Online AA in Journalism: Degree Program Overview

Learn about online degrees with journalism courses. Get an overview of the program types, requirements and course descriptions available for this field.

Essential Information

There are a select number of Associate of Arts (A.A.) programs in journalism available online. Because of the rarity of these programs, students may also consider online communications programs, which can also include journalism courses. Schools offering online associate degree programs in journalism rarely require students to take any courses on campus. These programs typically include general education requirements, along with communication, reporting and writing courses. Online students will need access to Microsoft Word and Windows Media Player.

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Associate Degree in Journalism

Online associate degree programs in journalism are mainly designed for students interested in entering bachelor's degree programs in the subject. Students in these programs can take general education and liberal arts courses, such as English, mathematics, sociology and anthropology to complete the courses that are typically required in a bachelor's degree program. Once students complete their required courses, they may take journalism electives, such as oral communications.


Some journalism programs may not offer the same courses online that are offered at their campus. Though some of the courses may differ, degree and credit requirements are almost always the same for online programs.

Students interested in online programs need to have a computer running a current operating system and access to a reliable Internet connection. Some instructors may also require students to have access to software like Microsoft Word or Windows Media Player.

Course Topics

Students in online associate degree programs in journalism take a handful of required liberal arts courses in addition to some writing and journalism electives.

Introduction To Oral Communication

Students in this course learn basic listening and speaking skills. They are taught to present information with clarity and to listen with critical comprehension.

Introduction to News Writing

This course explores the art of news gathering and news writing. Students in this course regularly write, submit and critique news articles and study the ethics, principles and policies basic to the field.

History of Journalism

A typical history of journalism class focuses on the history of American journalism, dating back to colonial times and tracing how the practice has changed throughout the years.

Advanced Newspaper Writing

Students in this class review advanced journalism concepts and principles, looking closely at problems and policies related to the newsroom.

Career Information

Graduates may go on to work as journalists, reporters, writers, advertisers and public relations employees.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the average median salary for news reporters and correspondents was $36,360 as of 2015 ( The BLS predicts an 8% decline in job opportunities for aspiring reporters from 2014-2024 due to increased competition and the loss of print media outlets. Online newspapers and magazines are expected to provide the most opportunities for employment.

Continuing Education Information

Students who graduate from an online associate degree program in journalism are typically permitted to transfer their credits into related bachelor's degree programs. By doing this, students can complete a bachelor's degree in less than the typical four years of study.

Aspiring reporters might choose to begin their education with an online associate degree in journalism to study topics like news writing and oral communications. Many graduates go on to earn their bachelor's degree by transferring general education credits to a 4-year college or university program.

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