The Communication Studies program provides students the opportunity to gain effective communication skills which are essential and highly demanded in educational, professional and social settings. Through critical thinking, observation, and performance, students recognize the importance of messages in an interconnected multicultural community. The Associate of Arts or Certificate of Performance in Communication Studies offer students enhancement of self-development and foundational tools for relational success.


Student Learning Outcomes

  • Students will develop effective verbal and presentational skills for a variety of communication situations.
  • Students will design effective communication in order to facilitate understanding and cooperation.
  • Students will research, organize, and present a developed viewpoint.
  • Students will research and develop an interculturally competent viewpoint.

Here are some communication career fields:

Advertising and public relations, Community service, Counseling, Education, Human Resources, Journalism, Management, Marketing, Performing Arts, Politics, Radio/Television/Film.


Communication Showcase

You can participate in a Communication Showcase as part of the Student Project and Research Symposium each spring working with your instructors. The showcase highlights student projects in Radio, TV, Film, Digital Journalism, and Communication Studies.  You can also consider being a part of the Spoken Word, Poster Presentations, and Pre-Recorded Presentations.  See more details at the symposium website.

Online application for participants closes Monday, April 11, 2022 at 12 noon. 



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Exciting News from SDSU!


Start at City College. Finish your bachelor’s at San Diego State University. Visit to learn more.

Earn an SDSU Communication Online Degree with SDSU@San Diego City College (Flyer)

Bachelor of Arts in Communication Online Degree Completion (Brochure)

Bachelor of Arts in Communication Online Degree (Frequently Asked Questions)

Applications are now open!

Spring 2022: June 1-Nov. 1, 2021
Fall 2022: Oct. 1, 2021-June 3, 2022

Apply here

We're excited that you are taking the first steps on your journey towards achieving a Communication Studies Degree. 

Step 1:
 Apply Online to San Diego City College through CCC Apply

All new students must register through CCC Apply before beginning classes at City College.

Step 2: Watch the Online Orientation Video

The Online Orientation video will help you get to know the campus and learn about the resources at City College that will help you succeed.

Step 3: Watch the Education Planning Workshop Videos and Meet with a Counselor to Plan your Schedule

Learn more about City College and what your Milestone levels mean through the series of videos in the online Education Planning Workshop. Then meet with a counselor to create a 1-2 semester Education Plan so that you know which classes to register for. Call the Counseling Department (619-894-6118) or schedule an online appointment today!

Step 4: Register for your Classes As Soon As Possible!

If you have trouble with registering for your classes, you can contact the Peer Advocate Center (619-800-2739). We know it can be a complicated process, but we're here to help!

Step 5: Attend your Classes (online for Spring 2021)!

Communication Studies Program 

Courses & Descriptions

COMS 101 - Voice and Articulation (3 units)

This course is designed to improve vocal production and the articulation, enunciation, and pronunciation of words. Emphasis is placed on sound production, voice quality, volume, pitch and expressiveness. This course is intended for communications studies majors and anyone involved in theatre, sales, public services or other professions.

COMS 103 - Oral Communication (3 units)

This course is an introduction to speechmaking. Emphasis is placed on the skills required to organize and deliver various types of speeches. Students give several speeches with and without visual aids. This course is designed for Communication Studies majors and for students interested in honing their speech skills.

COMS 104 - Advanced Public Speaking (3 units)

This course covers theory, practice, and critical analysis of public communication, including speeches on subjects of current interest both local and global. It includes an introduction to the relationship between rhetorical theory and criticism and rhetorical practice in public communication. Special emphasis is placed on advanced platform speaking and limited preparation speaking. This course is designed for students majoring in communication studies or anyone interested in advancing fundamental speech skills.

COMS 135 - Interpersonal Communication (3 units)

This course is a study of effective interpersonal skill development and practice in oral and written communication. Emphasis is placed on the personal, situational, and cultural influences of interaction. Topics include human perception, interpersonal dynamics, listening, conflict management, and verbal and nonverbal symbol systems. The course is intended for students who communicate in one-on-one situations, including communication, fashion, allied health, public service, and business majors as well as those interested in further development of effective interpersonal skills in work, volunteer, and personal environments.

COMS 160 - Argumentation (3 units)

This course is a study of argumentation. Emphasis is placed on research, analysis of propositions, testing of evidence, construction of the brief, and preparation for presentation of constructive and refutation cases. This course is designed for communications studies majors and anyone interested in argumentation and debate.

