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
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|
|1||Northeastern University - Global Network||Boston||$$$$$||360 Huntington Ave|
Boston, MA 02115
Northeastern University is based in Boston, and the school offers several undergraduate programs online, including a BS in professional communication. There are four program emphases available: creative writing, graphic communication, organizational communication, and technical communication. To help students improve their communication skills, the emphasis on professional communication covers market-driven practices, organizational challenges, critical thinking, and interpersonal skills. Northeastern’s online communications degree helps students build a strong, collaborative portfolio to advance their knowledge and skills in various media, including different types of media writing, obtained through courses like writing for the web, typography, and technical writing. Students can begin the program during fall, spring, or summer. They must complete 120 credits to graduate, which includes a three-credit capstone.
|2||Arizona State University - Skysong||Scottsdale||$$$$$||1475 N Scottsdale Road - Ste 200|
Scottsdale, AZ 85257
Arizona State University-Skysong, based in Scottsdale, offers an online bachelor’s degree in communications. The program covers a variety of topics, including the impact of gender, race, and class on communication. Students gain the skills necessary for researching, analyzing, and responding to communication.
Enrollment coaches help students by phone as they begin studying at ASU online. Courses are taught by the same renowned faculty that teach on-campus, and online communications degree courses are highly interactive. ASU was one of the first colleges to partner with Google, and the school offers students the Apps for Education program. MyASU also makes word and media software available to students at no charge.
Transfer students are given assured admission if they complete their associate degree with a GPA of 2.0 or higher, or complete the Arizona General Education Curriculum with a GPA of 2.5 or higher.
|3||Colorado State University-Global Campus||Greenwood Village||$$$$$||7800 East Orchard Road Ste 200|
Greenwood Village, CO 80111-0000
CSU-Global offers several online degree programs, including a communications degree online. Communications students at CSU-Global learn skills necessary for today’s trends in technology, global society, and mass media. Courses in intercultural communication, conflict and persuasion, and communication in the global information age provide students with relevant information about the latest trends in the field.
In addition to the degree, CSU-Global also offers additional awards of completion and skills endorsements that highlight specific skills and knowledge gained in the program. After students complete a series of courses that deepens their understanding in a specific skill set, the student receives an award of completion in that particular area. These include effective communication in the 21st century, or leadership and communication strategies for the global marketplace. Seventeen specializations are available, each of which require students to complete five upper-division courses. Online communications degree classes are taught asynchronously. A tuition guarantee means that your tuition rate won’t rise while you’re in school. Discounts are available for members of the military.
|4||University of Memphis||Memphis||$$$$$||Southern Avenue|
Memphis, TN 38152
The University of Memphis offers an online communications degree that teaches students how to communicate effectively in professional and social contexts. The school's global campus is well organized, and distance learners have as much access to academic advisors as on-campus students. Technical support is available 24/7, and online library resources help distance learners write research papers from their homes, including a librarian chat available to answer student questions.
Graduates must complete 120 credit hours to graduate. Credit is also awarded for prior professional experience. Alternative degree pathways help students finish their degree regardless of any special circumstances, even for adults finishing degrees after several years from the last time they completed any education. The UMDegree software organizes requirements for general education courses and for the program’s core major credit requirements, making it easy for students to see which courses need to be completed.
|5||Dallas Baptist University||Dallas||$$$$$||3000 Mountain Creek Parkway|
Dallas, TX 75211-9299
Dallas Baptist University offers an online communications degree through its College of Professional Studies. Dallas Baptist offers a Christ-centered commitment to spiritual values, blending academic learning with a strong Christian foundation. Its purpose is to help students become servant leaders for Christ and to prepare them for future careers and faith-centered missions.
Program courses include social media, speech, and interpersonal communication. Online students use web conferencing, view media on demand, and take assessments, all from their preferred location. Students remain actively and regularly engaged by DBU’s professors, as evidenced by their 92% online program completion rate.
Students must pass a minimum of 120 credits, which includes a requirement of at least 42 upper-level credit hours. Veterans receive credit for military experience.
|6||DePaul University||Chicago||$$$$$||1 E Jackson Blvd|
Chicago, IL 60604
Chicago's DePaul University offers a communication and media online degree program designed for transfer students seeking to complete an online bachelor’s degree in communications. DePaul is an excellent option for transfer students, as transfers must have completed at least 30 semester credit hours from another university or college, with a minimum GPA of 2.0 or higher. Some writing and math courses are needed to fulfill general education requirements, though these may be waived if equivalent courses were completed elsewhere. Students must complete all communications credits at DePaul.
