English Composition, Principle of Marketing, Oral Communication, Communication and Technology, Public Speaking
Communications, Media Relations, TV and Radio, Journalism, Rhetorical Studies
Radio and Television Announcer, Copywriter, Public Relations Specialist
$30,080 for radio and television announcers, $60,250 for copywriter, and $56,770 for public relations specialists
From 2014 to 2024, 11% decrease for radio and television announcers, 2% increase for copywriters, and 6% increase for public relations specialists
Online Communications Degrees
The field of communications works to refine the way we convey meaning across culture and media. If you earn a communications degree online, you’ll learn how to effectively express and spread information and be prepared for rewarding careers in journalism, radio, film, television, broadcasting, marketing, advertising, and public relations. While the job market can be competitive, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects that the employment outlook for careers in communications is expected to grow by roughly 4% through 2024.
The skills you develop as you earn your communications degrees will vary depending on your chosen career path. If you want to pursue public relations, human resources, or marketing, you will use social media, development tools, and other web platforms to promote brands and facilitate communication between other parties. If you are interested in a career in journalism, broadcasting, or entertainment, you will hone your craft in writing, storytelling, and tracking sources, among other technical skills.
Online communications programs are a flexible and affordable alternative to traditional brick-and-mortar college. Read on to find out more about how earning a communications degree online can help you launch your career.
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Online Communications Degree Overview
|Degree||Avg Degree Cost||Avg Loan Default Rate||Time Commitment||Early Career Pay||Mid-Career Pay||Unemployment Rate|
While employment prospects are slightly greater for candidates with bachelor’s or master’s communications degrees under their belt, associate degrees earned through online communications programs will still prepare you for several job opportunities. In a two-year program, you will focus on your writing skills, computer literacy, and general speaking skills. Research-oriented positions are likely to require, at the very least, an associate degree. Some students may pursue two-year online communications programs with the intent of eventually earning their four-year bachelor’s in communications online.
Online Communications Degrees
Communication Theories And Practice, Media And Society, Conflict Resolution, Writing for the Digital Age, Principles of Public Relations
Marketing Communication, Emerging Media, Public Relations, Management and Organizational Communication
Public Relations Specialist, Copywriter, Promotions Manager, Event Planner, Journalist
$56,770 for public relations specialists, $60,250 for copywriter, $124,850 for promotions managers, $46,840 for event planners, and $37,720 for journalists
From 2014 to 2024, 6% increase for public relations specialists, 2% increase for copywriters, 19% increase for promotions managers, 10% increase for event planners, and 9% decline for journalists
Communications Bachelor’s Degree Rankings
|Rank||School Name||School Logo||City||Cost||Address & Contact Info||School Links||Acclaim for Online Programs||School Description|
East Carolina University
|Greenville||$$$$$||East 5th Street|
Greenville, NC 27858-4353
East Carolina University offers an online bachelors degree in communications with a concentration in interpersonal/organizational communication. The 126 credit-hour program is comprised of foundations, foreign language, core, concentration and electives coursework and is designed for first time undergraduate students. Online courses for the online communications degree are delivered through Blackboard, with comprehensive student support available from both Blackboard-oriented tech specialists as well as consultants within ECU’s academic departments. ECU offers a generous policy for undergraduate students transferring from other majors, requiring a minimum of 30 overall credits and half of communications-specific courses be completed at ECU.
Northern Kentucky University
|Highland Heights||$$$$$||Nunn Drive|
Highland Heights, KY 41099
Northern Kentucky offers an online BA in communication studies, focused on bringing students foundational communications coursework as well as career training in fields including PR, HR, sales, business and politics. The 39-credit-hour program is designed to be completed over four years and is comprised of 14-16 credits per semester. The communications degree online is almost entirely via course delivery through Blackboard. Web-based coursework in communications at NKU lends itself to a broad range of multimedia competencies that are required in most PR and marketing jobs in the industry today.