COMS 170 - Small Group Communication (3 units)

This course is a study of the concepts and theories related to group formation and development, and basic group communication dynamics. Students lead and participate in various forms of group discussion. This course is designed for communication studies and business majors as well as for anyone interested in working effectively in small group settings.

COMS 180 - Intercultural Communication(3 units)

This course is a study of communication between members of differing cultures, including the influence of cultures, languages, and social patterns on how members of groups relate among themselves and with members of different ethnic and cultural groups. Topics include social psychological variables; verbal and nonverbal language systems; cross-cultural communication breakdowns; and conflict resolution. Students apply the principles of intercultural communication to contemporary cross-cultural and global communication issues. This course is designed for students majoring in communication studies or other fields that require cross-cultural contact and/or awareness of cultural distinctions.

Associate of Arts Degree in Communication Studies

Requires 18 units

Courses Required for the Major:

COMS 103 Oral Communication (3 units)

Select 15 units from:

COMS 101 Voice and Articulation (3 units)

COMS 104 Advanced Public Communication (3 units)

COMS 135 Interpersonal Communication (3 units)

COMS 160 Argumentation (3 units)

COMS 170 Small Group Communication (3 units)

COMS 180 Intercultural Communication (3 units)

Total Units = 18*

*Additional general education and graduation requirements for the associate degree are listed in the catalog. The associate degree requires a minimum of 60 units.

Transfer Information

Common university majors related to the field of Communication Studies include: Communication, Communicative Disorders, Graphic Communications, Journalism, Marketing, Public Relations.

Course Requirements for Transfer Students: Students who plan to transfer to a four year college or university and earn a bachelor's degree in this discipline should consult with a counselor or visit the Transfer/Career Center to determine the appropriate major preparation courses for their specific transfer institution and major. Transfer students may also earn an Associate of Arts degree in Liberal Arts and Sciences with an emphasis. This degree may be individually tailored to each student's specific transfer requirements in order to provide the most efficient path to transfer. More information on transfer programs and procedures is available in the Transfer Programs section of the catalog

 Associate in Arts for Transfer Degree in Communication Studies (PDF)

Requires 18 - 21 units 

The Associate of Arts in Communication Studies for Transfer Degree is intended for students who plan to complete a bachelor's degree in Communication Studies or a related major in the California State University (CSU) system. It is accepted by some but not all CSU campuses. Students who complete this degree and transfer to a participating CSU campus will be required to complete no more than 60 units after transfer to earn a bachelor's degree. It may not be appropriate preparation for students transferring to a CSU campus that does not accept the degree. Students who plan to complete this degree should consult a counselor for additional information about participating CSU campuses as well as university admission, degree and transfer requirements. It is strongly recommended that students consult with a counselor to determine which general education option is most appropriate for their individual educational goals.

Courses Required for the major:

COMS 103 Oral Communication* (3 units)

Select two of the following courses:

COMS 160 Argumentation* (3 units)

COMS 135 Interpersonal Communication* (3 units)

COMS 170 Small Group Communication* (3 units)

Select two of the following courses (not selected above) to meet the lower division preparation for the major to your transfer university:

JOUR 202 Introduction to Mass Communication* (3 units)

JOUR 210A Newspaper Production 1 (3 units option only) 

MATH 119 Elementary Statistics* or PSYC 258 Behavioral Science Statistics* (3 units)

PSYC 101 General Psychology* (3 units)

COMS 101 Voice and Articulation (3 units)

COMS 104 Advanced Public Communication (3 units)

COMS 111 Oral Interpretation (3 units)

COMS 135 Interpersonal Communication* (3 units)

COMS 160 Argumentation* (3 units)

COMS 170 Small Group Communication* (3 units)

COMS 180 Intercultural Communication* (3 units)    

*Course also fulfills general education requirements for the CSU GE or IGETC pattern.

General Education: In addition to the courses listed above, students must complete one of the following general education options:

  • The IGETC pattern (page 123 in catalog) is accepted by all CSU campuses and most UC campuses and majors. It is also accepted by some private/ independent or out of state universities.
  • The CSU GE pattern (page 132 in catalog) is accepted by all CSU campuses and some private/independent or out of state universities. It is not accepted by the UC system.

Electives as needed to meet maximum of 60 CSU-transferable units required for the degree.    

It is strongly recommended that students consult with a counselor to determine which general education option is most appropriate for their individual educational goals.

