Top 30 Best Online Communications Degree Programs (Bachelor’s) 2016

Best Degree Programs - Top Online Bachelors Degrees 2016
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By BDP Staff
May 2016

In this article, we highlight the 30 best online bachelor’s degrees in communications.

A degree in communications can lead to jobs that require superior verbal and nonverbal communication skills. At the undergraduate level, the communications major is often combined with journalism or media studies to help equip students with a large and comprehensive skill set needed to work and advance in a variety of fields.

Methodology

We examined approximately 75 institutions that offered online bachelor’s degrees in communications. From this list we reviewed school rankings from major publications like Forbes magazine, The Princeton Review, and U.S. News and World Report to ensure the schools and/or programs were regionally or nationally ranked. From our list of colleges, we selected the 30 most affordable schools, according to the current undergraduate tuition price published by the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES). The institution with the most affordable tuition is listed in our #1 spot.

Below are the resulting selections for the top 30 best online communication degree programs listed in order of affordability.

#30 – Fisher College

Online Bachelor’s in Communication and Media Studies

Boston, Massachusetts

Website
Fisher College - 30 Online Bachelors Communications
Undergraduate tuition: $28,942

Fisher College offers a hybrid bachelor’s in communication and media studies program that is designed for students with busy schedules who want to earn an undergraduate degree. Online students gain access to the same instructors who teach in lecture halls on campus as well as internship opportunities around the Boston area. Courses include intro to human communication, media writing, persuading and influencing, and public speaking. Fisher College is ranked by major publications like U.S. News and World Report. In fact, the 2016 edition of Best Colleges ranks the school’s accredited online bachelor’s programs #180 out of 1,200.

#29 – Northwest University

Online Bachelor’s in Communication Studies

Kirkland, Washington

Website
Northwest University - 30 Online Bachelors Communications
Undergraduate tuition: $28,087

Northwest University offers various online, part-time undergraduate programs designed for working students. Among the non-traditional degree programs is the bachelor’s in communication studies. The program prepares students to construct well-reasoned arguments, demonstrate communication skills, and be knowledgeable in theories as related to communication studies. Online courses include leadership and decision-making, public speaking, theories of argumentation, and theories of mediated communication. Northwest University is ranked by major publications like U.S. News and World Report as the 17th best regional college in the West. The school is also recognized as the 5th best value school and the 13th best college for veterans.

#28 – Upper Iowa University

Online Bachelor’s in Communication

Fayette, Iowa

Website
Upper Iowa University - 30 Online Bachelors Communications
Undergraduate tuition: $28,073

Upper Iowa University offers an online bachelor’s degree program in communication with two optional areas of emphasis – communication studies and journalism. The communication studies program builds upon a platform that prepares students with courses in communication theory, business and professional communication, and public speaking. Students pursuing the journalism emphasis take courses in ethics and responsibilities of the media, philosophy of new journalism, and press freedom. Upper Iowa University is a regionally ranked institution, according to U.S. News and World Report’s 2016 edition of Best Colleges. U.S. News also ranks the school’s online bachelor’s programs as #128 out of 1,200.

#27 – Baker University

Bachelor’s in Mass Media Communication

Baldwin, Kansas

Website
Baker University - 30 Online Bachelors Communications
Undergraduate tuition: $27,160

Baker University offers a hybrid approach to their mass media communication degree program. With a mix of online courses and in-class opportunities, the program helps prepare students for careers in mass media. The program is structured around three tracks: multimedia, public relations, and sports communication. Courses include digital media, mass media ethics, public relations writing, and sports writing. Depending on which specialty path the student chooses, course requirements may vary. Baker University is regionally ranked with U.S. News and World Report. In fact, the 2016 edition of Best Colleges lists Baker as the 36th best regional university in the West. The school’s online bachelor’s degree programs are ranked #199.

#26 – King University

Online Bachelor’s in Communication

Bristol, Tennessee

Website
King University - 30 Online Bachelors Communications
Undergraduate tuition: $26,480

King University offers an accredited online bachelor’s in communication degree program that is designed to provide students with useful communication and public speaking skills needed to work in various settings. Fundamental coursework includes advanced speech, interpersonal communication, leadership communication, media communication, public relations, and visual rhetoric. Classes are taught entirely online, and the estimated program length is sixteen months for major-related coursework. King University is ranked by major publications like U.S. News and World Report as the 71st best regional university in the South. Additional rankings include #51 for best colleges for veterans and tier two for best online bachelor’s degree programs.