Southern New Hampshire University
|Manchester||$$$$$||2500 North River Road|
Manchester, NH 03106-1045
Southern New Hampshire University offers an online bachelors degree in communications in three available concentrations: new media, professional writing and public relations. Coursework in all majors is comprised of a combination of core and general education curriculum, delivered via the Blackboard learning management system as part of SNHU’s exclusive intranet portal. Additionally, students may select 33 free electives from a wide variety of courses in all subjects. SNHU offers six start terms per year for its online communications degree; each online term is nine weeks in length. The program is designed to prepare students to be able to communicate effectively as well as master relevant media technologies to begin a career in this profession.
University of North Dakota
|Grand Forks||$$$$$||264 Centennial Drive, Stop 8193|
Grand Forks, ND 58202-8193
The University of North Dakota offers an online BA in communication, customizable via optional concentrations in interpersonal communication, organizational communication, PR, advertising, print journalism and media studies. The degree comprises 125 credits and may be completed in as little as four years. Through curriculum delivered entirely online via Blackboard, UND provides a broad education in core communication concepts as well as the liberal arts, preparing students for careers in a variety of both traditional and technological disciplines. The communications degree online program is designed for maximum convenience and affordability, offering in-state tuition to all distance learners, regardless of location.
University of Memphis
Memphis, TN 38152
The University of Memphis offers an online BA in communication, designed to provide a broad education in this discipline to accommodate a variety of career options. In addition to foundational courses in communication studies, students select a focus area from among three options: organizing and relating, rhetoric and political communication or media and culture. The degree is comprised of both core and elective courses for a total of 120 semester hours. Online courses are facilitated through Desire2Learn, and may be accessed alongside numerous other support resources via the MyMemphis portal, including eCampus research links, podcast archives and comprehensive tech support services.
Appalachian State University
|Boone||$$$$$||Dougherty Administration Building|
Boone, NC 28608
Appalachian State’s online bachelors degree in communications is ideal for those looking to achieve an undergraduate education focused on advertising in the communications industry. Admission into the online communication program is limited, typically totaling 20-25 students, and is designed for students who have completed, or are in the process of completing, basic core curriculum to satisfy the BA degree. Students must take 54 semester hours of full-time coursework delivered completely online via the AsULearn portal. In addition to focused coursework in media and advertising concepts and practice, online BA communication students must declare a minor area of study in business, health promotion or sociology. The communications degree online is designed to be completed in two years.
University of Maryland - University College
|Adelphi||$$$$$||3501 University Blvd East|
Adelphi, MD 20783-8010
The online bachelor’s in communication studies at the University of Maryland–University College is designed to provide an education in the broad skills needed to begin a career in a variety of communication-based fields. Coursework focuses on multiple disciplines within the industry, including journalism, new media and technical writing, among other topics. In addition to satisfying all general education requirements, it is recommended that students minor in business or administration to accompany the communication major. All online assignments in Learning Experience Online are accessible through a singular UMUC portal, along with 24/7 tech support, an interactive academic calendar and a forthcoming UMUC mobile app.
|Chicago||$$$$$||1 E Jackson Blvd|
Chicago, IL 60604
DePaul University offers an online BA in communication and media, developed with adult learners and transfer students in mind. The program is designed to accommodate students with prior education in English or Liberal Studies, or who have satisfied prerequisites and/or passed required proficiency exams for admission into the program. Distance learners in the BA in communications program must complete 192 quarter-credit hours; the degree is typically completed in either two or three years, depending on whether the student opts for part-time or full-time status. Though online communication degree students complete assignments exclusively through Desire2Learn, the online communications degree they receive is identical to that of their on-campus counterparts.
