Best Online Associate in Communications

Find top-ranked online associate in communications degree programs to prepare students to enter the workforce as technical writers, broadcast technicians, public relations specialists, and marketing managers.

Best Online Associate in Communications

An associate degree in communications can help you get your foot in the door in the fields of business, human resources, marketing, public relations, and media.

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This two-year, 60-credit degree helps students hone their use of both the written and spoken word. Whether online or on campus, students will take courses in professional communication, interpersonal communication, and mass media.

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Graduates with an associate degree in communications will be ready to enter the workforce as technical writers, broadcast technicians, public relations specialists, and marketing managers. Many programs also offer a baccalaureate pathway for those looking to continue on to a four-year degree in communications.

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Learn more about how to major in communications.

Best Online Associate in Communications Degree Programs

How do we determine the best online communications associate degree programs?

Methodology

Pursing your degree online doesn’t mean you need to settle for a inferior school. Today, most universities and colleges offer online degrees, and many respected schools are seeing significant growth in their numbers of online students.

The people affiliated with a school are ultimately what make it great. This is why influence — i.e., the academic impact of faculty and alumni associated with a school — gets at the heart of what is truly best in education. The combined influence score of a college or university’s top academic influencers is the best indicator of academic excellence. For our online degree rankings, we focus on the academic influence of faculty and alumni in the specific disciplines we’re ranking.

If you are serious about finding the best online colleges, you should be asking where the most influential professors are teaching, and whether their graduates themselves are advancing the school’s reputation for academic excellence. Most ranking sites rely on an opaque combination of reputation surveys and arbitrary performance metrics. Influence, as measured by our InfluenceRanking engine, provides a ranking that is free from bias, insulated from manipulation, and reflective of real-world educational outcomes.

25 Best Online Associate in Communications Degree Programs

  1. #1

    City College of San Francisco

    #1651 institution's historical influence

    Tuition + fees

    $1K

    Graduation

    37%

    Student body

    14K

    San Francisco, CA

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    Online Degrees

    AA in Liberal Arts and Sciences

    Concentrations

    • Communication
    • Required Credits: 60
    • Completion time: 2-3 years
    • Format: Online
  2. #2

    Montgomery College

    #2678 institution's historical influence

    Tuition + fees

    $10K

    Graduation

    28%

    Student body

    14K

    Rockville, MD

    View profile

    Online Degrees

    AA in General Studies

    Concentrations

    • Humanities
    • Arts
    • Communication And Languages
    • Social Sciences
    • Required Credits: 60
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
  3. #3

    Seminole State College of Florida

    #4138 institution's historical influence

    Tuition + fees

    $3K

    Graduation

    47%

    Student body

    12K

    Sanford, FL

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    Online Degrees

    AA in Telecommunications Media and Society Pathway
    • Required Credits: 60
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
  4. #4

    Andrew College

    #5597 institution's historical influence
    #768 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $19K

    Acceptance

    59%

    Graduation

    29%

    Student body

    <1K

    Median SAT/ACT

    905/16

    Cuthbert, GA

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    Online Degrees

    AA in Communication
    • Required Credits: 60
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
  5. #5

    Northern Virginia Community College

    #3535 institution's historical influence

    Tuition + fees

    $6K

    Graduation

    29%

    Student body

    30K

    Annandale, VA

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    Online Degrees

    AA in Liberal Arts

    Concentrations

    • Communication Studies
    • Required Credits: 60-62
    • Completion time: 2 years
    • Format: Online
  6. #6

    Bucks County Community College

    #5975 institution's historical influence

    Tuition + fees

    $9K

    Graduation

    25%

    Student body

    5K

    Newtown, PA

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    Online Degrees

    AA in Communication Studies
    • Required Credits: 62
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
  7. #7

    Brigham Young University–Idaho

    #3524 institution's historical influence
    #1000 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $4K

