Undergraduate Learning Objectives

The major in communication from the UC Davis Department of Communication is intended to instill the following competencies and skills:

Communication competence

By the time students graduate, they are expected to develop excellent oral and written communication skills to inform and persuade others with clear, organized, logical and compelling messages that adapt to the values, beliefs, attitudes and motivations of the audience and context in which communication occurs.

Intercultural communication skills

The communication curriculum teaches students how to communicate and collaborate effectively with others from diverse cultural backgrounds. Such skills are evidenced by an awareness and understanding of differences in beliefs, values and communication practices across cultures, as well as an enhanced knowledge of ways to overcome barriers in intercultural communication.

Critical thinking skills

Communication students learn to develop logical and critical thinking skills sufficient to make purposeful and reflective judgments about what to believe and how to respond to the claims of others, how to determine the meaning and importance of observations and experiences, and how to draw valid conclusions based on available information.

Media literacy

By the time communication majors graduate, they are expected to learn to apply their critical thinking skills as consumers of media messages. These messages can be manifest or latent, visual or verbal, and distributed through traditional or new social media. Media literacy is evidenced by the ability to assess the values expressed and the claims made in news, entertainment media and advertising.

Research skills

Communication graduates should be critical, insightful and effective consumers of social research. These skills encompass an understanding of the scientific methods used and the capacity to evaluate social research. The curriculum teaches students how to design and conduct research, including the ability to collect, analyze, report and interpret data. By the time students graduate, they should be able to conduct surveys of customers, clients and employees, and carry out basic market and audience analyses. They should be well versed in the use of the computer as a research tool for data collection, mining, manipulation and analysis, as well as its use to generate reports of research results.