The Most Affordable Online Bachelor's in Communication

The Most Affordable Online Bachelor's in Communication

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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 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.

Top 10 Affordable Online Bachelor's in Communication Programs 2020

#1 The University of Texas of the Permian Basin Odessa, TX
#2 Appalachian State University Boone, NC
#3 University of New Mexico Albuquerque, NM
#4 University of Southern Maine Portland, ME
#5 Bellevue University Bellevue, NE
#6 Lamar University Beaumont, TX
#7 West Virginia University Morgantown, WV
#8 Arizona State University Scottsdale, AZ
#9 University of Wisconsin-Superior Superior, WI
#10 Florida International University Miami, FL

The Most Affordable Online Communications Degree Programs

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4

University of Southern Maine 

Portland, ME

About this school

USM created its BA in communication program for students planning to earn graduate degrees. As a result, the program focuses on academic rather than career skills. This fully online communications degree accepts both freshmen and transfer students. Full-time students typically earn their degrees in four years.

The 120-credit curriculum blends synchronous and asynchronous components. In the major curriculum, students complete foundational courses before moving on to communication courses and senior seminar courses. However, within each category, students take courses in any order they like, such as nonverbal communication, business and professional communication, persuasion, media effects, and small group communication.

The senior seminar represents the major’s capstone experience. Students earn a minimum C grade in all courses to stay in good academic standing. Some students double major in media studies, which requires an additional 51 credit hours.

Prospective students should hold high school diplomas or pass a high school equivalency exam (e.g., GED or HiSET). Applicants under the age of 20 also must submit ACT or SAT scores. USM strongly recommends applicants submit personal essays. USM charges online students the same per-credit tuition rate regardless of residency. Students interested in university-funded financial aid should submit the FAFSA to USM’s financial aid office by the Jan. 15 deadline.

5

Bellevue University 

Bellevue, NE

About this school

Prospective communications majors seeking a bachelor of arts in communication studies at BU can personalize their education with an emphasis in mass media or organizational and strategic communication.

Students without prior college experience who study full time typically earn their degrees in four years. Some graduates enter the workforce, while others pursue a master’s or doctoral degree. BU graduates often enter the education and human resources fields.

The 127-credit curriculum features three components: general education, elective, and major courses. Although students benefit from an asynchronous curriculum, some courses do include prerequisites, such as critical thinking and communication, communication in the digital age, writing for media, communication and popular culture, and public relations.

The program concludes with a capstone experience wherein students synthesize their newly acquired knowledge and skills. This program may fulfill some states’ professional certification or licensure requirements. BU advisors work closely with students to ensure that students take the correct electives to meet these requirements.

Prospective students can hold either high school diplomas or GEDs. Transfer students may apply up to 90 credits towards their BU online communications degree. Unlike many online bachelor’s degree in communication programs, online students pay a higher per-credit tuition rate than on-campus students. However, online students may qualify for merit- and need-based financial aid. Financial aid applicants use the university’s Community Force application.

6

Lamar University 

Beaumont, TX

About this school

At LU, students in the bachelor of science in communication online program benefit from both low tuition and a degree that prepares graduates for careers and master’s programs. With both full-time and accelerated options, students can earn their degrees in just 48 months, sooner if they enter the program with transfer credit. LU graduates work in community relations, public relations, and marketing, among other fields.

The 63-credit major curriculum instructs students in a synchronous format. Unique courses include media writing, desktop publishing, pop culture theories, communication law, and political communication. Courses do not use set meeting times, meaning that students can view course materials and submit assignments at any time of day.

Full-time students can start the degree program in the spring or fall semester, while accelerated students can enter at five points throughout the year. Application requirements include high school transcripts or a GED and standardized test scores. Applicants who do not meet some application requirements may receive conditional admission. Applicants with at least 18 undergraduate credits qualify as transfer students. LU does not charge out-of-state students a higher per-credit tuition rate. Online students do not qualify for university-funded financial aid. However, active military personnel and veterans automatically receive a 15% tuition discount.

