Fastest Online Communication Programs

Employers across industries look for applicants with communication skills, from business to politics. Explore our ranking to find colleges offering accelerated degrees in communication.
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One of the most popular college majors, communication degrees teach students how to share information between individuals and organizations. An accelerated online communication degree provides knowledge and skills for students looking to launch their career quickly.

An accelerated online bachelor's in communication can lead to graduation in 2-3 years instead of a four years in a traditional bachelor's program. Accelerated programs may compact the same number of credits into a shorter timeline. Or, they function as degree-completion programs for students with associate degrees or significant transfer credits. Students can save time and tuition through a shorter enrollment period.

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A bachelor's in communication meets the minimum education requirement for popular jobs including communications director or specialist, public relations director, or social media specialist. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects faster-than-average job growth of 14% for media and communication jobs from 2020-2030.

How Fast Can I Get an Online Bachelor's in Communication?

The length and time commitment of an accelerated online bachelor's in communication vary.

While traditional programs take four years to complete, students can earn a bachelor's in communication in 2-3 years through accelerated online coursework.

Accelerated bachelors degrees typically include heavier course loads. Most traditional degrees consider 12 credits per semester a full course load. However, an accelerated program may require 15-18 credits to graduate in less than four years. Both degree options require 120 credits, but accelerated programs may allow students to maximize transfer credits.

Accelerated online courses typically run for 5-10 weeks. Students may enroll in many courses at once and may take courses throughout the summer term to graduate faster. Many accelerated programs offer generous credit-transfer policies and adopt competency-based learning models to reduce completion times.

What Can I Expect From an Accelerated Online Bachelor's in Communication Program?

Accelerated programs are ideal for students looking for the fastest way to earn a communication degree. Schools may offer the bachelor's in communication as a BA or BS degree.

Popular concentrations include digital media, interpersonal communication, and corporate communication. Yet, some accelerated programs offer limited or concentration options. Students enrolled in these programs may choose from electives in their preferred subjects. Some programs also offer an optional internship or field component.

Most students pursue an accelerated bachelor's degree in communication with previous college credits. Accelerated programs offer students several paths to maximize credits, including applying transfer credits, placing out of general education courses, and/or year-round course completion. Some online programs may require campus visits.

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Popular Online Communication Programs

Learn about start dates, transferring credits, availability of financial aid, and more by contacting the universities below.

What Courses Will I Take in an Accelerated Online Bachelor's in Communication Program?

Business Communication

Students identify and apply a variety of business communication styles. Topics include written and oral communication, technology used for communication, and critical-thinking and problem-solving skills.

Effective Speaking

Coursework builds skills in writing and delivering speeches. Students learn to engage an audience, use appropriate language, and consider body language to speak effectively. Courses also explore active-listening techniques.

Communication Theory

Topics include cross-cultural methods of communication and historical traditions. Students compare and contrast scientific and interpretive communication theories and case studies. Many courses incorporate the metatheoretical foundation of communication.

Media and Technology

Students examine how digital media disseminates social, political, economic, and cultural information in contemporary society. Coursework explores the impact of consuming media through social media, digital news outlets, and streaming platforms.

Interpersonal Communication

Topics include effective communication methods at the individual and relationship levels. Students explore techniques for maintaining positive interpersonal communication among family members, friends, romantic partners, and coworkers.

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What Are the Admission Requirements for an Accelerated Online Bachelor's in Communication Program?

Admissions requirements vary for accelerated communication degrees. Schools request similar application materials for online, accelerated, or traditional programs. Though online programs may waive SAT or ACT score requirements.

Additionally, accelerated programs require transcripts from previous colleges to evaluate transfer credits and placement testing. Schools may require students to apply online through a portal like the Common App.

Application

Students first submit a formal admission application. Most undergraduate applications ask students about personal information such as their address and citizenship status and their academic experiences. Applications typically require a completed FAFSA form and high school transcripts.

Test Scores

Most programs require bachelor's applicants to submit SAT or ACT scores. Some schools request entrance test scores from applicants while others require students to meet minimum score requirements. Colleges generally require scores from within the last five years. Some online programs waive entrance test requirements.

