The Best Online Bachelor’s in Media Communications

by TBS Staff
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An online media communications degree can lead to exciting careers in journalism, broadcasting, public relations, and digital marketing. While pressure from digital markets may spark a decline in jobs at some media outlets, such as newspapers, the U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics (BLS) still projects 6% growth in media and communications employment by 2026.

Online Bachelor’s in Media Communications Degree Program Ranking Guidelines

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We selected the degree programs based on the quality of program and range of courses provided, as well as school awards, rankings, and reputation.

Our Methodology

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While specific criteria under consideration can vary by ranking, there are a few data points that we value most highly. They are affordability, academic quality, and online enrollment. Below, we break down our algorithm to help you understand what you're getting when you use one of our rankings.

  • Academics
  • Affordability
  • Online Enrollment

Data Sources

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Breakdown of Our Rankings Methodology

About Our Ranking Factors

Here at TBS, we value what you value: quality education, affordability, and the accessibility of online education. These factors guide all of our program rankings.

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Academics - 75%
Affordability - 15%
Online Enrollment - 10%

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The Best Online Bachelor’s in Media Communications Degree Programs

  1. University of Memphis
    Location

    Memphis, TN

    Tuition

    $13987

    The University of Memphis is a major research institution in Tennessee. The school’s online media communications degree encompasses several objectives surrounding message production and evaluation, ethical and diverse contexts, historical and contemporary communications, and media forms.

    In this 120–credit program, distance learners take courses in communication inquiry, oral communication, listening, and dialogue. Students can choose a communication studies or film and video production concentration. Students develop a solid understanding of communications in social and professionals situations.

    Distance learners at UofM access course materials through eCoursework. Instructors post course materials to discussion boards and encourage students to journal, blog, and create a professional portfolio. Online tutoring is available to students through Smarthinking. There are no on–campus participation requirements, so students can complete this degree entirely online.

  2. Webster University
    Location

    Saint Louis, MO

    Tuition

    $26435

    Webster University is a nonprofit school located in St. Louis, Missouri. The school’s bachelor’s in communication and media studies provides students with foundational knowledge in writing, production, and media theory. The degree focuses on analyzing media messages and strategizing media usage.

    Webster’s 128–credit program consists of 39 core credits, including coursework in ethics in the media, media literacy, the law and the media, and the university global citizenship program. Students must pass a portfolio review during their junior year, declare a 12–credit concentration, and complete a senior thesis and research methods class.

    Distance learners at Webster access classes through WebNet+ and complete coursework in a real–time synchronous format. There are no on–campus requirements for this program. Online students should apply for admission the semester before they intend to enroll. Students are admitted on a rolling basis.

  3. Arizona State University-Skysong
    Location

    Scottsdale, AZ

    Tuition

    $15479

    Arizona State University is a public research university located in the greater Phoenix area. The school offers an undergraduate degree in media communication studies that focuses on media influence. ASU’s 120–credit program includes a total of 41 classes, including American pop culture, political communication, visual communication, and history of mass communication.

    Online students as ASU access coursework via Blackboard, although the university is transitioning to Canvas over the next year. Instructors and students can engage in discussion boards during the 7.5 week courses. Students have access to technical support, academic advising. and a success coach.

    Applicants must have either a 3.0 GPA, be in the top 25% of their high school class, or have a minimum ACT score of 24 or SAT score of 1110.

  4. SUNY College at Oswego
    Location

    Oswego, NY

    Tuition

    $16070

    SUNY Oswego is a public school located in New York. The school’s online media communications degree focuses on broadcasting through radio, television, cable, film, and the internet. Students explore copywriting and media management, audio and video production, and broadcast journalism. Students can take classes in critical thinking and public speaking; mass media and the law; electronic media sales and marketing; and American government and politics. Students are encouraged to participate in internships.

    Webster’s communication program is designed for students who hold an associate degree in media studies, broadcasting, radio, TV, and mass communications. Students without associate degrees must complete on–campus coursework at Oswego or another accredited college.