7

West Virginia University 

Morgantown, WV

About this school

The regents bachelor of arts at WVU offers a well-rounded education that students can personalize to their academic and career aspirations. The program boasts eight areas of emphasis, including communication studies. Also, WVU created this program for working adults, meaning that incoming students can earn credit through transfer, challenge exams, and portfolios. Most full-time students take 12 credits each semester and graduate in eight semesters.

The 120-credit curriculum includes a 15-credit communications area of emphasis. Students take emphasis courses in a synchronous format, with offerings such as communications of organizations/institutions, nonverbal communication, intercultural communication, and persuasion.

Students then select a fifth communications course from a list of six electives. In the asynchronous general education curriculum, students take coursework in composition, the humanities, social sciences, physical sciences, and mathematics. Approximately one-third of the program includes higher-level courses. Students who need additional credits to graduate can complete a minor in one of 20 academic subjects.

Prospective students can apply for the fall, spring, or summer term; each term uses a different application deadline. WVU accepts applications from first-time freshmen, transfer, and international applicants. Applicants’ high school or college transcripts should reflect a minimum 2.0 GPA or a GED. Transfer applicants must possess at least 24 transferable credits. At WVU online, all students pay the same per-credit tuition rate. Incoming freshmen and transfer students with excellent high school or college GPAs may qualify for an institutional, college, or departmental scholarship.

8

Arizona State University 

Scottsdale, AZ

About this school

The online bachelor of science in communication at ASU prepares students to use effective communication skills in 21st-century workplaces. In addition to practical skills, the curriculum’s focus on research methodology also prepares students for master’s programs. The program boasts both full-time and fast-track options. Full-time students typically graduate in four years, while fast-track students earn their degrees in 2.5–3 years. ASU graduates who do not pursue advanced degrees sometimes work in the business, sales, and public relations fields.

The 120-credit synchronous curriculum features an introductory course to online learning. In the first year, some students may need foundational coursework in mathematics and English before they move on to the core curriculum. Foundational coursework may extend students’ educations by up to one year. The communications major includes many exciting courses:

  • Persuasion and social influence
  • Gender and communication
  • Communication, conflict, and negotiation
  • Communication in professions
  • Leadership in group communication

Students remain in good academic standing by maintaining a minimum 2.0 GPA.

Prospective students who apply as freshmen must possess a high school diploma with a minimum 3.0 GPA. However, ASU’s Earned Admission Track allows applicants with GEDs to prove their college readiness by other means. Transfer students can apply up to 90 outside credits toward their ASU bachelor’s degrees. All transfer credits must reflect a minimum 2.5 GPA. ASU online students pay the same per-credit tuition rate regardless of residency.

9

University of Wisconsin-Superior 

Superior, WI

About this school

The University of Wisconsin system boasts dozens of entirely online bachelor’s programs. Through UW-Superior, students can earn a bachelor’s in communicating arts. Students gain much more than a traditional communications degree, choosing from two minors: communication or theatre and digital filmmaking.

The curriculum stresses hands-on experience, meaning that UW-Superior students can show graduate schools or prospective employers an academic portfolio. Students who follow the suggested academic pathway graduate in four years.

The 120-credit curriculum includes general education requirements, core communication courses, and electives. In the first year, students complete introductory courses in English, mathematics, science, and the humanities. Over the following three years, students delve into the latest communicating arts topics:

  • Introduction to intercultural communication
  • Communication inquiry
  • Interpersonal communication
  • Special topics seminar

The program concludes with a capstone experience. Students select from seven options that include study abroad, independent study, and a higher-level course in communicating gender. Throughout the program, students can complete internships or practicums in their home communities, a boon for those who plan to enter the workforce after graduation.

UW-Superior’s admission requirements for online students mirror those for on-campus students. Applicants’ high school transcripts must reflect a minimum 2.0 GPA. The university does not accept the GED. Prospective students with GEDs should earn an associate degree at a local community college before applying to UW-Superior. Applicants with at least 12 undergraduate credits qualify as transfer applicants. Like many public schools that offer online degrees, UW-Superior charges the same tuition rate to all students.

