FAQs - Undergraduate Advising

students in HGH hallway

What is an advisor and how do I find one?

Most students have three advisors: a major advisor, a minor advisor (if you're completing a minor), and a General Education advisor.  The list of major advisors is available outside HGH 112 and on the undergraduate advisors page.  You choose your advisor.  If possible, meet with the same advisor each time.

What should I bring with me to the meeting with my major advisor?

Bring your laptop, smartphone, or other device that allows you to access your transcripts and degree progress report on MySJSU. In addition, bring your list of questions.

What courses do I need to take for the communication studies major?

Core Courses: COMM 101C (pre/corequisite for COMM 198 and 199C), COMM 198, and COMM 199C

Foundations • Inquiry • Practice Courses: Two courses from each area

Additional Courses: 8 units of electives in Communication Studies (may be upper- or lower-division)

What is COMM 198, Applied Activity?

COMM 198, taken when you are a second-semester junior or during your senior year, requires that you apply in a practical setting what you've learned in your major courses.  The options are offered in 1-unit modules; you are required to take 2 units. Alternately, you may substitute COMM 157SL, Community Action/Community Service, which also fulfills the SJSU Studies Area S requirement.

What additional courses should I take in the major?

The department offers a wide variety of courses.  Identify your own interests, needs, and learning objectives as a basis for choosing your 8 units of additional courses. Meet with your advisor to help you select courses that best fit your educational and professional goals. These courses may be lower- or upper-division. 

What is a lower-division course? What is an upper-division course?

Any course you've taken at a community college is a lower-division course. At SJSU, any course numbered below 100 is lower-division and any course numbered 100 and above is upper-division. Community colleges never offer upper-division courses.

Can I count my community college communication courses toward the electives for the major?

Yes, if it is a college-level course in communication studies, speech communication, or communication.  Consult with your advisor to determine if you can count a community college course toward your COMM major at SJSU.  You may count up to 8 units of lower division courses as additional courses toward your program of study.  You may not double count lower-division communication courses used to satisfy your Core GE requirements toward the major. 

Can I count a course taken at another university or college as a core course for the major?

Bring a course description (copied from the catalog of the school you previously attended) and/or syllabus and documentation showing the course was transferred.  Your advisor will determine whether it is the equivalent of one of our courses.  Note that core courses in the major are upper-division; upper-division courses must transfer in from a four-year school and be considered upper-division or junior/senior level at that school.)

Is there a required minimum grade for a course to count toward the major?

"D-" is the lowest passing grade.  Sometimes, as with GE Basic Skills and SJSU Studies courses, you must earn a "C-" or better to meet the GE requirement, even though you pass the class with a lower grade.  You must have an overall 2.0 GPA and a 2.0 in the major to be eligible to graduate.

How many CR/NC classes can I count toward the major?

No more than 6 units.

What is double counting and can I do it?

Double counting is when you use one course to count for both SJSU Studies and the major. You may double count up to 6 units of SJSU Studies courses (currently COMM 100W, 157/157SL, 168A/B, 174, 179) toward the major. You may not double count any Core GE (lower division) courses.

What is a flag or hold and how do I get it removed?

A flag is a registration hold put on your records.  The flag is placed on your records at the time of transfer.  You must meet with a major advisor before your second semester at the University.  At this meeting, your advisor will give you a form to turn in to the department office (HGH 108) to have your flag removed. Failure to meet with an advisor and remove the flag will prevent you from being able to register for classes in the next semester.

Do I have to complete a minor?

No, you do not need to complete a minor. For the minor, you work with an advisor in in a department outside of Communication Studies to determine the courses you need to take. If you complete a minor, you will have your advising and your forms approved in that department (not in Communication Studies). If a minor in another department requires fewer than 18 units (e.g., Business requires 15 units), make sure you meet the 120 units total for the University baccalaureate requirements.  

How do I find out what I need to do for my GE requirements?

There are two kinds of General Education requirements: Basic Skills (lower division, often taken at a community college, also called Core GE) and SJSU Studies (also called Advanced GE or upper-division GE).