    Online learners access coursework via Blackboard. Incoming freshman must have seven units of college preparatory mathematics and science at minimum. It is recommended that applicants have completed a foreign language.

  5. Granite State College
    Location

    Concord, NH

    Tuition

    $14681

    Granite State College is a public institution located in Concord, New Hampshire. The school’s communication media studies degree focuses on the media–driven culture and information–based economy.

    In this 120–credit program, students take courses in website development, digital media, research methods, and media and strategic communication. Coursework covers analytical skills and the ability to create media messages. Students can begin courses in the fall, winter, spring, or summer terms.

    The school offers a transfer pathway, designed for applicants who hold an associate degree in a related field with a "C" average or higher. Students must transfer coursework from interpersonal communications and group dynamics, the media and its messages, and introduction to ethics. Transfer students must take a minimum of 30 credits at Granite.

  6. Southern New Hampshire University
    Location

    Manchester, NH

    Tuition

    $29195

    SNHU is a private, nonprofit institution located in Manchester. The school’s entirely online media communications degree concentrates on new media. Distance learners gain skills in computer and graphic design, public speaking, public relations, and journalism. Coursework includes social media research and marketing, print media, new technology, multimedia journalism, and content production.

    SNHU’s bachelor’s program is a total of 120 credits. Students can transfer up to 90 credits towards their undergraduate degree. Transferred coursework must have a "C–" or higher. Distance learners have access to technology assistance, and academic and career advisors.

    There is no application fee for SNHU and applicants are not required to submit SAT scores. The school boasts affordable tuition, plus a 30% tuition deduction for military service members and active duty military spouses.

  7. DePaul University
    Location

    Chicago, IL

    Tuition

    $27126

    Located in Chicago, Illinois, DePaul University is the largest private Catholic university in the United States. The school’s bachelor’s in communication and media covers communication topics, including health communication, intercultural communication, journalism, public relations, television production, and advertising. In this program, students learn fundamental communication and critical thinking skills that apply to a variety of careers.

    DePaul’s programs run on quarter hours. The online media communications degree consists of 192 quarter hours. Online students access coursework through Course OnLine, a technology developed through DePaul’s College of Computing and Digital Media.

    Years three and four of this program are available entirely online, which is only offered to transfer students. To be eligible, students with a minimum 2.0 GPA must transfer at least 30 semester credit hours from a previous school. Students without transfer credits must take the first two years of the degree on campus.

  8. Brenau University
    Location

    Gainesville, GA

    Tuition

    $17684

    Brenau University is a liberal arts school located in Gainesville, Georgia. The school divides its education requirements into four learning objects: world understanding learning; scientific and analytic curiosity; artistic and creative imagination; and communication and language fluency.

    The school’s media communication studies degree consists of three foundational courses in film appreciation, fundamentals of speech, and persuasion. Electives include principles of leadership, conflict resolution, and principles of project management. A total of 120 credits are needed to complete this degree.

    Online students access coursework through Canvas. Coursework is delivered in accelerated seven–week sessions. Incoming freshman must hold a 2.5 GPA at minimum and transfer students must hold a 2.0 GPA at minimum. Admitted students can begin in fall, spring, or summer terms.

  9. Loyola University New Orleans
    Location

    New Orleans, LA

    Tuition

    $24131

    Loyola University New Orleans is a private Jesuit institution. The school’s online media communications degree focuses on technical competency and creativity. Students learn ethical and visionary communication and journalism professionalism.

    Students in the 120–credit hour communication studies program complete a sequence of courses in a subfield. Subfield options include advertising, public relations, visual communications, or journalism. Students can focus their electives on sports, environmental, nonprofit communication, or photography. This program also includes a professional internship. Online students access coursework and interact with classmates and instructors through Blackboard.

    Applicants under 22 years of age must submit ACT or SAT scores. Before students can enroll in classes, they must take the ALEKS assessment. Students can transfer up to 64 credits from previously attended regionally accredited institutions.

