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Best 20 Online Communications Degree Programs

February 16, 2021 | Staff Writers

Online Communications Degree
Degree Finder
BestValueSchools.org is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

Gone are the days of going into journalism to work the beat for the local newspaper. Print newspapers are going, going, gone out of business. Contemporary teens don’t dream about getting a paper route to deliver to make money. Nevertheless, the need for communications majors is still strong. Media sources changed but opportunities for communication majors increased.

Teenagers now dream of becoming a social media influencer by amassing viral popularity to become an overnight, Internet sensation. To create this success requires the ability to communicate and attract attention in the digital space of social media.

Getting your Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Communications is the doorway to a career in many areas that include advertising, broadcasting, film, digital media, public relations, promotion, and marketing. The B.A. degree in communications is the type of liberal arts major that many law schools accept if you want to become a lawyer since communication is a large part of what an attorney must do.

The Balance notes the top ten careers for communications majors, ranked by salary-earning potential as reported by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, are:

  1. Brand Manager (annual salary $71,149): A brand manager is responsible for communicating the brand’s message effectively across all media and customer touchpoints.
  2. Business Reporter (annual salary $63,221): Business reporters are financial analysts who create reports for cable television and online systems about general economic conditions and give stock market advice.
  3. Sales (annual salary $63,000): Sales positions are now more about effective communications than manipulation and hard-selling prospects. Consumers want to be guided, not “sold.”
  4. Human Resource Specialist (annual salary $61,920): Many of the job duties of a human resource specialist involve communication such as creating job placement ads, policy manuals, training programs, and newsletters.
  5. Public Relations Specialist (annual salary $61,150): As a PR person, you can work for a company’s marketing department, an advertising agency, or even start a public relations firm taking care of the PR needs of multiple clients.
  6. Educator (annual salary $55,220): Educators are needed to teach in a virtual classroom setting at all levels.
  7. Instructional Designer (annual salary $55,150): In this position, you design course curricula and training programs.
  8. Content Creator (annual salary $54,489): Content marketing is expanding. There is an insatiable demand for quality content creation.
  9. Social Media Manager (annual salary $50,986): This is a marketing position. The work involved is to leverage social media to enhance brand awareness.
  10. Media Planner (annual salary $50,021): This job entails selecting the best mix of media channels to help a marketing and advertising campaign reach a specific target audience.

There is plenty of freelance work available to improve your communication skills, such as writing press releases. You can do freelance work even before you get your degree while you are still studying. You can work from home or anywhere with a decent Internet connection.

RankSchoolLocation
1University of Central FloridaOrlando, Florida
2Appalachian State UniversityBoone, North Carolina
3Columbus State UniversityColumbus, Georgia
4Florida International UniversityMiami, Florida
5Indiana University EastRichmond, Indiana

What are the best schools to get a BA in Communications?

Excited? Let‘s see which are the best schools to get an online degree in communications. We evaluated each undergraduate communication program for tuition cost, time to complete the program, and any discounts offered.

Here are our top choices for the best online Bachelor of Arts in Communication degree:

1

University of Central Florida

  • Orlando, Florida
  • Graduation Rate: 75%

University of Central Florida offers an online program to earn a BA degree in Communication and Conflict. This is a specialized degree designed for students who want to learn conflict resolution skills. Students seeking this degree usually pursue a career in counseling, family law, labor relations, or human resources.

School Overview

Tuition Per Credit Hour: $179 (FL resident) and $716 (non-resident)
Credits Required to Graduate: 120
Discounts Offered: Online-only students get a fee waiver for the campus-based fees that students taking courses on campus have to pay.
Tuition Total to Earn Degree: $21,480 (FL resident) and $85,920 (non-resident)
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2

Appalachian State University

  • Boone, North Carolina
  • Graduation Rate: 70%

Appalachian State University offers a BS in Communication Studies that can be completed by taking online courses. The courses are offered in eight-week sessions. Students take 12 credit hours per semester. Students complete this program in six semesters.

Students on a tight budget, who are residents of North Carolina, can get an associate’s degree at an inexpensive community college. Then, a student can transfer to this school. In this way, a student can complete a BS degree for the lowest possible cost. If this is your plan, be sure to check that all the course credits you earn at a community college are transferrable ones.

