Best Online Communication Degrees

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by Genevieve Carlton

Updated September 26, 2022

reviewed by TBS Rankings Team
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Communication Degrees Online

An online communication degree offers a broad education that covers writing, public speaking, and interpersonal communication. Communication majors build writing, research, and analytical skills, which often include learning to write speeches for public figures, craft press releases to shape an organization's public image, and conduct in-depth investigative reports.

A bachelor's degree in communication meets entry-level education requirements for many in-demand media communications careers. For example, public relations specialists often hold communication degrees. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, public relations specialists earned a median salary of over $61,000 in 2019. Communication majors can also work in fast-paced fields like journalism, reporting, and politics.

Our ranking of the best schools for communication majors can help prospective students find the right program for their career goals. This article also explores the most common communication concentrations, popular jobs for communication majors, and how to choose an online communication program.

Featured Online Communications Programs

The Most Affordable Online Communications Degree Programs

#1

Florida International University

School Information
Location Miami, Florida
Admission Rate 58%
Graduation Rate 63%
Accreditation Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
Percent Online Enrollment 68% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Located in Miami, Florida International University offers many top-ranked bachelor's programs. The institution supports 36 remote online bachelor's degree programs. The bachelor of arts in communication arts delivers rigorous studies in the field.

The communications program provides flexible options for students from all walks of life. Students complete coursework relevant to the communications field, with the option to choose electives and modify the curriculum. Enrollees can benefit from elective classes, minors, and other modifications.

Undergraduate communications students can expect to pay $16,529 in tuition. Enrollees can access internal and external funding opportunities to defray the cost of their studies. The average financial aid award per student at this college is $8,958.

Florida International University at a Glance:

Online Enrollment: 39,863

Total Online Programs: 67

Online Bachelor's Programs: 36

Admission Rate: 58%

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#2

University of Central Florida

School Information
Location Orlando, Florida
Admission Rate 44%
Graduation Rate 72%
Accreditation Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
Percent Online Enrollment 59% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Looking to earn a flexible online degree in communications? Consider the University of Central Florida. Undergraduate students from across the globe can connect with the University of Central Florida through one of its 19 fully online bachelor's degree programs. From its campus in Orlando, the school offers an online BA in communication and conflict. Students in the communications program can complete classes at their own pace, with the option for part-time study.

Throughout their coursework, students gain industry-relevant knowledge through general and advanced classes. These classes equip students with knowledge and skills applicable to a post-graduate career. With assistance from their academic advisor, degree-seekers can modify their course load, choose electives, and declare minors and degree concentrations.

The value of a bachelor's degree is clear. Graduates often increase their job opportunities and earning potential. The college notes a median salary of $39,900 for graduates six years after finishing their studies. Though educational costs vary, communications students can expect to pay an average of $11,617 in tuition and fees. Prospective students can contact the communications program to learn more about admission requirements and financial aid opportunities.

University of Central Florida at a Glance:

Online Enrollment: 41,097

Total Online Programs: 47

Online Bachelor's Programs: 19

Admission Rate: 44%

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#3

Eastern Washington University

School Information
Location Cheney, Washington
Admission Rate 96%
Graduation Rate 54%
Accreditation Yes Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities
Percent Online Enrollment 31% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Eastern Washington University enrolls distance learners in 63 programs. The BA in communication studies program is one of 33 online bachelor's programs available through the college. The communications program offers customization to help students earn a degree that meets their needs.

Enrollees complete both foundational and advanced coursework, granting them knowledge and skills needed to advance in the communications field. Students complete general education and advanced coursework, gaining broad and specific skills. Learners can work with their academic advisor to customize their studies through modified courses, electives, minors, and concentrations.

Graduates can easily grow their earning potential with a bachelor's degree. The median salary for graduates six years after degree completion is $37,700, according to the college. Undergraduates pay a net price of $12,764 per year at the institution. Prospective enrollees can learn more about the opportunities available at Eastern Washington University, including admission requirements and financial aid eligibility, by connecting with the communications department.

Eastern Washington University at a Glance:

Online Enrollment: 3,825

Total Online Programs: 63

Online Bachelor's Programs: 33

Admission Rate: 96%

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#4

University of Texas of the Permian Basin

School Information
Location Odessa, Texas
Admission Rate 88%
Graduation Rate 40%
Accreditation Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
Percent Online Enrollment 70% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Learners seeking competitive online study in communications should consider the University of Texas of the Permian Basin's online BA in communications, delivered from Odessa. The institution prides itself on its leadership in online learning, offering 12 online bachelor's degree programs. Learners in the communications program are prepared for the demands of the field through rigorous study.

