The 10 Best Online Schools for Bachelor’s in Communications in 2021

The field of Communications is broad; therefore, finding the right bachelor’s in a communications degree program for you can be essential to your success. It provides a wide variety of career opportunities, such as Public Relations, Journalism, or Marketing, just to name a few. Communication skills are not only important when entering the workforce, they are important for everyday life.

bachelor's in communications

To earn your Bachelor of Communications degree, perhaps flexibility and convenience are keeping you from signing on to a degree program. Well, here at Premium Schools, we have found online distance learning options that offer quality Bachelor of Communications degree programs that will allow you to pursue your dreams from the comfort of your home. Online classes are great for busy students who are working full-time jobs, or simply busy raising a family.

Are you ready to earn a Communications degree… the traditional way? Take a look at this additional info: The Top 10 Schools for Bachelor of Communications Degrees

Table of Contents

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Can I earn a Bachelor of Communications degree online?

Yes, communications degree programs are readily available through an online distance learning format. Most often, they are delivered in an asynchronous format, allowing you to access your coursework at your convenience; however, deadlines will apply.

What will l learn in a Bachelor’s degree program in Communications?

Communications coursework can cover many topics and may depend on your concentration you’ve chosen; however, a variety of possibilities include:

  • Mass media
  • Public speaking
  • Persuasion techniques
  • Written and oral communication techniques
  • Listening skills
  • Marketing principles
  • Advertising
  • Political communications
  • Freedom of Speech
  • Law and ethics
  • And… much, much more!

Is a Bachelor’s in Communications worth it?

Yes, communications degrees provide a wide array of career opportunities. The BLS reports an average salary for a Marketing Manager as $142,000 per year, with a potential of earning upwards of $208,000 annually. The job growth outlook is positive at 6-7% between 2019 through 2029, with an estimated 18,800 added job openings. Begin your degree program today so you won’t miss out on the plethora of opportunities in the field of communications.

METHODOLOGY

Let us help you find the best Online Schools for a Bachelor of Communications degree program that fits your educational requirements for starting a new career, a job promotion, or simply meeting your personal goals. Our researchers at PremiumSchools.org utilize these indicators of excellent academic standards to locate exceptional Communication school programs designed just for you. 

The following schools are listed in random order. As each and every school displays its own unique qualities and strengths, you should search our list based on your needs and career aspirations.

The following factors were considered: 

  • Offers a comprehensive online Bachelor of Communications degree program with classes for flexible and convenient attendance without compromising hands-on training,
  • Exhibits rigorous, yet engaging and innovative training in the field of Communications coursework that takes into account the readiness of students in taking the next step to their budding career,
  • Taught by outstanding faculty consisting of experts in the field of Communications,
  • Held in high esteem among academic agencies, industry organizations, and journalistic resources,
  • Displays stellar reviews and feedback from school alumni and students,
  • Offers a convenient application process,
  • Provides exceptional Student Career Centers, Resource Departments, and easy-to-use Learning Management Systems, where applicable, 
  • Permits a wide range of scholarships, grants, and other financial support programs for eligible students,
  • Ensures the proper Accreditation in accordance with academic standards relevant in the field of Communications.

If you would like to learn more about our selection process, feel free to see our Methodology page! 

Top 10 Schools for an Online Communications Degree

University of Pennsylvania

top communications schools

The University of Pennsylvania tops our lists of Best Traditional Schools for Communication Degrees and Best Schools for Online Communications Degrees. Few schools offer on-campus and online programs of this high caliber, but the Communications degree from the University of Pennsylvania stands out in terms of reputation, earning potential, and graduation rates, with convenient online delivery.

As we’ve observed above, the University of Pennsylvania is a private research university and a member of the prestigious Ivy League. It is widely ranked among the nation’s top ten universities by reliable sources like US News and World Report. It has also been classified as a doctoral university of “very high research activity” by the Carnegie Foundation.

The school has turned out a high number of influential alumni, from billionaires to Supreme Court Justices. It’s no surprise, then, that the graduation rate for the University of Pennsylvania is 96%. The average graduate can expect to find success in their career; the median income one year after graduation is an impressive $127,000.

The University of Pennsylvania offers a Bachelor of Applied Arts and Sciences in Leadership and Communication. The university is a leader in distance education, and its College of Liberal and Professional Studies has offered classes online for over 20 years. The online bachelor of applied arts and sciences degree (BAAS) differs from the more common Bachelor of Arts (BA) and Bachelor of Science (BS) degrees; it aims to prepare students for leadership roles through both applied professional skills and higher-order critical thinking skills.