Letters of Recommendation

Schools often request letters of recommendation from undergraduate applicants. Letters of recommendation can help students provide a fuller picture of their academic potential and character. Students typically request recommendations from sources such as mentors, teachers, coaches, counselors, or employers.

Essays

Essays allow students to use their voices to speak about their achievements and life experiences. Application essays also highlight a student's written communication skills. Common essay topics ask students to describe a time they overcame a challenge or why they are interested in studying communication.

Official Transcripts

Official transcripts are an admission requirement for all college programs. These academic records outline students' academic experiences, including AP coursework and class rank. Transcripts are also used to verify any transfer credits students may have.

What Can I Do With an Accelerated Online Bachelor's in Communication Degree?

Career Outlook

An accelerated online bachelor's in communication qualifies graduates to pursue positions in communications, marketing, and PR. The BLS counts writers, editors, and journalists among the media and communication jobs projected to increase by 14% from 2020-2030, which is faster than the average 8% for all jobs.

Entry-level communication jobs value a candidate's experience along with their education. Earning an accelerated communication degree prepares students for employment and highlights their drive and commitment to pursue a rigorous academic curriculum. Students can further distinguish themselves as job-seekers by completing an internship or practicum.

An accelerated communication degree covers the same knowledge and skills as a traditional degree but in less time. Students in degree completion programs can dive into major and upper-division coursework, emphasizing communication fundamentals for aspiring journalists, and PR and media professionals.

See where a bachelor's in communication degree can take you.

Career Paths

Communications Director

Communications directors manage the presentation of an organization's public image. They direct PR on behalf of the organization to internal and external sources. Duties may include hosting press conferences, writing press releases, and interfacing with journalists and reporters. Most communications directors hold a bachelor's degree and marketing or PR experience.

Average Annual Salary (May 2022): $86,000

Public Relations Director

PR directors hold positions similar to communications directors. However, PR directors tend to have more specialized industry experience of up to 10 years. PR directors aim to project a positive image of their organization through consistent messaging and targeted press coverage. They may also help coordinate branding, fundraising, and marketing initiatives.

Average Annual Salary (May 2022): $94,281

Communications Specialist

Communications specialists develop consistent messaging to represent an organization across a variety of media platforms and marketing materials. They also manage online content on social media accounts. Many professionals also specialize in coordinating effective internal communication between employees, departments, and stakeholders.

Average Annual Salary (May 2022): $54,970

Marketing Specialist

Marketing specialists represent an organization and help shape its public image. They also may develop marketing plans that include paid advertising, corporate sponsorship, and/or media partnerships. Many marketing specialists hold advertising experience and a bachelor's degree.

Average Annual Salary (May 2022): $52,704

Social Media Specialist

Social media specialists maintain positive communication with the public through its organization's social media profiles. These professionals provide effective customer service, responding in a timely manner to comments, questions, and press requests. Many employers prefer candidates with a bachelor's degree.

Average Annual Salary (May 2022): $46,632

Communication Not For You? Check Out These Related Careers.

Continuing Education

Graduates of an online bachelor's in communication can qualify for most entry-level jobs in PR, marketing, and communication. Though education requirements vary, bachelor's degree holders with years of experience may also pursue senior advertising positions. Some graduates complete professional certification such as certified public relations manager.

Some students complete a master's degree in communication to apply for executive positions. Earning a doctorate in communication helps graduates become postsecondary communication teachers.

How Do I Choose an Accelerated Online Bachelor's in Communication Program?

Cost

The cost of earning a bachelor's in communication depends on many factors, including whether a school is public or private, as public schools tend to cost less. Additionally, some schools charge higher tuition rates for students who reside out of state. Though, online programs usually offer set tuition rates for all students, regardless of residency and accelerated completion options.

Program Format

Synchronous (live) and asynchronous (on-demand) delivery methods are common among online programs. Some schools adopt one method over the other while others let students choose their preference. Many accelerated degrees in communication also offer flexible full- and part-time enrollment options for students to customize their coursework and completion times.