#25 – Dominican College

Online Bachelor’s in Communication Studies

Orangeburg, New York

Website
Dominican College - 30 Online Bachelors Communications
Undergraduate tuition: $26,450

Dominican College offers an accelerated online bachelor’s in communication studies degree program that is designed to prepare students to enter the workforce as communicators and media practitioners. Core requirements include classes in gender communication, interpersonal communications, introduction to communication theory, and persuasion and argumentation. A communication research project and seminar are required during the student’s senior year. Dominican is a regionally ranked institution by major publications like U.S. News and World Report. The school’s online bachelor’s degrees are recognized in the 2016 edition of Best Colleges as among the nations top tier programs.

#24 – Webster University

Online Bachelor’s in Media Communications

Saint Louis, Missouri

Website
Webster University - 30 Online Bachelors Communications
Undergraduate tuition: $25,500

Webster University offers an online BA in media communications that is designed for students wanting to pursue careers in journalism or mass media. Degree requirements include 39 credit hours in media communications, electives, and applicable university global citizenship program hours. Required courses include cultural diversity in the media, ethics in the media, interpersonal communications, introduction to mass communications, and introduction to media writing and reporting. Webster University is ranked with U.S. News and World Report as the 26th best regional university in the West and the 23rd best college for veterans. The school’s online graduate programs are also ranked with major publications.

#23 – Dallas Baptist University

Online Bachelor’s in Communication

Dallas, Texas

Website
Dallas Baptist University - 30 Online Bachelors Communications
Undergraduate tuition: $24,890

The College of Professional Studies at Dallas Baptist University offers an online bachelor’s in communication degree program that combines spiritual practices with principles of communication studies. The communication major will take courses in communication styles, leadership communications, nonverbal communication, small group communication, and speech and interpersonal communication. The program is designed to prepare students for employment as communication specialists in a variety of settings. The university is ranked with major publications like U.S. News and World Report. In fact, U.S. News lists Dallas Baptist as the 35th best regional university in the West. The school’s online bachelor’s programs rank #114.

#22 – Oral Roberts University

Online Bachelor’s in Communication

Tulsa, Oklahoma

Website
Oral Roberts University - 30 Online Bachelors Communications
Undergraduate tuition: $24,792

Oral Roberts University is a private Christian institution that offers an online bachelor’s in communication degree program. Through theory and practical application, students acquire communication and interpersonal skills needed to work in various settings. Online classes are taught by the same instructors who teach on-campus, providing students with the same quality of learning no matter the platform. Required courses include advanced public speaking, argumentation and persuasion, communication theory, interpersonal communication, and organizational communication. Oral Roberts University is regionally ranked with U.S. News and World Report as the 50th best regional university in the West and the 38th best college for veterans. The school’s online bachelor’s programs are ranked #137 out of 1,200.

#21 – Howard University

Online Bachelor’s in Strategic, Legal, and Mass Communications

Washington, DC

Website
Howard University - 30 Online Bachelors Communications
Undergraduate tuition: $23,970

Howard University is a nationally ranked historically black institution. U.S. News and World Report ranks the school as the 135th best national university, the 111th best college for veterans, and the 2nd best historically black college in the country. Through Howard University’s HU-Online and Howard’s School of Communications, students may earn a bachelor’s degree program in strategic, legal, and mass communications. Depending on the student’s interest, courses may be taken in legal communication, media management, and public relations. For online students in the Washington, DC area, access to student-run advertising and public relations agencies are available. The Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communications (ACEJMC) accredits all communication programs at Howard.

#20 – Mississippi College

Online Bachelor’s in Communication

Clinton, Mississippi

Website
Mississippi College - 30 Online Bachelors Communications
Undergraduate tuition: $16,064

Mississippi College offers an accelerated bachelor’s degree program in communication that is available to working students in an entirely online format. The accelerated format provides an intense rigor and allows students to work at their own pace. Students may choose specific areas of concentration, including interpersonal and public communication, journalism, mass media, public relations, and sports media. The program design is to accommodate working students and busy adults who require flexibility while attending school. Mississippi College is ranked with major publications like U.S. News and World Report. In fact, the 2016 edition of Best Colleges ranks the college as the 32nd best regional university in the South.

