Bachelor of Arts in Communication Studies

Program Learning Outcomes

  1. Articulate and use appropriate theories to analyze communication in a way that is methodologically consistent in paradigm and context.
  2. Articulate ethical standards and be disposed to engage in ethical practice within specific communication contexts.
  3. Apply course material to aspects of their personal life, social life, and their local communities (e.g., delivering public speeches, performances, or other community-focused discourse, even if that delivery happens only in the classroom).
  4. Read critically and evaluate appropriately original scholarship in the discipline.

Communication Studies (B.A.) — 40 units

Introductory Courses (6 units)

Select two lower-division COMM courses.

  • COMM 150 may only count if another course is taken to satisfy GE Area A1.
Select two of the following:
COMM 120Language, Culture, and Power3
COMM 150Fundamentals of Oral Communication3
COMM 220Introduction to the Performance of Literature3
COMM 230Introduction to Argumentation and Debate3
COMM 240Introduction to Nonverbal Communication3
COMM 250Introduction to Group Discussion and Teamwork3

Graduate Writing Assessment Requirement (GWAR) (4 units)

Select one GWAR-designated course between COMM 300-399.

COMM 304GWWriting About Communication and Masculinities - GWAR4
COMM 312GWWriting About Interpersonal Communication - GWAR4
COMM 322GWWriting About Organizational Communication - GWAR4
COMM 334GWWriting About Mediation - GWAR4
COMM 344GWWriting About Popular Media - GWAR4
COMM 348GWWriting About Communication and Environmental Justice - GWAR4
COMM 361GWWriting About Social Semiotics - GWAR4
COMM 362GWWriting About Discourse in Interaction - GWAR4

Social Contexts and Interaction in Communication (8 units)

Select 8 units from courses between COMM 400-449 and COMM 500-549.

COMM 400Variable Topics in Social Contexts & Interaction2
COMM 401Workshop in Social Contexts & Interaction1
COMM 403Transgender Communication Studies2
COMM 425The Dark Side of Interpersonal Communication1
COMM 427Case Studies in Health Communication1
COMM 428Health Communication in Visual and Graphic Medicine2
COMM 442Dialogue Facilitation Practicum2
COMM 502Interpersonal Communication4
COMM 503Gender and Communication4
COMM 504Communication and Masculinities4
COMM 515Family Communication4
COMM 522Organizational Communication4
COMM 525Sexualities and Communication4
COMM 527Health Communication4
COMM 531Conflict Resolution4
COMM 532Interviewing Methods in Organizational Settings4
COMM 533Communication and Empowerment in Organizations4
COMM 534Mediation Theory and Practice4
COMM 537Leadership Communication4
COMM 538Language and Identity in Interaction4
COMM 539Analyzing Everyday Interaction4
COMM 541Critical Approaches to Culture and Communication4
COMM 543Dialogues Across Differences4
COMM 544Communication and Aging4

Rhetoric and Performance in Communication (8 units)

Select 8 units from courses between COMM 450-499 and COMM 550-599.

COMM 450Variable Topics in Rhetoric and Performance2
COMM 451Workshop in Rhetoric & Performance1
COMM 551Persuasion4
COMM 552Performance and Feminism4
COMM 553Performance and Identity4
COMM 554Performance of Children's Literature4
COMM 555Ensemble Performance Workshop4
COMM 556Performance Art: Aesthetic Communication Criticism4
COMM 557/LS 403Performance and Pedagogy of the Oppressed for Educators3
COMM 559Theory and Practice in Advanced Public Speaking4
COMM 560Political Communication4
COMM 561Social Semiotics4
COMM 564Issues in Free Speech4
COMM 565Rhetorical Theory4
COMM 566Communication and Social Process4
COMM 571The Rhetoric of Terrorism4
COMM 572Communication and Environmental Justice4
COMM 573The Rhetoric of Criminality and Punishment4
COMM 574Rhetoric of the Media4
COMM 575Emerging and Social Media4
COMM 595Games, Communication, and Culture4

Communication Inquiry (4 units)

Select 4 units from courses between COMM 600-609 and COMM 660-669.