Location

Students may consider staying close to home while completing an online bachelor's in communication. While location is less critical for online programs, students can access campus amenities and even participate in hybrid classes if they reside nearby. Some bachelor's in communication require occasional campus visits for orientation, workshops, or internships.

Accreditation

Regardless of major or study format, students should only consider accredited schools. A school must meet high educational standards to achieve institutional accreditation through the Department of Education. Top bachelor's in communication programs receive specialized programmatic accreditation through the Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communications (ACEJMC).

Student Support

Online and in-person programs may offer similar student support services. Since industry experience benefits job-seekers in many communication careers, online bachelor's in communication programs emphasize internships and career services. Online students may also access mentorships, alumni networking opportunities, and learning and technical support.

Fastest Accredited Online Bachelor's in Communication Programs

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#1 Fastest Online Communication Programs

Ottawa University-Online

  • Ottawa, KS
  • 4 years
  • Online

Hybrid | Self-Paced Classes 

Avg. Cost per Credit

In State | $499

Out of State | $499

Credits to Graduate

124

Program Information

Program Accreditation | Higher Learning Commission

OU's accelerated degree in communication develops analytical, critical, and practical communication skills. This hybrid BA in communication requires students to complete at least 30 credits on campus. Students can choose to pursue a concentration in speech or strategic communication. 

Curriculum topics include media literacy, small group communication, and communication law and ethics. Applicants must meet with an enrollment advisor and submit an application with official transcripts. Students can transfer up to 80 credits.

Average Tuition
In-state
$11,976
Out-of-state
$11,976
Retention Rate
Not provided
Admission Rate
Not provided
Students Enrolled
261
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
Not provided
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission

#2 Fastest Online Communication Programs

Dominican College of Blauvelt

  • Orangeburg, NY
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

100% Online | Self-Paced Classes 

Avg. Cost per Credit

In State | $650

Out of State | $650

Credits to Graduate

120

Program Information

Program Accreditation | Middle States Commission on Higher Education

DC's accelerated online BA in communication studies program prepares students to develop and deliver messages in various contexts. The bachelor's in communication curriculum includes speech communication, mass communication, journalism, public relations, and business writing. Areas of emphasis include business and global communication, communicating change, crisis communication, organizational communication, and leadership. 

First-year applicants must submit an application and official transcripts with a minimum 2.0 GPA. Students can transfer up to 70 credits from a two-year institution or 90 credits from a four-year institution. Standardized test scores are optional. 

Average Tuition
In-state
$28,984
Out-of-state
$28,984
Retention Rate
68%
Admission Rate
78%
Students Enrolled
1,868
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
26% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Middle States Commission on Higher Education

#3 Fastest Online Communication Programs

University of Northern Colorado

  • Greeley, CO
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

100% Online | Self-Paced Classes

Avg. Cost per Credit

In State | $403

Out of State | $403

Credits to Graduate

120

Program Information

Program Accreditation | Higher Learning Commission

UNC's online BA in communication studies degree completion program is designed for students with 60 transfer credits of previous coursework. The curriculum combines general education, major, minor, and general requirements. Courses include interpersonal, small group, courtroom, and organizational communication, and the art of persuasion. 

Graduates from this online bachelor's in communication can pursue jobs as lobbyists, communications consultants, motivational speakers, or HR professionals. Applicants must submit an online application and official high school and college transcripts. No prior college credits or test scores are required. 

Average Tuition
In-state
$7,596
Out-of-state
$19,854
Retention Rate
72%
Admission Rate
91%
Students Enrolled
12,930
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
32% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission

#4 Fastest Online Communication Programs

University of North Dakota

  • Grand Forks, ND
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

100% Online | Self-Paced Classes 

Avg. Cost per Credit

In State | $385

Out of State | $577

Credits to Graduate

120

Program Information

Program Accreditation | Higher Learning Commission

UND's online BA in communication program offers seven specializations: strategic communication, digital journalism, advertising, public relations, social media strategy, and digital analytics. 

