Online Communications Degrees 2021

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Communications focuses on how people exchange and disseminate messaging across various mediums and platforms. The field also concentrates on how people respond to communication on humanistic, social, and aesthetic levels.

Bachelor’s in communications programs prepare students for a variety of jobs in diverse industries. Graduates of communications programs can work as editors, public relations specialists, reporters, and technical writers.

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According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), communications professionals earn a median annual salary of $59,230, which is higher than the median annual wage for all occupations. The BLS projects communications jobs to grow 4% between 2019-2029.

This page covers the best online bachelor’s in communications degrees, including common courses and scholarships for communications students.

Top 10 Online Bachelor’s in Communications Degrees

? This represents the average net price of attendance for full-time students as gathered by the National Center for Education Statistics. Individual costs may vary. Costs per credit hour may also vary by program or degree.
Rank School Avg Net Price ? This represents the average net price of attendance for full-time students as gathered by the National Center for Education Statistics. Individual costs may vary. Costs per credit hour may also vary by program or degree.
1 Florida International University $4721
2 Truman State University $7152
3 University of Central Florida $4478
4 Appalachian State University $4159
5 SUNY College at Oswego $6470
6 University of Colorado Colorado Springs $6624
7 University of Minnesota-Crookston $10180
8 University of Florida $4477
9 Bellevue University $6840
10 The Ohio State University $11298

Questions About Communications Programs

  • What kind of job can you get with a communications degree?

    A bachelor’s in communications opens a variety of career paths. Degree-holders can work as reporters, camera operators, and broadcast news analysts. Some graduates pursue writing careers.

  • Does a communications degree pay well?

    Salaries vary depending on the occupation. According to the BLS, communications professionals earn a median annual income of $59,230. This figure surpasses the median annual wage of $39,810 for all occupations.

  • Are communications majors in demand?

    The BLS projects jobs in some communications arenas, such as public relations and broadcast and sound engineering, to grow faster than average between 2019-2029. A bachelor’s in communications helps students enter in-demand careers.

  • How do you get into communications?

    Writing opportunities can help students break into the communications field. Students can also apply for internships in specific areas, such as photography or film editing.

Why Get a Degree in Communications?

Many students earn a degree to demonstrate knowledge of a specific skill set to future employers. A communications degree builds skills needed to break into industries such as media and writing. Learners refine their writing and public speaking skills throughout their coursework. Many programs also offer specializations, such as journalism, media studies, and media production. This helps graduates enter high-earning careers like technical writing, public relations, and editing.

Earning any degree online often helps enrollees save time and money. Many online programs run asynchronously, allowing working professionals to earn a degree without leaving their careers. Online students also do not incur additional expenses for room and board or commuting to campus.

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How Much Does a Communications Degree Cost?

The cost of a communications degree varies based on factors such as location, school, and program type. Students often save money on tuition by attending a local college. Many colleges offer reduced tuition rates to state residents.

Some communications programs require enrollees to complete an internship. Students may pay for transportation to and from their internship, which can add to the price of their education. Online programs may also ask learners to pay a technology fee.

Calculating the Cost of a College Degree

Assessing tuition costs can help learners determine next steps in financing their education. Prospective enrollees should also consider their monthly income, cost of living, and additional expenses. Students can use the calculation tool below to estimate the monthly and annual cost of college tuition.

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Break down your current financial situation, and receive a college tuition estimate you can afford to pay.

How Much Do Communications Majors Make?

Communications programs offer various possible career paths based on specializations, interest, and technical knowledge. Students enrolled in an on-campus or online communications program gain skills in writing, public speaking, camera operation, and photography. Graduates with a bachelor’s in communications degree can pursue careers in high-earning fields such as technical writing and public relations.

Technical writers help communicate complex information through manuals and other documents. According to the BLS, these professionals earn a median annual salary of $72,850. The BLS projects jobs for technical writers to grow 7% between 2019-2029, which is faster than average. Learning more about technical fields, such as science or engineering, can help graduates enter this field.

Professionals with a bachelor’s in communication can also work as public relations specialists. These professionals work with organizations to create a positive public image. Public relations specialists earn an annual median salary of $61,150, and the BLS projects jobs for these professionals to grow 7% between 2019-2029. A degree, certificate, or experience in business can help professionals enter this career.

