Best Online Bachelor’s in Communications

Best Online Bachelor’s in Communications

Find top-ranked online bachelor’s in communications degree programs to prepare students to work as editors, copywriters, communications specialists, social media managers, reporters and correspondents, as well as public relations specialists.

Key Takeaways

  • Communications is a broad discipline, but several specific career tracks are in store for graduates, considering the increasing need for specialists in this area of study.
  • Strong skills in research, writing, and speaking, as well knowledge of modern communication devices and tools, are expected of holders of a communications degree.
  • The technical and soft skills that a communications major obtains are highly sought-after by employers across all industries.
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Here’s All You Need To Know About Communications as a Degree

An online bachelor’s in communications is a flexible format for busy professionals who wish to reach their goals. Many of the best institutions now offer online programs, so it’s easier than ever to find a top-notch online communications program.

An online communications degree program is also a great option for working professionals. The online format is able to accommodate busy schedules.

In an online communications degree, you’ll gain a comprehensive foundation in different fields together with progressive training in communication. This degree is designed to help strengthen your research, writing, and interpersonal abilities. After you earn your online bachelor’s in communications, you can pursue different opportunities in business communication, public relations, editing, and writing.

Careers in Bachelor’s in Communications Degree

  • Public Relations Specialist: Help your clients build and maintain a positive public image. You create press releases, make speeches, and respond to inquiries to shape how the public views your client. You also help your client effectively communicate their accomplishments and missions. With experience, you can advance to a public relations manager.
  • Editor: Create content ideas and work with other writers in revising materials for publication. You can specialize in different areas like executive editing, fact-checking, and copy editing. There are also editors that assess submissions before they make publishing decisions, while others focus purely on enhancing copy for publication.
  • Advertising Sales Agent: Ad sales agents sell advertising space to both businesses and individuals. This career requires a combination of visual, written, and oral communications skills. Knowledge of sales and marketing is also a plus. Advertising sales agents are the point of contact for clients from the sales pitch to maintaining accounts.
  • Professional Writer: Create content for books, magazines, entertainment venues, and other media. They concentrate on areas like script writing, copywriting, and biographical writing, and there are those that focus on content writing. Professional writers rely heavily on communication and research skills to create readable, accurate, and compelling work.
  • Technical Writer: These communications degree holders create instructional content for technical products and services. They create manuals, how-to guides, and documentation procedures, to name a few. Technical writers also manage research on user needs. They often work with engineers and developers to describe products as clearly as possible.

Choosing the Right Online Bachelor’s in Communications

Cost: Data from the Education Data Initiative showed that in 2021, the online costs of an average bachelor’s degree in communication is $51,000. In-state colleges typically have smaller tuition costs, and private institutions are the costliest.

Program Format: Online communications degree programs offer the option of enrolling full-time or part-time. Some schools also offer accelerated bachelor’s programs.

Online programs are also offered in a synchronous or asynchronous format. A synchronous format requires students to meet at a scheduled time, often for live lectures.

An asynchronous format allows students to access their class at any time that is convenient for them. These types of programs often utilize pre-recorded lectures.

Location: Even if you’re enrolled in an online communications program, the location of the school still matters. Enrolling in an online class at a nearby school gives you easy access to meet with classmates or faculty when needed. You can even join networking events and participate in local partnerships with employers.

Accreditation: Online students should make it a point to check the school’s accreditation. Regionally accredited schools have met the high standards for academic excellence. The student learning outcomes of schools are evaluated by independent agencies, along with the school’s academic standards and faculty qualifications. Attending a regionally accredited school guarantees that you get the best out of your education.

Frequently Asked Questions About Communications Degrees

Why get a bachelor’s in communications?

A bachelor’s degree in communication paves the way for an array of career options and provides students with a comprehensive education.

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What courses will I take when getting a bachelor’s in communications?

Students can expect to take courses in interpersonal communication, persuasion, communication theory, crisis communication, nonverbal communication, and political communication.

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How long does it take to get a bachelor’s in communications?

Most programs, whether online or on-campus, are 120 credits and typically take about four years to complete for full-time students.

Many online communications degree programs also offer asynchronous classes so that you can earn credits on your schedule.

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What can I do with a bachelor’s in communications?

Those who graduate with a bachelor’s in communication are prepared to work as editors, copywriters, communications specialists, social media managers, reporters and correspondents, as well as public relations specialists.

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Learn more about how to major in communications.

Best Online Bachelor's in Communications Degree Programs
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Online Bachelor of Communications: Our Ranking Process

Many colleges across the United States offer communications as a degree program, but in terms of academic quality, not all of them live up to expectations!

The online communication degree programs on our list stand out because their curricula emphasize the technical aspects of “communicating” in the modern era while cultivating in each student the soft skills that make an excellent professional in media and communication occupations.

Though facilitated on a web-based format, the online programs on our list are taught by professors who have demonstrated excellence as professionals in this field or contributed to it through published work. They are seasoned instructors at the undergraduate level, but most of them hold terminal degrees in communications.