All students in the online BAAS program complete a multidisciplinary concentration in Leadership and Communication rather than a traditional communication major. This more flexible curriculum approach allows students to tailor their education to individual personal and professional goals. The program blends analytical and reflective studies with practical foundations in data analysis and global leadership.

Courses for this flexible degree can be taken in any order, and fall into four broad categories:

  • Leadership Foundations
  • Leading Across Sectors
  • Leading Positively
  • Global Leadership

Classes generally cover communication as it shapes and is determined by leadership. Class titles include Professional Communication and Personal Development, Leadership Lessons from the Social Sciences, and Global Leadership and Problem-Solving. The online BAAS in communications also features course blocks, class sequences designed to develop knowledge and skills with increasing complexity in a specific area.

Learn more about the University of Pennsylvania’s Bachelor of Communications online degree programs.


The University of California- Berkeley

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The University of California, Berkeley is a large, public research university based in Berkeley, California. It is the oldest of the University of California’s ten research universities, dating back to 1868. UC Berkeley has a total of 40,173 students pursuing undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral degrees. The university is perhaps best known for its history of student activism and progressive politics, including formative roles in the student Free Speech Movement and the Anti-Vietnam War Movement.

Education at UC Berkeley focuses on the arts and sciences, and the school has a high degree of overlap in undergraduate and graduate programs. Berkley has earned an outstanding academic reputation, consistently ranking as one of the top schools in the nation. It is considered by many sources to be the number one public school in the country. It has been listed as a “Public Ivy.” This prestigious school has an impressive graduation rate of 93%.

UC Berkley offers online undergraduate certificates and programs in writing and communication through the UC Berkley Extension school. The online professional certificate in writing consists of 8 classes that add up to 16 or more semester units (a total of 240 hours of instruction). Classes for this post-baccalaureate certificate include titles like Writing Skills Workshop and The Craft of Writing.

Compared to other communications programs, the Berkley online writing certificate is more inclined towards creative writing. Those interested in learning business and technical communication skills should consider the university’s online programs in professional writing and in technical communication. These programs consist of seven-semester units and eight-semester units respectively and are geared towards applied communications in the fields of tech, business, and nonprofit work. Neither has prerequisites, but a bachelor’s degree and background in tech or business are recommended.

 The University of California, Berkeley is waiting for your inquiry. Check out their online Communications degree programs.


University of Virginia

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The University of Virginia is a public research university located in Charlottesville, Virginia. The school is notable for its historic background. Thomas Jefferson himself founded the school back in 1819 and served on the original governing board along with James Madison, and James Monroe. The University of Virginia is the flagship school of Virginia and was the first Southern institute admitted to the elite Association of American Universities.

The University of Virginia awards degrees in 121 majors through its eight undergraduate and three professional schools. The student body totals 24,360, and class sizes are relatively small, thanks to a student-faculty ratio of 15 to one. The university is especially notable for its programs in medicine and business. The University of Virginia is considered by many reputable school ranking sources to be among the very best public schools in the nation, and is considered a “Public Ivy.” As a Public Ivy, the University of Virginia represents a strong value in higher education. Graduates average a salary of $56,500 in their first year after graduation.

Research at this university is robust, and the school has made recent influential contributions to the fields of aerospace, neuroscience, anatomy, and astronomy. Alumni have gone on to found companies, including CNET and Reddit, which generate an estimated $1.6 trillion in annual revenue.

The University of Virginia offers a degree completion program for a Bachelor of Interdisciplinary Studies with a concentration in liberal arts, delivered fully online. The program is designed for working adults who have completed college coursework and wish to complete their bachelor’s on a flexible part-time schedule. The National Student Clearinghouse Research Center estimates that a full 42% of students who begin working on a degree don’t get the opportunity to complete it within six years. With this in mind, degree completion programs like the University of Virginia’s online bachelor of liberal arts are strongly focused on learning that has real workplace applicability. Some of the skills explicitly targeted by the program include:

  • critical thinking
  • communication
  • problem solving
  • team work
  • time management
  • analytical reasoning

Students must enter the program with 45-60 credits transferable to the school, and which fit into the curriculum requirements. On average, working students in this program take two courses per semester and earn their degree in three years. The degree requires 120-semester credits in total, of which at least 60 must be completed through the University of Virginia. Students in the liberal arts concentration take 18 credits in the humanities and social sciences, such as economics, history, literature, politics, and sociology.