    Acceptance

    97%

    Graduation

    56%

    Student body

    43K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1095/22

    Rexburg, ID

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    Online Degrees

    AS in Communication
    • Required Credits: 60
    • Completion time: 2 years
    • Format: Online
  8. #8

    Pima Community College

    #4580 institution's historical influence

    Tuition + fees

    $2K

    Graduation

    18%

    Student body

    14K

    Tucson, AZ

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    Online Degrees

    AA in Liberal Arts

    Concentrations

    • General
    • Administration of Justice
    • Anthropology
    • Biology
    • Communication
    • Early Childhood Education
    • Elementary Education
    • English
    • Ethnic
    • Gender and Transborder Studies
    • Fashion Design
    • History
    • Political Science
    • Social Services
    • Sociology
    • Translation and Interpretation Studies
    • Required Credits: 60-64
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
  9. #9

    College of Southern Nevada

    #3464 institution's historical influence

    Tuition + fees

    $4K

    Graduation

    15%

    Student body

    21K

    Las Vegas, NV

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    Online Degrees

    AA in Communication
    • Required Credits: 60
    • Completion time: 2 years
    • Format: Online
  10. #10

    Washtenaw Community College

    #5818 institution's historical influence

    Tuition + fees

    $4K

    Graduation

    27%

    Student body

    8K

    Ann Arbor, MI

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    Online Degrees

    AA in Liberal Arts

    Concentrations

    • Communication
    • Required Credits: 60
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    AA in Technical Communication
    • Required Credits: 60
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
  11. #11

    Anne Arundel Community College

    #3102 institution's historical influence

    Tuition + fees

    $9K

    Graduation

    27%

    Student body

    7K

    Arnold, MD

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    Online Degrees

    AAS in Business Management

    Concentrations

    • Business Communications
    • Required Credits: 60
    • Completion time: 2 years
    • Format: Online
  12. #12

    Southeast Community College

    #9363 institution's historical influence

    Tuition + fees

    $3K

    Graduation

    31%

    Student body

    6K

    Lincoln, NE

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    Online Degrees

    AA in Business Communications
    • Required Credits: 60
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
  13. #13

    Bristol Community College

    #6531 institution's historical influence

    Tuition + fees

    $5K

    Graduation

    19%

    Student body

    5K

    Fall River, MA

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    Online Degrees

    AA in Communication
    • Required Credits: 61-63
    • Completion time: 2 years
    • Format: Online
  14. #14

    Colorado Christian University

    #3913 institution's historical influence

    Tuition + fees

    $25K

    Graduation

    61%

    Student body

    6K

    Lakewood, CO

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    Online Degrees

    AA in Communication Studies
    • Required Credits: 60
    • Completion time: 2 years
    • Format: Online
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  15. #15

    Community College of Baltimore County

    #5733 institution's historical influence

    Tuition + fees

    $7K

    Graduation

    14%

    Student body

    10K

    Baltimore, MD

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    Online Degrees

    AA in Communication And Media Studies
    • Required Credits: 60
    • Completion time: 2 years
    • Format: Online
  16. #16

    Lone Star College System

    #2735 institution's historical influence

    Tuition + fees

    $5K

    Graduation

    12%

    Student body

    49K

    The Woodlands, TX

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    Online Degrees

    AA in Speech Communication
    • Required Credits: 60
    • Completion time: 2-3 years
    • Format: Online
  17. #17

    Austin Community College District

    #5413 institution's historical influence

    Tuition + fees

    $11K

    Graduation

    12%

    Student body

    25K

    Austin, TX

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    Online Degrees

    AS in Business, Government and Technical Communication

    Concentrations

    • Social Media Communications
    • Business and Government Communications
    • Required Credits: 60
    • Completion time: 2-3 years
    • Format: Online
    AA in Communications
    • Required Credits: 60
    • Completion time: 2-3 years
    • Format: Online
  18. #18

