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Welcome to the Communication Studies Department at Cal Poly, home to more than 400 student majors and minors.

Purpose Statement

The Communication Studies program at Cal Poly offers a comprehensive curriculum, focusing broadly on the composition and influence of messages across the contexts of personal, professional, and civic life. Graduates of the program gain knowledge and skills to effectively engage in and change the world around them. Students learn foundational theories and study human communication from historical, critical, humanistic, and social scientific approaches to uncover how, why, and with what effects people communicate. Upon completing this program, students possess a robust facility for creating ethical, culturally aware, and inclusive communication as citizens of a dynamically mediated world.

Vision Statement

Create a culture that promotes critical consciousness, empathy, and collaboration through communication in personal, professional, and civic contexts

Program Learning Objectives

  1. Describe the foundational concepts, theories, and methods of critical, humanistic, and social scientific approaches to studying communication. 
  2. Analyze mediated and non-mediated communication practices, messages, and effects considering the culture and context in which they occur.
  3. Practice self-reflexivity about one’s own communication practices.
  4. Develop a critical framework for making ethical and inclusive communication choices.
  5. Select appropriate modalities and technologies to accomplish communication goals.
  6. Apply communication concepts, theories, and methods to real-world events, issues, and problems. 
  7. Produce effective and ethical communication based on awareness of diverse perspectives, contexts, and social identities.


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