10

Florida International University 

Miami, FL

About this school

At FIU’s College of Communication, Architecture + The Arts, students can earn an online bachelor of arts in communication arts. With multiple start dates throughout the year, students have cheap online communications degree options that appeal to working professionals who want a program that can fit around their busy schedules. Typical freshmen students graduate in four years, while incoming students who already possess an associate degree can earn their degrees in two years.

The 120-credit curriculum boasts 60 credits in communication arts. Few programs on this ranking dedicate as much of their curriculum to the major. In class, students analyze many topics they can apply to their careers:

  • Advanced public speaking
  • Intercultural/interracial communication
  • Persuasion
  • Organizational communication
  • Communication for effective leadership

Students take general education and communications courses in an asynchronous format. Throughout the program, students work with success coaches who help them choose courses and find resources such as tutors.

FIU applicants must submit high school transcripts that reflect a minimum 2.0 GPA. FIU does not accept prospective students with GEDs but does accept those who earned associate degrees. Transfer applicants should possess at least 60 transferable credits. Florida residents save approximately 33% on tuition compared to out-of-state and international students. On the FIU scholarship site, students can explore and apply to university-funded scholarships.

11

Montana State University-Billings 

Billings, MT

About this school

The bachelor of arts in communication program at MSU Billings boasts concentration options in organizational or mass communication.

The organizational communication concentration attracts prospective students who want to apply their communication skills in careers as managers, trainers, and corporate communicators. Many mass communications students apply skills to further their education in a master’s program. Full-time students with no undergraduate credits can graduate in four years.

Both concentrations use a 120-credit curriculum featuring robust general education requirements in the natural sciences, humanities, mathematics, and cultural diversity. The organizational communication concentration uses a synchronous major curriculum that includes coursework in:

  • Exploring communication studies
  • History and theory of persuasion
  • Leadership and communication

The mass communication concentration differs by using a smaller major curriculum while adding additional electives. Some electives students select from include advertising, media and culture, popular culture and cultural studies, and the law of public communications. Both concentrations conclude with a capstone project.

Prospective students can apply for the spring, summer, or fall semester. Application requirements include a high school diploma or GED and a minimum score of 22 on the ACT or 1030 on the SAT. Applicants with lower scores may receive conditional admission based on other academic merit. MSU Billings online communications degree students save approximately 50% on tuition compared to out-of-state and international online students. Other fees apply. Students interested in university-funded scholarships submit only one scholarship application.

12

Valley City State University 

Valley City, ND

About this school

At VCSU, students can earn a bachelor of arts or bachelor of science in professional communication without ever setting foot on campus. This dynamic degree features concentration options in corporate communication, journalism and media, or digital media management.

Students can further personalize their online bachelor’s degree in communications by completing a minor in library media and information science, speech, or theatre. With course sizes capped at 20 students, all students receive individualized attention from professors and can forge lasting bonds with peers. Full-time students with no prior college experience typically graduate in four years.

The 120-credit asynchronous curriculum uses an optional study plan to keep students on track for graduation. In the first year, students focus on general education requirements. In the following three years, students blend the major curriculum with a minor or electives. The major curriculum features courses applicable to both careers and graduate study, including gender communication, group dynamics, and communication theory. The program concludes with either an internship or field experience in students’ home communities.

Applicants to VCSU submit either high school transcripts or GED scores. The university excuses applicants over the age of 25 from many application requirements, including the ACT and College Preparatory Core Courses. However, VCSU strongly recommends that all new students submit ACT or SAT scores so that the university can determine initial English and mathematics course placements. Starting in Fall 2019, out-of-state and international students no longer pay a higher tuition rate than North Dakota residents.

13

Granite State College 

Concord, NH

About this school

The communication studies bachelor’s degree at GSC appeals to transfer students who want to apply their associate degree to a bachelor’s completion program. In addition to credits from their associate degree, new students can fulfill general education and major requirements through challenge exams, experiential learning portfolios, and military training. New students with associate degrees can graduate in two years.

Like nearly all cheap online communications degrees on this ranking, GSC uses a 120-credit curriculum. Students take general education and major courses in an asynchronous format. Communications courses unique to this program include:

  • Conducting Critical Inquiry
  • The Media and its Messages
  • Introduction to Ethics
  • Principles of Marketing on Global Marketing
  • Managing Conflict

The program concludes with an integrative project where students synthesize what they learned throughout the program. Students remain in good academic standing by earning a minimum 2.0 GPA.