#19 – University of Massachusetts

Online Bachelor’s in Technical Communication

Amherst, Massachusetts

Website
University of Massachusetts - 30 Online Bachelors Communications
Undergraduate tuition: $14,171

UMass Online offers a bachelor’s degree program in technical communication that is designed to prepare students for careers in high-demand technical communication positions like technical writing, professional editing and writing, or instructional design. The program is offered entirely online to allow students the flexibility to work and maintain life obligations while attending school. Courses include analyzing media, consumer culture, information technology and human communication, and professional written communication. The University of Massachusetts at Amherst is ranked by major publications like Forbes magazine and U.S. News and World Report. In fact, U.S. News ranks the institution as the 75th best national university in the country.

#18 – Pennsylvania State University World Campus

Online Bachelor’s in Strategic Communications

University Park, Pennsylvania

Website
Penn State World Campus - 30 Online Bachelors Communications
Undergraduate tuition: $13,516

Pennsylvania State University’s World Campus offers a bachelor’s degree in advertising and public relations with a strategic communications option. The program is designed for professionals who want to advance their careers in communication-related fields. Course requirements include principles of strategic communications, strategic communication in a global environment, social media strategies, and studies in public relations. Penn State is a nationally ranked university by major publications like Forbes magazine and U.S. News and World Report. In fact, U.S. News ranks the school as the 47th best national university, the 14th top public school, and the 57th best global university in the world.

#17 – National University

Online Bachelor’s in Strategic Communications

La Jolla, California

Website
National University - 30 Online Bachelors Communications
Undergraduate tuition: $12,744

National University offers a bachelor’s in strategic communications program that is designed to prepare students for leadership roles in advertising, corporate communication, marketing, and public relations. Core requirements include classes in communication technologies, intercultural communication, interpersonal communication, organizational communication, and strategic writing. The program provides hands-on learning experiences across media platforms through academic work and case studies. The National University is ranked with major publications like U.S. News and World Report as having one of the best online bachelor’s degree programs. In fact, Best Colleges ranks National University’s online bachelor’s programs as #114 out of 1,200.

#16 – University of Minnesota

Online Bachelor’s in Communication

Crookston, Minnesota

Website
University of Minnesota - 30 Online Bachelors Communications
Undergraduate tuition: $11,646

The University of Minnesota offers an affordable online bachelor’s degree program in communication that is designed for working and busy students. Students explore topics in communication theory, interpersonal communication skills, and technologies used in communication settings. Students learn how to create publications like brochures, flyers, newsletters, press releases, and plans. The program is offered entirely online to meet the needs of adult learners who are unable to attend traditional on-campus courses. The institution is ranked by U.S. News and World Report as the 48th best regional college in the Midwest, the 2nd top public school, and the 32nd best college for veterans. The university’s online bachelor’s programs are ranked #63 out of 1,200.

#15 – Franklin University

Online Bachelor’s in Communications

Columbus, Ohio

Website
Franklin University - 30 Online Bachelors Communications
Undergraduate tuition: $11,641

The online bachelor’s in communications program from Franklin University is designed to equip students with the skills needed to work as professionals in a variety of communication settings. Students have the option of customizing their degree plan to supplement studies in human resources management, marketing, psychology, or public relations. Required courses include communication ethics, communication in groups and teams, intercultural communication, marketing research, and organizational communication. Franklin University is ranked by major publications like U.S. News and World Report. The 2016 edition of Best Colleges lists the school’s online bachelor’s programs as #106 our of 1,200.

#14 – University of Arizona

Online Bachelor’s in Communication

Tucson, Arizona

Website
ASU - 30 Online Bachelors Communications
Undergraduate tuition: $11,403

The University of Arizona’s College of Social and Behavioral Sciences offers an online bachelor’s in communication degree program. The program centers on scientific study of communication and its processes and effects on individuals, groups, and communities. Course requirements include communication and public relations, introduction to communication technology, introduction to communication theory, and public speaking. The University of Arizona is ranked with U.S. News and World Report as the 121st best national university and the 67th best global university. Additional rankings include #58 for top public schools and #100 for best colleges for veterans. Many of the school’s online programs are also ranked.

