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Communication is one of the smaller departments on campus. Until Fall 2006, they didn't even have any graduate students, which made it harder to fill TA positions. Because of the historical drought of TAs in the department, the faculty tends to use multiple guess testing more often than other departments. Some people (especially the faculty) believe that the department gives difficult multiple guess tests. Others disagree.
Like many other departments, communication's role is mostly servicing students outside of the major. For example, all engineering undergrads are required to take either CMN 1 or CMN 3. The large number of engineering majors and the small number of faculty and graduate students often means that those classes in particular are often difficult to get into.
The department offers an AB to undergrads as well as a minor. The graduate program offers an MA with both a thesis and a non-thesis track. The department does not currently offer a PhD.
The department (like all communication departments) has been a target of ridicule because of the major and subject's perceived easiness. One of the more visible examples of this was Aggie Columnist Garrett McCord's statement that communication is "The penny candy of majors." (source).
One of the most popular faculty members is: Virginia Hamilton
CMN 1: Public Speaking
CMN 3: Interpersonal Communication
CMN 103: Gender Differences in Communication
CMN 134: Interpersonal Communication
CMN 140: The Media Industry
CMN 142: News Policies, Practices and Effects
Links to Communication Graduate Programs in California