Students in the communications program complete coursework pertinent to communications careers. Majors work with academic advisors to select classes that match their interests and fit their schedule. Enrollees can explore other educational opportunities, such as minors and elective courses, to customize their studies.

The school reports that undergraduate tuition is $5,767. Communications students gain access to internal and external funding opportunities, such as scholarships, fellowships, and federal financial aid, through the college. The institution reports that students receive an average of $7,890 in financial aid.

University of Texas of the Permian Basin at a Glance:

Online Enrollment: 3,722

Total Online Programs: 15

Online Bachelor's Programs: 12

Admission Rate: 88%

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#5

Indiana University East

School Information
Location Richmond, Indiana
Admission Rate 63%
Graduation Rate 40%
Accreditation Yes Higher Learning Commission
Percent Online Enrollment 79% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Indiana University East, a public, four-year college, offers premier educational opportunities across 24 bachelor's degree programs. The institution prides itself on its leadership in online learning, offering 13 online bachelor's degree programs. The online BA in communication studies program is an attractive option for learners seeking to secure a career in communications.

Students in the communications program complete coursework pertinent to the field. Learners take industry-specific classes, with the option to add electives and modify their coursework. Enrollees can choose electives, minors, and other modifications to individualize their studies.

At present, undergraduates pay $19,346 in tuition. Distance learners at the accredited institution can qualify for federal financial aid programs and other forms of aid. The college reports that students receive an average of $8,055 in financial aid.

Indiana University East at a Glance:

Online Enrollment: 2,989

Total Online Programs: 19

Online Bachelor's Programs: 13

Admission Rate: 63%

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#6

Arizona State University

School Information
Location Scottsdale, Arizona
Admission Rate 64%
Graduation Rate 4%
Accreditation Yes Higher Learning Commission
Percent Online Enrollment 98% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

As a leader in online education, Arizona State University supports 44,167 distance learners across 126 remote degree programs. Of its online programs, 54 offer an undergraduate-level education. For students looking to advance in the communications field, the school's online bachelor of science in communication is a wise choice. The flexible program helps learners complete a college degree.

Throughout the program, students attend industry-relevant lectures while completing communications-specific coursework. Students also complete general education and advanced coursework, gaining broad and specific skills. Enrollees can work with their academic advisor to individualize their degree by exploring electives, minors, and degree concentrations.

The value of a bachelor's degree is clear. Graduates often increase their job opportunities and earning potential. The school reports a median salary of $42,200 for graduates six years after completing a bachelor's degree. Undergraduate learners at the college can expect to pay $14,568 in tuition and fees yearly. Students can meet with leaders in the communications department to discuss application materials, admission requirements, and other relevant information.

Arizona State University at a Glance:

Online Enrollment: 44,167

Total Online Programs: 126

Online Bachelor's Programs: 54

Admission Rate: 64%

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#7

University of Minnesota Crookston

School Information
Location Crookston, Minnesota
Admission Rate 68%
Graduation Rate 50%
Accreditation Yes Higher Learning Commission
Percent Online Enrollment 46% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

The University of Minnesota Crookston offers many top-ranked bachelor's programs. The public college supports distance learners across 15 online bachelor's degree programs. The bachelor's in communication program enrolls distance learners.

Enrollees benefit from a rigorous curriculum that enables flexible study. Students can work with their academic advisor to modify the program's coursework to meet their academic and career goals. Students can also choose electives and pursue interdisciplinary studies based on their goals.

Undergraduate tuition at the school averages $10,438. Learners can access numerous funding opportunities through the accredited institution. Degree-seekers receive a financial aid award package amounting to $11,781 on average.

University of Minnesota Crookston at a Glance:

Online Enrollment: 1,266

Total Online Programs: 19

Online Bachelor's Programs: 15

Admission Rate: 68%

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#8

Appalachian State University

School Information
Location Boone, North Carolina
Admission Rate 77%
Graduation Rate 73%
Accreditation Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
Percent Online Enrollment 23% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Students looking for competitive online learning opportunities should consider Appalachian State University's online bachelor's degree programs. The communications program is one of seven online bachelor's degree programs available through the institution. The online BS in communication studies supports learners at a  distance.

The communications program connects students with a supportive online learning community, while enabling flexibility. With assistance from their academic advisor, students can modify their course load to suit their needs. Enrollees can benefit from elective classes, minors, and other modifications.

Undergraduate students can expect to pay $19,049 in tuition. At the accredited institution, students can access external and internal funding opportunities, such as scholarships, fellowships, and federal financial aid. The institution averages financial aid packages of $8,612 per enrollee.