Select one:
COMM 601Workshop in Communication Inquiry1
COMM 661Quantitative Methods in Communication4
COMM 662Critical and Rhetorical Methods in Communication4
COMM 663Performative Methods in Communication4
COMM 664LSI Methods in Communication4

Electives (8 units)

  • Students may only apply up to 4 units for each course in the major, though some courses are repeatable for credit toward electives.
  • All upper-division COMM courses between COMM 400-599 may be used as electives only if their corresponding area above is already met with other courses. For example, if a student has completed 8 units of Rhetoric and Performance, they may take additional units in Rhetoric and Performance to apply towards the electives requirement.
  • Only 2 units from a lower-division COMM class may count towards the electives requirement.
  • The following courses can also be used to fulfill electives requirements.
COMM 368Forensics2
COMM 685Projects in the Teaching of Communication1-4
COMM 695Internship in Communication Studies4

Senior Seminar  (2 units)

COMM 670Seminar in Communication Studies2

Complementary Studies

Bachelor of Arts students must complete at least 12 units of Complementary Studies in the same area outside of the COMM major.

Students can fulfill Complementary Studies by:

  • Completing a second major.
  • Completing a minor.
  • Completing 12 units towards a second major, minor, or certificate program in courses other than COMM. This could include completing an Associate of Arts degree in a discipline outside of COMM.
  • Completing 12 units of a single language other than English.
  • Completing a CSU or SF State supported study abroad program. With advisor approval, some or all of the units taken as part of study abroad may be counted toward units in the major.
  • Completing 12 units in a single subject (e.g., another major) other than COMM and not cross-listed with COMM.

Students should consult with a major advisor about how transfer units and/or SF State units can best be applied to this requirement to ensure degree completion within 60 units.

General Education Requirements

Requirement Course Level Units Area Designation
Oral Communication LD 3 A1
Written English Communication LD 3 A2
Critical Thinking LD 3 A3
Physical Science LD 3 B1
Life Science LD 3 B2
Lab Science LD 1 B3
Mathematics/Quantitative Reasoning LD 3 B4
Arts LD 3 C1
Humanities LD 3 C2
Arts or Humanities LD 3 C1 or C2
Social Sciences LD 3 D1
Social Sciences: US History LD 3 D2
Lifelong Learning and Self-Development (LLD) LD 3 E
Ethnic Studies LD 3 F
Physical and/or Life Science UD 3 UD-B
Arts and/or Humanities UD 3 UD-C
Social Sciences UD 3 UD-D
SF State Studies
Courses certified as meeting the SF State Studies requirements may be upper or lower division in General Education (GE), a major or minor, or an elective.
American Ethnic and Racial Minorities LD or UD 3 AERM
Environmental Sustainability LD or UD 3 ES
Global Perspectives LD or UD 3 GP
Social Justice LD or UD 3 SJ

Note: LD = Lower-Division; UD = Upper-Division.

First-Time Student Roadmap (4 Year)

  1. The roadmaps presented in this Bulletin are intended as suggested plans of study and do not replace meeting with an advisor. For a more personalized roadmap, please use the Degree Planner tool found in your Student Center.
  2. In order to choose your English Composition A2 course and your QR/Math B4 course, please complete the online advising activities at and Questions? Contact Gator Smart Start.

First-Time Student Roadmap

SF State Scholars Roadmap

The San Francisco State Scholars program provides undergraduate students with an accelerated pathway to a graduate degree. Students in this program pursue a bachelor’s and master’s degree simultaneously. This program allows students to earn graduate credit while in their junior and/or senior year, reducing the number of semesters required for completion of a master’s degree.

SF State Scholars Roadmap

Transfer Student Roadmap (2 Year)

For students with an AA-T in Communication Studies.
COMM ADT Roadmap

This degree program is an approved pathway (“similar” major) for students earning the ADT in Communication Studies

California legislation SB 1440 (2009) mandated the creation of the Associate Degree for Transfer (ADT) to be awarded by the California Community Colleges. Two types of ADTs are awarded: Associate in Arts for Transfer (AA-T) and Associate in Science for Transfer (AS-T). 

Note: no specific degree is required for admission as an upper-division student. However, the ADT includes specific guarantees related to admission and graduation and is designed to clarify the transfer process and strengthen lower-division preparation for the major.

An ADT totals 60 units and in most cases includes completion of all lower-division General Education requirements and at least 18 units in a specific major. (The Biology, Chemistry, and Environmental Science AS-T degrees defer 3 units in lower-division GE area C and 3 units in lower-division GE area D until after transfer.) Students pursuing an ADT are guaranteed admission to the CSU if minimum eligibility requirements are met, though not necessarily to the CSU campus of primary choice.

Upon verification that the ADT has been awarded prior to matriculation at SF State, students are guaranteed B.A. or B.S. completion in 60 units if pursuing a “similar” major after transfer. Determinations about “similar” majors at SF State are made by faculty in the discipline.

Degree completion in 60 units cannot be guaranteed when a student simultaneously pursues an additional major, a minor, certificate, or credential.

A sample advising roadmap for students who have earned an ADT and continue in a "similar" major at SF State is available on the Roadmaps tab on the degree requirements page for the major. The roadmap displays:

  • How many lower-division units required for the major have been completed upon entry based on the award of a specific ADT;
  • Which lower-division requirements are considered complete upon entry based on the award of a specific ADT;
  • How to complete the remaining 60 units for the degree in four semesters.

Students who have earned an ADT should seek advising in the major department during the first semester of attendance.

General Advising Information for Transfer Students

  1. Before transfer, complete as many lower-division requirements or electives for this major as possible.
  2. The following courses are not required for admission but are required for graduation. Students are strongly encouraged to complete these units before transfer; doing so will provide more flexibility in course selection after transfer.
    • a course in U.S. History
    • a course in U.S. & California Government

For information about satisfying the requirements described in (1) and (2) above at a California Community College (CCC), please visit Check any geographically accessible CCCs; sometimes options include more than one college. Use ASSIST to determine:

  • Which courses at a CCC satisfy any lower-division major requirements for this major;
  • Which courses at a CCC satisfy CSU GE, US History, and US & CA Government requirements.

Remedial courses are not transferable and do not apply to the minimum 60 semester units/90 quarter units required for admission.

Additional units for courses that are repeated do not apply to the minimum 60 units required for upper-division transfer (for example, if a course was not passed on the first attempt or was taken to earn a better grade).

Before leaving the last California Community College of attendance, obtain a summary of completion of lower-division General Education units (IGETC or CSU GE Breadth). This is often referred to as a GE certification worksheet. SF State does not require delivery of this certification to Admissions, but students should retain this document for verifying degree progress after transfer.

Credit for Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate, or College-Level Examination Program courses: AP/IB/CLEP credit is not automatically transferred from the previous institution. Units are transferred only when an official score report is delivered to SF State. Credit is based on the academic year during which exams were taken. Refer to the University Bulletin in effect during the year of AP/IB/CLEP examination(s) for details regarding the award of credit for AP/IB/CLEP.

Students pursuing majors in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) disciplines often defer 6-9 units of lower-division General Education in Areas C and D until after transfer to focus on preparation courses for the major. This advice does not apply to students pursuing associate degree completion before transfer.

Transferring From Institutions Other Than CCCs or CSUs

Review SF State's lower-division General Education requirements. Note that, as described below, the four basic skills courses required for admission meet A1, A2, A3, and B4 in the SF State GE pattern. Courses that fulfill the remaining areas of SF State’s lower-division GE pattern are available at most two-year and four-year colleges and universities.

Of the four required basic skills courses, a course in critical thinking (A3) may not be widely offered outside the CCC and CSU systems. Students should attempt to identify and take an appropriate course no later than the term of application to the CSU. To review more information about the A3 requirement, please visit

Waiting until after transfer to take a single course at SF State that meets both US and CA/local government requirements may be an appropriate option, particularly if transferring from outside of California.