Communication Studies Degrees

Associate in Arts for Transfer Degree in Communication Studies

The Associate in Arts in Communication Studies for Transfer degree (AA-T in Communication Studies) is a 60 unit program, which provides students the lower division coursework required for seamless transfer to a CSU institution for the major in Communication Studies. Students who complete the Associate in Arts in Communication Studies for Transfer degree (AA-T in Communication Studies) will be able to identify and explain concepts and theories of human communication, demonstrate effective communication skills in a variety of settings, and report an increased in communication competency.

Students must complete the following requirements:

  • 60 semester or 90 quarter CSU-transferable units
  • the California State University-General Education-Breadth pattern (CSU GE-Breadth); OR the Intersegmental General Education Transfer Curriculum (IGETC) pattern
  • a minimum of 18 semester or 27 quarter units in the major or area of emphasis as determined by the community college district
  • obtainment of a minimum grade point average (GPA) of 2.0
  • earn a grade of C or better in all courses required for the major or area of emphasis.

Students are not required to complete the information competency requirements, PE requirements or cultural diversity requirements found in other degrees at the College.

After completing an A.A.-T in Communication Studies, a student will be able to:

  • Identify and explain concepts/theories of communication.
  • Demonstrate effective communication skills in a variety of settings.
  • Demonstrate increased confidence in communication interactions.

Required Core Courses (3 units)

Course Number Course Title Units
COMM 1 Public Speaking 3 units

List A (6 units)

Select any two from below.

Course Number Course Title Units
COMM 4 Small Group Discussion 3 units
COMM 8 Interpersonal Communication 3 units
COMM 20 Argumentation and Debate 3 units

List B (6 units)

Any two of the following or any course not used from List A.

Course Number Course Title Units
COMM 10/H Persuasive Speaking or Honors 3 units
COMM 12 Intercultural Communication 3 units

List C (3 units)

Any one of the following or any course not used above.

Course Number Course Title Units
COMM 7 Survey of Communications: Career Building Strategies 3 units
ANTH 3 Introduction to Cultural Anthropology 3 units
PSYC 1 General Psychology 3 units
SOCI 1 Introduction to Sociology 3 units
ENGL 1B Critical Thinking Through Literature 3 units
ENGL 1C/H Critical Thinking and Writing or Honors 3 units

Major Requirements: 18 units

CSU GE Breadth or IGETC for CSU Requirements: 37 – 39 units

Elective Units As Needed To Total 60 CSU Transferable Units

Fall, Year 1 (6 units)

Course Number Course Title Units
COMM 1 Public Speaking 3 units
COMM 8 Interpersonal Communication 3 units

Spring, Year 1 (6 units)

Course Number Course Title Units
COMM 4 Small Group Discussion 3 units
COMM 7 Survey of Communication: Career Building Strategies 3 units

Fall, Year 2 (3 units)

Course Number Course Title Units
COMM 12 Intercultural Communication 3 units

Spring, Year 2 (3 units)

Course Number Course Title Units
COMM 20 Argumentation and Debate 3 units
Required Core 18 units
Total Units 18 units

Associate in Arts Degree in Communication Studies

The Communication Studies Department at West Valley College creates a transformative community within the classroom by encouraging students to listen intentionally, think critically, and speak passionately. This seven course curriculum bridges theoretical concepts and lived experiences, creating a personalized educational journey. After completing an A.A. degree in Communication Studies a student should be able to: demonstrate effective communication skills in a variety of settings and identify and explain concepts/theories of communication. The A.A. in Communications Studies is suitable for preparation for a baccalaureate in Communication Studies, Speech Communication, or Communication. Students may also be prepared for entry level positions in related occupations.

After completing an A.A. in Communication Studies, a student will be able to:

  • Identify and explain concepts/theories of communication.
  • Demonstrate effective communication skills in a variety of settings

Required Core Courses (18 units)

Select 18 units from the following list. Students have a choice of taking either COMM 10 OR 10H as one of their required courses, but not both.