  10. Point Park University
    Location

    Pittsburgh, PA

    Tuition

    $21713

    Point Park is a private university located in downtown Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The school’s communication and media studies degree focuses on screen and media writing.

    This program is beneficial for students interested in creative careers. Classes emphasize storytelling in various formats such as radio, TV, animation, movies, videogames, and the internet. Courses include business communication and research, journalistic writing and editing, public relations, and social media practices.

    The program consists of 120 credits. Online classes run for eight weeks. Students can complete coursework at their own convenience. Online learners have access to a student success coach, who assists in all aspects of the digital learning experience. Applicants must have a 2.0 GPA at minimum and are required to submit a creative portfolio and complete a faculty interview.

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Choosing an Online Media Communications Degree Program

Though media specialists today are expected to be conversant in modern technologies, writing and communication remain at the core of their duties. Communication media studies teach students about diverse writing styles, including journalistic writing and internal business communication. Students assess media’s impact on culture and society while completing a general education curriculum that develops critical thinking and analysis through diverse perspectives. Overall, a bachelor’s in media communications requires 120 credits for completion, about four years for a full–time student. Some schools may offer accelerated class formats and asynchronous online courses that provide more flexibility in course scheduling.

Many schools include specializations within the communication and media studies program, such as film and video production, professional communications, technical writing, or digital media. Expect to complete hands–on learning projects that demonstrate an understanding of communication aesthetics, visual communication, and the use of new tools and industry–standard software. Students learn professional ethics and the legal questions of privacy rights, libel, and intellectual property. Often, programs include course credit for internships and may require a capstone thesis project prior to graduation.

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What Else Can I Expect From an Online Bachelor’s in Media Communications Program?

Schools may offer either a bachelor of science or a bachelor of arts online media communications degree. While either option provides a solid foundation for communications studies, you may find differences in the general curriculum requirements, such as more emphasis on science or math over humanities. The courses below demonstrate some of the media communications core curriculum.

Curriculum for an Online Bachelor’s Degree in Media Communications

Media Literacy
Students learn to critically examine media and other information with a focus on assessing credibility and identifying possible bias. This course includes a variety of traditional and online media resources.
Media and Society
As society becomes more influenced by news organizations, popular films, social media, and politics, students explore the impact of communication in these areas.
News Writing
In this course, students learn the basics of reporting, from recognizing a newsworthy story to interviewing sources and finding information. Coursework focuses on grammar, spelling, and Associated Press style.
Media Law
Learners examine landmark court decisions about freedom of speech, freedom of the press, the privacy rights of individuals, and the legal questions emerging from the rise of social media and online communications. Students also study the Freedom of Information Act and applicable state laws regarding public records, public meetings, and journalist shield laws.
Visual Communication
This course examines the use of visual images — photography, animation, or video — to help communicate a message. Students explore how images can add impact to written communication, usage in various platforms, and the basics of visual design, such as composition, color selection, spacing, and typography.
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Careers with a Bachelor’s in Media Communications

With an online degree, you become eligible for many media communications careers. The skills you acquire can secure your employment with traditional news organizations, growing digital publications, and broadcast stations. With this degree, you can work in social media marketing, inbound content marketing, or public relations.

Reporter
Reporters inform their audience by researching and gathering information from sources and records. They may cover a variety of topics or specialize in areas like education or healthcare. Many organizations seek reporters with multimedia skills who can use mobile reporting tools.
  • Median Annual Salary: $40,910
Public Relations Specialist
These professionals work with clients to create messages that improve the public's opinion of an organization or raise awareness of their services. Specialists write press releases, coordinate special events, field inquiries from the press, or write speeches for top-level management.
  • Median Annual Salary: $59,300
  • Proddcted Growth Rate: 9%
Film and Video Editor
Film and video editors use cameras, videos, and sound equipment to capture interviews or events. These professionals organize their footage and edit the final piece, working with a producer or director to capture relevant images.
  • Median Annual Salary: $58,210
  • Proddcted Growth Rate: 13%

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

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