#13 – University of Louisville

Online Bachelor’s in Communication

Louisville, Kentucky

Website
University of Louisville - 30 Online Bachelors Communications
Undergraduate tuition: $10,744

The University of Louisville is a nationally ranked institution that offers online bachelor’s degrees in various majors, including communication. The program is designed for working students and busy adults to earn an online bachelor’s in communication in as little as two years. Students take courses in interpersonal communications, mass communications, and public speaking. Supporting electives in criminal justice, humanities, and social sciences may be selected depending on the student’s interests. The program is designed to prepare students to work in various communication-related settings or to enter a graduate communication program. U.S. News and World Report ranks the institution as the 168th best national university in the country. The school is the 501st best global university in the world.

#12 – University of Memphis

Online Bachelor’s in Communication

Memphis, Tennessee

Website
University of Memphis - 30 Online Bachelors Communications
Undergraduate tuition: $8,903

The University of Memphis offers a bachelor’s in communication degree program that can be completed entirely online. The program is designed for students who desire a flexible learning schedule and aspirations of working in internal or external communications. Courses offered include communication ethics, communication research methods, health communication, organizational communication, and theories and debates. Students may choose electives that best suit their interests. Electives may focus on media and culture, professional and relational communication, or rhetoric and public advocacy. The University of Memphis is a nationally ranked institution, according to U.S. News and World Report. Many of the school’s graduate programs have ranked in the top 100 out of 1,200 similar programs. The online bachelor’s programs have also been recognized.

#11 – Colorado State University

Online Bachelor’s in Communication

Greenwood Village, Colorado

Website
Colorado State University - 30 Online Bachelors Communications
Undergraduate tuition: $8,400

Colorado State University offers an online bachelor’s in communication degree program that is designed to provide students with the knowledge required to fill organizational communication roles. The program focuses on leadership management skills that contribute to a communication platform in various settings. Both internal and external communication efforts are explored. Course requirements include application of leadership principles, communication in the global information age, interpersonal communications, and mass communication and society. Colorado State is ranked with major publications like U.S. News and World Report as the 127th best national university. The school’s online bachelor’s programs rank #86 out of 1,200.

#10 – Arkansas State University

Online Bachelor’s in Communication Studies

Jonesboro, Arkansas

Website
Arkansas State University - 30 Online Bachelors Communications
Undergraduate tuition: $8,050

Arkansas State University offers an online bachelor’s in communication studies that is designed to provide students with the skills necessary to make effective interpersonal, organizational, and professional communicators. Course requirements include studies in communication research methods, communication theory, mass communication in modern society, oral communications, and principles of argumentation. Students must also complete six credit hours in composition writing. Arkansas State is a regionally ranked institution. In fact, U.S. News and World Report ranks the school as the 53rd Best Regional University in the South, the 41st best college for veterans, and the 21st top public school in the region.

#9 – University of Wisconsin

Online Bachelor’s in Communication Arts

Superior, Wisconsin

Website
University of Wisconsin Superior - 30 Online Bachelors Communications
Undergraduate tuition: $8,036

The University of Wisconsin offers an affordable online bachelor’s in communication arts that focuses on speech communication. The program is fully online and covers a wide variety of communication, persuasion, and speech topics. Courses include communicating gender, communication in conflict, criticism of film and television, interpersonal communication, principles of persuasion, and theorizing communication. The university is regionally ranked by U.S. News and World Report. In fact, the 2016 edition of Best Colleges lists University of Wisconsin as the 92nd best regional university in the Midwest and the 30th top public school in the region.

#8 – Granite State College

Online Bachelor’s in Communications

Concord, New Hampshire

Website
Granite State College - 30 Online Bachelors Communications
Undergraduate tuition: $7,257

Granite State College is a private liberal arts institution that offers an affordable online BS in communication studies. The program is offered entirely online or in a hybrid format to meet student needs. The program is designed to prepare students to enter the workforce as professional communication specialists. Required courses include interpersonal communication and group dynamics, foundations of digital media production, persuasive communication, and trends in digital and social media. Granite State is ranked by major publications like U.S. News and World Report. In fact, the 2016 edition of Best Colleges ranks the school’s online bachelor’s programs as #79 out of 1,200 programs in the country.

#7 – University of Houston

Online Bachelor’s in Integrated Communication

Houston, Texas

Website
University of Houston - 30 Online Bachelors Communications
Undergraduate tuition: $7,086

The University of Houston’s College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences – School of Communication offers an online bachelor’s degree program in integrated communication. The program explores a wide variety of topics, including advertising, corporate communication, and public relations. Theories and foundational principles in corporate, nonprofit, and organizational communication are also covered. Required courses include communication law and ethics, introduction to communication theory, media and society, principles of advertising, and principles of public relations. The University of Houston is ranked nationally by major publications like U.S. News and World Report as the 187th best national university and 105th top public school.