The curriculum combines general education, major requirements, experience, specializations, a capstone project, and an internship. Topics covered include public speaking, individual research, media and diversity, intercultural communication, and writing for new and traditional media. 

First-year applicants must meet minimum college preparatory coursework criteria and submit high school transcripts. ACT or SAT scores are not required. 

Average Tuition
In-state
$8,212
Out-of-state
$14,371
Retention Rate
78%
Admission Rate
81%
Students Enrolled
13,581
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
45% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission

#5 Fastest Online Communication Programs

Indiana Wesleyan University-National & Global

  • Marion, IN
  • 4 years
  • Online

100% Online | Self-Paced Classes

Avg. Cost per Credit

In State | $395

Out of State | $395

Credits to Graduate

120

Program Information

Program Accreditation | Higher Learning Commission

IWU-National & Global's accelerated online BS in communication emphasizes soft skills valued by hiring managers. The curriculum combines general education with major, core, and directed communication requirements. Topics include communication theory, symbols and imaging, and interpersonal, organizational, and small group communication. 

Applicants must submit proof of high school diploma or GED certificate and official college transcripts. Students need to have at least 60 credits from an accredited college. IWU allows students to transfer up to 90 credits towards this fast online bachelor's in communication.

Average Tuition
In-state
$8,453
Out-of-state
$8,453
Retention Rate
Not provided
Admission Rate
Not provided
Students Enrolled
11,410
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
97% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission

BestColleges.com 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.

#6 Fastest Online Communication Programs

University of Louisville

  • Louisville, KY
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

100% Online | Self-Paced Classes

Avg. Cost per Credit

In State | $515

Out of State | $515

Credits to Graduate

121

Program Information

Program Accreditation | Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

UofL's online BA or BS in communication emphasizes theories, practices, contexts and perspectives in communication. The BA track focuses on a liberal arts curriculum, overall written and oral communication skills, and how humans communicate. The BS track focuses on copywriting, public speaking, and journalism.  

Applicants need to submit official college transcripts for transfer credits and an application. UofL doesn't require ACT or SAT scores. Students can transfer up to 60 credits from a community college and 90 credits from a four-year college. 

Average Tuition
In-state
$11,732
Out-of-state
$27,758
Retention Rate
80%
Admission Rate
69%
Students Enrolled
21,670
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
12% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

#7 Fastest Online Communication Programs

Carlow University

  • Pittsburgh, PA
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Hybrid | Self-Paced Classes 

Avg. Cost per Credit

In State | $783

Out of State | $783

Credits to Graduate

120

Program Information

Program Accreditation | Middle States Commission on Higher Education

Carlow University's hybrid BA in communication program emphasizes real-world experience and building oral, written and multimedia communication skills. Students can choose between three tracks: advocacy and social justice, digital media, and organizational management. The organizational management track is available online. 

Applicants must submit official transcripts from all previous institutions with an application. ACT or SAT scores are optional. Carlow allows students to transfer up to 90 credits. First-year students can complete the degree in three years if they meet academic requirements. 

Average Tuition
In-state
$29,652
Out-of-state
$29,652
Retention Rate
78%
Admission Rate
92%
Students Enrolled
2,022
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
56% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Middle States Commission on Higher Education

#8 Fastest Online Communication Programs

Regis University

  • Denver, CO
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

100% Online | Self-Paced Classes 

Avg. Cost per Credit

In State | $500

Out of State | $500

Credits to Graduate

120

Program Information

Program Accreditation | Higher Learning Commission

RU's online BA in communication program focuses on the skills for outreach strategy and public relations for organizations of all sizes. Topics covered include environmental, internet, interpersonal, and organizational communication. This program includes a capstone project or experiential learning component.

Graduates can pursue careers in public relations, sales, mediation, journalism, government, politics, or broadcasting. Applicants submit an application with official transcripts and a resume. Standardized test scores are not required. Students can transfer up to 78 credits. 