Coursework in the online communications degree covers subjects like public relations and cinema, and also includes experiential learning, internships, and a capstone project. Online courses are small. Students can order textbooks online and access online training documentation required for their courses via the school’s Desire2Learn software. Live online help and a learning center are also very helpful for students getting started.
|7||Webster University||Saint Louis||$$$$$||470 E Lockwood Ave.|
Saint Louis, MO 63119-3194
Webster University’s media communication degree trains students in producing media and teaches them how to conduct research about cultural media presentations. After completing core communications classes, students select a concentration of 12 credit hours to emphasize their upper level coursework. Each student must pass a portfolio review during their junior year to demonstrate that they’re advancing on schedule. Those who earn their communications degree online will be able to successfully interpret media messages, communicate, and creatively solve problems.
Based in St. Louis, Missouri, Webster has several campuses throughout the United States, along with six international locations. Online courses are delivered through its WorldClassroom program, bringing together a diverse group of students and faculty from around the world. Classes are taught by the same faculty who teach on-campus, and state-of-the art technology makes it easy to connect with professors and other students. For those interested in additional schooling at Webster, the university also offers a minor and master’s in media communications.
|8||North Dakota State University||Fargo||$$$$$||1301 12th Avenue North|
Fargo, ND 58108-6050
North Dakota State University offers an online BA in strategic communication degree. NDSU is a member of the Great Plains Interactive Distance Education Alliance, a consortium of 11 universities that combines online coursework offerings and instruction from the best faculty from the institutions in the consortium. After completing pre-communications courses, students select an emphasis, such as public relations, advertising, or health communication. Classes include media writing, communication campaigns, and a capstone in convergence media. NDSU requires students to complete an internship as part of the curriculum.
Other student services include an adviser accessible via phone or email to help with planning coursework, free online tutoring through the Smarthinking software, financial aid assistance, and a helpful get-started packet. The department offers scholarships to juniors and seniors. Tuition and fees for online programs are charged at the North Dakota resident rate regardless of where the student lives.
|9||Bellevue University||Bellevue||$$$$$||1000 Galvin Rd S|
Bellevue, NE 68005-3098
Bellevue University’s online communication studies degree offers tutoring, discussion, tutorials, library resources, and tech support to distance learners. Coursework is available both on-campus and online, and teaches students the necessary communications skills for applying theories to processes. Courses in the communications core include interviewing, conflict and communication, and diversity and communication. Students can also choose between five specific clusters for a combination of courses developed around their interests. A minor in communication studies is also available.
Students must complete several writing courses within the first 30 hours of coursework to qualify for the program. Students must complete 36 credits of major-specific coursework and 127 total credits to graduate. Three courses to fulfill the Kirkpatrick Signature Series are also required: this sequence analyzes institutions in Western Civilization that have been successful through discussions, lectures, debates, and research.
|10||California Baptist University||Riverside||$$$$$||8432 Magnolia Ave|
Riverside, CA 92504-3297
California Baptist University, based in Riverside, offers a flexible online bachelor’s degree in communications. The program equips students with the skills necessary to address issues in a global context through the lens of Christian teachings and ethics. Courses that reinforce the Baptist foundation include overview of the Bible and foundations of Christian thought. After students complete prerequisites and lower-division courses, they take upper-division classes in topics like global digital engagement and media law and ethics.
The communication studies major requires students to complete 48 units, which takes approximately 16 months. Online classes are taught in an accelerated format and start every eight weeks, with three year-round semesters. A one-stop student service advisor helps students plan academics, in addition to services like online tutoring, faculty support, and career services. Graduates learn how to self-reflect, think critically, lead and engage others, and make effective decisions.
|11||Arkansas State University||Jonesboro||$$$$$||2105 E. Aggie Road|
Jonesboro, AR 72401
Arkansas State University offers an online BA in communication studies combining communication theory and experiential learning for effective interpersonal, professional, and organizational communications.
