Best Research Universities for Communications Degrees

Best Research Universities for Communications Degrees

The best communications research universities are those with rich histories of influence, proven through the work produced by the program’s faculty and alumni. Beyond demonstrating scholarly impact in the field, the best anthropology degree programs maximize your opportunities to interact with outstanding anthropology faculty.

A bachelor’s degree in communications is an excellent starting point for a career in journalism, broadcasting, public relations, and a host of other exciting fields. As a communications major, you’ll study language, group dynamics, non-verbal interaction, and more. Majoring in communication can qualify you for a wide range of professional opportunities in business, education, mass media, and more.

A degree in communication may also prepare you for work as a technician in broadcast, film editing, and a host of other media-related technical roles. Exceptional communication skills could also qualify you for a leadership role in a variety of organizational settings. The best schools for communications are those which are regionally accredited, which offer a full array of communications concentrations, and which give you the chance to work with the best and most influential professors and classmates.

Degree popularity: Communication bachelor’s degrees are the 21th most popular undergraduate degrees across all student demographics. It’s slightly more popular among women, according to the number of degree earners reported by the National Center for Educational Statistics.

Frequently Asked Questions About Communications Bachelor’s Degrees

You can turn a communications major into a virtually limitless array of careers. How you use your degree in communications will depend largely on a combination of skills, personal interests, and opportunity. Whether you’d like to edit books for a publishing house, produce a talk radio show, or chase news stories across the globe, majoring in communication can get you started on your way.

Today, top influencers in communication are expanding research on subjects such as the political economy of communication, community media ecologies and impacts on civic and public life, citizen journalism, and much more.

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Communications is a popular major because it can provide pathways into countless fields and career opportunities. The study of communication is a balance of theoretical concepts and practical skills. These practical skills are valuable in any field. You’ll learn many of the critical 21st Century skills that employers value such as collaboration, creativity, and the ability to express yourself in a variety of media. Hiring firms actively seek out job candidates with strong writing, speaking, and web-mediated communication skills.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), in 2019, the median annual wage for media and communication occupations was $59,230, as compared to a median annual wage for all occupations of $39,810. And if you succeed as an on-air broadcasting talent, an accomplished journalist, or a noted public relations specialist, you could earn quite a bit more.

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Once you’ve declared your major in communications, you will likely be required to complete a set of core courses in a number of related subject areas. While your concentration will give you a chance to choose from a wide range of highly-specialized communications electives, there are a number of common courses that most communications majors will be required to take, including:

  • Communication in Digital Media
  • Public Relations
  • Technical Writing
  • Writing in Journalism
  • Interpersonal Communication
  • Organizational Communication
  • Photojournalism
  • Crisis Communication

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Majoring in communication can provide inroads to a wide range of careers in mass media, journalism, writing, public relations, publishing and much more. Your communication skills and personal interests could take you down a wide range of professional paths, including these top jobs:

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Best Research Universities for Communications Degree Programs

If you think a liberal arts college may be a better fit for you, see our ranking of the best liberal arts colleges for a bachelor’s in communication.

Best Research Universities for Communications Degrees

  1. #1

    Stanford University

    Stanford , CA
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $56K

    Acceptance

    5%

    Graduation

    95%

    Student body

    15K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1505/33

    Stanford University Communication Major Tracks:

    • Digital Media Studies
    • Media Psychology
    • Journalism
    • Political Communication
    Source
  2. #2

    University of Pennsylvania

    Philadelphia , PA
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $62K

    Acceptance

    9%

    Graduation

    96%

    Student body

    28K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1505/34

    University of Pennsylvania Communication Major Concentrations:

    • Advocacy & Activism
    • Audiences & Persuasion
    • Culture & Society
    • Data & Network Science
    • Politics & Policy
    Source
  3. Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $14K

    Acceptance

    17%

    Graduation

    92%

    Student body

    43K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1430/33

    UCB Communication Major:

    • Media Studies

    UCB Communication Major Concentrations:

    • Digital Studies
    • Global Cultural Studies
    • Media Law and Policy
    Source
  4. Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $61K

    Acceptance

    9%

    Graduation

    95%

    Student body

    19K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1495/34

    Northwestern University Communication Majors:

    • Communication Sciences and Disorders
    • Communication Studies
    • Performance Studies
    • Radio/Television/Film
    • Theatre
    Source
  5. Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $56K

    Acceptance

    7%

    Graduation

    96%

    Student body

    14K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1540/35

    MIT Communication Majors:

    • Comparative Media Studies
    • Writing
    • Humanities and Engineering
    • Humanities and Science
    Source
  6. #6

