Best Online Bachelors in Communications Degrees for 2023

Bachelor's Degree in Communications Career Options & Salary

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Communications is a broad field of study that crosses into a range of disciplines from journalism to public relations, marketing, and political communications. A Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Communication or a Bachelor of Science in Communications degree will usually focus on giving students a well-rounded view of the subject matter, though students will likely focus on a specific area of communications - be it broadcasting, PR, or digital mass media. A bachelor’s degree in communication is often an entry-level degree for those who use it to start their career, whether they end up in a communications position or not, and a BA in communication program is much more common than a BS.

A communication bachelor of arts will include a variety of core courses; which ones specifically will depend on which colleges and universities communication students choose to attend. The goal is for them to gain highly effective communication skills, whether they use them for public relations and advertising to reach external audiences or for internal business communication. Prospective students should know that a communication program and specific communication majors may include courses covering these topics.

  • Media and Communication
  • Public Relations
  • Communication Theory
  • Organizational Communication - Business Communication - Professional Communication
  • Mass Communication - Interpersonal and Public Communication
  • International Communication - Global Communication
  • Political Communication - Strategic Communication
  • Technical Writing - Technical Communication
  • Conflict Management
  • Mass Media - Media Writing - Press Releases
  • Public Speaking
  • Health Communication
  • Communication Research Methods
  • And More

Those who graduate from an on-campus or online communications degree program will be ready to fill open communication occupations such as public relations specialist, technical writers, and other positions which require strong writing, public speaking, and effective communication skills.


Earning a bachelor’s degree is practically essential in this day and age, especially if you want to work in a professional setting. A communications degree program can open the door to a wide range of careers, from copywriter to reporter to marketer. A BA in communication doesn’t come with a roadmap for success as you’d find with a lot of STEM programs, but nearly all jobs require excellent communication skills and strong writing skills. Many graduates from a communications program find work in media, digital marketing, advertising, business, or mass communication; sectors with potential for high earnings and a lot of variety for communications professionals who have completed in-person or online programs.


A BA in communication program degree has a reputation for being easy or not worth the money. Like any degree within the humanities, arts, or with an emphasis on soft skills, an online communication degree doesn’t give students a set career path to focus on; you could find success through several avenues leading into media and communication occupations after earning a BA in communication, which might be overwhelming for someone who needs structure and a defined set of steps they need to complete. It’s also worth pointing out that media jobs or roles in public relations can be quite competitive, so locking down a first job post-graduation might be challenging for communication professionals. Thus, it might be worth it to earn an online communication degree while completing an internship or finding your way into entry-level roles in the field. Communciation majors who choose to complete online programs can still access financial aid and most student services.

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What are the Best Online Communication Bachelor's Programs?


Purdue University

  • Tuition
    • In-State: $9,992
    • Out-of-State: $28,794
  • Net Price: $14,619
  • Retention Rate: 93%
  • Graduation Rate: 83%
  • Total Enrollment: 46,655
  • Undergrad Students: 35,706
  • Graduate Students: 10,949
  • Diplomas Awarded: 149
  • Grads Salary: $79,000
  • Student-to-faculty: 13:1
  • Purdue University

Drexel University

  • Tuition
    • In-State: $57,136
    • Out-of-State: $57,136
  • Net Price: $26,076
  • Retention Rate: 88%
  • Graduation Rate: 78%
  • Total Enrollment: 23,589
  • Undergrad Students: 14,616
  • Graduate Students: 8,973
  • Diplomas Awarded: 36
  • Grads Salary: $78,000
  • Student-to-faculty: 11:1
  • Drexel University

Northeastern University

  • Tuition
    • In-State: $57,592
    • Out-of-State: $57,592
  • Net Price: $38,927
  • Retention Rate: 97%
  • Graduation Rate: 91%
  • Total Enrollment: 22,905
  • Undergrad Students: 15,156
  • Graduate Students: 7,749
  • Diplomas Awarded: 56
  • Grads Salary: $80,000
  • Student-to-faculty: 14:1
  • Northeastern University

University of Arizona

  • Tuition
    • In-State: $12,736
    • Out-of-State: $37,258
  • Net Price: $17,242
  • Retention Rate: 85%
  • Graduation Rate: 64%
  • Total Enrollment: 45,601
  • Undergrad Students: 35,357
  • Graduate Students: 10,244
  • Diplomas Awarded: NA
  • Grads Salary: $76,000
  • Student-to-faculty: 15:1
  • University of Arizona

