The 2022 Guide to Online Bachelor of Communications Programs

A major in communications may lead graduates to a host of career options in radio, television, corporate marketing and nonprofits. Whether your interest lies in fields like interpersonal communication, public speaking or writing, read on to learn more about online bachelor’s in communications programs and what they offer. 

What Is a Bachelor of Communications?

An undergraduate majoring in communications can develop leadership, persuasion, research and presentation skills that may help in various work environments such as business, education and government. Coursework for this major covers various topics, typically including public speaking, communication theory and group communication.   

It is common to confuse a communications degree with a marketing or journalism degree. While they may have common undergraduate degree paths, the three differ. A communications degree concentrates on communicating information effectively. In contrast, a marketing degree focuses on the relationship between consumers and products/brands, how they interact and how to shape those relationships through product design and advertising. 

In comparison, a journalism degree may benefit students interested in writing or reporting for print, online or broadcast publications. Subjects and skills covered in this undergraduate program include classes in legal issues (libel and liability), research and writing material to meet deadlines and how to interview sources.

An advantage to a Bachelor of Communications degree is that you can tailor it to your interests and career goals such as journalism or writing through a concentration or electives to build particular skills.

Can You Earn a Bachelor’s in Communication Online? 

Yes, advances in technology make accessing a high-quality online education easy. According to the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), in 2019, over 7.3 million students enrolled in post-secondary distance learning courses. Regardless of geography, the tools you need for online learning include reliable internet service, a computer/laptop or tablet, a webcam and a meeting platform app like Zoom. As an online student, you may benefit from increased schedule flexibility, pacing options and lower costs as opposed to traditional on-campus learning. 

Online Bachelor’s Degree in Communications, Accredited Programs

College accreditation is an essential factor to keep in mind when searching for the right online program. When you earn a degree from an accredited institution or program, like an accredited bachelor’s in communications, you can show employers or other institutions that you received a notable education.

Online Communications Degree Transfer Credits

Current college students who have completed general education coursework or those who have obtained an associate degree might want to consider online programs that allow students to transfer college credits. While the number of credits allowed varies per school, this option can save you time and money toward your online bachelor’s degree. 

Bachelor’s in Communications Online Program Admissions Requirements 

Similar to on-campus programs, online admissions can be competitive. For this reason, it is important to consider a school’s admission process, including application requirements and submission deadlines. Giving yourself plenty of time allows you to gather and prepare any necessary materials and help ensure acceptance. Although the process may differ among schools, there are a few typical online bachelor’s degree admissions requirements you might see as you browse different programs, such as:

  • Completed application: Many schools accept the common application, which allows you to apply to several schools at once. Other institutions have an individualized application. 
  • High school diploma: Post-secondary schools often require proof of your high school diploma or GED.
  • Personal essay: This is your opportunity to speak directly to the admissions office. Your essay should reveal something about you that cannot be gathered from your academic accomplishments.
  • GPA from high school or post-secondary institution for transfer students: Many institutions want to know your academic standing.
  • Letters of recommendation: These should be from qualified individuals you have spent time with such as teachers, employers or professionals.
  • Transcripts: This is a record of courses you have taken and your grades in those courses.
  • ACT/SAT scores: These standardized exams are often used by post-secondary institutions.

Bachelor of Communications Degree, No SAT Requirement

While most schools require SAT test scores for admission, some online programs have a no-SAT-required or test-optional policy. Minus this test score, schools will look closer at other parts of your application, like your grades and essay. You may want to spend extra time ensuring these are especially strong.

Online Bachelor’s in Communications Program Curriculum

To receive a degree in communications, you will need to earn anywhere from 120 to 130 credit hours. Many online bachelor’s in communications program curricula include a host of required general education coursework including math, history, science and English. Combined with the core curriculum, an online program can help you develop and hone your research, critical thinking and writing skills. Here is a snapshot of what classes your communications major may include:

  • Introduction to Communication: Students examine the development and history of the communication profession and contemporary communication issues and problems.
  • Visual Communication and Design: Coursework covers the application of fundamental communication technologies and design principles to disseminate and create messages across various channels and formats.
  • Strategic Storytelling: In this class, students analyze the role of communication messages for entertainment and informational purposes and how the consumption and the creation of communication messages influence culture.
  • Public Speaking and Presentation Skills: Students create, refine and deliver communication messages and projects to various groups. 

Additional classes like the following may fill your concentration requirements or be selected as electives:

  • Public Relations
  • Digital Photography
  • Website Design
  • Principles of Management
  • Technical Writing Communication

Prerequisites for a Bachelor’s in Communications

It’s a good idea to be aware of any communications degree prerequisites for your particular program. In general, there are no prerequisites for a bachelor’s in communication degree. However, individual classes may have eligibility requirements, so be sure to check. Without these necessary components, you cannot register for specific courses.

Online Bachelor’s in Communications FAQ

Because choosing an online bachelor’s of communications program is such an important decision, you may have questions as you begin your search. Here we discuss questions fellow students have asked that can help you make an informed decision.

Is Communications a Good Major? 

As the demand for bachelor’s in communications graduates continues, you may wonder if communications is the best educational path for you. The program requires a commitment on your part, but it may prove the right choice depending on your career and personal goals. Some communications majors elect to continue their education and earn a master’s in communications degree, while others join the workforce. 

What Does a Career in Communications Involve? 

A communications degree opens the door to many opportunities that rely on a wide-ranging skillset. You might present music, news or sports as an announcer. If you prefer writing or photography, your duties might include planning, reviewing and editing content or using your creativity and expertise to produce and preserve images. Management roles such as a communications director supervise internal and external communications and manage other staff, while interpreters and translators change information from one language to another. 

How Much Can You Make With a Bachelor’s in Communications? 

Graduates with an undergraduate degree in communications may enjoy better than average salaries. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median salary for writers and authors was $69,510 in May 2021. If you want to earn more than a bachelor’s in communications salary, getting a master’s in communications can increase your earnings.

What Are Some Alternative Careers for Communications Majors? 

Communications majors can apply their skills such as the ability to plan, organize, execute and monitor channels of communication, projects, programs and events across alternative careers. As a public relations specialist, you may help create and manage the public image of a company or organization. Develop pricing strategies for products and services, plan promotional campaigns and negotiate advertising contracts in an advertising role or meet with clients, plan the time, location and cost of an event and coordinate services such as transportation and food as an event planner.

Find the Best Bachelor’s in Communications Online Program for You

While selecting the right online communications degree and program is a big decision, every journey is unique. Ultimately, it will be your personal and career goals that help you make the choice. With plenty of online-based programs, you can rest assured you will find the best one for you if you wish to pursue this degree. Before you begin your search, know that a bachelor’s in communications degree could prepare you for an advanced degree in communications or any number of careers that may interest you. 

Last updated April 2022