Communication Studies Department

Frequently Asked Questions About Our Program

If you have any questions that are not answered here, please e-mail Russell Hong or Brandon Gainer

What's the difference between COMM 1 and COMM 10?

The key difference is the scope of both courses:  COMM 1 focuses more exclusively on public speaking while COMM 10 brings together concepts of public speaking, interpersonal communication, and small group communication. You'll likely see a focused group project and more group work in COMM 10 than COMM 1, though many of our faculty use collaborative learning.

That said, it's important to note the similarities: Both courses meet the GE requirement for oral communication. Lastly, whether you're taking COMM 1 or COMM 10, there's still a requirement to give a minimum of 5 presentations in both courses.

What can I do with a Communication Studies Degree?

You'll probably hear the question "so what can you do with that degree? Talk?" a lot if you're a Communication Studies major! Fortunately, s an undergraduate degree, a Communication Studies degree can prepare you for a number of career paths in areas such as Business, Law, Medicine, Media, Public Relations, and International Relations.  Below you will find a list of some of the many position titles held by graduates with this degree. Quite a few of these people have even spoken at our annual Career Day:

  • Global Account Manager

  • Human Resources Specialist

  •  Talent Development Analyst

  •  Marketing Coordinator

  •  Employee Communication Manager

  •  Executive Director

  •  Communication Director

  •  Digital Product Development Manager

What can I do with a Communication Studies Certificate?

Employers frequently cite communication skills among their top desired skills in new candidates. Our certificate provides a way to prove this by showing you are proficient in areas of verbal communication (COMM 1, 10, & 8), interpersonal skills (COMM 10), the ability to problem solve in teams (COMM 15), and can work with a diverse population (COMM 7). Our certificate is a great way to prove these skills without having to commit to an AA. It's only 20 units, and nearly all of our classes satisfy a GE requirement!

But just don't take our word for it:  The National Association of Colleges and Employers frequently cites the importance of communication skills in their jobs outlook.

What is the Specialty Area?

The specialty area is a requirement of the Communication Studies A.A. which asks students to create a “focus” consisting of 12 units in non-Speech classes. For example, a student interested in business might create a Business Communication specialty area made up of two business classes and one psychology class. This specialty area allows students to apply their communication knowledge to other academic areas they find interesting.

What is the Honors designation?

Most Communication Studies classes are offered as Honors (designated with an H). Students enrolled in an Honors course participate alongside the regular section of the course (so COMM1 and COMM1H students are in the same class, for example), but complete an additional, higher-level project to communicate a higher level of achievement.

Completing an honors course allows the designation to show up on your transcript, which may be beneficial in transferring. You must be part of the Honors Program to enroll in honors courses, which you can find out more about here.

Which degree should I pick?  The A.A. or the A.A.T.?

The A.A. is the better option if you're transferring to a UC or out of state school, plan to take a break between De Anza and your 4-year institution, or if you're planning on picking a different major from Communication Studies for your B.A. or B.S. degree. 

If you are certain you want to continue on as a Communication Studies major, are positive you want to attend a CSU, and want a more streamlined process for transfer, then the A.A.T. is likely the better choice.

How can I get involved with the Speech and Debate Club?

If you are interested in joining the Speech & Debate Club, contact Alex Kramer for more information.

Department Co-Chairs

Contact: Russell Hong
Phone: 408.864.5430
Office: F31K

Contact: Brandon Gainer


Last Updated: 7/20/17