Oral Roberts University
|Tulsa||$$$$$||7777 S Lewis Ave.|
Tulsa, OK 74171
Oral Roberts offers an online BA in communication, which offers a holistic education in the subject. The curriculum combines general education, major, minor and elective courses in Christian communication skills, totaling 128 course credit hours. Students studying communications are trained in interpersonal and organizational skills. They’re taught training and development, how to give presentations and persuasive speaking. A communication art education major is also offered online at ORU, which puts students on the path toward teaching certification. In addition to online assignments delivered through the VISION system, ORU provides a variety of supplemental course materials that can be digitally downloaded to save on textbook costs, as well as its own mobile app.
|La Jolla||$$$$$||11255 North Torrey Pines Road|
La Jolla, CA 92037-1011
National University offers an online BA in strategic communications, with a general focus in corporate marketing, advertising and PR. Coursework totals 180 quarter units and is delivered through Blackboard. The program is well-suited to students who have prior transferrable credits in general education; however, those who do not have transfer credits may supplement with general electives to satisfy degree requirements. Distance learners must complete prerequisite courses in college English and public speaking as a condition of enrollment. Core and advanced core curriculum in the BA program include topics such as interpersonal communication, strategic writing and media management, among others.
Montana State University - Billings
|Billings||$$$$$||1500 University Drive|
Billings, MT 59101-0298
The BA in communication offered at MSU Billings is available in two distinct concentrations: organizational communication or mass communication. The organizational communication option focuses on educating students in business and social service to become managers, trainers, human resource officers and corporate communication staff. The mass communication option is centered around theoretical grounding and applied knowledge regarding the effects of media messages on attitudes and behaviors. Students of this focus go on to work in journalism, fund raising and public relations. Courses in the online communication degree program are delivered through Desire2Learn, offering comprehensive Web-based student support services such as fully online academic tutoring and numerous online writing labs. Additionally, distance learners can access the MSUB library online via a Web search, as well as download textbooks and other resources virtually via the student portal.
|Philadelphia||$$$$$||4201 Henry Avenue|
Philadelphia, PA 19144-5497
The online BA in professional communications and emerging media at Philadelphia University is designed to educate students in both the traditional work in the communications profession, along with the digital tools at the cutting edge of today's PR work. Coursework may be completed entirely online via Blackboard Learn in an accelerated format. The virtual PhilaU campus divides courses into six terms per year, each eight weeks in length, and allows students to enroll as part-time or full-time students depending upon individual preference. PhilaU has adopted a generous transfer policy, allowing up to 72 prior credits to be transferred from an accredited education institution. Academic advisors are assigned no more than two distance learners at a time, ensuring personalized attention and encouragement.
University of Houston - Victoria
|Victoria||$$$$$||3007 N. Ben Wilson|
Victoria, TX 77901
The communication program offered through UHV is designed to provide a foundational education in effective communication skills that can be applied in a variety of professional settings. Online students may opt to enroll in either the BA or BS program in communications through UHV; the university also offers a concentration in communication as part of its online communication degree. Assignments may be completed online through Blackboard, with additional resources available through the student success center subsite, including online tutoring, web-based test registration and an interactive calendar. Graduates of the online BA and BS in communications at UHV are prepared for jobs in PR, journalism and personnel management.
Florida International University
|Miami||$$$$$||11200 S. W. 8 Street|
Miami, FL 33199
The online BA in communication arts at Florida International University focuses on providing universal skills in effective communication that can be practiced in a global context. The program includes a concentration in organizational communication studies, preparing students for a career in nonprofit, business, government or education PR. Courses are delivered online through Blackboard, with additional available online services including live chat options, comprehensive tech support and a full student support center. Additionally, on-the-go assignments are available via the mobile Blackboard Learn app.
University of Louisville
|Louisville||$$$$$||2301 S 3rd St|
Louisville, KY 40292-0001
University of Louisville offers an online bachelors degree in communications, focused on providing intensive foreign language and liberal arts credits as part of the unique program. Coursework is comprised of theoretical, methodological, philosophical and practice-oriented communication concepts, delivered completely online via Blackboard learning management system. This degree combines 21 course credit hours of core classes with 15 communication-oriented electives. U of L honors transfer credits from applicants who have completed general education requirements through the Kentucky Community and Technical College System and offers dedicated academic advisors to online communication students.
