If you have great writing and/or speaking skills, an online communication degree program may be a perfect choice for you to help launch a rewarding career. If you’re especially talented in this area, you might make a great journalist or politician, or could do well in marketing, advertising, public relations, or business. Excelling in any of these professions requires a degree in Communications, Communication Studies, Communication Arts, or a related field.
The list below of the 10 cheapest online Communications Degree Programs in the U.S. was created by first examining each and every online program in Communications in the nation and then assessing them for both cost and quality. For public institutions, cost was recalculated by averaging the in-state and out-of-state tuition rates for the purposes of creating a ranking. The programs are listed from cheapest to most expensive, and you’ll be happy to know that all these programs are high-quality, and that many have received national recognition.
1. Bellevue University
Online Communication Studies Degree – Bachelor of Arts
As the need for communications professionals continues to increase, more and more students are seeking undergraduate programs in this field. Bellevue not only recognizes this need, but has developed a program responsive to this demand. Bellevue’s cheap online communication degree allows students to explore a wide range of communication disciplines, from social media, event planning, and public affairs to journalism and customer relations. And with classes pegged at less than $400 per credit hour, Bellevue’s online program puts a quality communications degree within reach of even those most cost-focused learners. U.S. News & World Report ranks Bellevue University #18 in the category of best online bachelor’s degrees (2014).
2. Thomas Edison State College
BA in Communications Online
Tuition: $5,700/yr (In-state) $8,395/yr (Out-of-state)
Thomas Edison State College has a long, reputable history of providing excellent academic programs to adult learners. Involved faculty members push students far beyond the baseline of communications education, motivating them to seek personal enrichment as well. The course distribution looks much like that of other schools, with approximately one fourth of classes required to be within the communications area of study. This affordable online communication degree program allows learners to expand their horizons far beyond the essentials, taking elective classes in Broadcast and Cable Promotion, Oral Interpretation of Literature, Video Communication Theory, and much more. TEAD is one of the first schools in the country designed specifically for adults.
3. Colorado State University Global
Online Bachelor’s Degree in Communication
Coursework in the CSU-Global online Bachelor of Science in Communications degree covers oral and written communication, mass communications, new media, public relations, technical writing, and the leadership and management skills needed to successfully contribute to an organization. Students apply critical-thinking and strategic communication skills to a variety of scenarios. Upon graduation, they are poised to pursue a career in marketing, technical writing, public relations, and other fields that require communication skills. CSU-Global is ranked #16 for best online bachelor’s programs by U.S. News & World Report and #1 for best online college by SuperScholar.
4. Brandman University Online
Online Bachelor of Business Administration, Organizational Communication
Brandman’s bachelor of Business Administration, Organizational Communication Program prepares students for professional opportunities and advancement in a dynamic, global business environment through innovative and career-relevant curriculum. Available online or on campus with integrated online components, the course introduces students to principles of advanced public speaking, theories of persuasion, public relations, and media. Students develop business fundamentals while focusing on their customized area of specialization. This affordable online communication degree is particularly useful for those who wish to advance in a company or prepare for entry-level to middle-management opportunities. Brandman was ranked in the top 10 among online programs in 2013 by U.S. News & World Report.
5. University of Maryland University College
Online Major in Communication Studies
Tuition: $6,552/yr (In-state) $12,336/yr (Out-of-state)
Operating as part of the larger University of Maryland System, the University College campus offers an online bachelor of arts in communication studies requiring 120 credits. A transfer-friendly school, learners can bring up to 90 credits from a previously attended, accredited institution. When not completing assignments, online students participate in the communication studies and humanities/english student clubs. When in class, they learn about topics such as communication and gender, public relations theory, understanding visual communications, and the foundations of oral communication. The department also provides a full complement of electives for those who want to focus their learning in a particular area.
6. University of Nebraska at Kearney
Online Organizational and Relational Communication
Tuition: $6,542/yr (In-state) $12,370/yr (Out-of-state)
The University of Nebraska’s Kearney campus offers a fully online B.S. in organizational and relational communication for individuals seeking to understand this dynamic sub-discipline. Comprising 120 credits, the program requires four years of study and includes studies in areas of communication concepts in society, communication inquiry, organizational communication, and persuasion and propaganda. Applicants to this online communications degree must provide SAT/ACT scores and official transcripts from high school and any college attended, but the school does not set minimum scores and/or grades. Upon graduating, learners go on to roles as corporate trainers, recruiters, campaign directors, and career/life coaches.
7. University of Texas of the Permian Basin
Bachelor of Arts in Communication Online
Tuition: $5,250/yr (In-state) $13,674/yr (Out-of-state)
The University of Texas of the Permian Basin serves students seeking an online bachelor’s degree in communication by providing a 120-credit distance learning program that costs just $303.71 per credit hour. Because courses are taught in accelerated, seven-week blocks, degree seekers can graduate early if enrolled on a full-time basis. The university also provides six start dates to help with busy schedules. coursework covers topics such as rhetoric in western thought, interpersonal communication, and modern media and society. In their final semester, learners participate in a seven-week internship at an approved site near their home.
8. Arizona State University
Online Bachelor of Science Communication
Tuition: $7,866/yr (In-state) $11,209/yr (Out-of-state)
Any standard communication class should teach students the basics of how to interact with others, but ASU’s online communications degree goes several steps further. Students who walk away with a B.S. diploma in communications possess the skills to form identities, maintain work environments, and even transform entire communities in their professional jobs. Graduates can choose from a wide range of career fields, including sales, statistics, event planning, public relations, and even nonprofit management. U.S. News & World Report ranks Arizona State University in its top tier of U.S. universities; Forbes considers ASU among America’s best colleges.
9. University of Phoenix
Bachelor of Science in Communication Online
Tuition: $10,500/yr (On average)
Almost everyone has heard of the University of Phoenix – it’s one of the largest for-profit institutions in the nation, educating approximately 300,000 students in any given year and providing learners with access to a myriad of campuses across the country. Even those outside of traveling distance from a traditional school can enjoy Phoenix’s courses through its virtual classrooms. The Bachelor’s degree in communications online allows learners to choose from multiple concentrations. As a result, one can find Phoenix grads working in industries as diverse as journalism, public relations, and sales. U.S. News & World report ranks University of Phoenix #5 among online bachelor’s programs in terms of student engagement and assessment and in the top 40 for faculty credentials and training.
10. Franklin University
Franklin University is a popular choice for adult learners who want to take classes online while pursuing their degree. Franklin’s academic programs range from business to technology to liberal arts, and the online communications degree actually includes aspects of all those fields. Classes include Organizational Communication, Internet Marketing, Global Business Issues, E-Commerce, Grant Writing for Nonprofits, and much more. Students can also take advantage of highly specialized courses not offered at other universities, such as Social Justice, Staffing, and Persuasive Strategies. Close to 10,000 adults from across the country and around the world choose Franklin each year.
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About the Author:
Iris Stone got her start in writing when she began working as a freelance writer and researcher in 2011. Her freelance business soon took off and she now owns and operates a writing and editing firm that works with clients all across the country. Despite the time it takes to run a business she still does much of the writing herself, and her work has included a variety of content related to education policy, colleges and universities, academic programs, and graduates’ careers. Check out her Google+ Profile.