Note: Students intending to transfer to a CSU should consult a counselor and visit for guidance on appropriate transfer coursework.

Certificates of Performance*

We now offer 4 Certificates of Performance in Communication Studies (COMS). Once you have taken the appropriate classes, received a C or better, and a grade has been recorded in those classes, you have earned a Certificate of Performance in any of the following areas for which you have qualified. Because these are campus awards, all classes have to be completed at City College. You can apply for more than one Certificate of Performance. 

Communication Studies-must have completed a total of 9 units from COMS 101, COMS 103, COMS 104, COMS 111, COMS 135, COMS 160, COMS 170, or COMS 180. 
Communication Studies: Business-must have completed a total of 9 units by taking BUSE 119 and 6 units from COMS 103, COMS 170, or COMS 180. 
Communication Studies: Health Communication-must have completed a total of 9 units by taking HEAL 101 and 6 units from COMS 103, COMS 104, COMS 135, or COMS 180. 
Communication Studies: Voice and Performance-must have completed a total of 9 units from COMS 101, COMS 103, COMS 104, COMS 160, or RTVF 106. 
Once you meet the criteria: 
1. Go to the district website and fill out a form requesting the Certificate of Performance. 
2. Then submit the form to the Evaluations Office. 

*A Certificate of Performance is a departmental award that does not appear on the student's transcript. 

Note: This program is not eligible for federal financial aid in accordance with Federal regulations


Deanna Shelton, M.A. (she, hers,her)| Professor, Communication Studies & Communications Chair

City College Communication Studies faculty is here for you!  Teaching COMS 103 Oral Communication, COMS 135 Interpersonal Communication, and COMS 170 Small Group Communication has been my emphasis for many years.  My southern roots to sunny San Diego include a Bachelor of Science in Communication from the University of Texas at Austin and a Master of Arts in Communication from San Diego State University.  Along that path, I worked in the areas of advertising, sales, and marketing with organizations, including Hyatt Hotels and The San Diego Union-Tribune.  Currently, I serve as Chair of the Communications program which includes the departments of Communication Studies, Digital Journalism, and Radio TV Film, and Chair of the Diversity Committee.  I ask students to put their antennas up as we analyze the messages all around us...that is our spectacular world of Communication Studies! Outside of work, my focus is family, husband, three teenage-to-adult children, dog Dash, and supporting the community through non-for-profit groups.


Erin Engstrom, M.A. (she, hers, her) | Professor, Communication Studies

Hi! I am Erin.  I have been teaching at City College since 2006. I teach Advanced Public Speaking (COMS 104), Argumentation (COMS 160), and Intercultural Communication (COMS 180).  I grew up north of Seattle and went to University of Washington, moved to Colorado for graduate school, then back out to the coast landing here in California.  I am a kid mom, a dog mom, and a cat mom. My family has a place in Mexico so we take off for either Mexico or the Pacific Northwest every chance we get.  I love to teach and have a lot of fun in the classroom.  Welcome to City College.  You are going to love it here!

Maria-Jose Zeledon-Perez, Ed.D. (she, hers, her) | Assistant Professor, Communication Studies

Welcome to City College! I have been teaching Oral (COMS 103), Interpersonal (COMS 135) and Intercultural Communication (COMS 180) courses for many years. I also coordinate the amazing World Cultures ProgramI graduated from SDSU with a Doctorate in Educational Leadership with concentration in community colleges (CCLEAD) and a Master of Arts in Communication Studies. I love our field as I refer to communication skills as "life skills". I was born and raised in Costa Rica and my native language is Spanish. A fun fact about me is that besides living with my husband and two teenagers, we also live with a mini pig, a dog, two horses and two mini donkeys. My motto is "Life is an adventure. Be uncomfortable until you become comfortable".
Picture of Patricia

Patricia Elmore Costa, M. A. 

Patricia Elmore Costa, M.A. is a professor of Theatre Arts and Communication Studies.  She received her master’s degree in Communication from San Diego State University, recently becoming one of the top five Communication Studies Departments in the country.  Her B.A. is in Theatre/Speech from Western Illinois University. Ms. Elmore Costa has taught Communication Studies for the San Diego Community College District at Mesa College, City College, and Miramar College.  Recently, she joined the Communication Studies Department at the University of San Diego. Patricia is also a professional actor, director, producer and writer with stage, television, film and over 100 television and radio commercials to her credit.  She is able to share her knowledge of enhancing a student’s oral presentation and public speaking skills with their voice and body.  Ms. Elmore Costa is the Founder and Artistic Director of the San Diego Actors Theatre currently celebrating 36 years of presenting professional, exciting, innovative theatre that ignites the human spirit.  Visit her newly revitalized website:


Kimberlee Wirig, M. A.  