Besides general courses, students need to take two courses in composition as well as major or program courses like crisis communication, promotional writing, electronic media, and a professional seminar. Arkansas State has an online transfer search tool that makes it easy to see what credits will be accepted. Its tuition is very affordable and includes all administrative fees. Online students can use the self-service portal classes to register for classes, check grades, pay tuition, receive alerts, and more. Each student also has a teacher assistant assigned to them to answer any questions, help with registration, and act as a mentor.
120 total credits are required for graduation. Courses in the communications degree online run for seven weeks. Classes start throughout spring, summer, and fall, with eight flexible start dates available throughout the year.
|12||Mississippi College||Clinton||$$$$$||200 South Capitol Street|
Clinton, MS 39058
Mississippi College in Clinton, Mississippi, offers an online communications degree in an accelerated format. To accommodate busy schedules, students can learn entirely online or take some on-campus classes too, which include evening on-campus courses. Students can take up tp to 12 hours per semester during two eight-week sessions, with these shorter sessions allowing for faster program completion so students can complete their degree and enter the workforce.
Communications students develop speaking, writing, and presentation skills during their time at Mississippi College. Six emphases are available: interpersonal and public communication, journalism, mass media, political communication, public relations, and sports media. Classes combine theories with practical applications, allowing graduates to leave with a completed portfolio. The department organizes internships and has approved internship programs in Washington, D.C. and throughout Mississippi. Online training videos and an orientation course help students become familiar with the software for online courses.
|13||Midway University||Midway||$$$$$||512 E. Stephens St|
Midway, KY 40347-1120
Midway University offers an online marketing communications program for those looking to earn an online communications degree. Combining the use of diverse communications tools, Midway gives students practical experience that help them find a job quickly upon graduation. After completing core coursework, students choose to concentrate on writing or graphic design.Coursework may include Photoshop, writing for marketing,graphic design, or advertising principles. 120 credit hours are needed for graduation, including 39 required in the communications major and 18 required in the chosen concentration.
All classes should be available online, but students should plan their coursework with an adviser since some on-campus courses may be required or only available during certain semesters. Taking a combination of on-campus classes, taking online classes, and completing online coursework is possible with flexible night classes that take eight weeks to complete. Students may also receive credit for prior learning including work experience, military credit, or classes taken at another institution.
|14||National University||La Jolla||$$$$$||11255 North Torrey Pines Road|
La Jolla, CA 92037-1011
National University in La Jolla, California, has an online BA in strategic communications that prepares students for leadership positions through training in a combination of theory and skills. Academic work, case studies, hands-on experience, and crafting messages for different media platforms provide learning opportunities and gives students the experience necessary to succeed in future careers. 180 quarter units are required, with 70.5 of those consisting of general education requirements.
Example classes include interactive storytelling and media management, and courses are asynchronous, allowing participation anytime of day. Interactive tools like links, emails, lectures, readings, presentations, evaluations, quizzes, and exams make for a collaborative learning environment. For those pursing a degree in communications, classwork is available 100% online. Online students can access the library of ebooks, which is one of the larger ebook collections in the United States, in addition to an online math center, help desk, academic success center, bookstore, and other helpful resource.
|15||Baker University||Baldwin City||$$$$$||618 Eighth Street|
Baldwin City, KS 66006-0065
Baker University in Baldwin City, Kansas, has an online bachelor’s of business administration in strategic business communication. Its BBA core classes are available in Overland Park, Topeka, Wichita, or online. The core courses focus on management, leadership, finance, accounting, marketing, technology, economics, and project planning. Students learn how to apply skills as they solve problems and build teams. Faculty bring field experience to the classroom to guide students through core and major courses, which include topics like media ethics and social media strategies.
The university’s dedicated prior learning and assessment center also offers credit for prior knowledge through test preparations and a one-credit portfolio course. Students need a cumulative GPA of 2.5 to graduate from the program.
For those looking for a communications degree online, the strategic business communication classes are only available online. Classes start every seven weeks and new classes are offered year-round.
|16||University of Texas of the Permian Basin||Odessa||$$$$$||4901 E University|
Odessa, TX 79762-0001
University of Texas of the Permian Basin offers online communications degree completely online, without any on-campus learning requirements. Courses last eight weeks, and 120 credit hours are necessary for graduation. Those looking for a flexible, expedited online program will certainly enjoy the convenience of six start dates per year and the ability to complete the degree in 12 months. . At least 15 elective credits are required, with courses like visual communication, group leadership, and introduction to public speaking.