Check out the University of Virginia’s online Bachelor of Communications degree programs.


Northeastern University

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Northeastern University is a large, private research university which is located in Boston, Massachusetts. Northeastern has a total enrollment of 27,391 graduate and undergraduate students. The school is notable for its high rankings, high research activity, and high community engagement.

Northeastern is classified as a “Doctoral University of Highest Research Activity,” and is ranked among the nation’s top 100 schools by sources like The Times/WSJ and US News. The campus has over 30 federally funded research centers, and admissions are very selective at 18%. About 75% of Northeastern students receive financial aid, and graduates earn an average salary of $59,500 in their first year in the workforce.

Northeastern’s professional co-op experiences are a unique feature of undergraduate education and about 90% of students complete at least one. Longer and more intensive than a traditional internship, a professional co-op lasts six months and involves full-time, degree-related paid employment at any of 2,000 sites around the world, including big companies like MTV and GEICO. Princeton Review and several other sources rank Northeastern #1 in the country for internship programs, and the school ranks highly for innovation as well.

Northeastern offers an undergraduate online degree in Digital Communication and Media through its College of Professional Studies. In keeping with the school’s professional focus, this degree is in line with the most in-demand area of communications today. And, like the school’s on-campus degrees, the online degree in Digital Communication and Media incorporates professional placement for hands-on learning.

The bachelor’s degree in Digital Communication and Media prepares students with in-demand communications skills like:

  • social media communications
  • search engine optimization
  • web development
  • video storytelling

The faculty of Northeastern’s online Digital Communication and Media degree are industry-aligned, and distance students get to participate in experiential learning through class-related worksite projects, working virtually with a sponsoring organization on a 6-week project, and enrolling in full-time co-ops.

The 120-credit curriculum includes major requirements in the fields of Business, Visual Media and Art, Marketing, and Communication. Major electives include classes like Crisis Communication, Digital Marketing, and Negotiation. All students complete a Capstone in Professional Communication before graduating.

Learn more about Northeastern University’s online program offerings in Communications.


Villanova University

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Villanova University is a research university located outside of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The school is the oldest Catholic university in the state and was founded back in 1842 by the Order of Saint Augustine. The student body numbers 10,842, and the student-to-teacher ratio is just 12 to 1, so class sizes are small.

The Order of Saint Augustine is dedicated to ministering to the poor, and the school continues to follow this tradition by promoting community service. Student community service organizations include including one of the biggest Habitat for Humanity groups in the US and the world’s biggest student-run Special Olympics.

Most of the major school ranking entities place Villanova in the nation’s top 100 overall, and the school is ranked especially high for value in education (second in the nation, according to US News). The school admits about 27% of applicants, and 90% of first-time enrolled students graduate from Villanova.

Villanova University has a Bachelor of Interdisciplinary Studies available fully online through its College of Professional Studies. One of the available concentrations is Leadership, with a curriculum that focuses on managing and leading through strategic communication. Classes relevant to communications include:

  • Theories of Organizational Communication
  • Communication Challenges in Organizations
  • Negotiation and Dialogue

Outside of major requirements, students complete 15 courses in the Bachelor of Interdisciplinary Studies Core Curriculum and choose 15 elective courses. All students in the program must also complete a Leadership Capstone Course.

The Bachelor of Interdisciplinary Studies is offered on campus as well as online, or students can opt for a hybrid program. In the hybrid program, some classes are taken remotely while there are completed in-person. There’s also the option to complete an accelerated Bachelor/Master degree, earning a Bachelor of Interdisciplinary Studies with a concentration in Leadership and a Master of Science in either Human Resource Development or Software Engineering.

Would you like to learn more about Villanova’s Bachelor of Communications degree programs? Take a look!


Boston University

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Boston University is a research university with two campuses located in Boston, Massachusetts. The school has about 33,000 undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral students, and is one of the largest employers in the city of Boston. The university is divided into 17 schools and colleges, including schools of medicine, dentistry, business, and law. The university has historically been affiliated with the United Methodist Church but is officially a nonsectarian school.

Boston University is classified as a doctoral university with “very high research activity,” and receives as much as $368.9 million in sponsored research annually. The school has been the home of breakthroughs such as the invention of the telephone in 1876, and recent developments in neurophotonics.