School Overview

Tuition Per Credit Hour: $163 (NC residents) and $664 (non-residents)
Credits Required to Graduate: 120 (*students must transfer in with a minimum of 50 credits)
Discounts Offered: A strategy worth considering is to become a resident of North Carolina to get the lowest online tuition fees possible and save about $35,000.
Tuition Total to Earn Degree: *Only 70 credits for this degree program can be taken at this school. The other 50 must be transfer credits. The cost for 70 credits equals $11,410 (NC residents) and $46,480 (non-residents).
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3

Columbus State University

  • Columbus, Georgia
  • Graduation Rate: 29%

Columbus State University offers a Bachelor of Arts in Communication that is designed for broadcasters, journalists, aspiring filmmakers, public relations professionals, advertising execs, and social media influencers. Students choose from a selection of four concentrations, which are communications, film production, integrated media, or public relations.

School Overview

Tuition Per Credit Hour: $182 (GA resident) and $643 (non-resident)
Credits Required to Graduate: 120
Discounts Offered: The fee for credits is capped at 15 credits per semester. This allows students on an accelerated program to take three more credits (18 total) per semester at no extra charge.
Tuition Total to Earn Degree: $21,840 (GA resident) and $77,160 (non-resident)
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4

Florida International University

  • Miami, Florida
  • Graduation Rate: 72%

Florida International University offers an online program to earn a Bachelor of Arts in Communication Arts degree. This program teaches skills in interpersonal and business communications, conflict resolution, leadership, and team building. This degree program is an excellent choice if you plan to continue studying to get a master’s in business administration (MBA), a master’s in education or public administration (MA), or if you plan to go to law school.

School Overview

Tuition Per Credit Hour: $229 (FL resident) and $346 (non-resident)
Credits Required to Graduate: 120
Discounts Offered: Military discounts
Tuition Total to Earn Degree: $27,480 (FL resident) and $41,520 (non-resident)
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5

Indiana University East

  • Richmond, Indiana
  • Graduation Rate: 31%

Indiana University East offers two communication degrees, a Bachelor of Arts and a Bachelor of Science. The core curriculum is the same but the specializations differ. This program is designed to accommodate those who transfer in with at least 60 semester hours of credit, such as students who have an associate degree from a qualifying community college.

School Overview

Tuition Per Credit Hour: $286 (IN resident) and $391 (non-resident)
Credits Required to Graduate: 120 (at least 60 are transfer credits)
Discounts Offered: Discounts offered for military members and veterans.
Tuition Total to Earn Degree: For 60 credits, $17,160 (IN resident) and $23,460 (non-resident).
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6

University of Maryland

  • College Park, Maryland
  • Graduation Rate: 85%

University of Maryland Global Campus offers a Bachelor of Arts in Communication Studies. Under this program, students learn interpersonal communication skills and group presentation skills. They learn how to professionally manage communications while following ethical, financial, and legal compliance rules and regulations.

School Overview

Tuition Per Credit Hour: $300 (MD resident) and $499 (non-resident)
Credits Required to Graduate: 120
Discounts Offered: This program accepts up to 90 transfer credits from other qualified institutions and community colleges. Active military, including their spouse and dependents, pay only $250 per credit.
Tuition Total to Earn Degree: For 120 credits, $36,000 (MD resident) and $59,880 (non-resident)
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7

University of Missouri

  • Columbia, Missouri
  • Graduation Rate: 68%

University of Missouri offers an online program to earn a Bachelor of Arts in Communication. This school accepts up to 60 transfer units from a qualified community college. This program is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. This degree leads to a career in advertising, content marketing, copywriting, corporate communications, digital communications, marketing, promotion, public relations, sales, and brand awareness management on social media.

School Overview

Tuition Per Credit Hour: $306 (resident) and $396 (non-resident)
Credits Required to Graduate: 120 (up to 60 are transfer credits)
Discounts Offered: There are discounts for U.S. military and veterans.
Tuition Total to Earn Degree: For 120 credits, $36,720 (resident) and $47,520 (non-resident).
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8

University of Texas

  • Austin, Texas
  • Graduation Rate: 81%

University of Texas Permian Basin (UTPB) offers an online Bachelor of Arts in Communication program. This program accepts up to 90 transfer credits from acceptable institutions. A student can take the core education courses, which qualify for transfer, at a low-cost school and then transfer in to complete a B.A. degree at this school. The courses last eight weeks and there are six start times each year.

