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.

Best Online Bachelor’s in Communications
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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

How do we determine the best online communications bachelor's 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 Bachelor’s in Communications Degree Programs

  1. #1

    University of Missouri

    #101 institution's historical influence
    #1169 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $11K

    Acceptance

    82%

    Graduation

    73%

    Student body

    25K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1230/26

    Columbia, MO

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    Online Degrees

    BA in Communication
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
  2. #2

    University of Iowa

    #76 institution's historical influence
    #369 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $10K

    Acceptance

    84%

    Graduation

    72%

    Student body

    26K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1235/25

    Iowa City, IA

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    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
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  3. #3

    University of Arizona

    #89 institution's historical influence
    #605 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $12K

    Acceptance

    85%

    Graduation

    65%

    Student body

    39K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1235/25

    Tucson, AZ

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    Online Degrees

    BA in Communication
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
  4. #4

    Arizona State University

    #142 institution's historical influence
    #1312 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $11K

    Acceptance

    88%

    Graduation

    66%

    Student body

    74K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1240/25

    Tempe, AZ

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    Online Degrees

    BA in Business

    Concentrations

    • Communication
    • Sustainability
    • Required Credits: 114-120
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
  5. #5

    Texas Tech University

    #361 institution's historical influence
    #1458 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $12K

    Acceptance

    70%

    Graduation

    63%

    Student body

    35K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1165/24

    Lubbock, TX

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    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
  6. #6

    University of Kentucky

    #199 institution's historical influence
    #541 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $12K

    Acceptance

    96%

    Graduation

    66%

    Student body

    25K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1195/25

    Lexington, KY

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    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
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  7. #7

    University of Rhode Island

    #406 institution's historical influence
    #511 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $15K

    Acceptance

    76%

    Graduation

    71%

    Student body

    15K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1145/25

    Kingston, RI

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    Online Degrees

    BA in Communication Studies
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion time: 4 years
    • Format: Online
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  8. #8

    University of Cincinnati

    #151 institution's historical influence
    #1179 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $11K

    Acceptance

    76%

    Graduation

    73%

    Student body

    33K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1235/26

    Cincinnati, OH

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    Online Degrees

    BA in Communication
    • Required Credits: None Reported
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
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  9. #9

    University of Louisville

    #301 institution's historical influence
    #1277 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $12K

    Acceptance

    65%

    Graduation

    60%

    Student body

    16K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1180/25

    Louisville, KY

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    Online Degrees

    BA/BS in Communication
    • Required Credits: 121
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
  10. #10

    Sam Houston State University

    #821 institution's historical influence
    #1048 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $9K

    Acceptance

    92%

    Graduation

    58%

    Student body

    19K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1065/21

    Huntsville, TX

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    Online Degrees

    BA/BS in Communications
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion time: 4-5 years
    • Format: Online
  11. #11

    University of South Carolina

    #282 institution's historical influence
    #1388 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $13K

    Acceptance

    68%

    Graduation

    78%

    Student body

    32K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1275/28

    Columbia, SC

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    Online Degrees

    BA in Communication
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion time: 4 years
    • Format: Online
  12. #12

    Florida International University

    #504 institution's historical influence
    #215 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $7K

    Acceptance

    58%

    Graduation

    67%

    Student body

    48K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1195/25

    Miami, FL

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    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
  13. #13

    Loyola University Chicago

    #338 institution's historical influence
    #254 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $46K

    Acceptance

    71%

    Graduation

    76%

    Student body

    15K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1225/27

    Chicago, IL

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    Online Degrees

    BA in Strategic Digital Communication
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion time: 4 years
    • Format: Online
    REQUEST INFO
  14. #14

    Drake University

    #707 institution's historical influence
    #677 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $44K

    Acceptance

    68%

    Graduation

    78%

    Student body

    3K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1235/27

    Des Moines, IA

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    Online Degrees

    BA in Journalism and Mass Communication
    • Required Credits: 124
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
  15. #15

    Northern Arizona University

    #1014 institution's historical influence
    #303 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $11K

    Acceptance

    82%

    Graduation

    57%

    Student body

    27K

    Flagstaff, AZ

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    Online Degrees

    BS/BA in Communication Sciences and Disorders

    Concentrations

    • Communication General
    • Organizational Communication
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
  16. #16

    University of Alaska Fairbanks

    #839 institution's historical influence
    #235 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $9K

    Acceptance

    67%

    Graduation

    39%

    Student body

    5K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1155/21

    Fairbanks, AK

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    Online Degrees

    BA in Communication
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    REQUEST INFO
  17. #17

    University of Central Florida

    #490 institution's historical influence
    #181 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $6K

    Acceptance

    45%

    Graduation

    74%

    Student body

    60K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1255/27

    Orlando, FL

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    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
  18. #18

    East Carolina University

    #609 institution's historical influence
    #1186 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $7K

    Acceptance

    88%

    Graduation

    65%

    Student body

    24K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1115/22

    Greenville, NC

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    Online Degrees

    BS in Communication

    Concentrations

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

    University of Memphis

    #500 institution's historical influence
    #787 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $10K

    Acceptance

    85%

    Graduation

    52%

    Student body

    17K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1120/22

    Memphis, TN

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    Online Degrees

    BA in Communication

    Concentrations

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

    Simmons University

    #1147 institution's historical influence
    #754 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $42K

    Acceptance

    83%

    Graduation

    79%

    Student body

    5K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1200/26

    Boston, MA

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    Online Degrees

    BA in Communications
    • Required Credits: 128
    • Completion time: 4 years
    • Format: Online
  21. #21

    University of Texas at El Paso

    #782 institution's historical influence
    #725 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $9K

    Acceptance

    100%

    Graduation

    44%

    Student body

    20K

    El Paso, TX

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    Online Degrees

    BA in Organizational and Corporate Communication
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion time: 4-5 years
    • Format: Online
  22. #22

    Webster University

    #1085 institution's historical influence
    #814 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $29K

    Acceptance

    53%

    Graduation

    55%

    Student body

    7K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1130/24

    Saint Louis, MO

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    Online Degrees

    BA in Advertising and Marketing Communications
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
  23. #23

    State University of New York at Oswego

    #1289 institution's historical influence

    Tuition + fees

    $9K

    Acceptance

    69%

    Graduation

    65%

    Student body

    7K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1155/23

    Oswego, NY

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    Online Degrees

    BA in Communication Studies Broadcast and Mass Communication

    Concentrations

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

    Mercer University

    #625 institution's historical influence
    #1052 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $29K

    Acceptance

    78%

    Graduation

    73%

    Student body

    7K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1255/27

    Macon, GA

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    Online Degrees

    BA in Humanities

    Concentrations

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

    Missouri State University

    #1286 institution's historical influence
    #1219 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $8K

    Acceptance

    87%

    Graduation

    58%

    Student body

    17K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1140/24

    Springfield, MO

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    Online Degrees

    BS/BA in Communication Studies
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion time: 4 years
    • Format: Hybrid

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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

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