This prestigious school has turned out prominent alumni that include eight Nobel Laureates, 10 Rhodes Scholars, 23 Pulitzer Prize winners, 48 Sloan Fellows, and nine Academy Award winners. Boston University ranks among the nation’s top 50 universities according to sources like ARWU, The Times/WSJ, and US News and World Report. Its admission rate is low at 18%, and its graduation rate is high at 85%.

Boston University offers an online Undergraduate Degree Completion Program in Liberal Arts. The curriculum is highly interdisciplinary, covering humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences, math, and computer science.

The program is intended for working adult students who have earned at least 52–64 transferable academic credits and consists of an additional 4-76 credits. The Undergraduate Degree Completion Program can be completed fully online in just 30 months. The cost per credit is set at a reasonable flat price of $480 per credit.

The interdisciplinary liberal arts curriculum is explicitly designed to develop critical thinking, analytical, and communication skills. All students complete a set sequence of 16 courses to earn their degree. These include:

  • Exploring Philosophy through Film
  • Explorations in the Essay: History, Theory, Practice
  • The Meaning of America: People, Identity, and Conflict
  • The Ethics and Science of Biotechnology
  • Rethinking the Classics: Contemporary Takes on the Canon
  • Nature and the Divine in Myth, Literature, and Art
  • Literature, Film, and the American Dream

Check out Boston University’s Bachelor’s degree programs in Communications.


University of Wisconsin- Madison

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The University of Wisconsin, Madison is a large public research university. It is the flagship school of the University of Wisconsin System and one of just two doctorate degree-granting member universities. It is the largest university in the state, with a total of 44,413 students, and also the oldest, dating back to 1848.

UW Madison is classified as a doctoral university with “highest research activity,” and was a founding member of the elite Association of American Universities. It is also considered a Public Ivy school. It has earned excellent rankings, placing in the top 50 schools in the nation according to sources like ARWU and Washington Monthly.

UW Madison confers 130 undergraduate majors, 144 master’s, 109 doctoral degrees, and 14 professional degree programs. The large campus measures over 10,600 acres, and is home to four National Historic Landmarks, America’s 12th-largest research library collection, and museums dedicated to geology, art, zoology, and physics.

The University of Wisconsin system offers an online bachelor of arts degree in communication through its College of Letters & Science. Master’s and doctoral degrees in communications are also offered for those who wish to pursue a higher degree.

The online communication major consists of at least 36 credits in communication classes. Courses required for the major include Business and Professional Communication, Interpersonal Communication, and Critical Analysis of Communication. Students also select 24 credits in electives from across the communication curriculum. Students in the communication program can also earn credit for a number of self-directed and applied learning experiences. These include:

  • Research Practicum
  • Practicum in Teaching Communication
  • Internship in Communication
  • Research Practicum
  • Advanced Independent Reading

To learn more, check out The University of Wisconsin, Madison’s programs focused in Communications!


Pennsylvania State University

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Pennsylvania State University (“Penn State”) is a large public research university that has 23 campuses and facilities throughout Pennsylvania, and the main campus in University Park. It is a land-grant, sea-grant, sun-grant, and space-grant university.

Penn State has eighteen colleges, including two law schools and a college of medicine. The school awards over 160 majors across all its campuses. Penn State is one of the country’s largest schools, with a total of 99,133 graduate and undergraduate students on its many campuses and enrolled online.

The university has a graduation rate of 86%, particularly high for a public school, and an admissions rate of 50%, the slowest in its university system. Penn State has earned an excellent academic reputation and is considered a Public Ivy school. It is classified as a research university with “very high research activity.” Its total research expenditures are as high as $836 million annually. U.S. News & World Report ranks Penn State 57th best university in the nation and 8th in Best Online Bachelor’s Programs.

Penn State has a Bachelor of Arts in Strategic Communications available through its highly-ranked World Campus. The degree is highly focused on researching and delivering targeted messaging and incorporates subjects such as psychology, research, law, and statistics.

The 120-credit bachelor’s curriculum includes 35 required credits in the communications major, plus another three credits in elective Strategic Communications coursework. The online bachelor’s program explicitly targets the following workplace relevant communication skills through the curriculum:

  • complex problem solving
  • research and analytic techniques
  • goal setting and evaluation methods
  • oral, visual, and written communication
  • creative thinking
  • cultural and social awareness

For those interested in other branches of the communications field, Penn State’s Worldwide Campus also has an online bachelor’s degree in Digital Journalism and Media and an online bachelor’s degree in Organizational Leadership. Those who wish to pursue a graduate degree can earn the university’s online Master of Professional Studies in Strategic Communications.