Course Number Course Title Units
COMM 1 Public Speaking 3 units
COMM 4 Small Group Discussion 3 units
COMM 7 Survey of Communication: Career Building Strategies 3 units
COMM 8 Interpersonal Communication 3 units
COMM 12 Intercultural Communication 3 units
COMM 20 Argumentation and Debate 3 units
COMM 10 Persuasive Speaking 3 units
  OR  
COMM 10H Honors Persuasive Speaking 3 units

To be awarded an A.A. degree, a student must:

  1. Achieve a grade of “C” or better in the major requirements.
  2. Complete additional units to meet the college graduation requirements.

Note: Some transferring institutions will count no more than 12 community college units toward a communication major. Communication units above that number transfer as general electives.

Certificate of Achievement in Professional and Workplace Communication

The Professional and Workplace Communication Certificate is a 12-unit certificate designed to provide students lower division course work to build communication skills applicable to the everyday workplace environment. The certificate coursework is intended to help students become more confident and effective dealing with interpersonal and intercultural communication common in a global workplace and in professional communication environments. The certificate focuses on skills that gives students the opportunity to acquire the ability to identify and explain concepts and practically apply competent, professional, and smart career-related communication skills such as business presentations, conflict management, interviewing, cross-cultural competence, active listening, team and relationship building, leadership, and more.

Upon successful completion of this program, a student will be able to:

  • Demonstrate improved workforce communication skills
  • Demonstrate and apply communication theories and strategies
  • Demonstrate successful verbal and nonverbal workplace skills
  • Demonstrate the abilities to effectively communicate at work
  • Design and deliver business presentations
  • Build relationships and teams
  • Develop leadership skills
  • Implement conflict management strategies
  • Conduct and prepare for interviews
  • Employ cross-cultural competencies

This Certificate will result in improved confidence and effectiveness in the global workplace and in professional communication environments.

Required Courses (Choose One)

Course Number Course Title Units
COMM 001 Public Speaking 3 units
COMM 010 Persuasive Speaking 3 units

Required Courses (Choose Three)

Course Number Course Title Units
COMM 4 Small Group Discussion 3 units
COMM 7 Survey of Communication: Career Building Strategies 3 units
COMM 8 Interpersonal Communication 3 units
COMM 12 Intercultural Communication 3 units

Total Major Units: 12 units

Note: 8 of the 12 units must specifically be taken at West Valley College. A max of 4 units can come from other colleges, which includes Mission College.

Recommended Course Sequence

Fall, Year 1 (6 units)

Course Number Course Title Units
COMM 1 Public Speaking 3 units
COMM 12 Intercultural Communication 3 units

Spring, Year 1 (6 units)

Course Number Course Title
COMM 7 Survey of Communication: Career Building Strategies 3 units
COMM 8 Interpersonal Communication 3 units

Complete the Certificate Request Form during or after the semester that you will be satisfying certification requirements.

Submit completed form to proper last name letter group.

Letter Group Staff Member Email Address
A – L Elena Karets elena.karetsFREEWEST_VALLEY
M – Z Loretta McMahon loretta.mcmahonFREEWEST_VALLEY

Fall Deadline: Thursday, September 16, 2021

Your form will be processed after final letter grades are due, and the Certificate will then appear on your transcripts.

Communication Achievement Award

The Communication Achievement Award is different from the Professional and Workplace Communication Certificate. The Communication Achievement Award is discontinued as of the Fall 2021. However, if you began taking Communication courses to specifically obtain this Communication Achievement Award prior to the Fall 2021 semester, we will honor these course completions and you should complete the application for the Award in the semester that you complete your 3rd Communication Course.

Please submit your application by the last day in April for the Spring semester, or the last day of November for the Fall semester to receive the Award.
Submit Petition for Achievement Award

You are eligible if you completed and passed (C or better) 3 Communication Studies courses at West Valley College (or Mission College).

Yes! You will need to take the necessary additional course and you will be eligible to apply for that certificate by going to My Web Services and clicking Apply to Graduate. Always check with your Guidance Counselor.

Learn more about the Certificate of Achievement in Professional and Workplace Communication.

Submit by the last day in April for the Spring semester, or the last day of November for the Fall semester.

Applications will be processed after grades are posted. You should receive your Award by U.S. mail during the summer or winter break. Congratulations in advance!

Last Updated 8/10/21