, and receiver variables, defensive communication, feedback. Phrasing of questions, ways to enhance respondent participation, and formulation of behavioral objectives. Classroom stimulation, supplemented by out-of-class interviews.
COMM 421 - Health Communication and CBSL (3 units)
Prerequisite: Communication 321. Admission to a major, minor, or the health communication certificate program in the School of Communication. How people understand, share ideas about, and adjust to health and illness. Personal, interactional, cultural, and political complexities of health beliefs, practices, and policies in the context of community based service learning project.
COMM 422 - Politics of Health Communication (3 units)
Prerequisite: Communication 321. Admission to a major, minor, or the health communication certificate program in the School of Communication. How communicating about health is culturally and politically charged. Contemporary concerns in health communication to include how ethnicity, gender, disability, social class, and sexual orientation inform our understandings of health, fitness, and illness.
COMM 423 - Patient-Provider Interaction (3 units)
Prerequisite: Communication 321. Admission to a major, minor, or the health communication certificate program in the School of Communication. Primary communication activities organizing medical interviews in clinical settings to include techniques for raising and responding to concerns about life, illness, and disease; implications for quality of care, healing outcomes, and medical education.
COMM 424 - Health, Families, and Communication Relationships (3 units)
Prerequisite: Communication 321. Admission to a major, minor, or the health communication certificate program in the School of Communication. Influences of institutional, social, and personal relationships on health. Influences of health on development of human relationships, interaction between relationships, health practices, and outcomes.
COMM 425 - Theory and Research in Health Communication Campaigns (3 units)
Prerequisite: Communication 321. Admission to a major, minor, or the health communication certificate program in the School of Communication. Theory and research on effective health communication campaigns in carious settings to promote healthy lifestyles, nutrition, exercise, health screening, disease, and injury prevention behavior.
COMM 426 - Communication in Health Risk and Crisis (3 units)
Prerequisite: Communication 321. Admission to a major, minor, or the health communication certificate program in the School of Communication. Role of Communication in preventing, responding to, and coping with community health crises; principles of competent communication in health related risks and crises.
COMM 427 - Health Communication and Cultural Communities (3 units)
Prerequisite: Communication 321. Admission to a major, minor, or the health communication certificate program in the School of Communication. Diversity of cultural perspectives on communicating health, illness, and prevention. Understanding cultural knowledge patients, families, providers, and communities bring to communicating health.
COMM 428 - Communicating Health and Well-Being at Work (3 units)
Prerequisites: Communication 321. Admission to major, minor, or the health communication certificate program in the School of Communication. Research and theory regarding communication topics that restrict well-being at work to include stress, bullying, sexual harassment, and injustice. Concepts and trends that alleviate or eliminate stress to include social support, spirituality, and wellness programs at work.
COMM 445 - Relational Communication (3 units)
Prerequisites: Communication 300 and 350. Admission to a major or minor in the School of Communication. Theory and application of effective relational communication principles in both intimate
COMM 446 - Communication and Rhetorical Movements (3 units)
Prerequisites: Communication 300 and 350. Admission to a major or minor in the School of Communication. Historical perspective of role of communication in social change in rhetorical movements and social change.
COMM 452 - Interaction and Gender (3 units)
Prerequisites: Communication 300 and 350. Admission to a major or minor in the School of Communication. Approaches to argument and the patterns and problems in argument. Consideration of implications for society. Written and oral reports.
COMM 470 - Argumentation Theory (3 units)
Prerequisites: Communication 300 and 350. Admission to a major or minor in the School of Communication. Approaches to argument and the patterns and problems in argument. Consideration of implications for society. Written and oral reports.
COMM 482 - Communication and Politics (3 units)
Prerequisites: Communication 300 and 350. Admission to a major or minor in the School of Communication. Contemporary political communication events and processes, with a focus on speeches, debates, and campaigns.
COMM 484 - Language Dynamics and Human Interaction (3 units)
Prerequisites: Communication 300 and 350. Admission to a major or minor in the School of Communication, Powerful role of language on perception, interpretation, reaction, and response to environmental stimuli. Language in establishing and maintaining groups, societies, and cultures.
COMM 485 - Communicating Leadership (3 units)
Prerequisites: Communication 300 and 350. Admission to a major or minor in the School of Communication. Current theory and research in leadership and communication. Understanding yourself, role of leadership, and selection of appropriate communication strategies for leadership.
COMM 496 - Experimental Topics (3 units)
Experimental topics. May be repeated with new content. See class schedule for specific content. Limit of nine units of any combination of 296, 496, 596 courses applicable to a bachelor's degree.
COMM 499 - Special Study ( units)
Prerequisite: Approved special study contact required prior to enrollment. Approved individual study, project, or research under supervision of faculty member. Maximum credit three units.
COMM 555 - Conflict Management Communication (3 units)
Prerequisites: Communication 300 and 350. Admission to a major or minor in the School of Communication. Approaches to conflict communication in international, societal, group, institutional, and interpersonal contexts.

Communication Capstone

(3 units; must have completed 300, 350, and required Conceptualizing & Investigating units; and be in last or next-to-last semester prior to graduating)

COMM 495 - Conceptualizing and Investigating Communication (3 units)
Prerequisites: Communication 300 and 350. Admission to a major or minor in the School of Communication. Approaches to conflict communication in international, societal, group, institutional, and interpersonal contexts.