Best Online Media Communication Programs
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Graduates of bachelor's in media communication programs can pursue jobs in media, business, and nonprofit settings. These programs teach students how to harness varied communication styles based on individual needs and use them in effective ways.
Media communication students can look forward to faster than average job growth from 2020-2030, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Most students spend four years earning this degree at one of the many top online schools that provide this major. That said, students can enroll either part-time or in accelerated programs, which affect their graduation timeline.
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Keep reading to learn about common coursework, available jobs, opportunities for continuing education, and information on admission requirements.
What Can I Expect From an Online Bachelor's in Media Communication Program?
Students who decide on an online degree in media communication typically enjoy learning about varied communication styles and how they apply in different settings. These learners may like working with different types of people and learning broad skills they can apply to a variety of roles.
Bachelor's in media communication programs typically comprise approximately 120 credits and require four years of full-time study. Part-time programs may take six years, while students can finish accelerated options in as few as three years. In addition to general and core coursework, some schools offer concentrations. These vary by institution, but common offerings include:
- Organizational Communication
- Rhetoric and Public Culture
- Global Communication
- Digital Media Communication
Most programs also include an internship component, allowing learners to develop real-world skills and network with professionals prior to graduating. Students will come across both BA and BS degree programs in communication. While the BA emphasizes the humanities and writing classes, the BS provides the opportunity to develop skills in data analytics.
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Popular Online Bachelor's in Media 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 Online Bachelor's in Media Communication Program?
Introduction to Communication Theory
Typically taken in the first year of studies, this foundational course looks at different communication theories and research. Students examine various types of communications and gain skills needed for upper-level coursework.
Communication in the Global Workplace
This course is designed for individuals who plan to work in international settings or with international colleagues and clients. Students look at cultural differences across professional settings and how to develop intercultural communication competencies.
This course develops students' media communication writing skills across various types of advertising, social media, print media, broadcast media, and public relations.
Media and Politics
Students taking this course get an in-depth look at the roles of digital, social, and mass media within political communication. Learners also examine how media and politics influence each other in varied ways.
Media Communications Internship
Usually taken in the junior or senior year, these semester-long experiences provide the opportunity for students to use their skills in real-world settings. Learners also get to network and build professional contacts before graduating.
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What Are the Admission Requirements for an Online Bachelor's in Media Communication Program?
Admission requirements are often similar for online and campus-based programs. In addition to the admission requirements highlighted below, competitive programs may also include a college interview.
Whether a college uses its own application or the CommonApp, these forms typically ask for basic demographic information such as the applicant's full name, mailing address, date of birth, and citizenship status. Most schools use online applications, but some may still allow for paper applications.
College entrance exam requirements vary by program. In light of COVID-19, some schools have made the ACT and SAT optional, while others still require applicants to submit scores from one of these standardized tests. Be sure to check minimum score requirements for prospective programs, as they can vary substantially.
Letters of Recommendation
Letters of recommendation allow the admissions team to better understand how others see candidates. These letters typically come from current or former teachers, supervisors, mentors, volunteer managers, and faith leaders.
The majority of colleges require application essays, giving the opportunity for students to discuss their aspirations in their own words. The best essays clearly address why a student wants to earn a bachelor's in media communications, how they plan to use the degree after graduating, and why they want to enroll in a particular program.
Official high school transcripts help admission counselors confirm the student's GPA and ensure they meet all prerequisite requirements. In the case of learners who want to transfer from community college to university, transcripts help registrars identify transfer credit.
What Can I Do With an Online Bachelor's in Media Communication Degree?
Many organizations rely on professionals with skills and knowledge in media communications. Graduates can pursue jobs in many different sectors and settings, including working in a nonprofit as a fundraising manager, a large corporation as a public relations professional, or a governmental agency as a market research analyst, plenty of jobs abound.
As one of the most popular college degrees, students in media communications programs can expect to be in high demand in the coming years. For instance, the Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that positions for media and communication professionals will expand by 14% between 2020 and 2030, higher than the 8% average for all occupations.
