Online degree programs in corporate communications are available at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. Some programs specifically in corporate communications are available, but the field is more commonly studied online as a concentration option within programs in general communications, public relations, marketing, business administration or business communications. These programs are available fully online in both full-time and part-time formats, though some programs may have an on-campus or internship requirement.
Bachelor's Degree Programs in Corporate Communications
Online bachelor's degree programs specifically in corporate communications are limited; however, some schools offer online bachelor's degree programs in communications, business communications or public relations with coursework or concentrations in corporate communications. In general, these programs teach students how to use their oral and written communication skills to develop internal and external relationships with employees and public audiences, conduct presentations and manage formal communications projects from start to finish. In addition to disseminating day-to-day information or planning events, students can learn how to help nonprofit organizations and private businesses respond during a communications crisis. Graduates are generally prepared for entry-level positions within the field of corporate communications or public relations.
Program Information and Requirements
Students in an online bachelor's degree program in corporate communications receive an education in many aspects of business operations. Many of these types of programs are conducted entirely online, though some allow students to take some courses on campus.
Schools offering online corporate communications degree programs generally require students to have updated versions of Windows, Microsoft Office, Acrobat Reader and a Web browser, such as Internet Explorer. A high-speed Internet connection, printer and viable e-mail address are also required.
Online bachelor's degree programs related to corporate communications typically present a comprehensive curriculum in not only communications but marketing, advertising, public relations and business administration as well. Program coursework consists of introductory and advanced courses addressing communications theory, concepts and research. Some programs include an internship.
Introduction to Corporate Communications
In this introductory course, students learn how corporate communicators differ from those in other types of organizations and their relationship with the companies they serve. They also find out about the specific responsibilities of corporate communicators, while developing their interpersonal, verbal and writing skills.
Introduction to Public Relations
Through this course, aspiring professionals find out how to prepare internal and external public relations campaigns and materials for commercial or community events. Content emphasis is on media planning and coordination, ethics and public relations techniques. Students also learn how to write advertising copy, brochures and press releases.
Topics associated with a business communications course can include business letters and reports, memos and proposals. Students also learn how to use common industry software, process information and present material in written and electronic formats.
Organizational Communications and Leadership
In this course, students find out how corporate leaders communicate with internal and external audiences, learn about delivery models and review case studies. Similar topics can be found through leadership courses in organizational behavior, communication or management.
Master's Degree Programs in Corporate Communications
At the graduate level, online students can earn a Master of Science degree in corporate and organizational communication or public relations and corporate communication. Master of Arts degrees are also available in corporate communication or corporate and professional communication. Some Master of Business Administration programs may allow for a concentration in a similar field of study.
Areas of specialization may include human resources or project management, public relations or social media, among other related fields. At the graduate level, students can learn how to advance their intercultural and interpersonal communication skills and understand what best practices are used during facilitation, mediation and negotiation procedures.
Program Information and Requirements
Schools offering graduate-level online corporate communications degree programs generally require students already have a bachelor's degree. Course materials and presentations are accessed by way of a username and password at the student's convenience. Students interact with their instructors and peers through online forums; assignments and tests may also be taken or submitted electronically.
Graduate students who are pursuing a master's program in corporate communications may take courses in business writing, crisis management, cross-cultural exchanges and organizational interactions. Additional degree requirements may include a capstone course or a research-based thesis.
In this course, students learn about the differences between ethics and law and the role both play in corporate communications. They also study government and securities regulations and the professional codes established by industry organizations.
Corporate Communications Management
Students learn about the relationship between communication and public opinion, as well as how important it can be to an organization. They also explore the civic-minded aspects of media messages and corporate social responsibility.
This online course provides students with an academic and practical perspective on crisis communications, including internal and external responses, avoidance strategies and crisis plan development. Topics may include the corporate emergencies brought on by natural disasters, product recalls or sexual harassment charges.
A course in social media can provide students with the opportunity to update their awareness and knowledge of digital technology, as well as their understanding of how important it is for corporations to maintain an online presence. Content may include the use of online media for internal and external purposes, along with the challenges and responsibilities associated with the use of new media.
Online degree programs in corporate communications prepare graduates for a variety of opportunities in business. While bachelor's programs are not common, master's programs are more prevalent and are designed for working professionals seeking to advance their careers.