Penn State offers several online Bachelor’s degrees in Communications. Take a look!


Syracuse University

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Syracuse University is a research university located in Syracuse, New York. Syracuse was one of the first universities in the country to admit female students and the first to have a school of information management. Although Syracuse has a high enrollment of 21,267 students, the student-to-faculty ratio is just 16 to one.

Syracuse is divided into 13 schools and colleges and is especially notable for its programs in library science, architecture, communications, business administration, and information studies. The university awards more than 200 different undergraduate and 200 graduate degrees and certificates, along with numerous interdisciplinary options. The school’s most popular majors are:

  • Communication and Journalism
  • Social Sciences
  • Business, Management, and Marketing
  • Visual and Performing Arts
  • Engineering

Syracuse has a prestigious reputation. It is ranked 33rd best school in the country by US News and World Report and 33rd by Washington Monthly. The school is also classified as a research university with the “highest level of research activity.” Syracuse houses 29 research centers, and actively promotes interdisciplinary research.

Syracuse offers students an online Bachelor of Arts in Liberal Studies through the university’s College of Arts and Sciences. The curriculum is designed to give students a general education in the social sciences, humanities, mathematics, and natural sciences.

This highly flexible degree program offers students several learning options. Classes can be taken as online, interactive live sessions, or through a combination of on-campus classes with flexible formats, including accelerated classes, blended, and weekend classes.. Classes for the major fall into the following categories:

  • Liberal Skills
  • Divisional Perspectives
  • Critical Reflections on Ethical and Social Issues
  • Depth Requirements
  • Liberal Studies Electives
  • Free Electives

Although the Bachelor of Arts in Liberal Studies is intended to build general world knowledge and critical thinking, several major requirements relate more directly to the field of communications. The Liberal Skills requirement covers 6 credits in writing, 3 credits in intensive writing, and 4-12 credits in language skills. For both the Depth Requirement and Liberal Studies Electives, students may choose classes from the Humanities, Social Sciences, and Natural Science/Mathematics. Overall, the online bachelor’s from Syracuse is more flexible, and also more generalized, than most other online communication degrees.

Learn more about Syracuse University’s Communications degree programs online.


James Madison University

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James Madison University is a public research university in Harrisburg, Virginia. The school started off as a women’s junior college in 1908 and is now a large, co-ed university comprising seven schools and colleges, with a total enrollment of 20,858 students. In spite of its large size, the average class is small, thanks to a low student-to-faculty ratio of 16 to one.

James Madison offers 115 different degrees at the undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral levels. Outside of traditional classroom settings, students can learn through a large number of popular experiential learning programs. James Madison offers undergraduate internships, research opportunities, and a popular study abroad program, with sites in China, Belgium, and Spain, among others.

The most popular majors at the university are business, health professions, social sciences, and education. Graduates of James Madison usually find workplace success. Employment within six months of graduation stands at over 80%... The school’s graduation rate is 83%. James Madison has also earned good rankings, including an impressive designation of 3rd in Top Public Schools from US News and World Report.

James Madison University offers an online undergraduate degree completion program in individualized studies with a concentration in Professional Workplace Communication. The curriculum is highly flexible and can be tailored for a concentration in communications alone or a blended concentration in communications and another area, such as healthcare leadership.

This program is geared towards the 42% of adults who have started, but not completed, their undergraduate degrees. Students can choose from three-degree options: a Bachelor of Individualized Studies, a Bachelor of Arts in Individualized Studies, and a Bachelor of Science in Individualized Studies. The school awards academic credit for qualifying prior learning that includes:

  • Portfolios of Prior Learning Experience
  • Board Examination Program
  • Transfer Credit
  • Departmental Reviews
  • Independent Study and Sponsored Learning

Classes are diverse and focus on workplace-relevant skills. Four required courses, for a total of 12 credits, are required for the concentration in communication, followed by two communication electives. Some of the online communication classes offered through James Madison include Intercultural Communications, Business & Professional Communication Studies, and Advanced Popular Writing. All students in the online bachelor’s degree completion program complete a senior research project as part of their studies.

Take advantage of James Madison University’s Bachelor of Communications degree programs today!

Are you interested in earning the most in the field of Communications? Take a look: The 20 Most Lucrative Communications Jobs