OFFICE: Communication 237
TELEPHONE: 619-594-8512 / FAX: 619-594-0704
Interim Director: Northup, Temple, Professor of Journalism and Media Studies & Communication, Director (B.A., Wake Forest University; M.A., Syracuse University; Ph.D., University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill)
Associate Director, Undergraduate Studies: Martinez, Lourdes S., Professor of Communication, Associate Director, Undergraduate Studies (B.A., Johns Hopkins University; M.A., Ph.D., University of Pennsylvania)
Director of Graduate Studies: Record, Rachael A., Associate Professor of Communication (B.A., SUNY University at Buffalo; M.A., Ph.D., University of Kentucky)
Lead Undergraduate Adviser: Goehring, Charles, Lecturer of Communication (B.A., M.A., San Diego State University; Ph.D., University of Iowa)
Tenured and Tenure-Track Faculty:
Canary, Heather, Interim Dean, College of Professional Studies and Fine Arts, Professor of Communication (B.A., Seattle Pacific University; M.A., California State University, Fullerton; Ph.D., Arizona State University)
Lindemann, Kurt J., Professor of Communication (B.A., Eastern Michigan University; M.S., Illinois State University; M.A., Eastern Michigan University; Ph.D., Arizona State University)
Savage, Matthew W., Professor of Communication, Director of Graduate Studies (B.A., M.A., University of Hawaii at Manoa; Ph.D., Arizona State University)
Asante, Godfried A., Associate Professor of Communication (B.A., University of Minnesota, Morris; M.A. Minnesota State University, Mankato; Ph.D., University of New Mexico)
Dykstra-DeVette, Tiffany A., Associate Professor of Communication (B.A., Central Michigan University; M.A., Texas Tech University; Ph.D., University of Utah)
De Souza, Rebecca T., Associate Professor of Communication (B.A., Mount Carmel College; M.A., Purdue University; Ph.D., Purdue University)
Pariera, Katrina L., Associate Professor of Communication (B.A., Portland State University; M.A. Georgetown University; Ph.D., University of Southern California)
Kumar, Rati, Assistant Professor of Communication (B.A.,Dr. Ambedkar College of Law; M.A., University of Florida; Ph.D., Purdue University)
Peebles, Alanna, Assistant Professor of Communication (B.A., Univéersity of California Santa Barbara; M.A., Ph.D., University of Wisconsin-Madison)
Smith, Damariyé L., Assistant Professor of Communication (B.A., M.A., California State University, Sacramento; Ph.D., University of Memphis)
Beach, Wayne, Ph.D., Professor of Communication, Emeritus (B.A., Drake University; M.A., University of Montana; Ph.D., University of Utah)
Czech, Kathleen, Ed.D, Leadership Studies
Fallon, William E., M.A., Communication
McHan, Michael J., M.A., Communication
Nuckels-Cuevas, Ashley, M.A., Communication
Rapp, Michael W., M.A, Communication
Andersen, Janis F., Ed.D., 1981-2007, Professor of Communication
Andersen, Peter A., Ph.D., 1981-2010, except 1983-85, Professor of Communication
Dionisopoulos, George N., Ph.D., 1985-2023, Professor of Communication
Geist-Martin, Patricia J., Ph.D., 1990-2018, Professor of Communication [Senate Distinguished Professor]
Hellweg, Susan A., Ph.D., 1979-2009, Professor of Communication
Lustig, Myron W., Ph.D., 1978-2006, Professor of Communication
Samovar, Larry A., Ph.D., 1963-2000, Professor of Communication
Snavely, William B., Ph.D., 2007-2017, Professor of Communication
Spitzberg, Brian H., Ph.D., 1989-2022, Professor of Communication
The School of Communication, an academic unit within the College of Professional Studies and Fine Arts, emphasizes scholarly, creative, and professional aspects of communication studies. The school engages in teaching, research, and development of integrated, interactive, international, and intercultural communication for the twenty-first century. The School of Communication is committed to quality undergraduate and graduate education in the field of communication. We prepare students for civic life, professional careers, and further graduate study. We are committed to cutting edge research and instructional innovation which advances understandings of culture, health, institutions, interaction, politics, relationships, and rhetoric in everyday life. We are dedicated to serving San Diego State University, the College of Professional Studies and Fine Arts, and the diverse communities in the urban region in which we live and work.
Students majoring in communication learn different ways that communication has been conceptualized and investigated, as well as ways members of the communication discipline have used their knowledge and scholarship to engage a variety of social problems. Students will be given opportunities to study how effective communication enhances well-being, and relationships; promotes civic engagement; and allows for effective participation in a global community. Courses focus on organizing principles and patterns of social life through observation, analysis, and criticism of human interactions, communication behavior, mediated systems, and technological innovations. Communication graduates have often found positions in occupations such as sales, human resources, training, education, and consulting, or have pursued advanced academic or professional degrees in fields such as law, management, and marketing.
Students majoring in health communication learn how people individually and collectively understand and accommodate to health and illness and the role of communication in shaping professional health care messages and public acceptance of these messages. Courses include instruction in the development and analysis of health-related messages and media; the goals and strategies of health care promotion; relationships, roles, situations, and social structures in the context of health maintenance and promotion; and applications to disease prevention, health advocacy, and communication concerning treatments. Health communication graduates find positions in both profit and non-profit organizations such as public health agencies, hospitals, educational institutions, health insurance companies, and other corporations.
