Jul 17, 2024  
2024-2025, 2nd ed. General Catalog 
2024-2025, 2nd ed. General Catalog

Communication and Media Studies

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Department Office
Nichols Hall 364
(707) 664-2149

For faculty information, please see Faculty or the COMS faculty web page.

Program Offered

Bachelor of Arts in Communication Studies

The Communication and Media Studies major is an innovative, interdisciplinary program that prepares students for careers in the media or for advanced graduate study.

Communication and Media Studies coordinates three distinct approaches to the media: practical application, historical study, and critical analysis. Practical application combines basic training in equipment operation, communication skills, production design, organizational skills, and a professional internship. Historical study focuses on the evolution of the mass media and the relationship of the mass media to society. Critical analysis explores media ethics and the analysis and evaluation of specific mediated texts using qualitative and quantitative methods.

Students are encouraged to develop a specific advisory plan with the assistance of a faculty advisor. Advisory plans, based on the student’s specific interests, may focus on:

  • General areas such as journalism, media criticism, or public relations;
  • Media such as radio, television, online, and newspapers;
  • Career roles such as television producer, sports announcer, or reporter; and/or
  • Preparation for graduate school.

Students are required to take an internship. The department emphasizes internships that provide students with real-world insights into the media. The department has developed professional media internships with community organizations, radio and television stations, newspapers, magazines, public relations firms, and other media groups.

All on-campus media operate in conjunction with Communication and Media Studies classes. On-campus media offer a variety of opportunities for students. They include the Star, the student newspaper; KSUN, an Internet radio station; Studio Blue, the campus television station that provides news, information, and entertainment; and Primitivo PR, the campus public relations firm.

Students are also required to take Senior Seminar, in which they complete a senior project. This project combines their academic training in the major with a real world application.

Careers in Communication and Media Studies

Graduates from the department find employment in the mass media and in the ever-growing field of communication. Some graduates find work by using their technical skills in radio, video, and computers. Others rely on their training and experience to find jobs in the broad field of public relations. They write for and edit newspapers and newsletters, and design brochures and flyers. They are photographers and are even employed by candidates running for public office. In addition, graduates design websites, edit films, produce documentaries, videotape weddings, record music, and serve as disc jockeys.

Past graduates have become filmmakers, journalists, lawyers and teachers, run agencies, are hired as fundraisers or private investigators, and work in law enforcement. Communication and Media Studies graduates work in corporate or non-profit organizations doing film, television, radio podcasting, social media, sales, publicity, and marketing. Wherever communication takes place and whenever media are used, Communication and Media Studies graduates can be found.


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