With affordable tuition at $288 per credit hour, the same faculty that teaches online also teaches on-campus. Student mentorship is a high priority. With 99% of seniors reporting that their professors gave quick academic feedback. Earning an online bachelor’s degree in communications is flexible with student schedules and can be completed at any time of the day. Applicable minors to the communications program include psychology and sociology for those looking to broaden their learning experience.
|17||University of Minnesota - Crookston||Crookston||$$$$$||2900 University Ave|
Crookston, MN 56716-5001
The University of Minnesota-Crookston offers a Bachelor’s of Science in communication. The program is taught on-campus or as an online communications degree. Three emphases are offered so students can customize studies according to career goals: writing, organizational,communication/public relations, or communication studies, and an online communication minor is also available. Online faculty also serve as mentors, offering prompt and personalized attention to help students succeed. Discussions and interactive tools make it easy to get involved in class, no matter what time you login.
The university does not require out-of-state tuition for online classes. The program requires a three-credit internship, two-credit seminar, and courses on research, writing, and public speaking. The internship programs are available through corporate partnerships, and study abroad opportunities are available in 67 countries worldwide. With the ability to customize their degrees, gain on-hands experience during internships, and create a strong portfolio of materials in the classroom, students are prepared to quickly enter the workforce upon graduation, with 93% of the university’s graduates finding jobs in their field within six months.
|18||Oral Roberts University||Tulsa||$$$$$||7777 S Lewis Ave.|
Tulsa, OK 74171
Oral Roberts University (ORU) in Tulsa, Oklahoma, offers an online communications degree in the form of a BA in communication. Students learn about interpersonal communication through theory and practice, while exploring social decision-making and self-expression. Core courses may include organizational communication, business, or professional speech, with a senior paper or project, presentation, and internship required to graduate.
ORU has Christian roots and is focused on educating the whole person: spirit, mind, and body. Thus, in addition to other general education requirements, courses in Biblical literature and theology are also required as part of ORU’s the general education requirements. Core courses may include organizational communication, Additionally, all communication majors must choose a minor, which requires 18 credits of the total 128 credits needed to graduate. Minor choices can include Bible, Christian ministries, general business, and others.
Upon graduating with an online bachelor’s degree in communications, skills in public speaking, problem solving, conference leadership, systems analysis, interviewing, consulting, and other areas are fully developed and have prepared students for their chosen field.
|19||Upper Iowa University||Fayette||$$$$$||605 Washington St|
Fayette, IA 52142-1857
Upper Iowa University offers an online communications degree with emphases in journalism, sports communication, or communication studies. Those in the journalism emphasis receive hands-on reporting experience writing new media including articles, blogs,Tweets,full feature articles, and a variety of other media pieces. Coursework covers how new media impacts journalism, preparing students for an evolving field with a high demand for professionals with modern, technical skills. Those in sports communication can access internship opportunities with local teams while learning about sports law, administration, and marketing.
Students also get a strong foundation of theoretical and ethical knowledge to inform their future careers. Coursework is accessible at the Fayette campus, local and international education centers, or entirely online. Online students can take advantage of six eight-week terms per year thus can begin taking classes quickly. Participation is very active, but asynchronous and flexible with your schedule.
|20||Point Park University||Pittsburgh||$$$$$||201 Wood St|
Pittsburgh, PA 15222-1984
Point Park University is located in downtown Pittsburgh and offers an online communications degree requiring 125 credits for graduation. Professors have years of experience in the industry and are equipped to train students for careers in communications. Point Park’s BA in mass communication curriculum include li writing intensive courses, multiplatform magazine reporting, a career prep seminar, and specific capstones.
Point Park does not require any application fees for admissions. Online programs are small and convenient, with affordable tuition and flexible scheduling. The university offers success coaches that are mentors for online learning and can point students in the right direction of different resources. These mentors follow-up with students through phone calls or email to see how courses are progressing. Students can also use the Point Park network to reach out to working professionals to find internships and jobs at leading companies.
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
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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.