> MCD > Majors > Communication

Degree: Bachelor of Arts


Program Learning Outcomes

Nicole Keating, Ph.D.

The Communication department is a vital part of the School of Media, Culture & Design at Woodbury and benefits from its strategic location in Burbank, CA, widely known as the media capital of the world. The curriculum offered spans the full range of communication studies including broadcasting, media analysis, and popular culture. Students in the major have abundant opportunities to develop a personalized education plan that includes additional cross-disciplinary coursework from other areas of the school including animation, graphic design, fashion design, and psychology.

Communication is a hybrid discipline that bridges the humanities and social sciences. Many people are drawn to the study of communication because they find that it helps them understand the underlying symbolic processes found in the modern world. As such, it is a perfect gateway degree for entry into careers and graduate programs related to media, entertainment, and culture. Business leaders regularly cite communication as one of the top critical skills needed for employment in the 21st century.

The education provided in our department builds the self-awareness needed to make reflective choices from an ever-expanding array of communication possibilities. During their course of study, students become active critical thinkers with unique and well-developed perspectives on communication practices. They develop the ability to communicate effectively with diverse others and to examine the nature of communication from multiple theoretical perspectives. In short, they acquire all the attributes of a communication scholar.

Creative inquiry is a hallmark of our program. In addition to a solid foundation in traditional communication research, students explore the boundaries of their thought using all the modern media available to them in the present day. They are given the necessary tools to become proficient public speakers, digital communicators, and academic researchers. Assignments have been carefully tailored to meet the learning outcomes for each class. Courses, too, are clearly aligned to program outcomes so that students can direct their own progress as they move through the curriculum.

The curriculum has been devised to follow four stages loosely connected to the four years of a traditional degree cycle. The first stage provides a solid introduction to the field in both its theoretical and applied aspects. The second develops the interpretive capabilities of the student through the close reading of texts and examination of personal communication practices. Students expand their purview in the third stage to include visual communication and the broader socio-cultural aspects of communication. In the fourth stage, they delve further into a chosen specialty in media or culture while also personalizing their creative research agenda. Successful completion of each stage of the curriculum, as well as its related theory and research components, is demonstrated in student learning portfolios, comprehensive exams, and the end-of-year departmental showcase.

The major culminates in a four-year Bachelor of Arts degree. For further information about the Communication major, contact Nicole Keating, Chair of Communication, at (818) 394-3340.

Communication studies the formation and flow of meaning that takes place through the symbolic representation of shared social realities. Our department encourages students to understand these communication processes through academic research, creative inquiry, and ethical reflection. The curriculum we have developed integrates theoretical expertise with practical skills in communication and research practices. Students graduate with the knowledge needed to succeed in a wide variety of fields related to media and contemporary culture.

  • Students will attain a solid grasp of leading theories and research practices found in the discipline
  • Students shall cultivate responsive listening skills and openness to the messages of others through
    their personal interactions inside and outside of the classroom
  • Students shall develop an appreciation for cultural diversity and multiple ways of knowing
  • Students will gain the tools and confidence needed to conduct research and frame arguments in a
    scholarly way
  • Students will increase their media literacy through the production and analysis of communication texts
  • Students shall gain exposure to professional practices in organizations and other entities related to their chosen area of focus in communication studies