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An online bachelor's in media communications prepares students to enter a vast and exciting industry. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects 4% job growth for media and communications professionals between 2019 and 2029, with opportunities arising across various media formats and platforms.
The significant rise in public access to information has forced businesses to focus on their communications, which opens new doors for content creators of all kinds. To prepare effectively for this rapidly-changing industry, students will need to plan out their studies carefully. Read on for a ranking of the best programs in this field and more information about career options.
To learn more, check out our bachelor's in media communications program guide.
What Are the Best Online Bachelor's in Media Communications Programs? Here Are Our Top 10:
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|1||Arizona State University||Scottsdale, AZ|
|2||Webster University||Saint Louis, MO|
|3||Maryville University||Saint Louis, MO|
|4||Washington State University||Pullman, WA|
|5||Point Park University||Pittsburgh, PA|
|6||DePaul University||Chicago, IL|
|7||University of Memphis||Memphis, TN|
|8||Brenau University||Gainesville, GA|
|9||Brandman University||Irvine, CA|
|10||Lynn University||Boca Raton, FL|
- How We Rank Schools
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2020 Best Accredited Online Bachelor's in Media Communications Programs
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Arizona State University
|Scottsdale, AZ||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 48%||
ASU provides more than 300 degrees and certificates through its online platform. ASU's School of Journalism and Mass Communication offers an online bachelor of arts in mass communication and media studies that teaches graduates an understanding of the media's changing role in society.
This 120-credit bachelor's degree requires 45 upper-division credits and a minimum GPA of 2.0 in the major. Students must earn at least 30 credits at ASU. Relevant courses include social media, digital media literacy, digital audience analysis, and media ethics. The program also offers a three-year fast track degree plan.
First-year applicants who place in the top 25% of their high school class or earn a minimum 3.0 GPA qualify for admission. Arizona residents with a score of at least 22 or 1120 on the ACT or SAT, respectively, also qualify. Non-residents need minimum scores of 24 or 1180.
|Saint Louis, MO||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 59%||
Founded in 1915 as a Catholic women's college, Webster now maintains a global presence and offers seven fully online degrees and three online degree completion programs. Interested learners can enroll in Webster's bachelor's in media communications program, which serves as a degree completion pathway.
This major includes required courses like media writing, literacy, ethics, and law. Students also complete a 12-credit concentration and a thesis or internship in a media-related area. Communications majors must pass a portfolio review after completing 15 major credits.
Students may apply to Webster using the school's application or the Common Application. Webster may require an essay, resume, and/or recommendations from some applicants.
|Saint Louis, MO||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 72%||
Founded in 1872, Maryville enrolls more than 10,000 students annually, including about 5,500 online learners. The school offers more than 30 online degrees, including a 128-credit bachelor of arts in communication with concentrations in strategic communication and emerging media strategy and social media.
In addition to general education requirements and electives, the program's curriculum includes 27 core credits and 24 concentration credits. Core courses include principles of visual communication and digital media. All students complete an internship, and strategic communication students also complete a capstone.
Maryville prefers applicants with a minimum GPA of 2.5 (2.0 for transfer students) and does not require standardized test scores for admission. Transfer students must earn at least half of their major credits and their final 30 credits at Maryville.
Washington State University
|Pullman, WA||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 59%||
Founded in 1890, WSU enrolls nearly 30,000 students. WSU's Global Campus provides 20 undergraduate degrees to distance learners, including a bachelor of arts in integrated strategic communication that is available entirely online. This 120-credit degree emphasizes traditional and digital media strategies and data-driven decision-making.
Learners study public relations and advertising and complete a communication internship. Upper-level course topics include persuasion, digital content promotion, branding, marketing, and research methods.
To earn admission into the major, students must complete four core communication courses and at least 30 credits (at least 15 from WSU) with a minimum 3.0 GPA. Transfer students must complete at least 30 credits at WSU.
Point Park University
|Pittsburgh, PA||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 60%||
Located in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Point Park serves nearly 4,000 students through more than 100 programs. The university offers 10 online undergraduate bachelor's degrees, including a degree in public relations and advertising that features hands-on coursework.