    Western Wyoming Community College

    #9960 institution's historical influence

    Tuition + fees

    $3K

    Graduation

    34%

    Student body

    2K

    Rock Springs, WY

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    Online Degrees

    AA in Communication
    • Required Credits: 64
    • Completion time: 2 years
    • Format: Online
  19. #19

    Monterey Peninsula College

    #5754 institution's historical influence

    Tuition + fees

    $1K

    Graduation

    30%

    Student body

    4K

    Monterey, CA

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    Online Degrees

    AA in General Studies

    Concentrations

    • Communication and Analytical Thinking
    • Required Credits: 60
    • Completion time: 2-3 years
    • Format: Online
  20. #20

    Campbellsville University

    #4039 institution's historical influence
    #459 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $25K

    Acceptance

    78%

    Graduation

    36%

    Student body

    8K

    Campbellsville, KY

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    Online Degrees

    AS in Mass Communication
    • Required Credits: 60
    • Completion time: 2 years
    • Format: Online
  21. #21

    SUNY Broome Community College

    #14136 institution's historical influence

    Tuition + fees

    $6K

    Graduation

    27%

    Student body

    4K

    Binghamton, NY

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    Online Degrees

    AS in Visual Communication Arts
    • Required Credits: 62
    • Completion time: 2-3 years
    • Format: Online
  22. #22

    Coastline Community College

    #7371 institution's historical influence

    Tuition + fees

    $1K

    Graduation

    31%

    Student body

    5K

    Fountain Valley, CA

    View profile

    Online Degrees

    AA-T in Communication Studies

    Concentrations

    • Transfer
    • Required Credits: 60
    • Completion time: 2-3 years
    • Format: Online
    AS in Communication Studies
    • Required Credits: 60
    • Completion time: 2-3 years
    • Format: Online
    AA in Liberal Arts

    Concentrations

    • Communications
    • Required Credits: 60
    • Completion time: 2-3 years
    • Format: Online
  23. #23

    College of Southern Idaho

    #6070 institution's historical influence

    Tuition + fees

    $5K

    Graduation

    26%

    Student body

    4K

    Twin Falls, ID

    View profile

    Online Degrees

    AA in Communication
    • Required Credits: 60
    • Completion time: 2 years
    • Format: Online
  24. #24

    Northwest Mississippi Community College

    #6797 institution's historical influence

    Tuition + fees

    $3K

    Graduation

    34%

    Student body

    6K

    Senatobia, MS

    View profile

    Online Degrees

    AS in Marketing Communication And Public Relations Management
    • Required Credits: 60
    • Completion time: 2 years
    • Format: Online
  25. #25

    Southwestern Illinois College

    #8213 institution's historical influence

    Tuition + fees

    $6K

    Graduation

    28%

    Student body

    6K

    Belleville, IL

    View profile

    Online Degrees

    AAS in Graphic Communications
    • Required Credits: 63-65
    • Completion time: 2 Years
    • Format: Online

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Online Degree Frequently Asked Questions

If this is your first time taking an online course, the experience may require a time of adjustment. Although you’ll typically learn the same material and take the same exams as your on-campus peers, going online will require greater independence and responsibility than going in person. You’ll be accountable for your own time management, for harnessing the online educational technology that you’ll need to use, and for completing the course requirements, such as listening to lectures, learning lessons, reading texts, and handing in assignments. This means you’ll need to create a suitable workspace for yourself, maintain a realistic schedule, and take the initiative in building relationships with your instructors and classmates. With online college, your goal is to find a balance between independence and engagement.

No. The only part of online education that’s easier than campus-based education is ease of access: all you need is a computer and an internet connection for online education. But even this seeming advantage of online education can be misleading: what’s easier, studying online with your computer and internet connection from your home where you need to cook, clean, pay rent, and maintain a job? Or studying on campus in a dorm where all your living needs are handled by the school, and college staff are there to help you every step of the way?

If you take the commute to campus out of the equation, campus-based education is easier. All the support structures available on campus for students, especially with real people to help you in person, are not there online. The demands on you as an online student will largely be the same as for your campus-based counterpart, but without the same helps.

