2017-2018 Catalog


Communications Program Learning Outcomes

College of Arts and Humanities

Department of Communications

Bachelor of Arts

Degree Roadmaps

Advertising/Public Relations Option

Journalism Option

Media Studies Option




Subject Matter Preparation Program

(for requirements, refer to the English section in this catalog)


Nancy Cheever, Department Chair, Journalism Option Coordinator
Sharon Sharp, Media Studies Option Coordinator
Ryan Bowles Eagle, Brant Burkey, Virginia Todd Burton, Linda Dam, Karina Kim, John Vanderhoef
Department Office: LIB 5324, (310) 243-3313; FAX (310) 516-3779

Emeriti Faculty

James Sudalnik

Program Description

Students dedicated to building professional careers in print and digital media, film, television, and the closely related fields of public relations and advertising, as well as those interested in preparing for post-baccalaureate programs, will find degree programs designed by the Communications Department to meet their needs and to develop their skills and interests. The Communications Department offers a major with options in Advertising/Public Relations, Journalism, and Media Studies as well as minors in Communications and Advertising. The curriculum provides a broad understanding of communications media within a liberal arts framework. The university's close proximity to the Los Angeles media industries allows students to take advantage of wide-ranging internship opportunities in order to complement their coursework.

Advertising/Public Relations Option

The department offers the Bachelor of Arts in Communications with an option in Advertising/Public Relations. This program is designed for students interested in careers in public relations, advertising, and integrated communications. Government, civic groups, nonprofit organizations, corporations, and educational institutions all require the services of public relations and advertising practitioners to manage their communications programs and to help determine public policy. This process, sometimes defined as strategic problem-solving through communications, encompasses everything from counseling top management to the preparation of communication strategies and campaigns. It includes the entire gamut of informational media materials, such as audio and video programs; employee publications, brochures, newsletters, and annual reports; surveying and analyzing public opinion; speech writing; lobbying; fund raising; and the planning of special events. Students in this emphasis are encouraged to join the department-sponsored Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA) Chapter.

Journalism Option

The Bachelor of Arts/Journalism Option is designed for students interested in print, online, and broadcast journalism careers. Students who graduate with a journalism degree are prepared for a wide variety of media-related careers, already armed with industry experience. New technologies and media platforms have created many dynamic opportunities for journalism graduates who possess the skills, principles, and practices for a successful career in the diverse regional, national, and international job markets. We train students in the various practices of contemporary journalists, including news writing and reporting, feature writing, column and opinion writing, interviewing, broadcast journalism, video podcasting, editing, and blogging.
Taught by seasoned journalists from a variety of media outlets, the curriculum focuses on the knowledge, practices, principles, and strategies of successful journalism professionals. In addition to learning effective writing, information gathering, and production techniques, students gain an understanding of how media organizations operate through hands-on internship training and in our news and broadcast production laboratories. Students also develop a keen understanding of how to decipher and navigate through an unprecedented amount of electronic information through media literacy training.

Media Studies Option

The Bachelor of Arts/Media Studies option provides students with the opportunity to study the history, theory, and criticism of media culture. The option emphasizes the development of critical thinking and writing skills through courses that examine all aspects of film, television, and digital media: their production and reception, history and contemporary structures, and texts and formal attributes. Students in the option gain a complex understanding of media culture that prepares them for careers in the media industries and for post-baccalaureate programs.

Advertising Minor

The department offers an Interdisciplinary Minor in Advertising, in conjunction with the College of Business Administration and Public Policy and the Art and Design Department, combining courses in advertising, marketing and graphic design. The Advertising Minor provides an overview of both the business and creative sides of the advertising field. 

Communications Minor

The Communications minor integrates rather than segregates instruction in media studies, advertising/public relations, and journalism. Students are required to take two lower division courses and then choose their upper division courses based on their interests.

Academic Advisement

Full-time faculty members serve as academic advisors for Communication majors and minors. Students are strongly encouraged to seek faculty advisement upon admission and regularly thereafter. Faculty advisors work with students to provide information about major and minor degree requirements, preparation for post-baccalaureate programs, and career options.


High school students are encouraged to take college preparatory English courses. Students planning to transfer from community college should consult with their counselor or advisor to identify appropriate transferable lower division courses.

Career Opportunities

The critical thinking and writing skills that Communications students acquire from their coursework, combined with the experience they gain by participation in internships and student groups, prepare them for a wide array of career opportunities.

Advertising/Public Relations

Account executive, account planner, public relations/advertising manager, marketing communications, advertising media analyst, corporate communications, public information officer, advertising copy writer, advertising designer, publications editor, product promotion and speech writer.


Reporter, editor, features writer, freelance writer, columnist, correspondent, new broadcaster, editorial writer, news director, blogger, video podcaster, media management, researcher and photojournalist.

Media Studies

Critic, writer, producer, director, editor, media management, media distributor, researcher, and broadcasting/webcasting management.

Student Organizations

The Communications Department has sponsored a chapter of the Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA) since 1979. The chapter’s mission is: (1) to serve its student members by enhancing their knowledge of public relations and providing access to professional development opportunities; and (2) to serve the public relations profession by helping to develop highly qualified, well-prepared professionals. PRSSA cultivates a favorable and mutually advantageous relationship between student members and professional public relations practitioners. The CSUDH Chapter is highly active, holding monthly meetings and sponsoring various on- and off-campus social and professional activities.

The Department also sponsors the student organization The Society of Independent Student Journalists (SISJ). Its mission is: (1) to offer educational and professional support for student journalists; (2) to reinforce and strengthen the guiding principles of independent journalists; (3) to give student journalists the opportunity to network with industry professionals and instructors; and (4) to ensure all interested students are proficient in the principles and practices of journalism professionals.

Student membership in these organizations is highly recommended.

Graduation With Honors

An undergraduate student may be a candidate for graduation with Honors in Communications provided he or she meets the following criteria:

  1. A minimum of 36 units in residence at CSU Dominguez Hills;
  2. A minimum grade point average of at least 3.5 in all courses used to satisfy the upper division requirements in the major;
  3. In addition, the student must be recommended by the faculty of the Communications Department.