Appalachian State University at a Glance:

Online Enrollment: 4,490

Total Online Programs: 26

Online Bachelor's Programs: 7

Admission Rate: 77%

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#9

Eastern Oregon University

School Information
Location La Grande, Oregon
Admission Rate 98%
Graduation Rate 27%
Accreditation Yes Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities
Percent Online Enrollment 68% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Eastern Oregon University supports flexible distance learning opportunities across 23 online degree programs. Of these online offerings, 18 provide undergraduate-level education. Students looking for an individualized education relevant to the communications field can enroll in the online bachelor's in communication studies program. Students in the communications program benefit from flexibility, with the option to enroll full- or part-time.

Enrollees complete both foundational and advanced coursework, granting them the knowledge and skills needed to advance in the communications field. This curriculum consists of general education and advanced coursework. While enrolled, learners can customize their studies by choosing electives, minors, and degree concentrations.

With a bachelor's degree, graduates often increase their job opportunities and earning potential. According to the institution, enrollees earn a median salary of $36,000 six years after finishing their degree. Undergraduate students at the college can expect to pay $14,835 in tuition and fees yearly. Prospective students should contact the communications department directly before applying, to discuss admission requirements, application materials, and other information.

Eastern Oregon University at a Glance:

Online Enrollment: 2,078

Total Online Programs: 23

Online Bachelor's Programs: 18

Admission Rate: 98%

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#10

Central Methodist University

School Information
Location Fayette, Missouri
Admission Rate 100%
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes Higher Learning Commission
Percent Online Enrollment 57% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Central Methodist University, a private, nonprofit, four-year institution, offers competitive bachelor's degree programs. The communications program is one of 21 online bachelor's programs available through the institution. Distance learners interested in the communications field can enroll in the school's bachelor's in communication program.

The communications degree supports flexible study, meeting the needs of every learner. The program curriculum equips students with industry-relevant knowledge. Enrollees also have the option to choose a minor and select electives as part of the curriculum.

At present, undergraduates pay $6,070 in tuition. Students can receive financial aid to offset the cost of their degree.

Central Methodist University at a Glance:

Online Enrollment: 2,181

Total Online Programs: 30

Online Bachelor's Programs: 21

Admission Rate: 100%

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#11

Arkansas State University

School Information
Location Jonesboro, Arkansas
Admission Rate 80%
Graduation Rate 53%
Accreditation Yes Higher Learning Commission
Percent Online Enrollment 59% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Arkansas State University supports 7,939 distance learners across 42 fully online programs. Of these online programs, 10 offer an undergraduate-level education. The bachelor of arts in communication studies is a wise choice for learners seeking competitive, flexible study applicable to a career in communications. Students in the communications program can complete classes at their own pace, with the option for part-time study.

Throughout the program, students attend industry-relevant lectures while completing communications-specific coursework. This curriculum consists of general education and advanced coursework. Enrollees have the option to modify their studies, choose electives, and declare minors and degree concentrations.

The value of a bachelor's degree is clear. Many graduates increase their job opportunities and earning potential. The institution reports a median salary of $30,900 earned by graduates six years after completing their studies. Undergraduates pay an average of $13,281 in tuition and fees yearly. Before applying, prospective students should connect with the communications department to learn more about admission requirements and application materials.

Arkansas State University at a Glance:

Online Enrollment: 7,939

Total Online Programs: 42

Online Bachelor's Programs: 10

Admission Rate: 80%

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#12

University of Missouri St. Louis

School Information
Location Saint Louis, Missouri
Admission Rate 73%
Graduation Rate 52%
Accreditation Yes Higher Learning Commission
Percent Online Enrollment 32% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

The University of Missouri St. Louis, a public, four institution, offers competitive bachelor's degree programs. The public school supports distance learners across seven online bachelor's programs. The bachelor of arts in communication educates learners interested in communication careers.

The program curriculum enables flexible study. Enrollees can work with their academic advisor to make curriculum adjustments. Learners often modify their classes to suit their career interests.

Undergraduate communications students typically pay $29,295 in tuition. Learners can access numerous funding opportunities through the accredited institution. Degree-seekers receive a financial aid award package amounting to $13,354 on average.