In general, your online courses will present the same material and test you in the same way as traditional in-person courses. In many cases, you’ll even have the same instructors as your on-campus counterparts. In fact, if you are adjusting to the experience of independent learning with remote educational technology for the first time, online college may be considerably more challenging than campus-based college. For a few insights on how to manage this new online experience, check out our 10 Tips for Adjusting to School Online.

Accreditation is especially important when it comes to online college. This is because the online education landscape is a mix of highly-reputable non-profit institutions on the one end and less-than-reputable for-profit institutions on the other end. Accreditation gives you the power to identify the more reputable actors in online education. Accreditation is a stamp of approval from an independent accrediting agency indicating that a college or university is meeting standards of quality and credibility. School-wide accreditation falls into two major categories: regional and national accreditation. Regional accreditors generally hold jurisdiction only over schools in the states comprising their region, whereas national accreditors hold jurisdiction over schools in all states. Regional accreditation is widely regarded as a more rigorous standard of quality and credibility than national accreditation.

Attending a college or university that is not regionally accredited could limit your opportunities. For students seeking an online education, we strongly recommend that they opt for regionally accredited schools. Regional accreditation ensures eligibility for federal loans and grants, ensures your college credits can be transferred between schools, and ensures that your degree credits can be accepted if you wish to earn an advanced degree. For more on this important topic, check out our What is Accreditation and Why Does It Matter? College & University Accreditation Guide.

As long as your online college degree is regionally accredited (see the previous point), you should have little difficulty transferring most of your credits or credentials to another regionally accredited undergraduate school. Every school carries its own standards and procedures for granting a transfer of credits. In many cases, you will encounter some bureaucratic haggling in which some of your credits will be transferred and others may be refused. However, provided that you have attended an online school with recognized regional accreditation, you should be in good shape in transferring your credits earned online.

In most cases, as long you graduate from a well-regarded, regionally-accredited online college, prospective employers won’t look sideways at your degree. In fact, unless you attend an exclusively online college or university, there will likely be no specific indicator on your degree, transcript, or resumé differentiating your school from its brick-and-mortar counterpart. This means that your employer will likely only differentiate between an online and in-person degree if you mention this distinction.

Some employers may express the concern that because you did your degree online, you may need to transition from an online education experience to in-person workplace experience. But in an age of Covid, that concern seems much diminished. The fact is that much employment these days is remote. And collaboration increasingly happens online over Zoom. Many employers will therefore view your online degree as evidence of valuable 21st century professional skills such as independence, self-motivation, time management, and tech savvy.

If you are a student who thrives on the dynamic energy of in-person discussion, who requires the physical surroundings of a classroom to feel engaged, or who considers the social aspects of education to be of equal importance to the actual content of your courses, online education will be less than ideal for you (though depending on your circumstances, it may also be the only viable option).

While there is much in traditional campus-based education that can be substituted or simulated through the online medium, some students may find that there is nothing that can replace the conversation, collaboration, and motivation that occur in an actual in-person classroom setting. As you transition to online education, one of the biggest challenges you will likely face in getting the most out of your online classes is overcoming this difference between “real reality” and “virtual reality.” Fortunately, we’ve got some great Tips for Online Education Beginners.

The advantages of online classes are many. Above all, online courses give you the freedom and flexibility to attend class from anywhere that works for you, whether you’re at home, in a coffee shop, or in a quiet conference room at work. In many cases, you’ll also enjoy the convenience of asynchronous learning opportunities—educational experiences that you can complete at your own pace and on your own schedule. This may include pre-taped lectures, ongoing chat-board discussions, and 24/7 access to digital materials. And of course, just as there are some learners who prefer the energy of a live classroom, there are those who learn best when working in their own personal space, free from distractions. If this sounds like you, you might find the solitude of online learning to be a major advantage.

Resources for Online College-Bound Students