Best Online Bachelor’s in Communication Programs of 2021

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Published on April 21, 2021

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All industries require talented communicators. As a result, an online bachelor's in communication represents a springboard to a fulfilling career in nearly any field.

On this page, you can learn more about the best bachelor's in communication programs in 2020. In addition to the informative ranking, please review typical courses, application requirements, and potential career paths. Finally, keep in mind that information may have changed since this article's publication. Contact a school to verify any details before you apply.

What Are the Best Online Bachelor's in Communication Programs of 2021? Here Are Our Top 10:

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#1 University of Central Florida Orlando, FL
#2 Florida International University Miami, FL
#3 Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University-Worldwide Daytona Beach, FL
#4 Pennsylvania State University-World Campus University Park, PA
#5 Appalachian State University Boone, NC
#6 Eastern Washington University Cheney, WA
#7 Trine University-Regional/Non-Traditional Campuses Fort Wayne, IN
#8 University of North Dakota Grand Forks, ND
#9 Indiana University-East Richmond, IN
#10 University of Arkansas Fayetteville, AR

Like all liberal arts undergraduate programs, an online bachelor's in communication degree confers transferable skills you can apply to most professions. Also, many communication programs feature concentration options, giving you the power to tailor your education to your personal and career goals.

After graduation, you can use your education as a public relations and fundraising manager, for example. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the need for these managers should grow 8% between 2018 and 2028.

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

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2021 Best Accredited Online Bachelor's in Communication Programs

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University of Central Florida View School Profile Orlando, FL

Established in 1963, the University of Central Florida began as a regional talent supplier for the space program. Since then, the Orlando-based school has grown into a major research university of 13 colleges and almost 72,000 enrolled students.

UFC's online bachelor of arts in communication and conflict program trains students to moderate almost any disagreement to find a mutually gratifying resolution. Whether between individuals or corporations, this bachelor's in communication offers students the conflict resolution training needed to seek a career as a lawyer, an arbitrator, a contract negotiator, or a government liaison.

The curriculum provides foundational courses to help communication majors become knowledgeable and socially aware communicators. It features classes such as finite mathematics, gender issues in communication, and group dynamics.

Program Snapshot

Program Name: Bachelor Arts in Communication and Conflict
School Status: Public
Tuition: $179 per credit (in-state); $716 per credit (out-of-state)
Credit Requirements: 120 credits credits
Program Length: 4 years
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous and synchronous

Admission Requirements

GPA: No minimum specified
Standardized Tests: ACT or SAT required

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Florida International University View School Profile Miami, FL

With a student population of over 58,000 learners, Florida International University operates as a top research university in Miami. Additionally, FIU Online offers over 130 degrees and certificates.

The bachelor of arts in communication arts from FIU Online presents a logical next step for anyone seeking to develop professional communication skills. By following the organizational communication studies track, students can learn to be vital role-players in government, nonprofit, businesses, and education settings. FIU Online's interactive technology allows students to get real-time responses from instructors, view lectures, and interact with classmates on projects. Courses include intercultural/interracial communication, persuasion, and conflict management.

Program Snapshot

Program Name: Bachelor of Arts in Communication Arts
School Status: Public
Tuition: $229 per credit (in-state); $349 per credit (out-of-state)
Credit Requirements: 120 credits
Program Length: 4 years
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous and synchronous

Admission Requirements

GPA: 2.0 minimum required
Standardized Tests: ACT or SAT required

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Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University-Worldwide View School Profile Daytona Beach, FL

Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University was originally established as a Daytona Beach flight school. Offered through its Worldwide & Online campus, Embry-Riddle's online bachelor of science in communication program combines communication fundamentals with science and technology to help students meet the demand for degreed communication professionals.

With a strong emphasis on the aviation field, this online bachelor's in communication helps students develop communication expertise to pursue careers in aviation communication, technical journalism, and other tech-centric fields.

Along with essential writing and creative communication skills, students learn aviation, technical, and aerospace vocabulary through the program curriculum. They can customize this technical-based course work by choosing from 30 aviation, business, social, and STEM-related subjects. A sample of the course load includes an introduction to computers and applications, macroeconomics, and mass communication law and ethics.