University of Missouri St. Louis at a Glance:

Online Enrollment: 5,037

Total Online Programs: 25

Online Bachelor's Programs: 7

Admission Rate: 73%

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#13

Lamar University

School Information
Location Beaumont, Texas
Admission Rate 84%
Graduation Rate 34%
Accreditation Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
Percent Online Enrollment 73% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Lamar University, located in Beaumont, Texas, enables distance learning across 28 online degree programs. Undergraduate students can choose from 12 online bachelor's programs. Learners seeking competitive study in communications in a flexible modality can enroll in the college's online bachelor of science in communication program. The communications program accommodates flexible study, so enrollees can learn at their own pace.

Throughout their coursework, students gain industry-relevant knowledge through general and advanced classes. Learners develop knowledge and skills applicable to the communications field. While enrolled, students can customize the curriculum by choosing electives, minors, and degree concentrations.

The benefits of a bachelor's degree are varied, from increased job opportunities to higher earning potential. The college notes a median salary of $37,200 for graduates six years after finishing their program. Students preparing to apply to the communications program should consider that the average price after aid for tuition and fees is $12,716. Students can meet with the Office of Financial Aid to learn more about funding opportunities and eligibility requirements for scholarships, fellowships, and other financial aid.

Lamar University at a Glance:

Online Enrollment: 11,310

Total Online Programs: 28

Online Bachelor's Programs: 12

Admission Rate: 84%

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#14

Granite State College

School Information
Location Concord, New Hampshire
Graduation Rate 19%
Accreditation Yes New England Commission on Higher Education
Percent Online Enrollment 92% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Granite State College enrolls distance learners in 58 programs. Undergraduate students can choose from 36 online bachelor's degree programs. Students looking for a communications-adjacent career can pursue study through the BS in professional communication program at their own pace. The communications program accommodates flexible study.

Throughout the program, students attend industry-relevant lectures while completing communications-specific coursework. Enrollees also take general education classes, gaining a well-rounded education. Students can individualize the curriculum by choosing electives, minors, and concentrations.

Graduates often greatly benefit from their education, gaining access to more job opportunities and a higher earning potential. The institution reports that graduates six years out from their degree earn a median salary of $36,400. When preparing for the cost of education, students should know that the average cost of tuition and fees after aid is $11,392. Prospective learners can explore funding opportunities, eligibility requirements, and other opportunities by connecting with the Office of Financial Aid.

Granite State College at a Glance:

Online Enrollment: 1,848

Total Online Programs: 58

Online Bachelor's Programs: 36

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#15

Penn State World Campus

School Information
Location University Park, Pennsylvania
Admission Rate 76%
Graduation Rate 71%
Accreditation Yes Middle States Commission on Higher Education

Learners seeking advanced online study should consider one of Penn State World Campus's 207 online degree programs. Undergraduate students can choose from 67 online bachelor's programs. For students looking to advance in the communications field, the school's online bachelor of science in organizational and professional communication is a wise choice. Learners in the communications program benefit from flexible study, with the option to enroll full- or part-time.

During the communications program, students complete foundational and advanced coursework relevant to the field. This curriculum consists of general education and advanced coursework. Students can customize their degree through electives, minors, and concentrations.

The value of a bachelor's degree is clear. Graduates often increase their job opportunities and earning potential. The school reports a median salary of $43,600 for graduates six years after completing a bachelor's degree. Prospective students should contact the communications department directly before applying, to discuss admission requirements, application materials, and other information.

Penn State World Campus at a Glance:

Total Online Programs: 207

Online Bachelor's Programs: 67

Admission Rate: 76%

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Affordable Online Bachelor's

Affordable Online Bachelor's in Communication Programs Ranking Guidelines

We ranked these degree programs based on quality, curricula, school awards, rankings, and reputation.

Featured Online Communications Programs

What Is an Online Bachelor's in Communication Degree?

An online bachelor's degree in communication trains students to critically analyze information and communicate clearly and effectively. Coursework emphasizes skills like critical thinking, writing, and research.

During a communication degree, undergraduates study mass communication, journalism, public relations, and international communication, learning to write persuasive essays, investigative reports, and press releases. In addition to strengthening their writing abilities, communication majors also polish their public speaking skills. Some programs incorporate internship requirements to help majors apply their knowledge in professional settings.

Earning a bachelor's in communication generally takes four years for full-time students. After graduation, communication majors can pursue careers in business, the nonprofit sector, media, and politics. Common jobs for communication majors include public relations specialist, journalist, and writer.

Choosing an Online Program

When researching the best communication schools offering online degrees, prospective students must consider several factors. In addition to price, students should look into program requirements, internship opportunities, and distance learning delivery method. Check out the following resources to learn more about choosing an online degree.

What Else Can I Expect From a Bachelor's in Communication Program?

