How to Choose a Broadcast Communications School

Broadcast communications degree programs prepare students for careers in radio, television and other media industries. Programs are available at the certificate, associate degree and bachelor's degree levels. Important considerations for any program are availability of courses in students' areas of interest, access to up-to-date technology and opportunities for work experience.

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Individuals interested in broadcast communications can choose to pursue a variety of fields in the broadcast industry, both in front of a camera or behind the scenes in an equally essential supportive role. Those who are looking to study broadcast communications may earn a certificate, associate degree or bachelor's degree in the subject at a 2-year community college, private arts school or 4-year university.

Schools for Broadcast Communications

The following 2-year and 4-year schools offer degree programs in the field:

College/University Location Institution Type Degrees Offered Undergraduate Tuition (2015-2016)*
Delaware State University Dover, DE 4-year, Public Bachelor's $7,531 (In-state) $16,138 (Out-of-state)
Grand View University Des Moines, IA 4-year, Private, not-for-profit Bachelor's $24,614
Hampton University Hampton, VA 4-year, Private, not-for-profit Bachelor's $23,112
Oklahoma City University Oklahoma City, OK 4-year, Private, not-for-profit Bachelor's $30,726
Roxbury Community College Roxbury Crossing, MA 2-year, Public Certificate, Associate's $3,984 (In-state) $10,104 (Out-of-state)
Union University Jackson, TN 4-year, Private, not-for-profit Bachelor's $29,190
Yakima Valley College Yakima, WA 4-year, Public Associate's $4,225 (In-state) $4,626 (Out-of-state)

*Source: National Center for Education Statistics

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School Selection Criteria

Students interested in a broadcast communications degree may want to consider the following:

  • Consider your career goals and what level of education will be required. Students may choose a certificate program in order to get an entry-level job in broadcasting, or they may want to pursue an associate degree with credits that can be put towards a bachelor's degree program.
  • Students should look for programs with valuable internship opportunities. Most positions above entry-level will require prior experience, and this can be an excellent way for students to gain that experience.
  • Consider attending a program that is geared specifically towards professional training, or requires students to work on professional-level projects and portfolios that may be useful for starting a career.
  • Look for financial aid and scholarship opportunities at schools to help off-set the tuition differences between 2-year and 4-year schools, as well as between public and private schools.

Certificates

Certificate programs in broadcast communications are short-term, usually lasting no more than a year, and end in a Certificate of Completion rather than a degree. They can provide basic introductory education or specialized training in a particular area of broadcasting such as television production, video editing, radio production or mass media.

Associate Degrees

A 2-year program in broadcast communications prepares students to qualify for entry-level positions in fields like broadcast journalism, television production, advertising and business communications. These programs usually include internships as part of the curriculum, which give students hands-on experience and networking opportunities.

Bachelor's Degrees

Some schools offer a bachelor's degree program in broadcast communications; however, students may also find a Bachelor of Arts in Communications programs with a concentration in broadcast communications. Colleges that offer 4-year programs often have more funds for facilities so students in bachelor's degree programs have access to high quality equipment during their training and can practice producing professional-level material. Prior to the completion of a bachelor's program, students typically complete a portfolio and an internship.

Students interested in broadcast communications can pursue a certificate, associate's or bachelor's degree at several public and private institutions. Students may want to consider things like their career goals and which programs provide internships and professional training when choosing a school.

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