Degree requirements include 32 credits of core courses and 15 credits of electives. Public relations and advertising courses include PR writing, ad copy and layout, and social media practices. Participants complete a practicum in the field and create a corporate or nonprofit marketing campaign as a capstone project.
Students complete Point Park's 122-credit degree by taking eight-week classes. The school may award up to 90 transfer credits, including credits for experiential learning. The program may require an interview or supplemental materials from certain applicants.
|Chicago, IL||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 72%||
Located in Chicago, Illinois, DePaul offers an online bachelor's degree completion program in communication and media. Participants are recommended to follow a two-year or three-year plan.
Relevant courses include digital cinema production, screenwriting, and television production. Students must also complete coursework related to presentation skills and media analysis. Learners can engage in a research practicum, independent study, or internship. All learners complete a capstone course in their final quarter.
Applicants must have at least 45 transferable quarter credits and meet DePaul's writing and algebra prerequisites. DePaul prefers transfer applicants with a minimum 2.0 GPA. More than 40% of the university's student body consists of transfer students.
University of Memphis
|Memphis, TN||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 48%||
Founded in 1912, UofM currently offers 28 undergraduate degrees online, including a 120-credit bachelor's in communication studies. The program emphasizes the importance of producing tailored messages, analysis, ethical principles, and the impact of the media.
In addition to completing 41 general education credits, students take 33-37 major credits, including three classes in a focus area and a senior capstone project. Available focus areas include professional and relational communication, rhetoric and public advocacy, and media and culture. Students who maintain a minimum 3.5 GPA and complete a thesis project may graduate with honors.
UofM offers a guaranteed tuition plan and live online tutoring. Students may complete this communication program entirely online.
|Gainesville, GA||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 43%||
Founded as a school for women in 1878, Brenau University now includes a women's college within the larger coeducational university. Nearly 33% of Brenau's learners study online. The school offers 11 bachelor's degrees to distance learners, including a bachelor of arts in communication and media studies.
This program draws on the expertise of professionals in the Atlanta metro area, preparing graduates for jobs in public relations, marketing, instructional design, and social media. Students must complete liberal arts education requirements and major courses, such as diversity in media, persuasion, and communication theory.
Brenau accepts applications on a rolling basis and prefers applicants with a minimum 2.75 GPA. Military-affiliated students may qualify for tuition discounts. Online students can apply for federal and state financial aid.
|Irvine, CA||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 0%||
Students at Brandman can take on-campus courses at more than 25 campuses in California and Washington. They can also access online and hybrid classes. The university offers more than 31 undergraduate programs, including an online bachelor of arts in communications and media.
Major coursework emphasizes various multimedia tools, communication techniques, and storytelling. Students must complete 120 credits to graduate, including general education, core, and elective credits. Core courses include strategic social media, multimedia journalism, and data analytics.
Applicants must have at least 12 transferable credits and a minimum 2.0 GPA. Brandman offers a four-course online track for students who still need to meet this requirement. Brandman boasts an 81% degree completion rate for returning students.
|Boca Raton, FL||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 55%||
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.
What Can I Expect From an Online Bachelor's in Media Communications Program?
Possible concentration options may include digital technologies, film studies, and advertising.
Most online bachelor's in media communications programs award a BA degree, require 120 credits, and take students about four years to complete. Nevertheless, coursework and concentrations can vary considerably depending on the school and each student's choices.
While programs typically begin with comprehensive training and general education courses, learners can often specialize in communications during the second half of their studies. Possible concentration options may include digital technologies, film studies, and advertising.
Some schools offer BS degrees, which can affect coursework and concentrations. BS degrees typically feature more technical training and required courses, so prospective students should ensure that their chosen program meets their interests and goals. Possible BS concentrations may include technical and science communication and more analytics-driven public relations.
Internships play a large role in bachelor's in media communications programs. Outside the classroom, students learn how best to apply their knowledge while also gaining valuable experience before entering the workforce. Many communication departments also hire students and welcome volunteers to contribute to the school's publications and broadcasts.
Still Looking for the Right Fit? Discover Similar Programs.
What Courses Will I Take in an Online Bachelor's in Media Communications Program?
