BA in Communication Studies (Public Relations)

Units required for Major: 48
Total units required for BA: 120

Program Description

This concentration, developed from the Commission on Public Relations Education recommendations, is designed to:

  • prepare students to assume professional entry level roles in the practice of public relations;
  • help students understand the integration of public relations and marketing;
  • prepare students to compose, develop, and analyze print and broadcast messages;
  • help students to develop demonstrable competencies in writing, analyzing, problem-solving, and critical thinking;
  • provide opportunities for testing public relations theory and practice, not only in the classroom, but in the field as well; and
  • develop relationships with local public relations professionals as well as with community organizations.

Pre-Major Requirements

Prior to acceptance as a Communication Studies major, students must complete a pre-major consisting of all required lower division courses plus the upper division survey course (COMS 100A). Students must successfully complete each pre-major course with a grade of "C-" or better. Students with a Sacramento State grade point average of 2.3 or better may request early admission to the major.

General Requirements

  • All Communication Studies majors except those in Mass Communication and Digital Media are required to complete at least one three-unit public speaking course such as COMS 4, COMS 104, or transfer equivalent. Public speaking courses taken to fulfill the GE oral communication requirement also fulfill this Department requirement.
  • Majors must complete each core course and each option core course with a grade of "C-" or better.
  • Not more than 6 units of debate, internship and/or individual study (see the following) can be applied to the major requirements.
COMS 110Advanced Debate Workshop1
COMS 111Debate Research Practicum3
COMS 194Communication Studies - Related Work Experience3 - 6
COMS 195Internship in Communication Studies1 - 6
COMS 199Special Problems1 - 3
  • Majors are urged to take COMS 2, Argumentation (or transfer equivalent) to fulfill their critical thinking requirement.
  • Communication Studies courses may only be repeated once for a grade change. Students who fail to achieve at least a "C-" in two attempts in a core course will be disqualified in majoring in Communication Studies.
  • One project or paper from each capstone course will be reviewed by selected faculty for the purpose of departmental assessment.

Program Requirements

Required Lower Division Core Courses (12 Units)
COMS 2Argumentation 13
COMS 8Interpersonal Communication Skills3
COMS/JOUR 55Media Communication and Society3
JOUR 30News Writing3
Required Upper Division Core Courses (9 Units)
COMS 100ASurvey of Communication Studies3
COMS 100BRhetoric and Social Influence 13
COMS 100CIntroduction to Scientific Methods in Communication Research3
Concentration Requirements (21 Units)
COMS 106Digital Media Creation - An Introduction3
COMS 118Survey of Public Relations3
COMS/JOUR 123Writing for Public Relations3
COMS/JOUR 158Public Relations Planning and Management3
COMS 170Data Analysis in Communication Research3
or COMS 171 Survey Methods in Communication Research
COMS 187Issue Management and Case Studies in Public Relations3
MKTG 101Principles Of Marketing3
Electives (6 Units)
Select 6 units of upper division Communication Studies courses 26
Total Units48


  • Students in the Public Relations Concentration would be encouraged to minor in the social sciences or business.
  • Not more than 3 units of Internship (COMS 195) can be applied to the Public Relations Concentration.

General Education Requirements1

Area A: Basic Subjects (6 Units)
A1 - Oral Communication3
A2 - Written Communication3
A3 - Critical Thinking 20
Area B: Physical Universe and Its Life Forms (13 Units)
B1 - Physical Science3
B2 - Life Forms3
B3 - Lab (Note: Lab experience to be taken with one of the following: B1, B2 or B5)1
B4 - Math Concepts3
B5 - Additional Course (Any B to reach 12 units) - Take upper-division course to complete Area & upper division requirements.3
Area C: Arts and Humanities (12 Units)
C1 - Arts3
C2 - Humanities3
C1/C2 - Area C Course3
C1/C2 - Area C Course - Take upper-division course to complete Area & upper division requirements.3
Area D: The Individual and Society (12 Units)
Area D Course3
Area D Course3
Area D Course3
Area D Course - Take upper-division course to complete Area & upper division requirements.3
Area E: Understanding Personal Development (3 Units)
Area E Course3
Total Units46

Graduation Requirements1

Graduation Requirements (required by CSU) (6 Units)
American Institutions: U.S. History3
American Institutions: U.S. Constitution & CA Government3
Writing Intensive (WI) 20
Graduation Requirements (required by Sacramento State) (12 Units)
English Composition II3
Race and Ethnicity in American Society (RE)3
Foreign Language Proficiency Requirement 36