Today’s careers require the ability to communicate clearly, both verbally and in writing, and to understand how communication works within organizations and small groups and between individuals. Our diverse, rapidly-changing society rewards those who communicate persuasively and effectively with consumers, clients, and others across cultural boundaries. A B.A. degree in Communication Studies prepares you for success in your career by offering:

  • Outstanding Faculty—Our faculty is committed to quality teaching and learning. You will learn the latest theories and principles, as well as practical applications through internship experiences. Many of our faculty are well known in their fields of study, and all stay current through a combination of research activities and communication consulting.
  • Flexibility—The degree provides career flexibility - you do not have to decide during your college years on a specific career pathway. You can enjoy the advantages of a college education and excellent communication skills, which are highly valued by all employers including those in business, industry, nonprofit organizations, government and educational institutions.
  • Opportunities for Intercollegiate Competition—Many students, including non-majors, elect to join our CSUF Speech and Debate Team, which consistently ranks at or near the top in competitions across the nation. Debate provides students with invaluable experiences in improving communication skills, which are an asset in almost any career, including law.
  • Commitment to Students—The department values its students and treats them accordingly. You will be able to work with your advisor to design a program that meets your individual needs, and faculty will work hard to make sure that you have a rich learning experience as you progress through the program.
  • Dynamic Students—Students who select Communication Studies as their major enjoy communication and are generally “people oriented.” This orientation makes for a college experience that is as enjoyable as it is valuable.


A communication studies major is one who is committed to learning the theory and principles behind excellent communication and who wants to acquire skills in communicating with others-both within and across cultural boundaries-in a variety of business, professional and interpersonal settings.

The department offers a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communication Studies with emphases in Argumentation and Persuasion, Intercultural Communication, Interpersonal Communication, Organizational Communication, and Communication Studies. It also offers a Master of Arts degree in Communication Studies. Students who complete the bachelor’s or master’s degree are qualified to enter a variety of rewarding careers in business, nonprofit organizations, government, and education, and they are qualified to pursue advanced degrees in communication studies as well as in other academic and professional fields that are described under the sections on concentrations. The department offers a Minor in Communication Studies, which is structured to meet individual students’ educational needs and career aspirations.


The B.A. degree in Communication Studies prepares you for a wide variety of careers in business, industry, government, nonprofit organizations or human services. With careful planning and advisement, you can also pursue an advanced degree in an area that requires excellent communication such as law, social work, clinical psychology, business administration, and high school or university teaching.

Your studies in communication studies will emphasize one of five areas. The emphasis in Argumentation and Persuasion prepares you for careers in government or politics, and it offers particularly strong preparation for law school. The emphasis in Interpersonal Communication prepares you for entrance into a variety of careers in social and human services. You can also pursue advanced education leading to careers in teaching, counseling, social work or clinical psychology. The emphasis in Organizational Communication prepares you for careers in business, nonprofit organizations or government; examples are community relations director or representative, conflict manager, customer service representative, director of corporate communications, executive manager, human resource manager, industrial and labor relations representative, mediator, negotiator, public information officer, or sales representative. The emphasis in Intercultural Communication prepares you for communication across cultural boundaries in careers such as customer service and sales representative, diplomat, foreign correspondent, foreign relations or foreign service officer, host for foreign dignitaries, intercultural and diversity trainer, international corporate representative, international and study abroad student advisor, and travel industry representative. The emphasis in Communication Studies allows you to select courses in two of the other emphases.


The Department of Human Communication Studies integrates issues of ethnicity and culture in all of its courses. This ensures that students understand their own culture in relationship to other cultures and therefore develop a global perspective. Six faculty members are nationally and/or internationally recognized for their expertise in inter- cultural communication, multiculturalism and bilingual issues.

Courses in intercultural communication are included in the communication theory and process curriculum. These courses emphasize the nature and effects of such communication on multicultural, multi- national and domestic relationships. Clinical experiences that are part of the communicative disorders curriculum also provide expertise on multicultural and bilingual issues.

Communication studies students provide international learning opportunities for other students on campus as well by providing training for CSUF students who will be studying in international universities.


The CSUF Speech and Debate Team competes with other colleges and universities and consistently ranks near the top in the nation. CSUF students involved in the Southern California Urban Debate League (SCUDL) teach argument skills to students from underserved high schools.