Program Snapshot

Program Name: Bachelor of Science in Communication
School Status: Private
Tuition: $447 per credit
Credit Requirements: 120 credits
Program Length: 4 years
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous and synchronous

Admission Requirements

GPA: 2.5 GPA
Standardized Tests: ACT or SAT optional

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Pennsylvania State University-World Campus View School Profile University Park, PA

Pennsylvania State University has been operating its World Campus since 1998. With over 20,000 enrolled students, Penn State's online university has the second-largest campus in the Pennsylvania State University system.

The School of Liberal Arts and Communications at Penn State World Campus offers a bachelor of arts and bachelor of science in organizational and professional communication. This online bachelor's in communication caters to individuals pursuing communication careers in specialized technical fields.

For working adults, this program's flexibility allows students to integrate their higher education into their work and family lives. The coursework lays a framework for students to develop highly valued oral and written communication skills essential to thrive in law, media, and high-tech careers.

Program Snapshot

Program Name: Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science in Organizational and Professional Communication
School Status: Public
Tuition: $576 per credit (in-state); $617 per credit (out-of-state)
Credit Requirements: 120 credits
Program Length: 4 years
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements

GPA: 2.0 minimum required
Standardized Tests: Not required

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Appalachian State University View School Profile Boone, NC

Located in Boone, North Carolina, Appalachian State University traces its roots back to 1899. The school currently enrolls over 20,000 enrolled students on campus and online.

Appalachian's online bachelor of science in communication studies program teaches students the techniques needed to influence industry and organizational outcomes. This online bachelor's in communication program is particularly accommodating to military members and their qualified dependents, granting priority admission to these learners.

Appalachian online students have an opportunity to adjust the curriculum to suit their specific ambitions and interests. Participants take courses such as argument and advocacy, persuasion, political communication, and speechwriting.

Program Snapshot

Program Name: Bachelor of Science in Communication Studies
School Status: Public
Tuition: $143 per credit (in-state); $643 per credit (out-of-state)
Credit Requirements: 120 credits
Program Length: 4 years
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous and synchronous

Admission Requirements

GPA: 2.5 minimum required
Standardized Tests: Not required

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Eastern Washington University View School Profile Cheney, WA

Founded in 1882 in Cheney, Eastern Washington University now oversees more than 12,000 enrolled students on campus and online. U.S. News & World Report ranked EWU one of the top public schools in the nation in 2021.

The Communications Studies Department at EWU offers a bachelor of arts in communication studies. The program has a mass media and journalism slant. Students become proficient at message writing, public speaking, ethical communication, and researching.

This online bachelor's in communication features a senior capstone requirement. Coursework provides the groundwork for graduates to begin careers in various fields or extend their studies to the master or doctoral level. Some featured courses include sports and leadership, health communication, and topics in leadership and strategic communication.

Program Snapshot

Program Name: Bachelor of Arts in Communication Studies
School Status: Public
Tuition:$199 per credit (in-state); $799 per credit (out-of-state)
Credit Requirements: 180 quarter credits
Program Length: 4 years
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements

GPA: 2.5 minimum required
Standardized Tests: ACT or SAT required

Contact the School

Request more information about this program.

Trine University-Regional/Non-Traditional Campuses View School Profile Fort Wayne, IN

Established in 1884 as Tri-State Normal College, Trine University currently educates more than 4,500 online and at its main campus in Angola, Indiana.

TrineOnline hosts a bachelor of arts in communication program that is a cost-effective and flexible way for students to strengthen their professional potential in many industries. It offers four concentrations: healthcare administration, organizational leadership, information systems, and criminal justice. Students also have the option of designing a concentration that meets their goals.

The curriculum for this online bachelor's in communication gives students a well-rounded perspective of communication studies with courses such as writing for media, media laws and ethics, web content management, and intercultural communication.

Program Snapshot

Program Name: Bachelor of Arts With a Communication Major
School Status: Private
Tuition: $399 per credit
Credit Requirements: 120 credits
Program Length: 4 years
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements

GPA: No minimum specified
Standardized Tests: ACT or SAT optional

Contact the School

Request more information about this program.

University of North Dakota View School Profile Grand Forks, ND

The University of North Dakota in Grand Forks was founded in 1883. This high-activity research university currently enrolls more than 13,600 students.