Both majors are firmly grounded in the liberal arts and sciences and are intended to prepare students to be effective members of society, as well as valued employees in whatever careers they may choose to pursue.
The communication and health communication majors are impacted programs. To be admitted to the communication or health communication major, students must meet the following criteria:
- Complete with a minimum grade point average of 2.75 and a grade of C (2.0) or better: six units selected from COMM 160 , COMM 201 , COMM 204 , COMM 245 . These courses cannot be taken for credit/no credit (Cr/NC);
- Complete the general education oral communication requirement with a grade of C (2.0) or better. This course cannot be taken for credit/no credit (Cr/NC);
- Complete a minimum of 45 baccalaureate level semester units and a maximum of 90 semester units. (A minimum of 60 units are required for all transfer applicants.);
- Have a cumulative grade point average of 2.75 or better.
To complete the communication or health communication major, students must fulfill the degree requirements for the major described in the catalog in effect at the time they are accepted into the premajor at SDSU (assuming continuous enrollment).
Major Academic Plans (MAPs)
Visit http://www.sdsu.edu/mymap for the recommended courses needed to fulfill your major requirements. The MAPs website was created to help students navigate the course requirements for their majors and to identify which General Education course will also fulfill a major preparation course requirement.
The School of Communication offers graduate study leading to the Master of Arts degree in communication. The School of Communication is committed to quality graduate and undergraduate education in the field of human communication. We prepare students for civic life, professional careers, and further graduate study. We are committed to cutting edge research and instructional innovation which advances understandings of culture, health, institutions, interaction, politics, relationships, and rhetoric in everyday life. The school is dedicated to serving San Diego State University, the College of Professional Studies and Fine Arts, and the diverse communities in the urban region in which we live and work.
Priority is given to the development of graduate students’ expertise and skills in the following areas:
- Mastery of knowledge and abilities in communication theory and practice;
- Completion of major project that prepares students to become change agents in the career paths they are pursuing;
- Collaboration in research and instructional teams;
- Participation in fieldwork in diverse settings relevant to the social issues being investigated;
- Presentation of scholarly papers at professional conferences;
- Co-authorship of research articles with faculty and other graduate students;
- Preparation for a teaching career.
Graduate Teaching Associate Program
Graduate Teaching Associate (GTA) positions are available to a limited number of qualified students. This valuable opportunity includes:
- Training in teaching the basic oral communication course and helping first-year undergraduates to improve their communication skills;
- A monthly stipend that helps to offset the expenses of graduate school.
Instructions for applying for a Graduate Teaching Associate position are available at http://communication.sdsu.edu/?page_id=9.
The deadline for applying for a GTA position is the same deadline as applying for admission to the graduate program (March 1 for fall semester).
Admission to Graduate Study
The M.A. degree in Communication admits students only in the fall semester. Application packages must be received and completed by the previous March 1.
In addition to meeting the general requirements for admission to the university with classified graduate standing as outlined in Admission and Registration , students applying for admission to the Master of Arts degree in communication with a specialization in communication studies are evaluated according to the following criteria:
- Undergraduate major or minor in communication, speech communication, or a related discipline. Those lacking adequate undergraduate preparation may be admitted conditionally to the program and are required to take one or more proficiency courses identified, as determined by the graduate adviser. Proficiency courses do not count toward the 30 units of a student’s graduate program.
- Minimum grade point average of 3.00 (when A equals 4.0) in the last 60 semester (90 quarter) units attempted (this calculation may not include lower division courses taken after award of a baccalaureate degree).
Students applying for admission should electronically submit the university application available at http://www.calstate.edu/apply along with the application fee.
All applicants must submit admissions materials separately to SDSU Graduate Admissions and to the School of Communication.
The following materials should be submitted as a complete package directly to:
San Diego State University
San Diego, CA 92182-7416
Official transcripts (in sealed envelopes) from all postsecondary institutions attended;
English language score, if medium of instruction was in a language other than English (http://www.ets.org SDSU institution code 4682).
For international applicants for whom English is not their first language, English language paper scores of 550 (or 213 online).
School of Communication
The following admissions materials must be submitted electronically. For information regarding the admissions process, visit the school website at http://communication.sdsu.edu.
- Indicate that you applied online, paid your fee, and submitted official transcripts and scores to Graduate Admissions;
- Indicate whether you have established California residency;
- Indicate if you are applying for a Graduate Teaching Associate (GTA) position and describe the details of any teaching experience. If you did not major in communication as an undergraduate, indicate any communication coursework that might prepare you for teaching.
Application Support Materials
- Letters of Recommendation: Three letters of recommendation from academic or professional references that speak to your ability to succeed in graduate studies. We prefer that at least two of the letters be written by professors who can speak to your academic background and capabilities.
- Personal Statement: Personal statement of purpose that (a) describes your interest in communication, (b) describes your undergraduate and/or professional preparation for graduate studies in the communication program, (c) articulates your personal and/or career objectives that graduate studies in communication will help you pursue, and (d) optional: describes your interest in a Graduate Teaching Associate position, addressing how this desire relates to your interest in communication, your past academic and professional experience, and your career objectives.
- Photocopies of Transcripts and Scores: It is essential to send photocopies of your transcripts and English language scores (if applicable) to the School of Communication. Eventually, we will receive the official transcripts and scores from Graduate Admissions; however, we may be in a position to review your materials and make admission and GTA decisions before the materials arrive from the Graduate Admissions office.
- Curriculum vitae or resume
- Writing sample that you believe well represents your writing capabilities (e.g., a paper written for an undergraduate course).