    University of Michigan

    Ann Arbor , MI
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $17K

    Acceptance

    26%

    Graduation

    93%

    Student body

    45K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1435/32

    University of Michigan Communication Major:

    • Communication and Media
    Source
  7. #7

    New York University

    New York , NY
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $57K

    Acceptance

    21%

    Graduation

    88%

    Student body

    49K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1440/32

    New York University Communication Majors:

    • BS Media, Culture, and Communication
    • BS Media, Culture, and Communication and Global Public Health
    Source
  8. #8

    Cornell University

    Ithaca , NY
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $61K

    Acceptance

    11%

    Graduation

    95%

    Student body

    26K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1480/33

    Cornell University Communication Major Concentrations:

    • Communication, Environment, Science and Health
    • Communication Media Studies
    • Communication and Information Technologies
    • Communication and Social Influence
    Source
  9. Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $62K

    Acceptance

    16%

    Graduation

    92%

    Student body

    40K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1445/32

    University of Southern California Communication Degree:

    • BA in Communication
    Source
  10. Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $13K

    Acceptance

    14%

    Graduation

    91%

    Student body

    45K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1415/32

    What is University of California, Los Angeles known for?

    University of California, Los Angeles’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    Most Influential Alumni

    UCLA Communication Major Specialization:

    • Computing
    Source
  11. #11

    Brown University

    Providence , RI
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $62K

    Acceptance

    8%

    Graduation

    95%

    Student body

    10K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1505/34

    Brown University Communication Major Degree:

    • AB in Modern Culture and Media

    Brown University Communication Major Tracks:

    • Practice Based
    • Theory Based
    Source
  12. Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $11K

    Acceptance

    32%

    Graduation

    88%

    Student body

    44K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1355/30

    UT Austin Communication Major Degree:

    • Bachelor of Science in Communication Studies

    Communication Major Tracks:

    • Corporate Communication
    • Interpersonal Communication
    • Political Communication
    Source
  13. Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $9K

    Acceptance

    25%

    Graduation

    91%

    Student body

    25K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1405/30

    What is University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill known for?

    University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    Most Influential Alumni

    Amherst College Communication Major Concentrations:

    • Interpersonal & Organizational Communication
    • Media & Technology Studies and Production
    • New Media Track – an interdisciplinary track within the Media & Technology Studies & Production concentration
    • Performance Studies
    • Rhetorical Studies
    Source
  14. #15

    University of Florida

    Gainesville , FL
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $6K

    Acceptance

    31%

    Graduation

    89%

    Student body

    47K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1390/30

    University of Florida Communication Majors:

    • Advertising
    • Combination Degrees
    • Journalism
    • Journalism–Sports and Media
    • Media Production, Management, and Technology
    • Public Relations
    Source

    University of Florida’s Online Degrees

    BS in Advertising
    Degree Concentrations
    • Persuasive Messaging
    • Required Credits: 124
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BA in Anthropology
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BA in Biology
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BA in Business Administration
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS in Communication Science and Disorders
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS in Computer Science
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BA in Criminology
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BA in Digital Arts and Sciences
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BA in Education Sciences
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS in Environmental Management
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS in Fire and Emergency Services
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BA in Geography
    Degree Concentrations
    • Environmental Geosciences
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BA in Geology
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS in Health Education
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS in Journalism: Sports and Media
    • Required Credits: 124
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS in Microbiology and Cell Science
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS in Nursing
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BA in Psychology
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS in Public Relations
    • Required Credits: 124
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BA in Sociology
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS in Sport Management
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
  15. Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $59K

    Acceptance

    16%

    Graduation

    94%

    Student body

    13K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1520/34

    Washington University in St. Louis Communication Major Concentrations:

    • Integrated Marketing Communication
    • Public Relations
    • Applied Media Practice
    • Professional Writing
    Source

    Washington University in St. Louis’s Online Degrees

    BS in Integrated Studies
    Degree Concentrations
    • Humanities
    • Social Science
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
  16. #19

    Carnegie Mellon University

    Pittsburgh , PA
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $59K

    Acceptance

    17%

    Graduation

    93%

    Student body

    17K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1510/34

    Carnegie Mellon University Communication Major Concentrations:

    • Writing and Communication
    • Technical Writing and Communication
    Source
  17. Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $12K

    Acceptance

    56%

    Graduation

    82%

    Student body

    44K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1345/30

    University of Washington Communication Majors:

    • Journalism and Public Interest Communication
    • Communication
    Source

    University of Washington’s Online Degrees

    BA Integrated Social Sciences
    • Required Credits: 120-128
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BA Early Care & Education
    • Required Credits: 120-128
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online

Go to all Research Universities for Communications programs

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