Communication Studies, B.A.

Mission

The mission of the Bachelor of Arts in Communication Studies is to produce Christian graduates who are adept at constructing ethical written and oral messages. They appraise and assess messages communicated by all forms of media, both popular and religious. They demonstrate analytical commentary in both theory and praxis of the communication studies discipline.

Degree Program

Upon completion of the University baccalaureate and major requirements, the Communication Studies Department offers the Bachelor of Arts degree in Communication Studies. Obtaining a degree with one of the three concentrations requires 42 credits, 27 credits of upper-division/15 credits lower-division.

Program Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of the Bachelor of Arts in Communication Studies, students will be able to:

  1. Identify where communication theory/practice compliments, mirrors, and is informed by biblical values and content (ULO 1).
  2. Demonstrate analytical/evaluative skills in thinking and working through dilemmas and creative opportunities they will face in morally challenging industries and vocations (ULO 1).
  3. Identify basic communication theories with the ability to provide an answer and/or compelling evidence to anyone, both in their discipline and in terms of spiritual discernment (ULO 1).
  4. Articulate basic communication theories with the ability to provide an answer and/or compelling evidence to anyone, both in their discipline and in terms of spiritual discernment (ULO 2).
  5. Describe how authentic spirituality and academic communication scholarship will result in social action, ministering service and opportunities to advocate justice for the marginalized in our society and the furtherance of God's Kingdom in this world (ULO 3).
  6. Demonstrate abilities to exhibit excellence in preparation, presentation, and credibility, incorporating these in the specific craft (ULO 3).

Each Program Learning Outcome (PLO) listed above references at least one of the University Learning Outcomes (ULO 1, 2, 3), which may be found in the General Information section of this catalog.

Writing Competency Requirement

Writing competency is determined within the Department of Communication Studies by a full-time faculty assessment of in-class and out-of-class writing samples. A minimum four page reaction or research paper from a 300 or 400 level Communication Studies required or elective course is submitted (with expected rewrites and corrections) with a student's identification number and no other corrective faculty comments or marks (out-of-class sample). A two hour proctored timed writing opportunity is offered in the fall and spring semesters and a minimum of four handwritten pages must be submitted in response to an open-ended question chosen in advance by the student, designating their work by student identification number as well (in-class writing sample). In each sample, the fourth page must have written commentary that is at or exceeds the center of the fourth page to meet the minimum length standard. Full-time faculty assess the two submissions, give a numerical designation, and the combined total either passes or fails. After a second failure to pass the writing competency requirement, a student must enroll in ENGL 210, consult the Communication Studies Department Chair and pass the course to fulfill the requirement.

GPA Requirements

Communication Studies and Theatre majors must achieve a minimum grade of a "C" in all major courses taken at Biola. Anyone receiving a lower grade must repeat the course with a higher grade to receive credit for the course.

Major Requirements

General Education Requirements
The required Communication general education course for the Communication Studies Department is:
Introduction to Public Communication
Core Requirements
The following seven core courses are requirements for all concentrations with the exception of the Interdisciplinary concentration.
COMM 254Communication Theories3
COMM 270Interpersonal Communication3
COMM 368Methods of Communication Research3
COMM 385Persuasive Communication3
COMM 387Organizational Communication3
COMM 432Rhetorical Theories3
COMM 473Communication and Diversity3
Total Credits21

Concentrations

Students must choose one of three concentrations under this major:

  • Dramatic Arts
  • Rhetorical/Interpersonal
  • Interdisciplinary Studies

When students have completed any of these concentrations they should be prepared for employment in fields where excellent interpersonal and group communication skills are especially important. These concentrations are also excellent preparation for advanced graduate work in the discipline of communication studies. Many Communication Studies graduates have gone on to earn their M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in the field at other institutions. In addition, the Communication Studies degree provides excellent general preparation for careers in fields such as the ministry, human resources, sales, education or law.

