Gulf service stations in the District, Maryland, Virginia and West Virginia will sport the Chevron name by the end of the year, Chevron Corp. announced last week.

At least 1,100 filling stations in the region, including 23 company-owned locations in the District, will replace their orange, blue and white signs with Chevron's red, white and blue logo and paint their buildings in the Chevron color scheme.

Chevron said it has notified its area dealers and employes of the change, in meetings and by mail in recent weeks.

Chevron has planned a smooth transition for customers, as well as dealers, a company spokesman said. Gulf credit-card holders are receiving new credit cards with both Chevron and Gulf logos that will enable them to buy gas and other products on credit at the converted stations.

Chevron USA Inc., whose stations are located primarily in the West, makes its debut in the mid-Atlantic region as a result of the San Francisco-based company's 1984 acquisition of Gulf Corp., a merger that made Chevron the nation's largest petroleum products refiner and seller.

The mid-Atlantic region appears to be the only area on the East Coast where Chevron will retain all of its Gulf stations. In the Southeast, Chevron was forced to sell the stations because of concerns about antitrust requirements in an area where the Chevron logo already is familiar.

In the North, Chevron has sold its stations to Cumberland Farms, an operator of convenience stores, in order to retire some of the debt incurred as a result of the acquisition.

Switching the new logos for the old, a spokesman said, will be a long, slow process that is now only in the survey stage. Beginning with stations in Southeast Virginia, he said, Chevron will move north through Maryland and then west through the District, the rest of Virginia and West Virginia.

All in all, about 1,100 company-owned and independent stations will be affected by the change, including 622 locations in Virginia, 219 in Maryland and 256 in West Virginia. Also included in the transition are several company-operated marketing terminals, warehouses and related facilities.

Responding to the news media's growing specialization in business and economics, American University will offer a masters degree in economic communication in the fall.

The one-year curriculum will be offered jointly by the School of Communication and Department of Economics. The university's National Center for Business and Economic Communication also will support the program.

The program, taught by faculty members from both departments, will "train specialists in journalism and other fields in the understanding and communication of economic and business information," the university said.

Rowley-Scher Reprographics Inc., a Washington graphic reproduction service company, has reached an agreement to acquire Miller Reprographics Inc., a privately owned firm with operations in Boston and Quincy, Mass.

Although terms of the pact were not disclosed, Joel Salus, chairman and chief executive officer of Rowley-Scher, said the sale price was less than $1 million.

Salus said the merger was "well in line with our strategy" of expanding into other markets through acquisitions. Rowley-Scher has opened offices in Baltimore and Norfolk, as well as in the District.

Miller will operate as a wholly owned subsidiary of Rowley-Scher, under the direction of Ernie Lorandeau, whom Salus called a "well-established and excellent leader" in the graphic reproduction industry. Miller's sales for the last fiscal year were about $2.5 million.

McCormick & Co. Inc., the Baltimore spice and specialty foods maker, has acquired a new line of pungent products it hopes will be a strong complement to its current offerings.

Last week, the company said it has bought Classic American Foods Inc., whose specialty is a line of six winery mustards named for five of the top California wineries.

The acquisition, from a Stamford, Conn., cookware manufacturer, General Housewares Corp., was for under $1 million, a McCormick spokesman said, declining to divulge the terms of the merger.

"This is an embryonic business which we believe is an outstanding fit for our strategy of growth in the area of distinctive specialty foods," said Thomas W. Peterson, deputy general manager of McCormick's grocery products division.

Robertshaw Controls Co. enters its first international joint venture, a project with a South Korean company that will initially produce residential thermostats.

Se-Jin Electron Inc. of Seoul has agreed on the project with the Richmond firm, officials said.

Terms of the agreement call for Se-Jin to make electronic controls for Robertshaw in the United States and other countries. It will have exclusive rights to sell the product in South Korea.

The two companies will make Robertshaw products at the outset, but may expand to include others, a spokesman for the Korean firm said.

Financial terms were not disclosed.

Gov. Gerald Baliles (D-Va.) is scheduled to address a delegation of 500 tourism representatives from the United States and Canada March 17 to officially open Showcase '86.

Showcase is an annual marketing event sponsored by Travel South USA, a travel promotion organization representing 11 southern states.

Baliles is expected to comment on tourism's impact on the state's economy and make a special announcement on a new direction for marketing Virginia's travel business.

A new report from the Council of Higher Education suggests that many business administration students at Virginia colleges may be shortchanged because money for their curriculum is being diverted to other programs.

The practice is commonplace and not illegal, but some members of a task force on undergraduate business education suggest that business schools may have been drained too much to help less popular programs.

The task force work, part of a series of studies of public college offerings in several fields, was commissioned by the Council of Higher Education.

The draining of business program funds at several schools also may have been produced by rapid enrollment increases spurred by students who want to enter the business world, the task force said.