Courses in Communications

Courses in communications programs build skills needed to effectively and efficiently communicate. Many courses help students cultivate writing and public speaking skills with papers, presentations, and other relevant assignments. Enrollees also typically study communication theory, research, and communication across cultures.

Many communications bachelor’s programs allow students to specialize in a particular area. Common specializations include journalism, media studies, public relations, and marketing. After completing foundational courses, learners generally transition to courses in their specialization. Depending on their specialization, enrollees may complete a thesis or capstone project.

While specific courses vary by program, most bachelor’s in communications programs offer the courses below.

Public speaking courses help students develop their verbal communication skills. Enrollees learn how to effectively present appropriate material for specific audiences based on culture, age, and knowledge of material. This typically includes the analysis, composition, and delivery of speeches. Learners often provide peer feedback based on what they learned in the class.

Communication theory courses introduce students to different types of communication. Degree-seekers learn how to apply communication theory in research and practice. Topics typically include overviews of mass communication, human communication, and new media. Learners may also explore interpersonal communication, public communication, and issues related to the field.

This course focuses on the relationship between communication and organizational theories. Students learn how to address communication issues in organizational leadership, culture, and structure. Organizational communications courses also teach learners how to address issues of conflict, change, decision-making, and external relations in organizations.

Certifications and Licensure for Communications

Obtaining licensure or certification helps communications professionals advance in their careers. Many communications professionals also apply for a license or certification to specialize in a particular area. See below for some licenses and certifications to assist communications professionals in their careers.

Certified Television Operator

Television operators can obtain certification to work at a broadcast station. The Federal Communications Commission does not require television operators to receive certification. However, this certification demonstrates effective knowledge of operation and can help professionals gain employment. Each broadcast station offers individual policies and procedures, but this certification helps CTOs demonstrate knowledge of basic procedures.

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American Translators Association Certification

Graduates seeking a career in translation can obtain ATA certification. This certification demonstrates knowledge in a specific language pairing, such as into or from English. ATA offers a three-hour exam to gain certification. This exam assesses translation techniques, writing, and language comprehension.

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Medical Interpreter Certification

Professionals interested in a career in medical interpretation can gain certification from the National Board of Certification for Medical Interpreters. Medical interpreters translate complex medical information to patients who speak a foreign language. Professionals must pass an exam to gain certification. The National Board allows certification in six languages, including Spanish, Russian, and Mandarin.

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Scholarships for Communications

Scholarships help students finance their college education. Degree-seekers can apply for scholarships based on financial need, academic interest, and career prospects. The following list includes scholarships available to students pursuing a bachelor’s in communications.

  • Ford Emerging Voices Scholarships

    Who Can Apply: The Alliance for Women in Media partners with the Ford Motor Company Fund to offer this award. This scholarship helps young women based on essays written on a particular topic.

    Amount: Up to $3,000

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  • The Interpublic Group Scholarship and Internship

    Who Can Apply: College juniors with an interest in communications may apply for this scholarship. Recipients of this award also receive a paid internship in New York City with IPG. New York Women in Communications awards two scholarships each year.

    Amount: Varies

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  • Edward O. Fritts Award

    Who Can Apply: Sponsored by Edward O. Fritts Endowment, this award is open to communications students pursuing a degree in TV/radio broadcasting. Applicants must submit transcripts, two reference letters, current GPA, and a 250-word goals statement.

    Amount: $1,000

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Online Bachelor’s in Communications Degrees 2021

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  1. Florida International University

    Miami, FL



    Enrollees in Florida International University's fully online program to receive a bachelor's degree in communication artsare matched with a success coach to assist them throughout their academic journey. Additional support includes career guidance, counseling and library access. Following the completion of 120 credits, students enter fields of human resources, public relations, marketing and political science. To apply for the program, you will need to provide evidence of a 2.0 GPA in high school studies, as well as present SAT or ACT scores.