Dramatic Arts

General Education Recommedations
It is recommended that all Dramatic Arts concentration students take the following general education courses:
Theatre Appreciation
Introduction to Philosophy and Aesthetics
Concentration-Specific Requirements
Dramatic Arts students must take the following courses once:
COMM 109Production Practicum2
COMM 409Production Practicum II2
Elective Requirements
Select 17 credits from the following: 117
Introduction to Public Communication 2
Voice and Speech for Theatre
Introduction to Acting
Small Group Communication
Theatrical Makeup
Costume Study and Construction
Introduction to Technical Theatre
Oral Interpretation
Intercollegiate Forensics
Advanced Public Communication
Lighting and Sound for Theatre
Intercollegiate Forensics
Forms of Public Communication
Directing Theatre
Dramatic Theory
Dramatic Design and Criticism
Playwriting for Performance
Communication Internship 3
Communication Practicum
Advanced Acting Workshop
Drama for Christian Ministry
Intercultural Communication
Communication and Diversity
Advanced Studies in Communication Behavior
London Theatre Study Tour
Directed Research
History of Cinema
Cinema and Media Arts Practicum
Cinema and Media Arts Seminar
Social Media, SEO and Digital Strategy
Broadcast Anchoring and Announcing
Total Credits21
1

Students may count a maximum of 9 credits of COMM 109; COMM 409; COMM 440; COMM 450; COMM 480 towards the major.

2

 May count as a lower division COMM major elective only for Torrey Honors program students.

3

 Students may not count more than 6 credits of COMM 440 toward the major.

Rhetorical/Interpersonal

Elective Requirements
Select 21 hours from the following: 121
Introduction to Public Communication 2
Introduction to Acting
Small Group Communication
Introduction to Argumentation and Debate
Oral Interpretation
Intercollegiate Forensics
Advanced Public Communication
Intercollegiate Forensics
Forms of Public Communication
Communication Internship 3
Communication Practicum
Advanced Acting Workshop
Rhetorical Criticism
Drama for Christian Ministry
Rhetoric of Media Studies
Communication Seminar
Intercultural Communication
Directed Research
History of Cinema
Cinema and Media Arts Practicum
Cinema and Media Arts Seminar
Introduction to Public Relations
Writing for Public Relations
Practicum
Social Media, SEO and Digital Strategy
Broadcast Anchoring and Announcing
Principles of Advertising
Media Law
Journalism Seminar
Total Credits21
1

Students may count a maximum of 9 credits of COMM 109; COMM 409; COMM 440; COMM 450; COMM 480 towards the major.

2

 May count as a lower division COMM major elective only for Torrey Honors program students.

3

 Students may not count more than 6 credits of COMM 440 toward the major.

Interdisciplinary

This concentration will provide students maximum latitude in creating a course of study to suit their particular needs. Students choosing this option begin by consulting with the Chairman of the Communication Studies Department. The Chairman will help students choose appropriate courses, which may include courses from other departments. Students will then complete a form (available from the Communication Studies Department) in which they describe career goals and give a rationale for each of the courses selected.

The form will be submitted to a committee made up the Communication Studies Department chairman, and a second faculty member. The committee may accept the proposal as submitted, make minor modifications before accepting it, or reject it. If accepted, the proposal becomes part of the student’s graduation requirements.

In making its decision the committee will consider the following:

  1. The proposed courses should prepare students well for stated career objectives;
  2. The proposal should focus study to a limited area which can be covered in depth;
  3. The academic rigor of the proposal should be at least equal to that expected of other Communication Studies concentrations; and
  4. If, in the judgment of the committee, these goals can be met better through another major or concentration the proposal will be rejected.

Concentration-Specific Requirements

Obtaining a degree with this concentration requires a minimum of 42 credits, 24 of which must be from the Department of Communication Studies. A minimum of 27 credits must be upper-division.

The interdisciplinary proposal must be submitted and approved no later than the first semester of the Junior year. No exceptions will be made.

The following courses are required:

Select 36 credits (27 upper-division) with approval from the Communications Department, 24 of which must be COMM courses.36
COMM 368Methods of Communication Research3
COMM 473Communication and Diversity3
Total Credits42