Bachelor of Arts Degree in Communication Studies

The Bachelor of Arts in Communication Studies degree prepares students for careers in the various communication professions, as well as a wide variety of occupations that place a premium on excellent communication skills. In addition, many Communication Studies graduates go on to earn advanced degrees in disciplines such as communication, psychology, sociology, and law. The Communication Studies curriculum draws from the traditions of both the humanities and the social sciences, and includes a wide array of courses investigating the nature, processes and effects of human communication.

For students following the 2015-2017* catalog, the Bachelor of Arts degree requires a Cal Poly standard 180 units of coursework, which includes 60 units of general education courses and various other university-wide requirements. In addition, the Communication Studies major requires 24 units of designated support courses and 24 units of free elective courses. Finally, the major requires 72 units of Communication Studies coursework: 48 units of required courses, 8 units of restricted elective courses, and 16 units of upper-division elective courses.

*Students who have been in continuous attendance at any combination of California Community Colleges or campuses of the California State University may elect to graduate under the requirements of any Cal Poly catalog that has been in effect since the student began such attendance. See information sheet below for more details.

Major Coursework Requirements Summary

  • COMS 201 Advanced Public Speaking or COMS 208 Performance of Literature or COMS 226 Applied Argumentation
  • COMS 212 Interpersonal Communication
  • COMS 213 Organizational Communication
  • COMS 217 Small Group Communication
  • COMS 250 Forensic Activity
  • COMS 311 Communication Theory
  • COMS 312 Communication Research Methods
  • COMS 316 Intercultural Communication (USCP)
  • COMS 322 Persuasion
  • COMS 330 Classical Rhetorical Theory
  • COMS 331 Political Advocacy and Contemporary Rhetoric or COMS 435 American Political Rhetoric
  • COMS 332 Rhetorical Criticism
  • COMS 350 Advanced Forensic Activity
  • COMS 384 Media Effects or COMS 385 Media Criticism
  • COMS 460 Undergraduate Seminar
  • COMS 461 Senior Project
  • 16 units of elective upper-division (300-400 level) Communication Studies coursework 

Support Coursework Requirements Summary

  • ENGL 302 Advanced Composition or ENGL 310 Corporate Communication or ENGL 386 Creative Nonfiction
  • Foreign Language 103 level (or demonstration of comparable proficiency)
  • HIST 110 Western Civilization: Ancient to Renaissance
  • HIST 202 (D1) United States History to 1865 or HIST 223 (D3) World History 1800 - Present
  • PSY 201 (D4) General Psychology or PSY 202 (D4) General Psychology
  • STAT 217 (B1) Introduction to Statistical Concepts and Methods

Additional Information

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