Arizona State University

  • Tuition
    • In-State: $11,348
    • Out-of-State: $29,438
  • Net Price: $14,934
  • Retention Rate: 86%
  • Graduation Rate: 66%
  • Total Enrollment: 74,795
  • Undergrad Students: 63,124
  • Graduate Students: 11,671
  • Diplomas Awarded: 59
  • Grads Salary: $73,000
  • Student-to-faculty: 18:1
  • Arizona State University

The Pennsylvania State University

  • Tuition
    • In-State: $18,898
    • Out-of-State: $36,476
  • Net Price: $24,012
  • Retention Rate: 87%
  • Graduation Rate: 72%
  • Total Enrollment: 89,816
  • Undergrad Students: 74,446
  • Graduate Students: 15,370
  • Diplomas Awarded: 702
  • Grads Salary: $77,000
  • Student-to-faculty: 15:1
  • The Pennsylvania State University

West Virginia University

  • Tuition
    • In-State: $8,976
    • Out-of-State: $25,320
  • Net Price: $13,422
  • Retention Rate: 82%
  • Graduation Rate: 64%
  • Total Enrollment: 26,269
  • Undergrad Students: 20,495
  • Graduate Students: 5,774
  • Diplomas Awarded: NA
  • Grads Salary: $72,000
  • Student-to-faculty: 21:1
  • West Virginia University

Florida International University

  • Tuition
    • In-State: $6,565
    • Out-of-State: $18,963
  • Net Price: $9,398
  • Retention Rate: 91%
  • Graduation Rate: 67%
  • Total Enrollment: 58,836
  • Undergrad Students: 49,049
  • Graduate Students: 9,787
  • Diplomas Awarded: 469
  • Grads Salary: $66,000
  • Student-to-faculty: 25:1
  • Florida International University

Saint Xavier University

  • Tuition
    • In-State: $35,060
    • Out-of-State: $35,060
  • Net Price: $13,326
  • Retention Rate: 78%
  • Graduation Rate: 56%
  • Total Enrollment: 3,764
  • Undergrad Students: 3,080
  • Graduate Students: 684
  • Diplomas Awarded: 2
  • Grads Salary: $76,000
  • Student-to-faculty: 16:1
  • Saint Xavier University

University of Missouri-Columbia

  • Tuition
    • In-State: $11,475
    • Out-of-State: $30,450
  • Net Price: $18,249
  • Retention Rate: 89%
  • Graduation Rate: 73%
  • Total Enrollment: 31,089
  • Undergrad Students: 23,383
  • Graduate Students: 7,706
  • Diplomas Awarded: NA
  • Grads Salary: $69,000
  • Student-to-faculty: 18:1
  • University of Missouri-Columbia
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Certificate vs. Bachelor's

A certificate is a good option if you already have an online bachelor’s degree, but you want to stay up to date with what’s going on in your field. For instance, if you’ve worked in communications for several years, but want to learn more about digital marketing or paid advertising because it wasn’t part the curriculum when you earned your degree. This can help you gain access to even more organizational communication, public relations, or other media and communication occupations. A certification is also a good choice if you have an online bachelor’s degree in another field of study but want to advance in your career or change careers.

What Communications Bachelor’s Degrees are Available Online?

  • Public Relations:
    Public relations majors will learn to develop excellent written and oral communication skills, as well as the ability to work with the media and help companies with reputation management through public relations.
  • Marketing and Advertising:
    Online bachelor’s in communication degrees with a marketing and advertising concentration focus on communications as they relate to the business world. This degree will teach communication students how to create marketing materials, advertise companies, and more. Marketing communications may have some overlap with public relations and journalism, but may still be a good path for prospective students who have a clear idea of what they want to do with their communication degree.
  • Radio and TV Broadcasting:
    Students may also want to prepare for a career in broadcast, which, like journalism, focuses on preparing students to communicate information in an ethical, informative fashion. Broadcasting—be it podcasting, radio, or television and film—is a competitive, hands-on field of study. Students will learn to operate video and audio equipment, learn the ins and outs of what it takes to produce a broadcast program, and develop an on-air presence. Online programs offering a communication degree in this field may be less common because of the hands-on components, so prospective online students looking for these communication majors will need to pay special attention when performing their school search.

Admission Requirements

Different online schools have different requirements but, in most cases, you’ll need to have earned your high school diploma, GED or communications associate's to gain entry into an online bachelor’s degree program. You may need to submit an essay to gain entry into a specific communications program and/or have a certain GPA to qualify.