Average Tuition
In-state
$37,830
Out-of-state
$37,830
Retention Rate
84%
Admission Rate
71%
Students Enrolled
6,908
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
60% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission

#9 Fastest Online Communication Programs

University of Minnesota-Crookston

  • Crookston, MN
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

100% Online | Self-Paced Classes 

Avg. Cost per Credit

In State | $437

Out of State | $437

Credits to Graduate

120

Program Information

Program Accreditation | Higher Learning Commission

UMN Crookston's online BS in communication program emphasizes experiential learning. Students can choose one of three tracks: social media, communication studies, or organizational communication and public relations. The curriculum includes communication theory, visual communication, human-computer interaction, and digital marketing. 

An internship or capstone project is required. Students create a professional portfolio as a part of their coursework. First-year applicants must submit an application with a high school transcript. ACT or SAT scores are not needed. 

Average Tuition
In-state
$10,438
Out-of-state
$10,438
Retention Rate
72%
Admission Rate
68%
Students Enrolled
2,768
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
46% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission

#10 Fastest Online Communication Programs

Alvernia University

  • Reading, PA
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

100% Online | Self-Paced Classes 

Avg. Cost per Credit

In State | $515

Out of State | $515

Credits to Graduate

123

Program Information

Program Accreditation | Middle States Commission on Higher Education

AU's online BA in communication program has two tracks: strategic communication and public relations and advertising. Topics covered include digital storytelling, speech for virtual communities, and mass media. Students must complete a research seminar plus a project, paper, or an internship. 

Graduates can pursue public relations, journalism, creative writing, or advertising careers. Applicants must speak to an admissions counselor and submit high school transcripts with a minimum 2.0 GPA and an application. Students can transfer up to 75 credits. 

Average Tuition
In-state
$35,350
Out-of-state
$35,350
Retention Rate
72%
Admission Rate
64%
Students Enrolled
2,731
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
27% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Middle States Commission on Higher Education

Frequently Asked Questions About Fastest Online Communication Programs

Can I get a bachelor's degree in one year?

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Students may earn their bachelor's degrees in one year by applying the maximum amount of transfer credits and pursuing a full-time accelerated program. However, schools typically offer accelerated degrees in communication over 2-3 years.

Many online bachelor's in communication programs offer opportunities for students to customize their courses and schedule. This enables ambitious students to graduate in less time than learners studying on campus. Additionally, a degree-completion bachelor's may allow students to complete the remaining credits in as little as one year.

Are accelerated degree classes worth it?

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Yes, an accelerated degree in communication can help students graduate faster and launch their career quicker. A bachelor's in communication meets the entry-level education requirement for most jobs in this field.

Providers of online bachelor's in communication programs also understand that employers place value industry experience. Many fast online bachelor's in communication include a field component such as an internship. Additionally, this degree teaches students critical soft skills for the communications field.

Are accelerated bachelor's degrees as valuable as traditional degrees?

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Yes, an accelerated degree in communication offers the same curriculum as a traditional degree, but in a condensed format. Many accelerated programs feature the same instructors with industry expertise and accreditation through agencies like ACEJMC.

Is an accelerated bachelor degree in communication right for me?

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Students must consider whether an accelerated program meets their particular needs. Pursuing a fast online bachelor's in communication suits students looking to enter the workforce in less than four years. This option is especially beneficial to students with transferable college credits or strong AP test scores.

Beyond transfer-credits and advanced placement, accelerated programs can also suit students simply looking to overload their courses to graduate faster. Some accelerated programs require more than 12-15 credits per semester and offer at least 50% of courses online.

Are accelerated degree programs affordable?

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Yes, an online accelerated degree can help students save on tuition, commuting, and room and board costs. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, tuition averaged $16,650 at four-year institutions for the 2019-2020 school year. Nonessential fees and room and board increased the cost to nearly $29,000.

Students may shorten their completion time by transferring credits toward an accelerated communication degree. Additionally, online enrollment eliminates the need for campus housing or commuting to in-person classes, adding to the total cost of a traditional bachelor's degree.

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BestColleges.com 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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