Dallas Baptist University
|Dallas||$$$$$||3000 Mountain Creek Parkway|
Dallas, TX 75211-9299
Dallas Baptist University offers an online BAS in Communication with a variety of optional majors, including speech and interpersonal communication, small group communication, social media, communication styles and management communication or advanced written communication. Other available majors in this discipline require a field experience component, though the majority of the curriculum can be completed online, like their fully online counterparts, through the Blackboard interface. DBU programs are designed to deliver higher learning concepts with the added enhancement of Christ-centered, service-based principles; the BAS in communication is ideal for students looking to receive a holistic education to carry them through life and work post-graduation.
University of Houston - Downtown
|Houston||$$$$$||1 Main Street|
Houston, TX 77002-1014
U of H Downtown offers an online BA in communication studies. In addition to providing core curriculum in global and intercultural communication concepts, the program incorporates diverse learning opportunities in related fields through electives in writing and social sciences. Students may also choose a unique minor that is indirectly related to the field of communication, such as film studies or gender studies. Online courses are delivered through Blackboard, centered around one of a variety of available concentrations, including corporate communication, interpersonal communication, health communication or rhetorical/public communication.
Indiana University - East
|Richmond||$$$$$||2325 Chester Blvd|
Richmond, IN 47374-1289
IU East offers a BA/BS online completion program in communication studies. Online assignments in OnCourse are part of a total of 20 courses and 60 credit hours, designed to be completed in two years by full-time students. While curriculum in this program emphasizes a focus on global communication, students may select numerous supplemental electives in a variety of related topics; elective course options vary depending on whether the student is enrolled in the BA or BS program, though a writing course is suggested in both. General education prerequisites in quantitative reasoning, speaking and listening and other liberal arts topics must be satisfied upon enrollment.
|Columbus||$$$$$||201 S Grant Ave|
Columbus, OH 43215-5399
The online bachelor’s degree in communications at Franklin University is designed to be customizable through a variety of optional elective courses. Courses are primarily self-guided via the Blue Quill portal, with comprehensive tech support, video tutorials and academic advisors available to provide 24/7 personal support. Required major-area curriculum covers subjects including intercultural communications, marketing research and global business issues, as well as a required capstone project. Additionally, students must complete general education requirements in professional and business-oriented communication topics, or discuss transfer credits in this area with their student advisor, to complete the degree.
|Albany||$$$$$||7 Columbia Cir|
Albany, NY 12203-5159
Excelsior offers an online BA in humanities with a concentration in communication studies. Excelsior emphasizes career training in a variety of technological media and virtual platforms to prepare students for field opportunities incorporating communication in the digital age. Courses are delivered through Blackboard. A total of 120 credit hours in core, applied professional and concentration courses, including a required capstone project, are required to complete the degree. Excelsior has adopted a generous credit transfer policy, providing academic credit for qualifying prior military education and/or professional experience.
|Northfield||$$$$$||158 Harmon Drive|
Northfield, VT 05663-1035
Norwich University offers an online BS in communications through its liberal arts department, with optional concentrations in digital media technology or integrated corporate communications. Communication may also be designated a minor, as part of an online degree program in a related liberal arts academic area. Students are expected to complete a total of 120-121 total course credit hours, delivered online via an exclusive online portal developed as a singular access point for a variety of NU’s virtual services.
University of Denver
|Denver||$$$$$||2199 S. University Blvd|
Denver, CO 80208
University of Denver offers a BA in communication arts online, designed to explore various verbal and nonverbal communication methods and their application at the professional intersection of business and PR. Each term of the program is ten weeks in length, totaling anywhere from 45 to 180 course credit hours, depending on the number of credits successfully transferred by students with prior education in this area. Online courses are delivered via Canvas learning management system, which promotes regular participation in interactive modules throughout the degree, culminating in a required integrative project to demonstrate an understanding of major competencies outlined in the program.
|Philadelphia||$$$$$||3141 Chestnut St|
Philadelphia, PA 19104
The online BS in communication at Drexel University is designed to prepare students for senior-level career options in a variety of professions, focused on a concentration in corporate communication and public relations. The degree requires a total of 182 course credit hours, incorporating diverse topics in culture communication, visual communication and related electives of the student’s choice, in addition to required general education, core and concentration courses. Assignments are accessible through the online DrexelConnect portal, through which students may also explore numerous student support services, including 24/7 tech support, virtual academic tutoring and career services support.