How long does it take to earn an Online Communications Bachelor's?

Most online bachelor’s degree programs take four years to complete. Factors like whether you decide to take courses online or off, attend full-time or part-time will have an impact on how long it takes to finish your degree. It’s also worth noting that you may want to take an internship to further your post-graduate career options and that might also add on a bit more time.

Potential Careers in Communications with a Bachelor’s

Before we dive into some career paths with potential, communications majors can find their place within a wide range of careers. Anything within the sales and marketing verticals, as well as human resources might be a good fit—as communications is all about conversations. Here, we’ve compiled a few options that your communications degree could prepare you for.

  • Organizations of all kinds need to make sure they put their best face forward when it comes to dealing with the public. PR specialists work with brands and non-profits alike, helping them position themselves in a way that has a positive influence on public perception. PR pros need to be skilled in getting the right message out at the right time, responding to crises, and generating publicity.
    Public Relations Specialists – Average Income: $47,300
  • Social media managers must be skilled at writing, as well as creating posts that create interest in a client or company. In this role, you’ll also need to be able to analyze social media performance, create a strategy that consists of paid ads, organic content, and likely both video and written language. Additionally, social media managers need to know the ins and outs of their platforms. For example, marketing on LinkedIn looks different than how you’d choose to approach an Instagram campaign.
    Social Media Managers – Average Income: $49,500
  • Event planner may seem like an unlikely career choice for a communications major, but your education will prepare you well for pulling off a successful event. Event planners need public speaking skills, the ability to negotiate the best prices for venues and vendors, and writing skills for creating content, descriptions, and biographies to highlight the event and its speakers. Additionally, this person needs to be able to smooth over conflicts, meet the needs of speakers and attendees, and generate interest so that people show up.
    Event Planners – Average Income: $46,700
  • This public-facing role is all about relaying information in the most concise, engaging way possible. News analysts work in TV news stations and may conduct interviews, report on public interest pieces and current events, and make educational points. This person typically has a degree in communications or journalism and must be a skilled communicator who feels comfortable in front of a camera.
    Broadcast News Analysts – Average Income: $55,300

Salary by Occupation

Occupations Entry-Level Mid-Career Late-Career
P.R .Manager $44,500 $72,300 $75,400
News Anchor $35,900 $60,400 $87,000
Social Media Manager $40,300 $61,300 $58,900
Content writer $38,100 $53,300 $61,800
News producer $31,100 $54,500 $69,400
Communications Director $48,800 $69,700 $91,400
Social Media Specialist $38,800 $50,800 $60,000

Options to Advance

Becoming a successful communications professional means that you’ll need to be a skilled researcher, strategist, and have polished written and oral communications skills. In general, after graduating from an online bachelor’s program, you’ll enter the workforce. Taking on an internship during your undergraduate years may be able to give you a leg up, but you’ll likely begin in an entry-level role.

Communications, unfortunately, isn’t one of those majors that gives you a clear road map for what you’re supposed to do after graduation. So, you’ll want to learn as much as you can - whether that’s how to write for an online publication, operate podcasting equipment, or write and deliver speeches - and look for job opportunities that allow you to learn more on the job. You might start in a role such as marketing assistant or public relations associate, and from there, can work your way into more specialized functions.

Some students may choose to advance their career by taking digital media classes, earning a certification, or returning to school for a master’s degree in communications or potentially, an MBA.

Frequently Asked Questions

What industries or fields might you find yourself in if you earn a communications degree?

  • Brand Management
  • Business or Corporate Communication
  • Government
  • Journalism
  • Marketing
  • Military Communications
  • Non-profits
  • Politics
  • Professional Writing
  • Public Relations
  • Sales
  • Social Media
  • Technical Writing
  • Training and Development

Are there certifications in communications?

The short answer to this is yes. There are certifications out there for a huge number of careers, and communications majors are not left out. Whether you are hoping to be a freelance writer or work with non-profits, there are more skills that you can learn and be certified for after you leave school. Some of these include grant writing for non-profits, proofreading for technical writers, social media branding, technical communication technology, and much, much more. No matter which field you are planning to enter, you should consider earning certifications after you finish your education. They can expand your employment opportunities and provide you with access to promotions and higher pay.

Can I specialize my communications degree?

Yes. There are plenty of options for specialized communications degrees. After all, you can major in journalism or writing, and these are basically specializations of a communications degree. It may be hard to differentiate these at the bachelor level, but it will be even easier to see what specializations are available if you consider graduate communication programs and see what concentrations they offer.

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