GSC uses rolling admissions. Applicants need a high school diploma or GED. GSC accepts up to 90 transfer credits. Undergraduate transcripts should include coursework in interpersonal communications, media, and ethics. Out-of-state students pay 10% more for their degrees than New Hampshire residents. Active-duty military personnel and veterans receive a tuition discount. The college grants a similar discount to help children ages 23 and younger.

14

East Carolina University 

Greenville, NC

About this school

At ECU, students in the BS in communication program customize their educations with one of four concentrations: Interpersonal and Organizational Communication, Media Studies, Journalism, and Public Relations.

This cheap online communications degree attracts prospective students who want to apply the latest communication skills to their current or future careers. Full-time students entering the program as freshmen can graduate in four years.

The 120-credit asynchronous curriculum includes 42 credits of general education requirements. All communications students take introduction to communication and introduction to mass media before moving on to their concentrations. Each concentration boasts a unique curriculum. In the interpersonal/organizational communication concentration, students analyze topics such as:

  • Communication Criticism
  • Public Speaking
  • Small Group Communication
  • Organizational Communication Theory

Each concentration allows students to personalize their degrees by choosing electives that align with their interests and goals. At the end of the program, students complete a capstone course. Students need a minimum 2.0 GPA in all courses to stay in good academic standing.

Prospective students need a high school diploma or GED. Applicants with less than a 3.0 high school GPA may receive conditional admission. Other application requirements include ACT or SAT scores. North Carolina residents save approximately 75% on tuition compared to out-of-state and international online students.

15

Arkansas State University 

Jonesboro, AR

About this school

The bachelor of arts in communication studies online at A-State boasts affordable tuition and six start dates each year. All courses in the online communications degree last seven weeks. Students can double major in political science, criminology, or sociology. Full-time students without prior college experience graduate in four years.

The 120-credit asynchronous curriculum features general education courses in science, humanities, and mathematics. The major curriculum includes two components: program requirements and communications electives. Unique communications electives include:

  • Computer Mediated Communication
  • Narratives in Health and Healing
  • Principles of Public Relations
  • Conflict Resolution
  • Seminar in Health Communication

Courses do not use set meeting times, making this affordable online communications degree ideal for working professionals balancing school with work and family responsibilities.

Prospective students need a minimum 2.75 high school GPA or a minimum score of 525 on the GED. Other application requirements include a minimum score of 21 on the ACT, but A-State waives this requirement for transfer applicants. Although a public school, A-State extends its in-state tuition rate to all U.S. online students. International students pay a higher per-credit tuition rate. The university does not award need-based grants or merit-based scholarships to online students at this time.

16

University of Memphis 

Memphis, TN

About this school

UofM offers an online education to recent high school graduates and working professionals who want to advance their careers. The bachelor of arts in communication with a concentration in communication studies focuses on five skills:

  • Performance
  • Critical Thinking
  • Academic Knowledge
  • Ethics
  • Mediated Communication

Academically gifted students may qualify for the university’s honors program, a boon for students planning to attend graduate school. Full-time students can earn their bachelor’s in four years.

The 120-credit online bachelor’s degree in communications includes general education, major, and communication studies courses. Communication studies courses include:

  • Media and Information Literacy
  • Rhetoric/Civic Controversy
  • Communication Ethics
  • Communication Research Methods
  • Senior Capstone

During the capstone, students create a work portfolio of their best pieces from prior courses and include findings from a capstone research project. Students need a minimum 2.0 GPA to remain in good academic standing.

Prospective students with high school diplomas apply as freshmen, while prospective students with GEDs apply as nontraditional students. Both admission tracks use different criteria, such as GPA and test score cutoffs. Different requirements also apply to homeschooled and international applicants. Online out-of-state students pay double the in-state tuition rate.

