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Department of Communication

Undergraduate Degrees

Bachelor of Arts Degree Requirements

The Communication major provides broad-based competencies in oral and written communication, critical analysis of human discourse, and social scientific and humanistic research in communication and rhetoric. The major emphasizes how knowledge is generated and theories applied in context.

The major requires 6 lower-division units, 12 upper-division units in core theoretical and methodological competencies covering humanistic and social scientific inquiry, and 18 units of specialized coursework spread out across three context areas: advocacy, relational, and organizational settings. In addition, students have 6 units for upper-division electives within the major, as detailed below.

1. Fundamental communication processes and skills (6 units)

  • Select two from COMM 3, 4, 5, 6H, 7, 8, 15
    • The 6 units of COMM 3, 5, 7 and/or 8 may be applied to fulfill General Education Foundation A1 and A3 requirements.
    • COMM 6H is open only to Smittcamp Honors College students.
    • No more than 3 units from COMM 15 can count toward fulfillment of the communication major.

2. Core competencies (12 units)

  • Take one section each of: COMM 100, 140, 142, 166
    • A grade of C or better is required in COMM 100, 140, 142, and 166 to fulfill the core competencies requirement.
    • Core courses are typically the most challenging courses in the major, and the faculty recommends trying to spread the courses out, if possible. COMM 100 and COMM 140 are courses in theory; COMM 142 and COMM 166 are courses in methods.

3. Communication and Rhetoric in Context (18 units)

  • Select a minimum of two courses in each area:
  • Advocacy in public settings: COMM 103, 105, 115, 144, 148, 149, 160, or 163
    • No more than 3 units from COMM 115 can be applied to the Advocacy in Public Settings area.
  • Personal and relational settings: COMM 108, 120, 150, 152, 161, 162, 164, or 169
  • Organizational and professional settings: COMM 114, 165, 167, 168170, 171, 176, 179i, or 189
    • No more than 6 units of COMM 179i (Internship) may be applied toward completion of the communication major. CR/NC grading is permitted for COMM 179i (Internship).

4. Electives in major (6 units)

  • Select an additional 6 units of upper-division communication coursework, in any of the three context areas (public advocacy, personal/relational, or organizational/professional) or in COMM 117S, COMM 188T, or COMM 190.
    • No more than 6 total units from COMM 115 can count toward fulfillment of the communication major.
    • COMM 188T (topics) courses can be reclassified to count in one of the context areas, instead of as electives. For example, Rhetoric and Game Studies could count toward Organizational/Professional, and Political Communication could count toward Public Advocacy. See the undergraduate coordinator (Dr. Devendra Sharma) for assistance with reclassifying a topics course.
    • Students are allowed only 3 units of COMM 190 (independent study), and no more than 6 units of independent study total (in any department) toward the baccalaureate degree.
    • CR/NC grading is not permitted in the communication major with the exception of COMM 179I (Internship).

Beyond the coursework to complete the major, students are required to complete general education requirements, the upper-division writing requirement, the multicultural/international requirement, and other unit-based requirements (e.g., residency, 120 minimum total units, etc.). G.E. and M/I courses can be double-counted with major requirements. The writing requirement may be met by taking the upper-division writing exam. See the undergraduate coordinator (Dr. Devendra Sharma) or an academic advisor in the College of Arts & Humanities Advising and Support Center for additional details.

Catalog Year

Students who attend a California public community college or a California State University campus generally use the University Catalog in effect at the year they began attending. Students may elect to use the Catalog in effect at the time they begin attending California State University, Fresno, or in effect at the time they graduate. Changing to a later catalog year can cause problems some important ways, such as different General Education requirements. Consult an academic adviser before altering this classification when you apply to graduate.

Resource Links

Download a Communication Major Worksheet

Download a Change of Major Form

Course Descriptions (current catalog)