I began studying communication when I was in the 4th grade. I grew up in Canada. In Canada students can study Speech Communication one on one, the same way they can study piano. I earned a Teaching Certificate from Mount Royal College Academy of Music when I was 18 years old. From there I attended Rick's College in Idaho where I met and married my husband. We had 3 children when I returned to school at Eastern New Mexico University where I earned both my Bachelor's and Master's Degrees. In the middle of my Master's program our 4th child was born. She had a lot of health issues one of which is that she is Deaf. This means she is a plethora of excellent examples of communication difficulties. In class, you will likely learn from some of the issues she faced and, for the most part, has overcome. I have been teaching in San Diego since January of 2000. If you have any concerns, questions and/or struggles in this class please come see me. My classes tend to be set up to help YOU be successful. If you are struggling I can't help you if you don't come to me. I promise, I don't bite.


Lindsay Jacobs


Joseph Berry


Chris Rubin


Humberto Gurmilan


Andre Pitts

Picture of Robert

Robert Chambers, M. A. 

Welcome to City College! I have been adjunct faculty at City since 2017. I teach at six different campuses and I understand the challenges that we endure teaching and learning across multiple learning sites. I love San Diego City College as I attended SDCC as a student many years ago.  I currently collaborate with Umoja, Puente and HUBU programs. I am also involved with the Social Justice Committee, the Diversity Committee, and the World Cultures program. I am the Co-Founder of “Voices from the Left” which is a student platform where you as students share your lived experiences through poetry and personal narratives. I am here for you!


Amanda Taylor


Julie Saner


Diane Beach

Picture of Carly

Carly DeAnda, M. A. (she, her, hers)

Hello and Welcome to City College. I have taught COMS 103 (Public Speaking) courses here for the past three years. I graduated from SDSU with a Masters in Communication Studies in 2017 and have been teaching every since. I am fascinated by the way we use language to shape our worldviews. The majority of what I studied at SDSU focused on Immigration and Political Rhetoric. I am the mother of Sofia Rose, a nine year old who keeps me in a constant state of learning. I spent the first half of my life in Madrid, Spain, which is where I found my passion for tennis. I played all throughout college and coached the Women's College team. I believe that the classroom is one of the rarest spaces we get to enter, where being wrong, asking tough questions, and expanding our perspectives is encouraged and respected. It is a sacred space, and one that I am honored to be a part of.


Charmin Lindholm


Torey Romero

 This is Mark's picture

Mark Lieberman, M. A. (he, him, his)

Hi everybody! I am Mark and am excited to be at your service here at City College! I started my teaching career at San Jose State University in 2014 and have been teaching Oral (COMS 103) at this school since early 2020. I wasn't sure what I was going to choose as my major while I was at the Community College until I took a Public Speaking course. It was a fantastic experience and I hope to provide a great experience for you, too. After that, I pursued my Bachelors degree at San Francisco State University, with an emphasis in Rhetoric and Interpersonal Communication. In graduate school, at San Jose State University, I studied Public Persuasion as well as the persuasive potential of public art. I was fortunate to work in the professional world of Silicon Valley and international logistics for many years, mostly in Human Resources (Professional Development and Employee Onboarding). Our classes spend a fair amount of time in Work Based Learning activities to improve our critical thinking processes and the develop skills employers want in the 21st century workplace. Welcome to City College!


Jayla Lee


Ambarta Noor


Erik Johnson

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Need homework help? Meet with a tutor online through The English Center. They can help you with homework and planning and revising your essays and other school work.

Hungry? Check out the Food Pantry in BT-211A. Bring your student ID and pick up a snack for free! (Due to Covid-19, the Food Pantry is currently closed)

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Get help from   the amazing counselors at the Transfer and     Career Center.

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Meet with an Academic Counselor
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 Feeling stressed and need someone to talk   to?  The Mental Health Counseling Center is   there to help. You can speak with a counselor   privately. The counselors can also refer you   to helpful resources in the community, such   as housing and food. 



If you have any questions about enrolling in our Communication Studies program, please contact us. We are here to help!

Deanna Shelton
Communications Chair

Erin Engstrom, Faculty

Maria-Jose Zeledon-Perez, Faculty