Accreditation is a key factor that proves an online bachelor’s degree communication program or online college’s adherence to the ruling standards of instruction. The schools on our list are all regionally accredited by academic organizations

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25 Best Online Bachelor’s in Communications Degree Programs

  1. #2

    University of Iowa

    Iowa City , IA
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $10K

    Acceptance

    84%

    Graduation

    72%

    Student body

    26K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1235/25

    Online Degrees

    BS in Sport and Recreation Management

    Concentrations

    • Business Studies
    • Coaching and Sport Instruction
    • Communications Public Relations/Journalism
    • Entrepreneurship
    • Event Management
    • Interscholastic Athletic/Activities Administration
    • Sport and Diversity
    • Student-Designed
    • Required Credits: 123-129
    • Completion time: 4 years
    • Format: Online
  2. #5

    Texas Tech University

    Lubbock , TX
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $12K

    Acceptance

    70%

    Graduation

    63%

    Student body

    35K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1165/24

    Online Degrees

    BA in Digital Media and Professional Communication
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion time: 4-5 years
    • Format: Online
    BA in Technical Communication
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion time: 4-5 years
    • Format: Online
    BA in Communication Studies
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion time: 4-5 years
    • Format: Online
  3. #6

    University of Kentucky

    Lexington , KY
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $12K

    Acceptance

    96%

    Graduation

    66%

    Student body

    25K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1195/25

    Online Degrees

    BS or BA in Communication
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS or BA in Information Communication Technology
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
  4. #8

    University of Cincinnati

    Cincinnati , OH
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $11K

    Acceptance

    76%

    Graduation

    73%

    Student body

    33K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1235/26

    Online Degrees

    BA in Communication
    • Required Credits: None Reported
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
  5. Tuition + fees

    $9K

    Acceptance

    92%

    Graduation

    58%

    Student body

    19K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1065/21

    Online Degrees

    BA/BS in Communications
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion time: 4-5 years
    • Format: Online
  6. Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $7K

    Acceptance

    58%

    Graduation

    67%

    Student body

    48K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1195/25

    Online Degrees

    BS in Public Relations Advertising and Applied Communications
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BA in Organizational Communication Studies
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
  7. Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $11K

    Acceptance

    82%

    Graduation

    57%

    Student body

    27K

    Online Degrees

    BS/BA in Communication Sciences and Disorders

    Concentrations

    • Communication General
    • Organizational Communication
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
  8. Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $6K

    Acceptance

    45%

    Graduation

    74%

    Student body

    60K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1255/27

    Online Degrees

    BA in Communication And Conflict
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BA in English

    Concentrations

    • Technical Communication
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
  9. #18

    East Carolina University

    Greenville , NC
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $7K

    Acceptance

    88%

    Graduation

    65%

    Student body

    24K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1115/22

    Online Degrees

    BS in Communication

    Concentrations

    • Interpersonal/Organizational
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
  10. #19

    University of Memphis

    Memphis , TN
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $10K

    Acceptance

    85%

    Graduation

    52%

    Student body

    17K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1120/22

    Online Degrees

    BA in Communication

    Concentrations

    • Communication Studies
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
  11. #20

    Simmons University

    Boston , MA

    Tuition + fees

    $43K

    Acceptance

    83%

    Graduation

    79%

    Student body

    5K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1200/26

    Online Degrees

    BA in Communications
    • Required Credits: 128
    • Completion time: 4 years
    • Format: Online
  12. Tuition + fees

    $9K

    Acceptance

    100%

    Graduation

    44%

    Student body

    20K

    Online Degrees

    BA in Organizational and Corporate Communication
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion time: 4-5 years
    • Format: Online
  13. Tuition + fees

    $9K

    Acceptance

    69%

    Graduation

    65%

    Student body

    7K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1155/23

    Online Degrees

    BA in Communication Studies Broadcast and Mass Communication

    Concentrations

    • Degree Completion
    • Required Credits: 122
    • Completion time: 4-5 years
    • Format: Online
  14. #24

    Mercer University

    Macon , GA
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $39K

    Acceptance

    78%

    Graduation

    73%

    Student body

    7K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1255/27

    Online Degrees

    BA in Humanities

    Concentrations

    • Communication
    • Organizational Communication - Communication
    • Public Relations - Communication
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion time: 48 months
    • Format: Online
  15. #25

    Missouri State University

    Springfield , MO

    Tuition + fees

    $8K

    Acceptance

    87%

    Graduation

    58%

    Student body

    17K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1140/24

    Online Degrees

    BS/BA in Communication Studies
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion time: 4 years
    • Format: Hybrid
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Online Communications Programs Looking for You

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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

Whether you’re just getting started on your college search, you’re looking for survival tips on your way to a bachelor’s degree, or you’re preparing for the transition into grad school, we’ve got guides, how to’s and tons of other valuable resources to keep you moving forward in your educational journey.