Bachelor of Arts in Communication Studies

The undergraduate program allows students to both explore the breadth of the communication studies field as well as focus on their unique interests.

Major in Communication Studies

A major in Communication Studies provides students with a diverse set of skills and understanding that can be applied in a variety of career choices.

Communication Studies majors provide students the opportunity to understand our world more fully through communication and to make our world a better place by applying that understanding.

Requirements for a B.A. in Communication Studies

Students pursuing a Bachelor of Arts in Communication Studies must complete a 40-unit program consisting of 6 units of lower-division COMM requirements and 34 units of upper-division COMM requirements, including electives and the senior seminar. Students must also fulfill the Graduation Writing Assessment Requirement (GWAR) within the first eight units of their upper-division study, and a program of complementary studies in addition to their upper-division GE work.  Please refer to the SFSU Bulletin for a breakdown of a B.A. in Communication Studies. 

  1. Required lower-division Introductory Courses in COMM [COMM course #'s 100-299 ]: 6 units  

    All Communication Studies majors are required to take two lower division COMM courses, including transfer students and upper-division standing students. Students who transfer to SFSU with an AA or AA-T will be able to use the lower division courses from their AA that did not fulfill lower-division GE requirements.  

  2. Graduation Writing Assessment Requirement (GWAR) [COMM course #'s 300-399 ]: 4 units 

    All Communication Studies majors are required to take a GWAR course within the first 8 units of their upper-divison study. Failure to complete GWAR with a grade of “C” or better in the first eight units will result in a registration block that can only be lifted with advising. GWAR courses can occasionally be taken outside of the Communication Studies Department. Please meet with an advisor if you have questions regarding GWAR. 

  3. Required upper-division courses in COMM:

    - Social Contexts & Interaction [COMM course #'s 500-549 ]: 8 units
    - Rhetoric & Performance [COMM course #'s 550-600 ]: 8 units
    - Communication Inquiry [COMM course #'s 661-664 ]: 4 units

  4. Electives [COMM course ALL #s ]: 8 units

    Our department will accept up to 8 units of lower-division communication studies transfer courses (not including COMM 150 or its equivalent). If you transferred to SFSU and have more than 6 lower-division units in COMM, you can count up to 2 units toward electives. Electives can be fulfilled in any combination of upper division COMM courses with either Forensics (COMM 368), Projects in Teaching Communication (COMM 685), Internship (COMM 695) and/or Independent Study (COMM 699). COMM 685, COMM 695 or COMM 699 cannot be repeated for credit in the major.

  5. Senior Seminar in Communication Studies [COMM 670]: 2 units 

If you are a current student or future transfer student, need to change or declare your major or need to know about eligibility requirements, then this section is for you.

Applications for declaring a major or change of major will be accepted on a flow basis for admission into the program. All applications must have an unofficial transcript attached.  No exceptions.

Current SF State Students

Current SF State students who wish to change or declare their major in Communication Studies may apply by submitting a Change of Major form (located on Registrar's website) along with an unofficial transcript directly to the Department of Communication Studies Office, HUM 289.

Current students admitted to the University as freshmen and/or “Undeclared with an interest in Communication Studies” should submit a Change of Major Form (PDF) during their second semester in sophomore standing. Such students will need to have completed a minimum of 60 units by the end of their second semester in in order to be eligible to register for upper-division courses in Communication Studies, if accepted into the program.

Transfer Students

Upper-division transfer students who wish to attend SF State as Communication Studies majors may apply to the University and request consideration to become a Communication Studies major from October 1 to November 30 via Cal State Apply. Transfer students must submit official transcripts by the designated deadline to the SF State Admissions Office. Students should monitor their e-mail for updates from the Admissions Office.

Minimum Eligibility Requirements

Students must meet the following minimum requirements to be considered for admission:

  • COMM 150: Fundamentals of Oral Communication (or its equivalent) with a grade of C or higher.

  • ENG 214: Second Year Composition (or its equivalent) with a grade of C or higher.

  • GPA of at least 2.0 and must not be on academic probation, subject to disqualification or other academic hold.

  • Have completed a minimum of 60 units by the end of the semester preceding admission into the program.

  • Continuing students who have earned 96 units or more must submit a Declaration of Major (PDF) after accruing 96 units form.

The Graduation Writing Assessment Requirement (GWAR) is a special writing intensive course that will satisfy the CSU upper-division writing requirement.

In our department, designated courses with a "GW" after the course number (for example, "COMM 448-GW") often fulfill both a breadth area and the upper division writing requirement. It is required of COMM majors to fulfill the GWAR requirement within the first 8 units of becoming a major; failure to do so will result in a registration hold that can only be lifted by meeting with a COMM advisor. 

Students should be aware of the following department policies for taking GWAR courses:

GWAR is a pre-requisite course for upper division COMM classes meaning students will need to have taken or plan to enroll in a GWAR course before being eligible to take any further COMM classes.

If you are declared a COMM major prior to Fall 2017, you have within the first 8 units of becoming a COMM major to fulfill the GWAR requirement. 

  1. Majors are required to take and pass a GWAR designated course within their first eight upper-division units in the major unless they have already satisfied the upper division writing requirement by taking a GWAR course in another department. Failure to complete this within the first 8 units of becoming a major will result in a registration hold. Instructors can drop any student from their class roster who fails to comply with this policy.

  2. Students must have satisfied English 214 (or its equivalent) prior to taking a GWAR course in Communication Studies.

  3. Students must receive a "C or better" in order to pass a GWAR course.  Once a GWAR course is passed students may not take a second GWAR class in the major.  GWAR instructors can drop any student from their class roster who has already taken and passed a GWAR course, or who is enrolled in another GWAR course concurrently.

  4. Students may not receive credit for taking the same course number as a GWAR and non-GWAR.  For example, a student can not enroll in or receive credit for both COMM 321 and COMM 321-GW.