  2. Truman State University

    Kirksville, MO



    Prospective students who want to major in communication at Truman State University will have the option to specialize in communication studies, journalism or public communication. In order to graduate, you must receive a grade C or higher in the required 120 credits of coursework, which is often available online. On-campus opportunities working for the school newspaper or Truman Media Network equip students to enter the workforce as social communication specialists, copy editors and sports reporters. High school transcripts, ACT or SAT scores and an essay will determine your eligibility for admissions.

  3. University of Central Florida

    Orlando, FL



    The University of Central Florida provides the opportunity to receive a bachelor's degree in communication and conflict through an online format. Students choosing this option will receive a reduction in fees. Although there are no specific admissions standards, a 2.0 GPA is necessary in order for the required 120 credit hours to count toward degree completion. Graduates will be prepared for employment as mediators, family law facilitators, dispute resolution administrators and foreclosure coordinators. Student services such as career guidance and writing assistance will help you through your studies.

  4. Appalachian State University

    Boone, NC



    Over the span of 6 semesters, students at Appalachian State University can complete a Bachelor of Science in Communication Studies via a 100% online program. You must possess a minimum of 50 transferable credits with a grade C or above in order to qualify. An additional 51 credits will be satisfied through university course offerings to result in the 122 total credits needed for graduation. Students are also required to select a minor in either business or sociology. Graduates have taken positions in broadcasting, corporate design and social media management.

  5. SUNY College at Oswego

    Oswego, NY



    Students possessing an associate degree or 60 credits from an accredited higher learning institution are eligible to participate in an online completion program to earn a bachelor's degree in broadcasting and mass communications. A minimum 2.3 GPA is required in order for coursework to transfer. The school collaborates with Open SUNY to provide an interactive and supportive online experience. Following the satisfaction of 42 credits with a 2.0 grade average, graduates find employment in public relations, corporate communications, advertising and journalism.

  6. University of Colorado Colorado Springs

    Colorado Springs, CO



    At the University of Colorado in Colorado Springs, students working toward a Bachelor of Arts in Communication can specialize in General Communication, Organizational and Strategic Communication, Leadership Communication, Media Studies or Digital Filmmaking and Media Arts. All pathways require students to complete 36-42 credits of communications-specific coursework with a minimum 2.0 GPA. Many classes are available through the web and resources such as the library and a credit transfer guide will assist in your online studies. Applicants will need to submit transcripts and SAT or ACT scores.

  7. University of Minnesota-Crookston

    Crookston, MN



    There are opportunities that go beyond the classroom for students enrolled in the online program to earn a Bachelor of Science in Communications at University of Minnesota Crookston. Distance education learners can study abroad, participate in internships and utilize the Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program. Admission is based on your application, high school GPA and ACT or SAT scores. Admitted students will select a specialization in communication studies, organization communications and public relations or writing. Graduation entails completion of 120 credits with no more than 2 grades of a D.

  8. University of Florida

    Gainesville, FL



    For those seeking to become an audiologist or speech pathologist, the University of Florida encourages you to start the journey with its online Bachelor of Science in Communication Sciences and Disorders with a focus on communication sciences and disorders. A total of 120 credits and a minimum 2.7 GPA is necessary for degree completion. The average admitted applicant possesses a 4.3-4.6 GPA, SAT scores of 1280-1430 and ACT scores of 28-32. The school also accounts for extracurricular activities, essays and student background when making a decision. Online learners can access resources such as academic advising and the library.

  9. Bellevue University

    Bellevue, NE



    The online bachelor's degree in communication studies at Bellevue University offers students the opportunity to specialize in mass media or organizational and strategic communication. Both pathways require the fulfillment of 127 credits and online supports such as career services and tutoring will help you along the way. Upon completion, graduates enter the workforce as arts and humanities teachers, multimedia collections specialists and news correspondents. Prospective students will submit transcripts and a school application to be considered for admittance.

  10. The Ohio State University

    Columbus, OH



    Students who have an associate degree with a minimum 2.5 GPA are eligible to participate in Ohio University's online program to complete a bachelor's degree in applied communication. The Harris Student Support Center works specifically with students in the Scripps College of Communication to ensure their success in fulfilling the 120 credits needed to graduate. The center's academic advisors will assist in developing plans of study and connect you to additional resources. Out-of-state students only pay $3 more per credit hour.

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