UND's online bachelor of arts in communication program offers program customization with concentrations in public relations, strategic communication, social media strategy, digital journalism, digital analytics, and advertising. Plus, this online bachelor's in communication allows students to adjust their online class schedule to fit their schedule and mix on-campus and online classes.

Online classes follow the same semester schedules as on-campus offerings. This program requires all communication majors to complete an experiential requirement through an internship or some other means.

Program Snapshot

Program Name: Bachelor of Arts in Communication
School Status: Public
Tuition: $356 per credit (in-state); $534 per credit (out-of-state)
Credit Requirements: 120 credits
Program Length: 4 years
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous and synchronous

Admission Requirements

GPA: 2.75 minimum required
Standardized Tests: ACT or SAT required

Contact the School

Request more information about this program.

Indiana University-East View School Profile Richmond, IN

From its Richmond campus, Indiana University East was founded as an educational extension center in 1946. Today, the university educates around 3,700 students who attend classes on campus and online.

IU East's online bachelor of arts in communication studies program focuses on communication within groups, organizations, and electronic channels. Students learn how theoretical premises have real-world applications in foreign policy, business, marketing, and other fields. This degree could lead to careers as an event planner, TV producer, or media relations specialist.

The curriculum helps students improve their interpersonal, organizational, diverse, and ethical communication skills. Some sample classes include communication research methods, interpersonal communication, and techniques in data analysis.

Program Snapshot

Program Name: Bachelor of Arts in Communication Studies
School Status: Public
Tuition: $236 per credit (in-state); $341 per credit (out-of-state)
Credit Requirements: 120 credits
Program Length: 4 years
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements

GPA: No minimum specified
Standardized Tests: Not required

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University of Arkansas View School Profile Fayetteville, AR

The University of Arkansas became the first public university in Arkansas in 1871. Today, U of A has about 27,000 enrolled students on its Fayetteville campus and online.

The online bachelor of arts in communication at the University of Arkansas teaches students strategies for effective mass communications through multiple channels in the current high-tech environment. While completing this program, students develop a professional understanding of organizational power structures, effective techniques for interpersonal persuasion, and media's impact on social constructs.

Through this program's curriculum, students can get a panoramic perspective of all forms of formal and informal communication. Course topics include interpersonal communication, introduction to mediated communication, and introduction to communication research.

Program Snapshot

Program Name: Bachelor of Arts in Communication
School Status: Public
Tuition: $252 per credit
Credit Requirements: 120 credits
Program Length: 4 years
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements

GPA: 3.0 minimum required
Standardized Tests: ACT or SAT required

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Eastern Illinois University View School Profile Charleston, IL

Since 1895, Eastern Illinois University has operated from its main campus in Charleston, Illinois. Currently, over 7,400 students attend classes on campus or online.

EIU's online bachelor of arts in communication in organizations increases students' career potential by enhancing their interpersonal and organizational skills. This online bachelor's in communication offers four concentrations: communication in organizations, corporate communication, interpersonal communication, and mass communication. Also, students can minor in advertising, communication and cultural diversity, and communication studies.

The curriculum offers broad coverage of communication-related subjects, including conflict management, interpersonal communication, and organizational communication. It provides theoretical and practical knowledge applicable to a multitude of educational, business, and other organizational environments.

Program Snapshot

Program Name: Bachelor of Arts in Communication Studies
School Status: Public
Tuition: $308 per credit
Credit Requirements: 120 credits
Program Length: 4 years
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements

GPA: 2.5 minimum required
Standardized Tests: ACT or SAT optional

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Arizona State University-Skysong View School Profile Scottsdale, AZ

With a student enrollment of nearly 75,000 individuals, Arizona State University has operated from Scottdale since 1886. U.S. News & World Report has ranked ASU the most innovative school in the country for six years straight.

ASU's online bachelor of science in communication provides students with the knowledge and skills needed to impact businesses and communities. Students can improve their critical thinking skills, teamwork, oral communication skills, and writing proficiency. Graduates of this program can pursue careers as advocates, public relations specialists, freelance writers, and more.

