In this ranking, we examine the best value colleges for online communications degree programs in 2016.
Communications is an incredibly versatile major that combines traditional studies with practical, modern career applications. Students can focus on liberal arts topics – like English, creative writing, and psychology – while in school. Once out in the real world, those learned skills will translate into lucrative careers in public relations, advertising, marketing, the media, education…the list goes on! If this sounds like an appealing option to you, you might want to consider earning your communications degree online. For an affordable price, you can get the education you want while imposing minimal disruptions on your daily life. For adult students with regular jobs and families, this kind of flexibility is especially important. These 10 top value schools are sensitive to the needs of nontraditional students, blending the best aspects of on-campus study with the most convenient features of online learning.
9. Post University
Online Bachelor of Arts in Communication & Media Studies
The online communications degree at Post University offers two concentrations – Media Arts and Organizational Communications. The former is a great choice for students hoping to touch on visual communication, including photography, video, or web design. The latter option, on the other hand, focuses on public relations, marketing, and social media. Both have a strong emphasis on contemporary communication, ensuring that Post’s affordable online communications degree will remain relevant for years after graduation. One important note: The program takes five years to complete, so you might want to look at other schools if you need an accelerated option.
Net Price: $22,714/yr
8. Kaplan University
Online Bachelor of Science in Communication
Students who already have an associate diploma and want to obtain a bachelor’s in communications online degree should take a close look at Kaplan University’s Advanced Start Track, which relies on 90 transfer credits from an accredited college or university. And for new students, Kaplan offers the 180-credit accredited online communications degree through the “Standard Track.” You’ll take courses that emphasize a broad range of communication skills — from group dynamics and team-building to technology and new media. The elective coursework for this online communications degree is completely open, so students can pursue their own interests outside of the major.
Net Price: $16,023/yr
7. University of Houston-Victoria
Online Undergraduate Program: Communication
If you want to improve your public speaking and presentation skills while pursuing your communications degree online, check out the University of Houston-Victoria. The school strongly emphasizes verbal communication skills and even encourages its students to join Toastmasters. UHV’s online communications degree features a broad range of core curriculum coursework, including history, political science, math, creative arts, and even psychology. There are also several specialty elective courses within the Communications department. Course options include Introduction to Communication Theory, Intercultural Communication, and New Media Theory, and many students obtain professional experience through part-time jobs or internships.
Net Price: $10,131/yr
6. Oral Roberts University
Online Communication Degree
It’s important to note that the online communications degree at Oral Roberts University includes a strong theological bent. As a communication major at the Tulsa-based Christian university, you will take required classes in Spirit-Empowered Learning, Christian Worldview and Culture, and Old and New Testament Literature. Students who are on board with that focus will find ORU’s coursework broad and varied – classes include Discussion and Conference Leadership, Argumentation and Persuasion, and Advanced Public Speaking. There is also a required three-credit Communications Internship that can earn you valuable real-world experience while you’re still enrolled at school.
Net Price: $20,748/yr
5. Bellevue University
Online Communication Studies Degree
The affordable online communications degree at Bellevue University features a strong set of basic courses in oral communications, critical thinking, communication theory, and digital communication, along with a notably wide variety of electives. No matter their interests, students should find classes that spark their curiosity – subjects include everything from Interviewing to Health Communication Campaigns. The school offers five course “clusters,” including Corporate Communication and Perspectives of Human Communications (with a focus on gender and psychology). In addition, all Bellevue University students must complete the school’s “Kirkpatrick Signature Series,” a set of three courses focusing on American values and democracy.
Net Price: $11,786/yr
4. Mississippi College
Online Bachelor of Science in Communication (Accelerated)
Mississippi College’s fast-track “Accelerated Degree” program enables students to take up to 12 hours per semester during two eight-week sessions. MC’s online communications degree comes in two flavors – a Bachelor of Arts and a Bachelor of Science – and like Oral Roberts University, all MC students take Bible courses (six hours in either the Old or New Testament). To obtain a Bachelor of Arts, students must fulfill an additional language requirement. Both the Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science include courses in journalism, theater and some interesting communications subjects, including negotiation, intercultural communication, and interpersonal communication.
Net Price: $16,418/yr
3. University of Minnesota at Crookston
Online Communication BS
Students working toward their online communications degree at the University of Minnesota at Crookston choose between three different emphasis areas: Communication Studies, Organization Communication/Public Relations, and Writing. The Communication Studies track is the most general; many students on this track choose to incorporate classes from other departments into their coursework. Organization Communication and Public Relations students receive a business-focused education that includes classes in event planning, crisis communication, and public relations, as well as electives in publication design and corporate training. UM’s Writing concentration provides a strong base in grammar, editing, and visual communication, and it even offers an Introduction to Creative Writing elective for those hoping to flex their literary muscles.
Net Price: $13,055/yr
2. The University of Texas of the Permian Basin
Online Bachelor of Arts in Communication
The University of Texas of the Permian Basin’s Bachelor of Arts in Communication is the least expensive of the online communications degrees on this list – and it has some of the most flexible scheduling. The school offers eight-week courses that enable students to earn a degree in as little as a year, and there are six start times through the year. Although the pace is fast, students who obtain their communications degrees online at UT of the Permian Basin still get a solid foundation in gen ed. topics. This means you’ll take classes in political science, mathematics, and creative arts in addition to your major-specific studies. The school recommends that Communications majors also work toward a minor, although you aren’t required to do so.
Net Price: $8,245/yr
1. University of North Dakota
Online Communication Bachelor of Arts Degree
The University of North Dakota has the best online communications degree because it offers a fully online traditional four-year college degree at a great price. The school’s wide-ranging coursework covers almost every conceivable subject in communications. Highlights of the curriculum include Media and Diversity, Popular Culture, Persuasion, Social Media Strategy and Media History. UND’s program also enables students to focus on either Strategic Communication or Journalism, although all courses are available to all communications majors. With three sessions a year, an entirely online curriculum, and in-state tuition for online students, the Bachelor of Arts at UND is definitely worth a close look.
Net Price: $16,238/yr
This concludes our ranking of the top 10 values in online communications degree programs.
See our methodology page for more information about how we calculated this ranking.
By CVO Staff
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