17

University of Minnesota-Crookston 

Crookston, MN

About this school

At UMC, students in the bachelor of science in communication program benefit from professors with advanced degrees and professional experience in the communications field. The program gives students many options to customize their degrees, including three areas of emphasis:

  • Communication Studies
  • Organization Communication/Public Relations
  • Writing

Throughout the program, students develop work portfolios, a valuable tool for applying to graduate school or a new job. Full-time students typically graduate in four years. Graduates work in management, marketing, and sports information, among other fields.

The 120-credit degree features 63 communications credits, so students spend more than half of their time in school focusing on major and concentration requirements. The synchronous major curriculum features coursework in:

  • Communication Technology Trends
  • Persuasion
  • News and Promotional Writing
  • Organizational Communication
  • Social and Behavioral Science Research Methods

Students also complete an internship in their home communities. Each concentration features required courses and electives. Students stay in good academic standing by not earning more than two D grades throughout the program.

Prospective students must submit high school transcripts or GED scores. UMC accepts applicants based on their talents, achievements, extenuating circumstances, and military service. It does not post GPA or test score cutoffs. All students pay the same tuition rate regardless of residency.

18

University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee 

Milwaukee, WI

About this school

The bachelor of arts in communication at UWM provides students worldwide with a world-class education. The online curriculum closely mirrors its on-campus counterpart: classes last 16 weeks and use set meeting times. Full-time students who start this online communications degree as freshmen can graduate in four years.

The 120-credit asynchronous curriculum includes 36 credits dedicated to the communications major. Unique core courses include:

  • Public Speaking
  • Critical Analysis of Communication
  • Qualitative Research in Communication

Students customize their education by selecting eight courses from an extensive list of communications electives. Due to online course availability limitations, some students may need to take general education courses at a local community college and transfer the credit to UWM. Wisconsin residents can take some courses on one of the university’s four campuses while retaining their status as online students. Students need a minimum 2.0 GPA in all courses to remain in good academic standing.

Prospective students submit high school transcripts or GED scores. UWM qualifies transfer students as those with at least 17 transferable credits. Wisconsin residents save approximately 50% on their education compared to out-of-state and international students. In-state students may qualify for university-funded scholarships or grants.

19

University of North Dakota 

Grand Forks, ND

About this school

Students in UND’s bachelor of arts in communication can complete their degrees entirely online or in a hybrid format, taking some courses on the university’s Grand Forks campus. This career-centered program appeals to recent high school graduates and working professionals planning to enter new careers or pursue a promotion in their current roles. Prospective students who want to earn a graduate degree in communications should consider other programs on this ranking. Full-time students can graduate in four years.

The 120-credit online communications degree includes general education requirements, major requirements, and an optional minor. Students who do not complete a minor take additional electives instead. During the online communications degree, students complete local internships at places such as newspapers, advertising agencies, and public relations firms. Classes do not feature set meeting times, so students enjoy the flexibility to continue working while earning their degrees.

Prospective students can apply for the spring, summer, or fall semester. Students need a minimum 2.75 high school GPA or a 145 on the GED. UND charges all online students an in-state tuition rate. Students seeking financial aid should apply by the deadline.

20

University of Colorado Denver 

Denver, CO

About this school

At CU Denver’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, students earning the bachelor of arts in communication degree benefit from a program with four specializations:

  • Community Service and Public Affairs
  • Global and Intercultural Communication
  • Media and Cultural Studies
  • Health Communication

Students living in the Denver area can complete this online bachelor’s degree in communications in a hybrid format. Full-time students without prior college experience can graduate in four years.

The 120-credit asynchronous program includes 39 credits of general education requirements. Courses last for 15 weeks. The 12-course major curriculum features multiple exit course options, including:

  • Internship
  • Communication, Prisons, and Social Justice
  • Advanced Strategic Communication
  • Health Communication
  • Senior Seminar: Transitioning from College to Career

Each exit course includes a unique capstone component. Students can further personalize their degrees by taking up to 56 communications credits. Students need a C grade in all courses to stay in good academic standing.

The typical CU Denver applicant possesses a minimum 3.2 high school GPA and 1070 on the SAT or 25 on the ACT. Colorado residents save approximately 66% on their degrees compared to out-of-state and international students. CU Denver provides eligible Colorado residents with generous financial aid through its College Opportunity Fund. Out-of-state students may qualify for a university scholarship.