Advertising, Promotions, and Marketing Managers
These professionals build awareness and interest in their organizations' products and services. They accomplish this by developing advertising campaigns, deploying marketing plans, and coming up with innovative promotional ideas. They may also supervise junior employees and oversee departmental budgets.
Median Annual Salary: $133,380
Meeting, Convention, and Event Planners
Meeting, convention, and event planners can work in-house for hotels and convention centers or in a consulting role for various clients. Common responsibilities include meeting with prospective customers, developing plans based on event scope and client needs, identifying venues, coordinating services, and handling vendors.
Median Annual Salary: $49,470
Public Relations and Fundraising Managers
Public relations and fundraising managers work in many different settings to enhance their companies' public image. Common tasks include training employees on public communications, developing press releases, and designing fundraising campaigns that help raise money from donors.
Median Annual Salary: $119,860
News Analysts, Reports, and Journalists
These professionals work for a variety of media outlets including newspapers, websites, magazines, television, and radio. They may report on breaking news or cover more in-depth long-form stories. Many journalists work as freelance writers for different publications.
Median Annual Salary: $48,370
Market Research Analysts
Analytical in nature, these professionals monitor economic markets to forecast trends within marketing and sales. They work closely with both departments to measure and report on their campaigns' effectiveness and conduct surveys to gather data on markets, consumers, and competitors. They communicate this data through reports and presentations.
Median Annual Salary: $63,920
Media Communication Not For You? Check Out These Related Careers.
After earning an online bachelor's in media communications and working in the field for several years, some professionals may decide to return to school and earn a master's in communications. While not necessary, pursuing an advanced communications degree can help fast-track professionals' advancement into managerial roles, offering higher pay and more responsibilities.
Many students decide to pursue an online master's in communications, providing the flexibility professionals need to earn advanced credentials while balancing other responsibilities. Some students may choose to pursue an advanced degree in a related field like a master's in journalism. Individuals interested in educational or research positions may decide to pursue a doctorate in communications.
How Do I Choose an Online Bachelor's in Media Communication Program?
The cost of an online bachelor's in media communication can vary substantially based on different factors. Because of this, prospective learners must fully research true program costs before committing to any degree. Learners should also compare costs between online and on-campus programs to see which best fits their budget.
Online bachelor's in media communications programs commonly follow two formats: synchronous and asynchronous. Students seeking more flexibility often opt for asynchronous programs, as it allows them to complete coursework based on their scheduling needs. In addition to full-time and part-time options, some schools also offer accelerated programs for motivated degree-seekers.
When considering online bachelor's in media communication programs, location can still play an important part – especially for hybrid programs. When deciding whether to go to college online or on-campus, applicants must consider whether travel for on-campus requirements makes sense with their current schedule.
Students should carefully check the accreditation status of any program they consider. Accredited schools meet educational quality standards, allowing students to be eligible for federal student aid.
In addition to institutional accreditation, students can also look for degrees that hold programmatic accreditation. Within this field, learners should look for approval provided by the Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communications.
The best student support services help ensure students make the most of their time in school. For instance, top programs provide access to mentorship services and internship opportunities. In addition to campus-based services, remote students can also benefit from online student resources.
Best Accredited Online Bachelor's in Media Communication Programs
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Best Online Bachelor's in Media Communications Programs
Arizona State UniversityLocation
ASU provides more than 300 degrees and certificates through its online platform. ASU's School of Journalism and Mass Communication offers an online bachelor of arts in mass communication and media studies that teaches graduates an understanding of the media's changing role in society.
This 120-credit bachelor's degree requires 45 upper-division credits and a minimum GPA of 2.0 in the major. Students must earn at least 30 credits at ASU. Relevant courses include social media, digital media literacy, digital audience analysis, and media ethics. The program also offers a three-year fast track degree plan.
