Best Online Schools for Communications: List of Top Schools

Some colleges and universities are now making communications degrees available through distance learning. Discussed below are several well-known universities that offer online programs in the field. Find out about rankings, program options and what sets these schools apart.

Online communications programs are commonly offered at the bachelor's degree level, although there are some schools that offer graduate-level options. Programs may allow students to choose between a variety of specializations in the field.

School Overviews

Pennsylvania State University, Arizona State University, Colorado State University and Austin Peay State University all offer online communications programs. Each school earned high school or program rankings from U.S. News & World Report for 2017.

Pennsylvania State University World Campus in University Park, PA

School highlight: Penn State was ranked the 50th best national university and the 56th best global university for 2017 by U.S. News & World Report.

Penn State's World Campus was ranked #1 for best online bachelor's degree programs for 2017 by U.S. News & World Report. The school offers an undergraduate certificate in organizational communications and a bachelor's degree in advertising and public relations with a strategic communications option. Both programs are fully available online. The certificate program includes courses in business writing, public speaking and conflict resolution. The degree program also covers media writing, communications law and global communications.

Arizona State University in Tempe, AZ

School Highlight: ASU was ranked #1 for Most Innovative Schools and #61 among public schools by U.S. News & World Report for 2017.

Ranked 11th by U.S. News & World Report among schools with the best online bachelor's degree programs for 2017, ASU Online offers fully online bachelor's degrees in communication, business communication, nutrition communication, technical communication and mass communication & media studies. Graduate students can also enroll in an online Master of Science program in technical communication.

Colorado State University Global Campus in Fort Collins, CO

School Highlight: The school's Global Campus offers 24/7 live technical support to students.

The global campus of CSU tied with Arizona State for the #11 spot on the list of best online bachelor's degree programs for 2017. The school offers a fully online Bachelor of Science in Communication with 22 possible concentration areas.

Austin Peay State University in Clarksville, TN

School Highlight: The school's Master of Arts program in corporate communication is offered completely online with fast track and professional track options.

Students who enroll in the online M.A. program offered through Austin Peay State University can choose between specializations in media management, marketing and corporate communications. The later specialization also offers fast track and professional track options, depending on whether students want to complete coursework on a full- or part-time basis. Students in these communications programs can expect to take advanced courses in public relations, marketing, broadcast media and e-commerce, among other subjects. U.S. News & World Report ranked APSU #29 among public schools and #79 among regional universities in the South for 2017.

Top Communications Schools

These four schools also offer strong online communications programs:

  • Drexel University in Philadelphia, PA, provides an online communications bachelor's degree program that focuses on corporate communication and public relations.
  • Regis University in Denver, CO, has an online communications bachelor's degree program in which students can choose between traditional and accelerated tracks.
  • At the University of Denver in CO, a bachelor's degree in communications is offered online or in the evenings; there is also a master's degree program with six communications concentration options.
  • The University of North Dakota in Grand Forks is home to an online communications bachelor's degree program that offers six concentrations and starts three times per year.

Overall, there are many well-regarded public and private universities through which students can pursue online education in communications. Many of these schools offer multiple specialization options and opportunities to pursue accelerated program tracks.

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