With jobs prospects on the rise through 2022, the field of communications continues to grow in popularity. A bachelor’s degree is generally the minimum requirement for work in communication fields like public relations, media and journalism. Students interested in becoming communications professionals or PR specialists should take advantage of online bachelor’s programs to ensure both job security and advancement.
Online bachelor’s in communications programs offer more convenience and flexibility than those delivered onsite. Students are able to satisfy core academic curriculum and are free to pursue an in-person internship or field experience on their own time. Though not always required, employers prefer candidates with field experience, so completing an internship can really help boost your chances of getting hired post graduation. Your online communications studies will arm you with advanced people skills while still only requiring a minimal amount of face-to-face training.
Finding and choosing the right school for your academic and personal needs can be tricky when it comes to online programs, but we’ve worked to eliminate the guesswork for you. Below, you’ll find a list of the best online bachelor’s in communications programs available today.
|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.
Professionals working in communications and public relations are typically responsible for maintaining the public image of their client or employer. Now that social media has become an important part of corporate image, and an everyday part of conducting business, nearly every type of corporation, entity and organization is in need of a qualified professional in the field. The BLS estimates that jobs for public relations specialists will increase by 12% by the year 2022, and high-profile organizations, advertising firms and PR firms will show the most demand for such professionals.
Obtaining an online bachelor’s in communications is a great first step toward developing the diverse skills needed to succeed in the industry. Undergraduate programs in communication are generally designed to provide training in a variety of hard skills, including marketing, advertising and business strategies, as well as to enhance soft skills, such as interpersonal abilities, public speaking and leadership. Students in online communications programs have the added benefit of becoming familiar with a variety of multimedia tools and will use similar Web-based technology regularly as part of their future jobs in the field.
Though not always required, many employers prefer graduates with field experience. Similarly, while most schools do not require that students complete a PR or business internship, for example, they often recommend relevant on-the-job experience be obtained before graduation. With so many different career types available to communications graduates, it’s advisable students seek out internships during or immediately following their programs to ensure they have enough experience to secure a job in their specific field of interest. Prospective communication professionals drawn to civic and political PR or marketing and advertising, for instance, may pursue field experience and/or employment at a local government office or nearby advertising firm, respectively.