First-year applicants who place in the top 25% of their high school class or earn a minimum 3.0 GPA qualify for admission. Arizona residents with a score of at least 22 or 1120 on the ACT or SAT, respectively, also qualify. Non-residents need minimum scores of 24 or 1180.
Saint Louis, MOTuition
Founded in 1915 as a Catholic women's college, Webster now maintains a global presence and offers seven fully online degrees and three online degree completion programs. Interested learners can enroll in Webster's bachelor's in media communications program, which serves as a degree completion pathway.
This major includes required courses like media writing, literacy, ethics, and law. Students also complete a 12-credit concentration and a thesis or internship in a media-related area. Communications majors must pass a portfolio review after completing 15 major credits.
Students may apply to Webster using the school's application or the Common Application. Webster may require an essay, resume, and/or recommendations from some applicants.
Saint Louis, MOTuition
Founded in 1872, Maryville enrolls more than 10,000 students annually, including about 5,500 online learners. The school offers more than 30 online degrees, including a 128-credit bachelor of arts in communication with concentrations in strategic communication and emerging media strategy and social media.
In addition to general education requirements and electives, the program's curriculum includes 27 core credits and 24 concentration credits. Core courses include principles of visual communication and digital media. All students complete an internship, and strategic communication students also complete a capstone.
Maryville prefers applicants with a minimum GPA of 2.5 (2.0 for transfer students) and does not require standardized test scores for admission. Transfer students must earn at least half of their major credits and their final 30 credits at Maryville.
Washington State UniversityLocation
Founded in 1890, WSU enrolls nearly 30,000 students. WSU's Global Campus provides 20 undergraduate degrees to distance learners, including a bachelor of arts in integrated strategic communication that is available entirely online. This 120-credit degree emphasizes traditional and digital media strategies and data-driven decision-making.
Learners study public relations and advertising and complete a communication internship. Upper-level course topics include persuasion, digital content promotion, branding, marketing, and research methods.
To earn admission into the major, students must complete four core communication courses and at least 30 credits (at least 15 from WSU) with a minimum 3.0 GPA. Transfer students must complete at least 30 credits at WSU.
Point Park UniversityLocation
Located in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Point Park serves nearly 4,000 students through more than 100 programs. The university offers 10 online undergraduate bachelor's degrees, including a degree in public relations and advertising that features hands-on coursework.
Degree requirements include 32 credits of core courses and 15 credits of electives. Public relations and advertising courses include PR writing, ad copy and layout, and social media practices. Participants complete a practicum in the field and create a corporate or nonprofit marketing campaign as a capstone project.
Students complete Point Park's 122-credit degree by taking eight-week classes. The school may award up to 90 transfer credits, including credits for experiential learning. The program may require an interview or supplemental materials from certain applicants.
Located in Chicago, Illinois, DePaul offers an online bachelor's degree completion program in communication and media. Participants are recommended to follow a two-year or three-year plan.
Relevant courses include digital cinema production, screenwriting, and television production. Students must also complete coursework related to presentation skills and media analysis. Learners can engage in a research practicum, independent study, or internship. All learners complete a capstone course in their final quarter.
Applicants must have at least 45 transferable quarter credits and meet DePaul's writing and algebra prerequisites. DePaul prefers transfer applicants with a minimum 2.0 GPA. More than 40% of the university's student body consists of transfer students.
University of MemphisLocation
Founded in 1912, UofM currently offers 28 undergraduate degrees online, including a 120-credit bachelor's in communication studies. The program emphasizes the importance of producing tailored messages, analysis, ethical principles, and the impact of the media.
In addition to completing 41 general education credits, students take 33-37 major credits, including three classes in a focus area and a senior capstone project. Available focus areas include professional and relational communication, rhetoric and public advocacy, and media and culture. Students who maintain a minimum 3.5 GPA and complete a thesis project may graduate with honors.
UofM offers a guaranteed tuition plan and live online tutoring. Students may complete this communication program entirely online.
Founded as a school for women in 1878, Brenau University now includes a women's college within the larger coeducational university. Nearly 33% of Brenau's learners study online. The school offers 11 bachelor's degrees to distance learners, including a bachelor of arts in communication and media studies.
