Jul 22, 2024  
University Catalog 2021-2022 
University Catalog 2021-2022 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Communication, B.A.


The B.A. in Communication provides opportunities for students to explore knowledge of human communication in order to develop their intellectual, moral, and behavioral excellence.  The program aims at achieving student learning outcomes relevant to work, life and engaged citizenship in the contemporary globalizing world.  Students pursuing this program are expected to experience significant and lasting transformations in their lives in terms of their understanding of the world, their communication skills, and their abilities to integrate and innovate ideas.

This bachelor’s degree enhances students’ analytical, critical, and creative thinking skills in dealing with a broad spectrum of communication contexts. It provides a foundation for careers in business, law, government service, health, the ministry, teaching, public relations, advertising, mass media, and other professions in which an understanding of and facility with the process of communication are essential.

The program requires a common set of core courses that provide a theoretical understanding of the nature, functions, and significance of human communication as an interdisciplinary field of knowledge from social scientific and humanistic perspectives. 


The major is available in four options which provide students opportunities to specialize in theory, research, and practice of human communication in specific hubs and contexts. Each option covers a cluster of the subfields of the discipline represented in the major U.S. and international associations of communication scholarship.  The subfields of the discipline include, but are not limited to: Advertising, Argumentation & Forensics, Business Communication, Campaign Communication, Communication Ethics, Communication and Leadership, Communication Theory, Instructional Communication, Group Communication, Interpersonal Communication, Intercultural Communication, Language and Social Interaction, Nonverbal Communication, Public Discourse,  Public Relations, Rhetorical Theory and Criticism, and Strategic Communication.

A. The Health Communication Option  -  specifically designed for students with a general interest in working in healthcare environments, promoting healthy lifestyle practices and promotion, and working to improve the dissemination of health information which influences personal health choices, health literacy, and the overall health of society. The study of health communication prepares students for careers in population health, health education and wellness programs, communication skill management, health technology, such as telemedicine and eHealth tools, social marketing, and government and non-profit organizations focused on health policy and support for patients and family caregivers. Career pathways include health education in nonprofit or government agencies, pharmaceutical sales, healthcare research, social work and wellness, organizational health communication (including HR, corporate wellness programs), working with older adults, and patient navigation services to support healthcare professionals.

B. The Mass Communication Option enables students to learn about the practical application, structure, processes, aesthetics, responsibilities and effects of mass media. The objectives of this option are to provide students with appropriate training for careers in mass media and communication, to help students be analytical consumers of the media, and to refine their visual and writing skills.  Career paths include, for example: advertising, public relations, new media, in-house consumer products marketing, non-profit marketing, and integrated communications

C. The Organizational Communication Option  -  specifically designed for students who wish to pursue careers in, or conduct research about, communication as it takes place in corporate, non-profit, governmental, educational, healthcare and other business-related contexts. The courses in this option emphasize how the forces of globalization, changes in technology, and innovations in the way organizations are structured all contribute to a dynamic and changing environment within which human communication is a primary and fundamental process.  Career paths include management, consulting, corporate communications, special events coordinator, sports/talent agent, account executive, development and fundraising, media and entertainment specialists.

D. The Social Justice Communication Option explores how individuals, groups, and cultures navigate who are, and how we are with one another. Communication is the process by which we seek and build relationships, learn about society, and explore ways to change our world. Through critical analysis of contemporary and historical examples of discourse and research, courses in this area will actively engage in public discourse, and will work to develop strategies for implementing social change through communication. This option will explore how social identities like race, social class, gender, sexuality, and nationality, both shape, and are shaped by, our connections with others. Through understanding differences and working towards inclusion, we will hone communication skills and learn strategies to improve communication across lines of difference for increased social justice.  Career paths in this area include: non-profit, organizational, and educational consulting; corporate training; community service; social activism; law; lobbying; higher education administration; human resources; politics; public policy, urban development and management.

Degree Requirements

The total number of units required for the B.A. degree in Communication is 120 units of which 45 units are in the major, with 3 units of COMM 1200 double-counting for general education; 48 are in general education, and 30 are free electives. 

Students can take anything they wish with their free elective units including pursuing a minor, a certificate or enjoy personal explorations.  The required units for the major are listed in the following table:

Major Course Requirements
  Core Courses:  24
    Lower-Division 9
    Upper-Division 15
  Electives: 12
    Lower-Division 3
    Upper-Division 9
  Option Requirement: 9
Total  45



Requirements for the Major (45 units)

I. Core Requirement (24 units)

II. Electives (12 units)

III. Option Requirement (9 units)

Select one of the following four options: