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The Bachelor of Arts in Communication Studies

Total Course Requirements for the Bachelor's Degree: 120 units

See Bachelor's Degree Requirements in the University Catalog for complete details on general degree requirements. A minimum of 40 units, including those required for the major, must be upper division.

A suggested Major Academic Plan (MAP) has been prepared to help students meet all graduation requirements within four years. You can view MAPs on the Degree MAPs page in the University Catalog or you can request a plan from your major advisor.

General Education Pathway Requirements: 48 units

See General Education in the University Catalog and the Class Schedule for the most current information on General Education Pathway Requirements and course offerings.

Diversity Course Requirements: 6 units

See Diversity Requirements in the University Catalog. Most courses taken to satisfy these requirements may also apply to General Education .

Literacy Requirement:

See Mathematics and Writing Requirements in the University Catalog. Writing proficiency in the major is a graduation requirement and may be demonstrated through satisfactory completion of a course in your major which has been designated as the Writing Proficiency (WP) course for the semester in which you take the course. Students who earn below a C- are required to repeat the course and earn a C- or higher to receive WP credit. See the Class Schedule for the designated WP courses for each semester. You must pass ENGL 130I or JOUR 130I (or equivalent) with a C- or higher before you may register for a WP course.

Course Requirements for the Major: 45 units

Completion of the following courses, or their approved transfer equivalents, is required of all candidates for this degree. Additional required courses, depending upon the selected option are outlined following the major core program requirements.

Communication Studies majors must pass the five specified required courses with a C- or better prior to enrolling in 400-level CMST courses. These courses are designated in the following core and option requirements. Students should plan to enroll in these courses to begin their program of study.

Major Core Program: 30 units

10 courses required:

SUBJ NUM Title Sustainable Units Semester Offered Course Flags
Effective oral communication. Introduction to human communication theory. Practice in gathering, organizing, and presenting material in speeches to persuade, inform, and interest. 1 hour lecture, 2 hours discussion. This is an approved General Education course. (002206)
This course examines communication in small group processes such as group development, group climate, leadership and roles, problem solving, and conflict. Participation in an in-class small group helps facilitate individual and group improvement. 3 hours discussion. This is an approved General Education course. (002208)
An introduction to the study of one-to-one relationships, focusing on the experience, behavior, and rules governing such interpersonal contexts as friendships, families, and employer-employee relations. Factors influencing communication are studied, such as language, perception, non-verbal, power, status, and roles. Problems of communication are identified and studied. Confidence in relating interpersonally is handled. 3 hours discussion. (002219)
Focus is on the problems of communication between cultural groupings inside and outside of the U.S. Various historical and political contexts in which intercultural communication occurs are examined. 3 hours discussion. This is an approved General Education course. This is an approved US Diversity course. (021193)
This course introduces students to the communication studies major or minor. It reviews and discusses the major theories, research, and related principles of the field to create general awareness for students new to the communication discipline and emphasizes the practical and professional applications of the field, enabling students to make connections among the discipline, their daily life, and potential career choices. 3 hours lecture. (002001)
Prerequisites: ENGL 130 (or its equivalent) with a grade of C- or better.
Writing skills course for communication studies majors that addresses issues in communication scholarship, including practical applications of theory and research in communication, communication journals and the publication process, how to conduct a scholarly literature review, how to write a scholarly research paper in communication studies, and how to write on a professional level. 3 hours lecture. (002216)
Examination, evaluation, and application of scientific methods of communication behavior analysis, especially those directly applicable to human communication. 3 hours lecture. (002023)
Prerequisites: CMST 131, CMST 330, and CMST 331 with a grade of C- or higher.
Study of representative theories of rhetoric from classical to modern times. Emphasis is on continuing questions, trends, developments, and influence upon contemporary thought, and practical applications of theory to understanding and performing rhetorical criticism. 3 hours lecture. (002217)
Prerequisites: CMST 131, CMST 330, CMST 331 with a grade of C- or higher.
The study and survey of major content areas of organizational communication theory and research. Contemporary theories related to organizational environments are reviewed with an emphasis on technology in organizations and its relationship to communication process. Content areas include ethics, networks, diversity and cultures, changing employer-employee relations, feedback, groups, home-workplace tensions, and various emerging topics in the field. 3 hours discussion. (002222)
Prerequisites: Completion of 18 units within either the Major Core, Organizational Communication Option, or Communication and Public Affairs Option.
To enroll in CMST 489, students must apply for an internship directly with the internship coordinator, who can be found through the CMST main office. Applications must be completed by the end of the second week of the semester and by the first day of a special session. The internship program provides students with a culminating experience that links their educational experience with practical organizational experience prior to graduation. Student learning objectives for the internship are jointly established by the student, the cooperating organization, the internship coordinator, and California State University, Chico. Students serve their internships under the direct supervision of a member of the cooperating organization. Students can only enroll in the course through the coordinator. This course is offered for 1.0-15.0 units, and only 3.0 units count toward graduation requirements in the organizational and human communication options. 10 hours discussion. You may take this course more than once for a maximum of 15.0 units. Credit/no credit grading. (002039)

Note: CMST 489 must be taken for at least 3 units.

Communication Studies students must pass CMST 131, CMST 330, CMST 331, CMST 350, and CMST 370 with a C- or better prior to enrolling in any 400-level CMST courses.

Major Option Course Requirements: 15 units

The following courses, or their approved transfer equivalents, are required dependent upon the option chosen. Students must select one of the following options for completion of the major course requirements.  Use the links below to jump to your chosen option.



The Option in Organizational Communication: 15 units

3 courses required:

SUBJ NUM Title Sustainable Units Semester Offered Course Flags
Prerequisites: CMST 131, CMST 330, CMST 331, CMST 350, and CMST 370 with a grade of C- or higher for CMST majors or by faculty permission for non-majors.
In-depth theoretical approaches and research perspectives are studied from the field of organizational communication. Theories studied include classical to modern theories of organization, as well as contemporary and critical theories in the communication field. Research areas reviewed include network analysis, socialization, control practices, and others. Application of theory into research is also explored. 3 hours lecture. (002030)
Prerequisites: ENGL 130 or JOUR 130 (or equivalent) with a grade of C- or higher, CMST 131, CMST 330, CMST 331, CMST 350, and CMST 370 with a grade of C- or higher; CMST 132 for CMST majors or by faculty permission for non-majors.
This course represents an advanced exploration and application of leadership and associated decision making with particular focus on communication processes in a variety of contexts. Discussion topics include, but are not limited to, traditional and contemporary leadership theory, leadership communication competence, leadership and dissent, gender and cultural issues associated with leadership and decision making, followers as an integral part of the leadership equation, and ethical issues related to leadership communication. A group project offers students the opportunity to witness first-hand concepts discussed and to apply what they have learned. 3 hours lecture. This is an approved Writing Proficiency course; a grade of C- or better certifies writing proficiency for majors. (002247)
Prerequisites: CMST 131, CMST 330, CMST 331, CMST 350, and CMST 370 with a grade of C- or higher; CMST 132 for CMST majors or by faculty permission for non-majors.
This course extends students' interviewing knowledge and experience beyond job search interviews into complex contexts such as focus groups, needs assessments, performance appraisals, and employee counseling and disciplinary action. Attention is given to listening and nonverbal behavior in interview contexts, interview development and management, facilitation skills for group interviews, and analysis and interpretation of interview data. Technology as a medium for interviews is also explored. 3 hours discussion. (002248)

6 units selected from:

SUBJ NUM Title Sustainable Units Semester Offered Course Flags
Using both cognitive and experiential models, this course explores the relationships between gender and communication. Discussions focus on such topics as self-perceptions and images of men and women, language used by and about men and women, self-disclosure and self-assertion as communicative acts, gender differences in information processing and non-verbal communication, private and public contexts for gender communication, and gender communication in organizations. 3 hours discussion. This is an approved General Education course. (021189)
See description for CMST 339C below. 3 hours activity. You may take this course more than once for a maximum of 8.0 units. (002225)
See description for CMST 339C below. 1 hour discussion, 3 hours activity. You may take this course more than once for a maximum of 8.0 units. (002226)
Supervised preparation for participating in intercollegiate contests in debate, persuasion, informative speaking, oral interpretation, speeches to entertain, and similar events. No more than 8 units of Forensics (CMST 139 or CMST 339) may be counted toward total University requirements. 2 hours discussion, 3 hours activity. You may take this course more than once for a maximum of 6.0 units. (002227)
Prerequisites: CMST 131, CMST 132, CMST 330 all with a grade of C- or higher.
The course is designed for junior level communication studies majors to develop advanced public speaking skill while working concurrently on knowledge development in general career environments and/or specific professional contexts. Potential career choices and strategies for the communication major are identified and explored. This course challenges the student to prepare for the post graduation goals via knowledge accumulation, skill advancement, and development of communication competence. 3 hours discussion. (002244)
Prerequisites: CMST 131, CMST 330, CMST 331, CMST 350, and CMST 370 with a grade of C- or higher for CMST majors only.
This course is also offered as JOUR 424 , POLS 424 .
Analysis of major factors in group and individual opinion formation, with emphasis on politics, opinion measurement, and the role of mass media in the political process. 3 hours lecture. (002029)
Prerequisites: CMST 131, CMST 330, CMST 331, CMST 350, and CMST 370 with a grade of C- or higher for CMST majors only.
This course is also offered as JOUR 428 , POLS 428 .
An examination of the relationships of politics and the mass media. Topics may include politics, visual rhetoric, the public sphere studies, media analysis, public policy decisions, political media campaigns, and social movements. 3 hours seminar. (002246)
Prerequisites: CMST 131, CMST 330, CMST 331, CMST 350, and CMST 370 with a grade of C- or higher; either CMST 334 or CMST 335.
This course introduces students to the theory/practice of health communciation as a context within which dyadic, small group, and organization communication occurs. Students examine topics such as provider-client communication, health communication and technology, diversity and culture as influences in health communication, and the role that the mass media plays in disseminating information about and impacting health communication. This lecture/discussion class examines relevant case studies and works with local health agencies in brief service learning projects designed to put theoretical knowledge to practical social use. 3 hours discussion. (002235)
Prerequisites: CMST 131, CMST 330, CMST 331, CMST 350, and CMST 370 with a grade of C- or higher.
This course provides an in-depth study of selected contexts and issues for rhetorical studies. 3 hours discussion. (020251)
Prerequisites: CMST 131, CMST 330, CMST 331, CMST 350, and CMST 370 with a grade of C- or higher.
This course provides opportunities for advanced students in organizational communication to extend and apply their discipline knowledge, primarily using a case study method. Course topics focus on current issues in communication research related to organizational life, including but not limited to socialization, computer mediated communication, organizational transformation, ethics, technology, and others. Students are actively engaged in the content by reflecting on, analyzing, debating, and discussing case studies while presenting their work in both oral and written formats, individually as well as in groups. 3 hours discussion. (020250)
Prerequisites: CMST 131, CMST 330, CMST 331, CMST 350, and CMST 370 with a grade of C- or higher.
This course examines the communication concerns of the nonprofit, or third sector, and its changing role in society. Students extend their knowledge of communication theory, analysis, and presentation skills while examining topics such as internal and external communication at the national, state, and local levels of nonprofits, volunteer and other stakeholder communication, crisis and advocacy communication, and communicating for sustainability. Innovations in nonprofit organizing are also covered. 3 hours discussion. (020249)

Note: No more than 8 units of Forensics (CMST 139 and CMST 339) may be counted toward total University requirements.

Formal Minor Requirement

Communication Studies majors with an option in Organizational Communication must complete a formal minor or a second major in a department outside of Communication Studies. Students must obtain their major advisor's approval on their selection of a minor and courses for the minor and both departments' approval for courses for the minor.

The Option in Communication and Public Affairs: 15 units

3 courses required:

SUBJ NUM Title Sustainable Units Semester Offered Course Flags
Study of the nature of argument, including methods of analysis, research, patterns and fallacies of reasoning, use and tests of evidence, refutation, and debate as a practical application of argumentation. 3 hours discussion. This is an approved General Education course. (002221)
Basic theories of persuasion, including variables, resources, and constraints affecting persuasive discourse in diverse situations. This course aims to develop students' abilities as an observer and informed practitioner of persuasive communication. 3 hours discussion. (002220)
Prerequisites: ENGL 130 or JOUR 130 (or equivalent) with a grade of C- or higher; CMST 131, CMST 330, CMST 331, CMST 350, and CMST 370 with a grade of C- or higher; for CMST majors or by faculty permission for non-majors.
Study of freedom of speech, with attention to issues of dissent and responsible communication. 3 hours discussion. This is an approved Writing Proficiency course; a grade of C- or better certifies writing proficiency for majors. (020262)

6 units selected from:

SUBJ NUM Title Sustainable Units Semester Offered Course Flags
Using both cognitive and experiential models, this course explores the relationships between gender and communication. Discussions focus on such topics as self-perceptions and images of men and women, language used by and about men and women, self-disclosure and self-assertion as communicative acts, gender differences in information processing and non-verbal communication, private and public contexts for gender communication, and gender communication in organizations. 3 hours discussion. This is an approved General Education course. (021189)
See description for CMST 339C below. 3 hours activity. You may take this course more than once for a maximum of 8.0 units. (002225)
See description for CMST 339C below. 1 hour discussion, 3 hours activity. You may take this course more than once for a maximum of 8.0 units. (002226)
Supervised preparation for participating in intercollegiate contests in debate, persuasion, informative speaking, oral interpretation, speeches to entertain, and similar events. No more than 8 units of Forensics (CMST 139 or CMST 339) may be counted toward total University requirements. 2 hours discussion, 3 hours activity. You may take this course more than once for a maximum of 6.0 units. (002227)
Prerequisites: CMST 131, CMST 132, CMST 330 all with a grade of C- or higher.
The course is designed for junior level communication studies majors to develop advanced public speaking skill while working concurrently on knowledge development in general career environments and/or specific professional contexts. Potential career choices and strategies for the communication major are identified and explored. This course challenges the student to prepare for the post graduation goals via knowledge accumulation, skill advancement, and development of communication competence. 3 hours discussion. (002244)
Prerequisites: CMST 131, CMST 330, CMST 331, CMST 350, and CMST 370 with a grade of C- or higher for CMST majors only.
This course is also offered as JOUR 424 , POLS 424 .
Analysis of major factors in group and individual opinion formation, with emphasis on politics, opinion measurement, and the role of mass media in the political process. 3 hours lecture. (002029)
Prerequisites: CMST 131, CMST 330, CMST 331, CMST 350, and CMST 370 with a grade of C- or higher for CMST majors only.
This course is also offered as JOUR 428 , POLS 428 .
An examination of the relationships of politics and the mass media. Topics may include politics, visual rhetoric, the public sphere studies, media analysis, public policy decisions, political media campaigns, and social movements. 3 hours seminar. (002246)
Prerequisites: CMST 131, CMST 330, CMST 331, CMST 350, and CMST 370 with a grade of C- or higher; either CMST 334 or CMST 335.
This course introduces students to the theory/practice of health communciation as a context within which dyadic, small group, and organization communication occurs. Students examine topics such as provider-client communication, health communication and technology, diversity and culture as influences in health communication, and the role that the mass media plays in disseminating information about and impacting health communication. This lecture/discussion class examines relevant case studies and works with local health agencies in brief service learning projects designed to put theoretical knowledge to practical social use. 3 hours discussion. (002235)
Prerequisites: CMST 131, CMST 330, CMST 331, CMST 350, and CMST 370 with a grade of C- or higher.
This course provides an in-depth study of selected contexts and issues for rhetorical studies. 3 hours discussion. (020251)
Prerequisites: CMST 131, CMST 330, CMST 331, CMST 350, and CMST 370 with a grade of C- or higher.
This course provides opportunities for advanced students in organizational communication to extend and apply their discipline knowledge, primarily using a case study method. Course topics focus on current issues in communication research related to organizational life, including but not limited to socialization, computer mediated communication, organizational transformation, ethics, technology, and others. Students are actively engaged in the content by reflecting on, analyzing, debating, and discussing case studies while presenting their work in both oral and written formats, individually as well as in groups. 3 hours discussion. (020250)
Prerequisites: CMST 131, CMST 330, CMST 331, CMST 350, and CMST 370 with a grade of C- or higher.
This course examines the communication concerns of the nonprofit, or third sector, and its changing role in society. Students extend their knowledge of communication theory, analysis, and presentation skills while examining topics such as internal and external communication at the national, state, and local levels of nonprofits, volunteer and other stakeholder communication, crisis and advocacy communication, and communicating for sustainability. Innovations in nonprofit organizing are also covered. 3 hours discussion. (020249)

Note: No more than 8 units of Forensics (CMST 139 and CMST 339) may be counted toward total University requirements.

Formal Minor Requirement

Communication Studies majors with an option in Communication and Public Affairs must complete a formal minor or a second major in a department outside of Communication Studies. Students must obtain their major advisor's approval on their selection of a minor and courses for the minor and both departments' approval for courses for the minor.

Electives Requirement:

To complete the total units required for the bachelor's degree, select additional elective courses from the total University offerings. You should consult with an advisor regarding the selection of courses which will provide breadth to your University experience and possibly apply to a supportive second major or minor.

Grading Requirement:

All courses taken to fulfill major course requirements must be taken for a letter grade except those courses specified by the department as Credit/No Credit grading only.

Advising Requirement:

Advising is mandatory for all majors in this degree program. Consult your undergraduate advisor for specific information.

Honors in the Major:

Honors in the Major is a program of independent work in your major. It requires 6 units of honors course work completed over two semesters.

The Honors in the Major program allows you to work closely with a faculty mentor in your area of interest on an original performance or research project. This year-long collaboration allows you to work in your field at a professional level and culminates in a public presentation of your work. Students sometimes take their projects beyond the University for submission in professional journals, presentation at conferences, or academic competition. Such experience is valuable for graduate school and professional life. Your honors work will be recognized at your graduation, on your permanent transcripts, and on your diploma. It is often accompanied by letters of commendation from your mentor in the department or the department chair.

Some common features of Honors in the Major program are:

  1. You must take 6 units of Honors in the Major course work. All 6 units are honors classes (marked by a suffix of H), and at least 3 of these units are independent study (399H, 499H, 599H) as specified by your department. You must complete each class with a minimum grade of B.
  2. You must have completed 9 units of upper-division course work or 21 overall units in your major before you can be admitted to Honors in the Major. Check the requirements for your major carefully, as there may be specific courses that must be included in these units.
  3. Your cumulative GPA should be at least 3.5 or within the top 5% of majors in your department.
  4. Your GPA in your major should be at least 3.5 or within the top 5% of majors in your department.
  5. Most students apply for or are invited to participate in Honors in the Major during the second semester of their junior year. Then they complete the 6 units of course work over the two semesters of their senior year.
  6. Your honors work culminates with a public presentation of your honors project.

While Honors in the Major is part of the Honors Program, each department administers its own program. Please contact your major department or major advisor to apply.

Students may apply for admission to the Honors in the Major Program in the College of Communication and Education. In addition to other specific requirements, each Honors student will conduct and publicly present an original research project. Consult the honors advisor in the College of Communication and Education for specific details.

Catalog Cycle:13