#6 – University of Maryland University College

Online Bachelor’s in Communication Studies

Adelphi, Maryland

Website
University of Maryland - 30 Online Bachelors Communications
Undergraduate tuition: $7,056

The University of Maryland University College offers an online bachelor’s degree program in communication studies. The program is designed to equip students with knowledge of communication techniques and skills that are needed in various communication settings. Curriculum covers topics such as communication theory, introduction to news writing, mass communication and media studies, mass media law, and public relations theory. The program offers two minors in business administration and law that complement the communication studies major. The University of Maryland is a nationally ranked institution by major publications like Forbes magazine, The Princeton Review, and U.S. News and World Report. In fact, U.S. News ranks the institution as the 57th best national university and the 19th top public school.

#5 – Bellevue University

Online Bachelor’s in Communication Studies

Bellevue, Nebraska

Website
Bellevue University - 30 Online Bachelors Communications
Undergraduate tuition: $7,050

Bellevue University’s online communication studies degree program is designed to prepare students with the skills and professional knowledge that are essential for success in various communication settings. The program is career-focused and designed to develop students with strong communication skills. Required core classes include communication in the digital age, critical thinking and communication, and oral communication skills. An emphasis option in mass media is offered and includes courses in public relations, understanding mass media, and writing for media. Bellevue’s online bachelor’s programs are ranked with U.S. News and World Report. In the 2016 edition of Best Colleges, the programs were ranked #72 out of 1,200.

#4 – Indiana University East

Online Bachelor’s in Communication Studies

Richmond, Indiana

Website
Indiana University East - 30 Online Bachelors Communications
Undergraduate tuition: $6,930

Indiana University East offers an affordable online bachelor’s in communication studies that is designed for working students and busy individuals who require flexible scheduling while attending school. Required courses include communication theories, cross cultural communication, gender and communication, introduction to communication and culture, and propaganda and persuasion. The same esteemed faculty members who teach on-campus provide instruction for the online courses. Indiana University East has earned recognition from major publications as being among the best regionally ranked institutions in the Midwest. The school has also received continued accreditation by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. Due to the affordable tuition rate, Indiana University East is among the top of our list for best online bachelor’s degrees in communications.

#3 – University of Nebraska

Online Bachelor’s in Organizational and Relational Communication

Kearney, Nebraska

Website
University of Nebraska - 30 Online Bachelors Communications
Undergraduate tuition: $6,711

The University of Nebraska at Kearney offers an online bachelor’s degree program in organizational and relational communication. The program is taught entirely online and offers courses in speaking techniques and communication. Course requirements include communication concepts in society, communication inquiry, communication theory, leadership communication, persuasion and propaganda, and rhetorical theory. An optional 12 credit-hour track in mass communications is available. The University of Nebraska ranks in major publications like U.S. News and World Report. In fact, the publications ranks the school as the 46th best regional university in the Midwest, the 11th top public school, and the 34th best college for veterans.

#2 – Montana State University

Online Bachelor’s in Communication

Billings, Montana

Website
Montana State University - 30 Online Bachelors Communications
Undergraduate tuition: $5,808

Montana State University offers an online bachelor’s in communication degree program with two optional majors: mass communication and organizational communication. The mass communication option is designed to explore topics in mass media, preparing students for jobs as journalists, news reporters, and public relations professionals. The organizational communication option educates students to work as HR officers, managers, and trainers, or enter a graduate studies program in communication or law. Core requirements may include advanced public speaking, communicating online, communication theory, media criticism, and political communication.

#1 – The University of Texas of the Permian Basin

Online Bachelor’s in Communication

Odessa, Texas

Website
UT Permian Basin - 30 Online Bachelors Communications
Undergraduate tuition: $5,250

Part of the nationally-ranked UT system, the University of Texas of the Permian Basin offers a bachelor’s in communication that can be completed entirely online. The program is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools and may be completed in an accelerated format in just 12 months. Required courses include advanced interpersonal communication, crisis communication, interpersonal communication, measurement in communication, and rhetoric in western thought. The general education requirements include classes in political and social sciences. According to the 2016 edition of Best Colleges, U.S. News and World Report ranks the UT Permian Basin as having the 92nd best online bachelor’s programs in the nation.