Why Communication Studies at SDSU?

On behalf of the faculty and alumni of the communication program at San Diego State University, I am happy to welcome you to explore our website and learn about the exciting opportunities for graduate and undergraduate study. We are proud of our academic programs and the success of our alumni. The School of Communication has a national reputation and we provide a strong curriculum in a fantastic urban coastal environment. Explore SDSU – we hope you will agree this may just may be the place for you!

     – Dr. Heather Canary, Director School of Communication

National Reputation

The School of Communication at San Diego State University includes two majors: Communication Studies and Health Communication. The School of Communication has a long and rich tradition in both undergraduate and graduate studies. Faculty members are nationally recognized for their scholarship and teaching. Collectively, the members of the Communication faculty have published hundreds of journal articles, books, and book chapters. They are regular contributors to scholarly conferences, regionally, nationally, and internationally. Members of the faculty are recognized experts in areas such as nonverbal communication, stalking and other aspects of the “dark side” of communication, rhetorical theory, health communication, organizational communication, leadership, emotion and immediacy, gender communication, and many others.

The strength of our faculty, their scholarship and outstanding teaching, coupled with a competitive forensics program and thousands of very successful alumni, have resulted in SDSU being considered one of the top programs in Communication in the United States.

Strong Curriculum

The curriculum in Communication Studies features our very best faculty teaching most of our majors courses in relatively small class sizes. The courses, requirements, and topics are all constantly updated to ensure you receive the very best instruction.

The Communication Major curriculum can be thought of in terms of four levels of study.

  1. To start, all students in both majors take an introduction to communication theory (Conceptualizing Communication) and methodology (Investigating Communication).
  2. With these prerequisite courses completed, students in Communication Studies move to the second level where they can choose three “conceptualizing” courses from among five choices, and select one “investigating” course from among four choices.
  3. The third level consists of 15 units of upper-level communication courses. Students have a great deal of freedom to choose the courses that will meet their own curricular goals.
  4. The fourth level consists of the senior capstone course, which integrates all they have studied, both theoretically and methodologically.

Communication course topics include: intercultural, organizational, nonverbal, rhetorical, argumentation theory, persuasion, interviewing, relational, rhetorical movements, interaction and gender, political communication, conflict management and leadership, among others.

The Health Communication Major curriculum can also be thought of in terms of four levels of study.

  1. The first level is the same as above, but also includes an introduction to Health Communication
  2. Students then choose from a number of Health Communication courses and two methodology courses.
  3. Majors also select two health-related courses in other departments
  4. At the fourth level, they rejoin the Communication majors in the Capstone course.

Health Communication course topics include: Community-Based Service Learning, politics, patient-provider interaction, families and social relationships, risk and crisis, culture, and workplace health communication.  Outside health-related courses are selected from a menu from the following departments: Gerontology, Health & Human Services, Nursing, Philosophy, Public Administration, Public Health, and Social Work.

Undergraduate Admissions

San Diego State University provides web access and support for undergraduate applicants. Consult the university website for information about application procedures, housing, scholarships and financial aid.

Graduate Admissions

Students interested in our M.A. program should consult the graduate section of this website and the Steps for Admission section.