While enrolled in a bachelor's program in communication, undergraduates can shape their degrees around their interests and career goals. For example, a student interested in reporting can select a concentration in journalism. Many programs also offer electives, which allow students to acquire specialty skills without committing to a full concentration. Most communication concentrations still focus on research, writing, and critical thinking skills.

Communication Concentrations

Journalism

Concentrating in journalism trains communication majors in media studies, investigative journalism, and reporting. Undergrads examine modern media, journalism ethics, and theoretical frameworks in journalism. Depending on the program, students may also complete internships to build professional experience. This concentration prepares graduates for careers like journalist, reporter, or editor.

Public Relations

A public relations concentration teaches undergraduates how to use their communication training to shape public opinion about an organization. Enrollees explore public relations, writing and storytelling techniques, digital media strategy, and social media production. Graduates can find work in public relations agencies, corporations, nonprofit organizations, government agencies, and event planning.

Digital Media

Communication majors specializing in digital media study digital technologies and methods of communication in digital environments. Coursework usually includes new media writing, film production, social media communication, and trends in digital media. Graduates pursue careers as digital media specialists, social media specialists, and digital media consultants.

Broadcast Media

A concentration in broadcast media trains undergraduates to work in television, radio, and other broadcasted media platforms. During the degree, learners explore broadcast communication, media analysis, and writing. The concentration may also incorporate video and multimedia production training. Graduates often work for television networks and nonprofit media companies.

Global Communication

A global communication concentration — commonly referred to as "international communication" — emphasizes cross-cultural and transnational communication and media strategies. Students in this specializatoin strengthen their intercultural communication skills while learning about global communication networks, mass media, and global business communication. The concentration may also incorporate foreign language training or study abroad opportunities.

Communication Curriculum

Communication Careers

Communication graduates have a lot of options when it comes to building a career in communication. For example, they can pursue opportunities in public relations, advertising, and marketing, or they can seek employment as journalists, translators, writers, or editors. Many of these career paths are in high demand and offer above-average salaries.

In addition to the following communication careers, undergrads can also pursue opportunities in business, politics, government, and tech.

Reporter

Median Salary: $46,270 Projected Job Growth (2019-2029): -11%

Reporters inform people about news and current events. They work for newspapers, television news programs, websites, and magazines. Some also report their work on the radio or in podcasts. Reporters must conduct research, investigate stories, and pitch ideas to an editor. They also conduct interviews, identify relevant sources for their pieces, and present their work in articles or recorded pieces.

Most reporters hold bachelor's degrees in journalism or communication. Aspiring reporters often write for their college newspapers or intern for media organizations to gain experience while still in college.

Interpreters and Translators

Median Salary: $51,830 Projected Job Growth (2019-2029): 20%

Interpreters translate information from one language into another. While interpreters typically work with spoken language, translators work with written language. Interpreters and translators must both translate messages, speeches, and other materials across languages while maintaining the meaning of the message. Interpreters may also create transcripts to go along with their translations.

Roles like interpreter and translator generally require a bachelor's degree and fluency in at least two languages. Majoring in a foreign language or a discipline like communication can help interpreters and translators find employment after graduation.

Public Relations Specialists

Median Salary: $61,150 Projected Job Growth (2019-2029): 7%

Public relations specialists promote organizations and build a favorable image for them, raising awareness of their achievements through press releases, social media outreach, and media interviews. Public relations specialists also help clients communicate with the media and the public, and may even draft speeches for executives. They often work closely with advertising and marketing specialists.

Entry-level jobs as a public relations specialist usually require a bachelor's degree. Most employers look for candidates with degrees in communication or a closely related field, like public relations, journalism, English, or business.

Featured Online Communications Programs

Popular Asked Questions by Communication Students

How Long Does It Take to Complete a Bachelor's in Communication Program?

Earning a bachelor's degree in communication generally takes four years for full-time students. Transfer students with prior college credits and those who choose accelerated programs can complete their degrees in less time.

What Can I Do With a Bachelor's in Communication Degree?

A communication degree prepares graduates for in-demand careers in marketing, advertising, and public relations. Communication majors can also work as journalists, writers, and editors.

Is Communication a Hard Major?

During a communication degree, undergraduates take courses in mass communication, speech writing, and public relations. The degree focuses mostly on writing assignments and generally doesn't include many math and science classes, so creative students with strong storytelling abilities will do best.

How Is a Communication Major Useful?

A communication major trains undergraduates to analyze written material, communicate their ideas effectively in writing and speech, and accurately represent their clients' beliefs. Students also learn to communicate using different styles, including technical writing, business writing, press releases, and public speaking.

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