School Overview

Tuition Per Credit Hour: $319 (all online students)
Credits Required to Graduate: 120
Discounts Offered: Up to 90 qualified transfer credits allowed.
Tuition Total to Earn Degree: For 120 credits, $38,280
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9

University of Memphis Global

  • Memphis, Tennessee
  • Graduation Rate: 46%

University of Memphis Global offers a BA degree in communication studies. This school has a unique Accelerated Bachelor’s to Master’s program that allows honor students to earn up to 12 double credits that simultaneously qualify for both an undergraduate and graduate degree.

School Overview

Tuition Per Credit Hour: $463 (all online students)
Credits Required to Graduate: 120
Discounts Offered: For residents of Tennessee, the tuition is the same for taking 12 to 18 credits per semester. An accelerated program (18 credits per semester) finishes a semester early and saves $4,956. This discount does not apply to non-residents.
Tuition Total to Earn Degree: Eight semesters of 15 credits each equals $45,648.
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10

University of Minnesota

  • Minneapolis, Minnesota
  • Graduation Rate: 78%

University of Minnesota offers an online course program for those seeking a Bachelor of Arts in Communication. The career paths for a graduate with this degree include corporate communications, event planner, health services management, marketing, media relations, politics, public relations, public affairs, publication design, sports marketing, becoming a social media influencer, or website designer.

School Overview

Tuition Per Credit Hour: $402 (all online students)
Credits Required to Graduate: 120
Discounts Offered: The semester fees are based on 13 credits per semester. There is no extra tuition charged for students who take up to 18 credits per semester.
Tuition Total to Earn Degree: $46,952
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11

University of Texas – El Paso

  • El Paso, Texas
  • Graduation Rate: 37%

University of Texas – El Paso offers an online degree program to earn a Bachelor of Arts in Organizational and Corporate Communication and a Bachelor of Arts in Media Advertising. This program is designed for those seeking a career in public relations and media relations.

School Overview

Tuition Per Credit Hour: $420 (TX resident) and $540 (non-resident)
Credits Required to Graduate: 120
Discounts Offered: Military and veterans discounts.
Tuition Total to Earn Degree: $50,400 (TX resident) and $64,800 (non-resident)
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12

Arizona State University

  • Tempe, Arizona
  • Graduation Rate: 67%

Arizona State University offers an online Bachelor of Science in Communication. You have to take 40 classes to earn the degree. Each class lasts seven and one-half weeks. This program has both a liberal arts foundation and a focus on social science.

School Overview

Tuition Per Credit Hour: $511 (AZ resident) and $628 (non-resident)
Credits Required to Graduate: 120
Discounts Offered: The credits taken during each semester above 12 only cost $120 per credit.
Tuition Total to Earn Degree: Eight semesters of 15 credits each equals $50,472 (AZ resident) and $72,552 (non-resident).
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13

University of North Dakota

  • Grand Forks, North Dakota
  • Graduation Rate: 55%

University of North Dakota offers an online Bachelor of Arts in Communication degree that has self-paced, enroll-at-anytime, online courses. There is no requirement to follow any academic calendar. You can customize your degree with a specialization that you choose for your minor. The specializations available are advertising, digital analytics, digital journalism, public relations, social media strategy, and strategic communication.

School Overview

Tuition Per Credit Hour: $428 (all online students)
Credits Required to Graduate: 120
Discounts Offered: Active-duty military members with federal Tuition Assistance get the discounted tuition rate of $250 per credit.
Tuition Total to Earn Degree: $51,360
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14

Northern Kentucky University

  • Highland Heights, Kentucky
  • Graduation Rate: 37%

Northern Kentucky University offers a Bachelor of Arts in Communication Studies as an online program that focuses on the study of human interactions. This program includes training in informatics and interpersonal communication skills. There is cross-cultural awareness training, effective listening, conflict resolution, and an exploration of family dynamics. This degree leads to a career as a presentation specialist, advertising executive, brand manager, corporate trainer, or social media coordinator.

School Overview

Tuition Per Credit Hour: $448 (all online students)
Credits Required to Graduate: 120
Discounts Offered: Military and veterans.
Tuition Total to Earn Degree: $53,760
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15

Bellevue University

  • Bellevue, Nebraska
  • Graduation Rate: 59%

Bellevue University offers an undergraduate degree program that can be taken online to earn a Bachelor of Arts in Communication with a specialization in mass media, organizational presentations, or strategic communications.