21

Bemidji State University 

Bemidji, MN

About this school

Prospective students interested in business careers should consider BSU’s bachelor of science in marketing communication. The fully online communications degree accepts applicants with at least 24 transferable college credits, and students typically graduate in two years.

The 54-credit program uses a synchronous curriculum. Students explore topics such as:

  • Advertising Management
  • Media Writing
  • Social Media Marketing
  • Public Relations
  • Media Design

The program concludes with two internships that students complete locally. The university works closely with students to find appropriate placements. Students should ensure that they can work at their internship sites full time for at least one semester.

Prospective students submit high school and college transcripts. As the program accepts only transfer applicants, it does not require standardized test scores or recommendation letters. Although a public university, all online students pay the in-state tuition rate. Incoming students with excellent GPAs may qualify for the Michael McKinley Distance Learning Scholarship. New students can apply for this and other distance learning scholarships by submitting just one application.

22

Northern Arizona University 

Flagstaff, AZ

About this school

The bachelor of science in communication studies at NAU features two concentrations: communication general and organizational communication. The program emphasizes hands-on learning, making it ideal for students who plan to start their new careers after graduation. The program is also an excellent precursor for graduate law or business programs.

The 120-credit program features 42 credits of major requirements and 18 credits of an emphasis or minor. Unique major courses include:

  • Rhetorical Criticism
  • Introduction to Interpersonal Communication
  • Senior Seminar in Communication Studies
  • Communication in Contemporary Affairs
  • Gender and Communication

Students who maintain a high GPA may qualify for fieldwork experience or the university’s honors program. Students need a minimum 2.0 GPA to remain in good academic standing.

NAU accepts up to 90 transfer credits, making this cheap online communications degree an excellent choice for applicants with associate degrees. NAU typically grants the most transfer credits to students who earned their degrees from Arizona community colleges.

Students enjoy two tuition payment options: pay for each credit hour or pay a flat subscription fee. The latter method benefits students who take more than seven credits per semester. Online students may qualify for one of six merit-based scholarships. These scholarships do not require additional applications.

23

Wilmington University 

New Castle, DE

About this school

WilmU students can earn their bachelor of science in communication entirely online or in a hybrid format through one of the university’s four Delaware campuses. The degree offers two concentrations: integrated marketing communication and media communication.

Ambitious students can extend the bachelor’s program by earning a certificate in advanced technical communication, which qualifies them to earn the certified professional technical communicator credential. First-time students can graduate in four years. Graduates enjoy careers as public relations managers, web developers, and search marketing strategists.

The 120-credit asynchronous curriculum includes 39 general education credits and 36 communication core credits. Core classes include:

  • Internet Marketing
  • Legal Aspects of Communication
  • Technical Communications and Project Management
  • Media and Society
  • Communication Ethics

After completing the core curriculum, students pursue their concentrations. Both concentrations comprise nine courses in areas such as writing for the media and social media marketing. WilmU offers a suggested course sequence to keep students on track for graduation.

WilmU uses rolling admissions and accepts new students every two months. Applicants submit high school transcripts or GED scores. New students take math and English skills assessment tests to determine course placement. Students who submit ACT or SAT scores do not take placement tests. A private university, WilmU charges the same per-credit tuition rate to all students. Active-duty military personnel receive a 33% tuition discount.

24

Missouri State University-Springfield 

Springfield, MO

About this school

The bachelor of science in communication studies program at Missouri State offers four-year and degree-completion tracks in addition to an accelerated master’s track where students begin their graduate educations in their senior year. Students pursuing the online communications degree hone interpersonal, intercultural, and nonverbal skills. Full-time students can graduate in two years.

Students select from two concentrations: communication studies and intercultural communication and diversity. The 33-credit major curriculum uses a synchronous learning model. All students take the same core curriculum before starting concentration coursework. The core curriculum features classes such as:

  • Fundamentals of Public Speaking
  • Communication Research Methods
  • Rhetorical Tradition and Contemporary Applications
  • Interpersonal Communication Theory
  • Advanced Speaking in Professional Settings

All students earning a communication studies degree from Missouri State pursue a minor. Students with excellent GPAs can participate in the university’s honors program, which proves ideal for students considering the accelerated master’s track or other graduate-level degrees.