This online bachelor's degree has a curriculum focusing on persuasion, social influence, and relational communication. Through the online platform, students have access to a large selection of learning tools and resources, including an online library.

Program Snapshot

Program Name: Bachelor of Science in Communication
School Status: Public
Tuition: $628 per credit
Credit Requirements: 120 credits
Program Length: 4 years
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements

GPA: 2.5 minimum required
Standardized Tests: ACT or SAT required

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University of Louisville View School Profile Louisville, KY

Founded in 1798 as Jefferson Seminary, the University of Louisville is a research university with three campuses, 12 colleges, and over 22,600 students.

The online bachelor of arts or bachelor science in communication from UofL teaches learners vital communication-related theories, philosophies, and practices. Participants benefit by learning from distinguished faculty with real-world experience.

The curriculum for this online bachelor's program features courses such as an argument in everyday life, introduction to interpersonal communication, and introduction to communication technologies. The BA curriculum favors a broader variety of studies, while the BS curriculum leans more toward applied communication.

Program Snapshot

Program Name: Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science in Communication
School Status: Public
Tuition: $499 per credit
Credit Requirements: 121 credits
Program Length: 4 years
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements

GPA: 2.0-2.5 minimum required
Standardized Tests: Not required

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University of Minnesota-Crookston View School Profile Crookston, MN

Launched in 1966 in Crookston, Minnesota, the University of Minnesota Crookston now has a student population of more than 1,800 learners split who attend classes on campus and online.

UMC's online bachelor of science in communication connects students with dedicated professors and peers to produce a continual stream of effective communicators. While focusing on communication theory and practice, this bachelor's in communication degree offers three concentrations: communication studies, organizational communication and public relations, and social media.

The online course load helps students gain proficiency in speaking, critical thinking, conflict resolution skills, and several other communication areas. Within the core curriculum, students study subjects such as news and social media communication, business writing, and human relationships and leadership.

Program Snapshot

Program Name: Bachelor of Science in Communication
School Status: Public
Tuition: $402 per credit
Credit Requirements: 120 credits
Program Length: 4 years
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous and synchronous

Admission Requirements

GPA: No minimum specified
Standardized Tests: Not required

Contact the School

Request more information about this program.

East Carolina University View School Profile Greenville, NC

Founded as a teachers training school in 1909, East Carolina University currently operates as a division I university with over 28,000 students. The school's online bachelor of science in communication offers concentrations in interpersonal and organizational communication, journalism, media studies, and public relations.

Core classes cover topics like introduction to communication and introduction to mass media. Learners also take 33-34 credits dedicated to their concentration. All students must complete a capstone course, and some concentrations feature an internship requirement. ECU communication students have interned at NBC, MTV, TNT, E!, major athletic teams, and public relations firms.

Program Snapshot

Program Name: Bachelor of Science in Communication
School Status: Public
Tuition: $166 per credit (in-state); $716 per credit (out-of-state)
Credit Requirements: 120 credits
Program Length: 4 years
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous and synchronous

Admission Requirements

GPA: No minimum specified
Standardized Tests: ACT or SAT required

Contact the School

Request more information about this program.

Online Bachelor's in Communications Program Overview

A typical bachelor's in communication program features two components: general education courses and major courses. In the former, you take courses in the sciences, humanities, and mathematics. Major coursework varies by program, but all seek to hone your oral and written communication skills. Additionally, some programs on this page include practicum and internship opportunities so degree-seekers may practice new skills in a professional setting and network with communication professionals.

The majority of bachelor's in communication alumni find an entry-level career after earning a degree. With experience, you can attain a promotion or higher salary. However, some companies have policies that restrict management-level positions to candidates with an advanced degree. Additionally, you may decide to become a college or university professor. If so, you need a doctorate, especially if you want a tenure-track position. As a result, you should consider your long-term career goals before finishing a bachelor's program.

Common Bachelor's in Communications Degree Courses

Advanced Public Speaking

A course that many students take in the junior or senior year, advanced public speaking builds upon skills learners hone in introductory and intermediate courses. The curriculum may require that degree-seekers practice public speaking skills at a job or internship site. Students also learn how to use the latest technology when giving a speech.

