How to Choose a School of Communications Arts

Dec 11, 2019

Pursuing a degree in communication arts will help prepare students for careers in marketing, public relations, journalism, advertising and writing. Many colleges and universities have communications programs and offer associate, bachelor's and graduate degree options.

10 Communication Arts Schools

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

College/University Location Institution Type Programs Offered Undergraduate Tuition and Fees (2018-2019)*
Boston University Boston, MA 4-year, Private Bachelor's, Master's, Doctorate $53,948
Cornell University Ithaca, NY 4-year, Private Bachelor's, Doctorate $55,188
George Washington University Washington, D.C. 4-year, Private Bachelor's, Master's $55,230
North Dakota State University Fargo, ND 4-year, Public Bachelor's, Master's, Doctorate $9,414 (In-state) $13,393 (Out-of-state)
Purdue University West Lafayette, IN 4-year, Public Bachelor's, Graduate Certificate, Master's, Doctorate $9,992 (In-state) $28,794 (Out-of-state)
Texas A&M University College Station, TX 4-year, Public Bachelor's, Doctorate $11,870 (In-state) $37,495 (Out-of-state)
University of California - Davis Davis, CA 4-year, Public Bachelor's, Master's, Doctorate $14,402 (In-state) $43,394 (Out-of-state)
University of Houston Houston, TX 4-year, Public Bachelor's, Master's $8,913 (In-state) $21,273 (Out-of-state)
University of Massachusetts - Amherst Amherst, MA 4-year, Public Bachelor's, Master's, Doctorate $15,887 (In-state) $34,570 (Out-of-state)
University of Southern California Los Angeles, CA 4-year, Private Bachelor's, Master's, Doctorate $56,225

*Source: National Center for Education Statistics

School Selection Criteria

Consider the following when selecting a communication arts program:

  • Choose a school with an appropriate specialization for your career goals, such as broadcast, editorial, radio and graphic communication.
  • In order to gain valuable hands-on experience, consider schools that offer internships or have on-campus stations or publications and partnerships with local media outlets or organizations.
  • Consider the location of the school, since those located in bigger cities may be closer to television and radio stations, major newspapers or other types of publications that open up internship and networking opportunities.
  • Students who prefer smaller class sizes and one-on-one interaction with professors may want to choose a school with a smaller overall student population. Online courses might also factor into school choice for students who need flexible scheduling options.

Bachelor of Arts in Communication

Some of these communication programs offer different tracks for students who wish to pursue certain careers in media communications, such as magazine, newspaper or broadcast writing. Bachelor's degree programs in communication often include courses such as public relations, graphic arts, photography and more.

Master of Communication

Some colleges and universities offer master's degree programs in communication that allow students to be enrolled at either part-time or full-time status, which may make earning a degree easier for working professionals. There are also programs available that offer electives for certain specializations and give students the chance to work in or assist in leading classrooms of undergraduate students. Graduate coursework varies by specific communication major; however, classes include the study of visual and mass communications.

Doctorate of Communication

There are graduate programs that result in doctoral degrees in communication. Some programs offer different choices of courses that lead to a concentration or specialization for professionals who wish to be trained in a specific area of communication. Some schools give students the choice to pick one area of various different available specializations. In general, classes included in these programs may include cultural analysis and communication history.

Communication arts degree programs are available at the undergraduate and graduate levels from several 4-year institutions throughout the United States. Students considering these schools should look for programs that offer internship opportunities and specializations that match their career goals.

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