School and Ranking Information
Students who want to earn a communications degree can choose from 3 schools within a 50-mile radius of the downtown Bakersfield area. Based on rankings and program offerings, the top 3 schools are:
- Winner: California State University - Bakersfield is the only school of these three with national rankings from U.S. News & World Report, so it's the frontrunner. It also has the highest graduation rate out of the three schools and is the only one to offer a bachelor's degree.
- Runner Up #1: Bakersfield College offers associate degrees and certificates and its in-town location makes it the first runner-up.
- Runner Up #2: Porterville College offers associate degrees and certificates.
School Comparison Chart
|Category||California State University - Bakersfield||Bakersfield College||Porterville College|
|Ranking||37th among public schools for 2014, nationwide*||N/A||N/A|
|Location||Bakersfield, CA||Bakersfield, CA||Porterville, CA (about 47.5 miles away)|
|School Type||4-year, public||2-year, public||2-year, public|
|Tuition & Fees (2012-2013)|| $6,709 (in-state, undergraduate),
$18,367 (out-of-state, undergraduate)**
| $1,324 (in-state, undergraduate),
$7,484 (out-of-state, undergraduate)**
| $1,322 (in-state, undergraduate),
$2,162 (out-of-state, undergraduate)**
|Communications Degree Levels Offered||Certificate and bachelor's degree||Certificate and associate degree||Certificate and associate degree|
|Communications Degrees Awarded (All Levels) in 2011-2012||79**||28**||1**|
|Most Popular Communications Degree Program 2011-2012||Bachelor's degree (79 awarded)**||Associate's degree 25 awarded)**||N/A|
|Undergraduate Graduation Rate (in 150% of normal program time)||39% (for students starting in 2006)**||20% (for students starting in 2009)**||21% (for students starting in 2009)**|
|Noteworthy||Lambda Pi Eta (National Communications Honor Society) and Public Relations Student Society of America||Some classes may be available online||Students can transfer to a 4-year university to earn a bachelor's degree in communications|
Sources: *U.S. News & World Report, **NCES College Navigator
Winner: California State University - Bakersfield
- Ranked 90th among regional universities in the West for 2014, according to U.S. News & World Report
- Campus newspaper allows students to gain journalism experience
Students who enroll at this public university can earn a Bachelor of Arts in Communications, and the program offers specializations in journalism, public relations, and digital media. Regardless of specialization, the core curriculum covers media law, communication theory, and technical writing, among other topics. Students may complete internships, and the program culminates in a portfolio. Certificates in public relations, journalism, and digital media are also available.
Runner-Up #1: Bakersfield College
- Honors program qualifies students for scholarships
- Transfer program for students who want to eventually earn a bachelor's degree
- Work experience program allows students to earn course credit on the job
Bakersfield College allows students to pursue a communications associate degree for transfer or a communications certificate. The 60-credit associate program covers topics like public speaking, rhetoric, and oral interpretation; general education requirements are part of the curriculum as well. The certificate program includes many of the same courses but only requires completion of 12 credits.
Runner-Up #2: Porterville College
- Career services help students transition into employment after graduation
- Child care services support parents while enrolled in school
Students who choose this public school can earn an Associate in Arts in Communication Studies for transfer or a Certificate of Achievement in Communication Studies. Students must complete 60 semester hours or 90 quarter hours of coursework to earn the associate degree and qualify for transfer. The 4-course certificate program can be completed in a shorter amount of time, though students solely pursuing this certificate can't apply for Title IV financial aid. In both programs, courses cover public speaking, oral interpretation, argumentation, and debate.