Communication at UCSD is a field of study that emphasizes the role of technologies of communication--from language and writing to television and computers--and symbolic forms--from news reports to soap operas to scientific images--in mediating human experience. It draws from a broad tradition of communication research as well as from such social science disciplines as anthropology, psychology, sociology, and political science, and from the humanities and fine arts, including theater, literature, and visual arts. Communication students will develop a critical awareness of the communicative forces which affect their everyday lives.

The communication major is not designed as a training program in advertising, journalism, production, or public relations. It provides students with a solid liberal arts background necessary for graduate studies in communication and other disciplines, and for professional work in a number of communication-related fields, including primary and secondary education.

Though the emphasis of the major is not a technical one, we believe that students will develop a deeper understanding of how communication works by exploring firsthand the capabilities and limitations of a variety of media; students, therefore, will have the opportunity to conduct part of their studies in video, digital media and other forms of media production.

What is the Communication major at UCSD?

It is a major that will help students develop a critical awareness of the communicative forces that affect their everyday lives. Students will analyze many forms of Communication and their impacts.

Have you ever thought about TV, the rise in technology, magazines, Twitter, movies, newspapers, advertising, language, and literacy, and how they can impact societies locally, globally, racially, and by gender? These are just a few of the many forms of Communication students will study.

Some of the questions Communication majors will think about:

1. How is the information presented by the media related to the intended audiences?  
2. How can art, ritual, literature, language, cultural beliefs and music bring about changes in social behavior, styles and traditions?
3. How can individuals and groups reshape the media, cultural beliefs, traditions etc.?
4. What impact will television and the internet have on children and how people relate now and in the future?
5. What is the process by which people receive and respond to various messages?
6. What is freedom?  
7. What are the means by which computers expand communication potentials?

Some of the things you might do in a Communication class:

1. Go to a specially designed after-school site and work with children and design new educational media or produce special projects.
2. Work with a group in a studio writing, producing, filming and editing a TV or documentary production.
3. Go to an urban community garden site and learn about race and class inequalities and the rise of food deserts in disadvantaged neighborhoods and why.
4. Interview a person of your choice in the community to tell their story for the Biography and Life Stories class.

Some of the courses we offer: 

The Internet Industry
Cultural Politics of Sport
Cities and Space
New Media Youth and Democracy 
Minority Media Makers & the Festival Experience
Gender and Science
Propoganda and Persuasion
To see our full course catalog click here


To contact undergraduate advisors, visit the Virtual Advising Center 

Advising Hours: 
Mondays - Thursdays 9:00a - 11:30a and 1:00p – 3:30p

Fridays: No Advising

Walk-ins are always welcome! 

Major/Minor Requirements

Quarter by Quarter Plan - New students

Quarter by Quarter Plan - Transfers