School Overview

Tuition Per Credit Hour: $425 (all online students)
Credits Required to Graduate: 127
Discounts Offered: The school allows the transfer of up to 67 credits from another qualified institution.
Tuition Total to Earn Degree: $53,975
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16

Colorado State University

  • Fort Collins, Colorado
  • Graduation Rate: 67%

Colorado State University offers a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism and Media Communication and a Bachelor of Arts in Interdisciplinary Liberal Arts with courses in communications, economic theory, the humanities, political science, and sociology. The tuition is high; however, US News ranks this school #11 and many others rank this school in the top ten for online schools in America.

School Overview

Tuition Per Credit Hour: Tuition Per Credit Hour:
Credits Required to Graduate: 120
Discounts Offered: Tuition includes student services such as advisor guidance, job placement, and a free copy of MS Office 365.
Tuition Total to Earn Degree: $57,120
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17

Brandman University

  • Irvine, California
  • Graduation Rate: 81%

Brandman University offers an online program to earn the degree of a Bachelor of Arts in Communications and Media. This program is designed for interdisciplinary studies that lead to a career in advertising, journalism, public relations, and broadcast media.

School Overview

Tuition Per Credit Hour: $500
Credits Required to Graduate: 120
Discounts Offered: Active-duty military members with federal tuition assistance get the discounted tuition rate of $250 per credit.
Tuition Total to Earn Degree: $60,000
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18

University of Arizona

  • Tucson, Arizona
  • Graduation Rate: 60%

University of Arizona offers a communication major (B.A.) that teaches students communication skills that are useful for professional careers in media, broadcast journalism, public relations, and sports marketing.

School Overview

Tuition Per Credit Hour: $500 (all online students)
Credits Required to Graduate: 120
Discounts Offered: Active-military members pay only $250 per credit.
Tuition Total to Earn Degree: $60,000
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19

Drexel University

  • Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • Graduation Rate: 70%

Drexel University offers an online program to earn a Bachelor’s Degree in Communication. This program provides the student with a broad foundation in journalism, public relations, marketing, advertising, and technical communication.

School Overview

Tuition Per Credit Hour: $530 (all online students)
Credits Required to Graduate: 120
Discounts Offered: This rate of $530 per credit is a 40% discounted rate from the regular tuition rate of $883 per credit. Other discounted rates are available are for Drexel University Alumni, military and veterans, and members of Drexel’s Partner Organizations of more than 500 corporations.
Tuition Total to Earn Degree: $63,600
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20

Mississippi College

  • Clinton, Mississippi
  • Graduation Rate: 58%

Mississippi College is a Christian university. This college offers Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) and Bachelor of Science (B.S.) undergraduate degrees in communication. The B.A. degree requires a student to complete twelve credit hours of courses in foreign languages. The B.S. degree does not have this requirement. A general degree is offered or students may choose to specialize in journalism, interpersonal and public communication, public relations, or sports media. Students may also take a minor in theater.

School Overview

Tuition Per Credit Hour: $570
Credits Required to Graduate: 120
Discounts Offered: Full-time students pay $9,100 per semester for 12 to 18 course credits. Students taking 18 credits per semester have an effective rate of $506 per credit. Active military members pay a discounted tuition of $250 per credit.
Tuition Total to Earn Degree: The accelerated pace of taking 18 credits per semester earns a degree in seven semesters, which equals $63,700 (a savings of $9,100); otherwise, taking eight semesters to complete this program costs $72,800.
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We are ready to help you! To get the help you need, contact us if you have questions about any of the programs that we reviewed. We will help you choose the program that suits you the best.

Our Ranking Methodology

We compared the tuition based on the cost per credit, times the total required credits necessary to earn a degree. When calculating the total tuition cost, we took into account any discounts for taking more credits at an accelerated pace. We used total tuition to make a fair comparison between the online schools. However, please note the full cost to attend a school may be more than just the tuition, so check with the school about their other costs and fees.

If you see a mistake in our rankings, let us know. If there is a correction we need to make or a school you think we should include, but did not, please send us an email about it.

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BestValueSchools.org is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.
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