Applicants need an associate degree or at least 59 transferable credits. Prior undergraduate coursework should reflect a minimum 2.5 GPA. Missouri residents save approximately 50% on tuition compared to out-of-state and international students. Missouri State awards over a dozen scholarships each year to eligible students. New online students interested in scholarships should submit the MSU Annual Scholarship Application by the deadline.

25

Old Dominion University 

Norfolk, VA

About this school

The fully online bachelor of science in communication program at ODU attracts first-time college students and community college graduates. Students complete a concentration in professional communication and select an emphasis. Emphasis areas include:

  • Communication Foundations
  • Lifespan Communications
  • Media Studies
  • Public Relations
  • Persuasion

Full-time students can earn their degrees in as little as one year if they already possess an associate degree. Graduates work in fields such as public relations, training, and broadcast journalism.

The 120-credit asynchronous online communications degree features a comprehensive major curriculum. Students analyze topics such as:

  • Human Creativity
  • Impacts of Technology
  • Language and Culture
  • Oral Communication Skills
  • Understanding Media

Incoming students must take at least 30 credits at ODU. Some online courses use set meeting times, while others allow students to view lectures at any time of day. The program features virtual office hours where students teleconference with their professors.

Prospective students with associate degrees from Virginia community colleges automatically receive admission to ODU if their transcripts reflect a minimum 2.5 GPA. Freshman applicants submit high school transcripts and standardized test scores. The university recommends that applicants also submit recommendation letters and a personal essay. ODU charges out-of-state online students 15% more for their degrees than in-state students.

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End of list, bravo!

Ranking Methodology
Affordable Online Programs

Affordable Online Bachelor's in Communication Programs Ranking Guidelines

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

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.

How to Choose Your Major What to Look for in an Online College

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

  • Writing for Media: This class helps communication majors strengthen their reporting and writing abilities. Students learn to write in different styles, apply journalistic techniques, and build communication skills through writing assignments and critiques. They also gain familiarity with Associated Press style, write news articles, and craft press releases.
  • Mass Communication: Mass communication courses introduce undergrads to mass media industries, explore the evolution of the media, and demonstrate techniques used to study the media. Coursework also examines the social and cultural contexts that shape mass communication. Many communication programs require a course in mass communication.
  • Gender, Communication, and Culture: In this class, students learn to analyze communication through a cultural lens. The course explores the relationship between gender and culture, how gender and identity shape communication, and how cultural institutions communicate theories of gender and identity. This coursework helps undergraduates strengthen their critical thinking and analytical skills and understand the role cultural bias can play in communication.

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.

Reporters

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.

Median Annual Salary

$46,270

Job Outlook (2019-2029)

-11%

Interpreters and Translators

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.

Median Annual Salary

$51,830

Job Outlook (2019-2029)

20%/p>

Public Relations Specialists

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.

Median Annual Salary

$61,150

Job Outlook (2019-2029)

7%

Communication Professional Organizations

Professional organizations help communication graduates transition from college into the workforce. They offer professional development opportunities, career resources, and networking opportunities. Joining a professional organization can help undergrads prepare for the job market after graduation, even if they're still earning degrees.

  • National Communication Association NCA is a professional organization for academics, students, and professionals working in communication. It offers publications and digital resources that help members stay informed about new developments in the field. NCA also hosts an annual convention, runs student organizations, and offers academic and professional resources for communication majors and professionals.
  • Public Relations Society of America PRSA has over 30,000 members, including student members. It hosts the Public Relations Student Society of America, which connects undergraduates on nearly 375 campuses. PRSA also fosters career growth through professional development programs, learning opportunities, and public relations resources. Members can pursue professional credentials.
  • Society for Technical Communication STC promotes professionals working in technical writing and other communication roles. The society publishes journals to keep professionals current with developments in the field, hosts an annual conference with networking opportunities, and offers professional certification for technical communicators. STC also hosts local chapters to help technical writers connect.

Frequently Asked Questions

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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