This program draws on the expertise of professionals in the Atlanta metro area, preparing graduates for jobs in public relations, marketing, instructional design, and social media. Students must complete liberal arts education requirements and major courses, such as diversity in media, persuasion, and communication theory.
Brenau accepts applications on a rolling basis and prefers applicants with a minimum 2.75 GPA. Military-affiliated students may qualify for tuition discounts. Online students can apply for federal and state financial aid.
Students at Brandman can take on-campus courses at more than 25 campuses in California and Washington. They can also access online and hybrid classes. The university offers more than 31 undergraduate programs, including an online bachelor of arts in communications and media.
Major coursework emphasizes various multimedia tools, communication techniques, and storytelling. Students must complete 120 credits to graduate, including general education, core, and elective credits. Core courses include strategic social media, multimedia journalism, and data analytics.
Applicants must have at least 12 transferable credits and a minimum 2.0 GPA. Brandman offers a four-course online track for students who still need to meet this requirement. Brandman boasts an 81% degree completion rate for returning students.
Boca Raton, FLTuition
Located in Boca Raton, Florida, Lynn serves more than 3,000 students and offers about 50 undergraduate majors. Undergraduates can pursue one of 10 online bachelor's degrees, including a BA in communication and media. This degree track prepares graduates for jobs in advertising, public relations, journalism, media production, and business.
This 120-credit bachelor's degree requires 33 core credits, 45 major credits, and 42 elective credits. Communication classes include screenwriting, digital video editing, and photojournalism. Students enrolled in the senior capstone course develop an e-portfolio. The program also includes internship opportunities.
Applicants must submit a personal statement and official transcripts. Nearly 25% of Lynn's communication students reside outside the U.S.
Frequently Asked Questions About Media Communication Programs
For many students, deciding whether an online degree matches with their personal, professional, and academic goals comes first. After making this decision, they must then decide whether a bachelor's in media communication meets their needs. Given the versatility of these in-demand programs, many students come to a positive conclusion.
Because so many companies and agencies need qualified professionals who can communicate effectively and to diverse audiences, graduates of these programs can select from many different positions. Because they also offer opportunities for upward movement, bachelor's in media communication programs remain one of the most popular majors available.
As previously discussed, earning a bachelor's in media communications qualifies graduates to take on a wide spectrum of roles in for-profit, nonprofit, and governmental settings. Individuals interested more in the data and theories of communication may find that working as a market research analyst best matches with their professional interests.
Those who want to have more direct impact on the direction of companies and their likelihood of success may find that working as an advertising, promotions, and marketing manager provides a good deal of professional satisfaction. Many roles exist, making this a versatile option for study.
The BLS projects that media communication jobs will grow faster than average in 2020-2030. In the case of advertising, promotions, and marketing managers, the agency projects that roles will grow by 10% in that period, leading to nearly 32,000 new jobs by the end of the decade.
Meanwhile, jobs for market research analysts are anticipated to expand by an impressive 22% – much faster than the average for all occupations combined. By the end of the decade, the BLS anticipates more than 163,000 new jobs will exist within the workforce.
Potential earnings may weigh heavily on students considering a bachelor's in media communication, making it important that they fully research how much they can expect to make before committing to a program. Salaries can vary significantly based on factors such as level of experience, employer type, job title, and location.
For instance, meeting, convention, and event planners earned median salaries of $49,470 in 2021, which is only slightly above the median salary for all occupations. However, graduates with relevant work experience can pursue jobs as advertising, promotions, and marketing managers, earning median salaries of $133,380, according to the BLS.
Several media communication roles offer six-figure salaries. For instance, the BLS reports sales managers received median wages of $127,490 in 2021, while those in the top 10% of earners commanded salaries above $208,000 annually.
Similarly, those who take up roles as public relations and fundraising managers earned a median salary of $119,860. However, managerial roles in media communication require years of relevant experience along with a degree.