An online bachelor's in media communications programs typically allow students a great deal of choice. Nevertheless, many programs feature similar core courses. The following section delves into five of those courses.
- Media, Culture, and Society
In this course, students learn how culture and society have shaped media over time. Learners also look at how the media has influenced contemporary culture. Covered topics may also include media politics and common techniques for analysis and critique.
- The Digital Age
This course examines the transformation of various media formats in the digital age. Students may look at changes in communication, social media, reading, and access to information, along with how professionals can use digital media to their advantage.
- Economics of Media
Students in this course learn how economic principles apply to media, such as supply and demand, pricing, and markets. Learners explore the various ways that economics influences the media and access to information.
- Policy and Regulations
This course teaches students about the legal framework of media and communication, the institutions involved in media regulation, and how media law developed. Learners examine how policies and regulations shape media broadcasts and protect information. Covered topics may include copyright law, privacy, and human rights issues.
- Media Technology
In this course, students familiarize themselves with various communication and media technologies. They may gain experience using tools for video, file storage, and digital processing. Additional topics may include how technology influences communication and media reception.
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What Can I Do With an Online Bachelor's in Media Communications Degree?
Earning a bachelor's in media communications can qualify graduates for an array of jobs and fields. While students who chose a concentration may limit their scope somewhat, they may also enjoy improved employment odds in their specific discipline.
The BLS projects the addition of over 46,000 media and communication jobs between 2019 and 2029, a growth rate about equal with the average growth rate across all occupations. As the field continues to expand, new graduates trained in a variety of platforms and mediums should thrive.
See where you can go with a bachelor's in media communications. Learn more about communications careers.
- Public Relations Specialist
Public relations specialists create communications for organizations. These professionals may manage social media accounts, write press releases, or assist with advertising messaging and campaigns. According to BLS data, 13% of these specialists work in educational services, 13% work in advertising, and 10% work for the government.
- Public Relations Manager
Public relations managers oversee campaigns to improve an organization's public image. They assess the organization's needs and goals, develop an effective program to meet those goals, and ensure messaging and branding consistency. According to the BLS, these professionals earned a median annual salary of $116,180 in 2019.
- Writer or Author
Writers create content for media organizations and publications. They may need to conduct research, follow style guides, and adjust their voice to fit various media. According to BLS data, 63% of writers are self-employed.
- Technical Writer
Technical writers convey complex information in easy-to-understand formats. They contribute to instruction manuals and resource guides, research product and company information, and align their writing with organizational and consumer needs. The BLS projects that jobs for technical writers will likely grow 7% between 2019 and 2029, which is faster than average.
- Advertising, Promotions, and Marketing Manager
Advertising, promotions, and marketing managers oversee marketing campaigns for organizations, handling market research, budgeting, and design strategies. They may also work with advertisers, web designers, and public relations managers. According to the BLS, these professionals earned a median annual salary of $135,900 in 2019.
Media Communications Not for You? Check Out These Related Careers.
Frequently Asked Questions About Bachelor's in Media Communications Programs
- Is a bachelor's in media communications worth it?
A bachelor's in media communications provides plenty of value to students looking to land an entry-level position. The degree qualifies graduates for most media and communications occupations, which offer good projected growth and a median annual salary higher than the median annual salary for all occupations.
- What can I do with a bachelor's in media communications?
A bachelor's in media communications can lead to many careers, including writing, editing, and public relations. Graduates can also continue their education by pursuing a communications graduate degree.
- Is media communications a good career?
Media and communications careers offer a great deal of flexibility and professional freedom. Media and communications occupations paid a median annual wage of $59,230 in 2019, nearly $20,000 more than the median annual wage for all occupations.
- Is media communications a stressful job?
Media and communications careers are no more stressful than the average job. Deadlines and problem-solving challenges can present issues and may contribute to stress, but these careers usually feature standard work hours and dynamic work environments to keep people happy.
- What are the highest paying jobs with a bachelor's in media communications?
The most lucrative jobs for bachelor's in media communications graduates are management positions. According to the BLS, public relations managers earned a median annual salary of $116,180 in 2019 and marketing managers earned a median salary of $135,900.