Skip to main content

Communication Studies

College of Liberal Arts

Communication studies critically examines the composition and influence of messages to create meanings across the contexts of personal, professional and civic life.

San Luis Obispo, California

Communication studies draws from humanities and the social sciences. Course topics range from rhetoric and media effects to organizational, interpersonal and intercultural communication.

Communication Studies Curriculum

About the Program

In communication studies, you will examine how people create, use, circulate and interpret messages and meanings in a variety of contexts.

You are taught to be engaged, intelligent creators and consumers of messages who will explore communication and its effects using humanistic, critical analysis and data-driven research. It is a broadly-applicable major, ideal for students interested in a liberal arts education grounded in a rich history of communication but also flexible in its approach to technological change. If you want to study famous speeches, the effects of media content on specific audiences, intercultural dynamics and a host of other topics, there is a place for you in this major.

Learn by Doing

From joining the award-winning debate team or completing a fundraising event for a California non-profit as part of a senior project, you will find many opportunities to engage in hands-on learning. You can work with the local health department planning health campaigns or research the role of mass media in politics. Internships and cooperative education experiences are encouraged.

Communication Studies students at the 2017 US Universities Debating Championship

Compete in Debates

Exhibit your research, critical thinking, and public communication skills in English and Spanish in competitions across the nation.

Our Graduates

Communication studies majors are prepared for a variety of careers paths including higher education, media, public relations, non-profit work, government, law and business.

Past graduates have become teachers, campaign managers, editors, sales directors and more. Students completing a communication studies major often pursue careers in education, human resources, law, marketing and various media industries, to name only a few.