Missouri State University-Springfield
|Springfield||$$$$$||901 S National|
Springfield, MO 65897
Missouri State University–Springfield offers an online BS in communication studies in one of a variety of tracks, including ethical leadership, interpersonal communication and rhetoric. Coursework totals to 125 credit hours, though transfer students who have met general education requirements may opt out of select courses. Assignments are delivered via Blackboard, with additional services available through the student portal such as optional internship recommendations, academic advising and even membership in an honors program. Coursework is designed to provide both traditional communication skills as well as advanced technology tools needed in today’s professional world.
Seminar in Crisis Communication, Strategic Communication and Fundraising, Leadership & Global Strategic Communication, Survey Design, Analysis, and Reporting
Public Relations, Communication, Rhetorical Studies
Market Research Analyst, Corporate Communications Manager, Creative Director
$62,150 for market research analysts, $124,850 for corporate communications managers, and $89,760 for creative directors
From 2014 to 2024, 19% increase for market research analysts, 9% increase for corporate communications managers, and 2% increase for creative directors
History of Communication, Academic Writing and Publication, Philosophy and Communication, Topics in Digital Media, Media Activism
Global and Transcultural Studies, Technology and Society, Visual Culture and Sound Studies
Media Analyst, Research Director, PR Specialist
$62,150 for media analysts, $102,690 for research directors, and $56,770 for public relations specialists
From 2014 to 2024, 19% increase for media analysts, 6% for research directors, and 6% increase for public relations specialists
Online Communications Find Accredited Degrees
Online Communications Choose Your Career
Average Communications Salaries
|Growth Rate 2014-2024||Number of Jobs: 2014||Degree||Certifications|
Writers and authors are tasked with using written language to communicate ideas and information over various text-based media. They develop content for websites, advertisements, books, magazines, marketing materials, scripts, and any other text-based platforms. The may be self-employed authors who work from home, or they may be employed by large media companies to produce content on a frequent basis. They typically have language or communications degrees at the bachelor’s level, and exhibit exemplary knowledge and understanding of proper grammar, usage, and diction.
|Growth Rate 2014-2024||Number of Jobs: 2014||Degree||Certifications|
Event planners are responsible for coordinating and overseeing meetings and events held by businesses and organizations. They are expected to arrange and plan for all the details of such events, including transportation, location, hospitality, and guest lists, among other concerns. They tend to work on site at convention centers, hotels, and other event venues, and are expected to travel a lot. Graduates of online bachelor’s in communications programs are prepared for careers as event planners. Candidates should be able to balance several tasks at once, and are able to effectively communicate and socialize with clients, guests, and other relevant personnel.
|Growth Rate 2014-2024||Number of Jobs: 2014||Degree||Certifications|
|9%||225,200||Bachelor's||MBA preferred, not required|
Advertising, promotions, and marketing managers are typically hired by advertising firms or businesses directly to generate interest in products, services, events, or campaigns. They are often responsible for coordinating and directing the disparate tasks of sales agents, account managers, and creative personnel, with the goal elevating the public appeal of a product or service. Earning a bachelor’s in communications online will fulfill the academic requirements for this position. Successful promotions managers are able to multi-task and effectively manage many different teams and task groups.