Intercultural Communication

Intercultural communication means much more than the ability to speak and write in a second language. Effective communicators should also know how to tailor English communication to another culture's communication biases and practices. This course stands out from other major courses in that it emphasizes sociology and psychology topics.

Persuasion

One skill online bachelor's in communication programs teach students is persuasion. Course topics include persuasion theories, best practices, and how these principles apply to advertising. Additionally, students examine persuasion's ethical component, such as how nations use propaganda to influence public opinion.

Writing for New and Traditional Media

Developing effective writing skills represents the cornerstone of any bachelor's communication program. This course prepares learners for 21st-century careers by introducing them to writing styles and the application thereof. In class, students develop new skills by practicing distinct forms of writing, such as blog posts, newspaper editorials,and using professor and peer feedback to improve.

Internship

Many top online bachelor's in communication programs require an internship experience. In an internship, students work under a mentor's guidance to apply new knowledge and skills in a practical setting. Degree-seekers who excel in an internship can receive a mentor recommendation when applying to a job or graduate program.

Online Bachelor's in Communications Admission Requirements

Although rarely a requirement, possessing some transfer credit can make you a more attractive applicant, especially to schools that promote degree-completion programs for working adults. A community or junior college near you should offer a transferable associate program wherein you can complete some, if not all, general education requirements.

Many bachelor's in communication programs use a minimum 2.0 high school or transfer GPA cutoff to attract applicants who can succeed academically. If you have a lower GPA, a school might still accept you conditionally. Students who receive conditional admissions may have additional graduation requirements, such as remedial coursework in math and English.

If you do not have prior college experience and graduated high school within the last five years, take the ACT or SAT and submit your scores to all schools to which you apply. Even if a school does not require them, good scores may enhance your application portfolio or qualify you for an automatic merit-based scholarship.

Although few online bachelor's in communication programs require work experience, those that do use a curriculum that allows experienced professionals to build upon pre-existing skills and develop new ones. In some cases, applicants who do not meet this requirement may still receive conditional admission based on other factors.

Many excellent communication programs accept prospective students who passed the GED instead of earning a high school diploma. However, like with high school GPA, a school may use a score cutoff for admissions or financial aid purposes. For this reason, pay close attention to a school's GED score policy before applying.


Online Bachelor's in Communications Career Paths

Entry-level careers that online bachelor's in communication graduates can pursue include announcer, editor, and public relations specialist. If you speak a second language fluently, you can also apply to interpreter and translator positions.

Depending on your industry, you may need additional education either immediately after earning a bachelor's or later in your career. Technical writers, a popular profession for communication majors, should consider earning a certification before applying to the most lucrative positions.

Fortunately, no major communication career requires a state-issued license. However, as your professional and personal interests evolve, research how licensure requirements might affect your career aspirations.

Related Careers

Frequently Asked Questions

What kind of jobs can you get with a communication degree?

A communication degree confers skills and knowledge relevant to many professions. Some bachelor's in communication programs offer concentrations like public relations and healthcare to help students create a career goal and prepare appropriately. However, even with a concentration, your education still allows you to select from different career paths.

Is the communication major a BA or a BS?

The vast majority of schools offer only a BA in communication, which has fewer major requirements. However, some schools have both BA and BS options. The latter has fewer general education requirements and, therefore, allows degree-seekers to take more communication courses. You can speak with an enrollment or academic counselor to find out which degree matches your educational needs.

What classes do you need to take for a bachelor's in communication?

In addition to courses this article describes in a previous section, a bachelor's in communication program includes a general education core curriculum. Also, expect a program to feature communication electives you select from a list of options. Your program may allow you to minor, double major, or start a master's program while still earning an undergraduate degree.

How much can you earn with a bachelor's in communication?

According to the BLS, media and communication employees earn, on average, $31,990-$71,850 per year. Professionals with additional education and experience can earn a higher median annual salary, especially if they work as a manager or supervisor. Geographic location also determines your salary potential. Positions in large cities often boast the highest salaries.

How long does it take to get a bachelor's in communication?

If you do not have prior college experience and can study full time, you need about four years to earn a degree. Many part-time students take 5-6 years to graduate. If you can learn at an accelerated rate, seek out online bachelor's in communication programs that allow students to graduate in fewer than four years.

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