|Growth Rate 2014-2024||Number of Jobs: 2014||Degree||Certifications|
|-3%||167,900||High School Diploma or Equivalent||Google AdWords Certification preferred, not required|
Advertising sales agents are responsible for selling advertising media to businesses and organizations in need of marketing and promotional services. They typically pitch ideas to businesses in sales presentations and maintain relations with their clients. Advertising content may include print layouts, online campaigns, radio spots, and television commercials, among others. BLS notes a slight decrease in job growth due to the decline of newspaper print advertising. Digital advertising is more prevalent, but is increasingly being done through software applications or search engine programs. While the industry may not see an increased demand for advertising sales agents, BLS reports that candidates who have bachelor’s degrees and experience in sales are likely to have the best job opportunities.
|Growth Rate 2014-2024||Number of Jobs: 2014||Degree||Certifications|
Public relations specialists are tasked with cultivating and preserving a positive public image for the organization or individual that employs them. They create media, manage news stories, and interact with the press to shape public perception, with the long term goal of establishing a conducive environment for their employer’s agenda or reputation. PR specialists are typically well versed in modern media, and have strong interpersonal communications skills to achieve organizational objectives. Students who earn a bachelor’s in communications online are set to enter this field upon graduating.
Online Communications Degree in Action
Manuel Romero Communications
Before joining BMCC as Executive Director of Public Affairs, Manuel Romero served as Director of Public Relations at Baruch College, where he developed and oversaw the college’s communications and public relations strategies, as well as its initiatives to secure regional and national media coverage. His earlier roles included serving as Director of Communications and Marketing at Marymount Manhattan College, and as Associate Executive Director of NYC’s contemporary dance company, Parsons Dance. Romero also worked as a public relations manager at the law firm Snell & Wilmer, and was Director of Hispanic Media at Arizona State University, where he earned a master’s degree in Mass Communication. He’s a product of the public community college system, having earned an associate degree at Mesa Community College in Mesa, Arizona and soon after he earned a bachelor’s degree in broadcast journalism at Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff, Arizona.
What do you find most fulfilling about a career in communications?
As a communications professional, I truly enjoy building communications campaigns across many channels. The communications profession continues to evolve as technology becomes more advanced. A successful communications campaign entails a strategic approach to reaching a variety of audiences. Using social media, websites, digital communication and marketing resources, when executed correctly, can produce a strong message across all audiences.
What types of people excel in this field?
People who excel in the field of communications are individuals who are driven and not afraid to explore new and different ways of communicating. It’s important for a communications professional to provide options to clients and not force people into one-way communication. Communications is ever-evolving and a successful communications professional should also be willing to evolve and continue learning.
What was the job search process like after earning your degree?
I was very strategic in identifying the businesses where I wanted to work. After I received my bachelor’s degree, I knew I wanted to work with a daily newspaper, because I knew it would enable me grow as a writer and it would provide a rigorous experience meeting deadlines and expanding my approach to telling stories and reporting the news. I was hired at the Yuma Daily Sun in Yuma, Arizona as their education reporter. I covered school board meetings, academic development and the occasional student or faculty profile feature. It was one of the best experiences I had.
What challenges do you face at work on any given day?
Working in the communications field for a higher education institution offers many challenges, but it’s important to see these challenges as opportunities. On a daily basis, my team must seek out the most effective way to communicate to students, faculty and the community about significant developments at BMCC. At a moments notice, my Public Affairs team can be called upon to create a campaign to promote a research program, handle a crisis, or celebrate an achievement by one of our professors or students. This profession keeps me on my toes and challenges me to continue exploring new approaches to effectively deliver messages that will engage, entice and inform a variety of people.
What additional advice would you give to a student considering a career in communications?
I have two pieces of advice. First, remember that your first job will not be your only or final job. The job market offers many opportunities to apply what you’ve learned in college. Use your first job to refine what you’ve learned; you’ll make mistakes, but it’s important that you learn from them so you can later avoid them when you step into an executive position down the road. Second, have fun! The communications field can be very stressful, but you have to remember that your job is to keep people informed and interested. If you aren’t having fun coming up with ideas or ways of communicating, then chances are your audience won’t be willing to pay attention.