Top Ranked School for a Degree in Communications - Seattle, WA

School and Ranking Information

Students seeking a communications degree in Seattle can choose from nearly ten schools within a 25-mile radius of the downtown area. Based on rankings, graduation rates, and program offerings, the top three schools are:

  • Winner: University of Washington - Seattle, ranked 13th among public national universities by U.S. News and World Report, offers students the most program variety with communications degrees at the undergraduate and graduate levels.
  • Runner Up #1: Seattle Pacific University is the 2nd best value school among regional universities in the West, though it only has an undergraduate program.
  • Runner Up #2: University of Puget Sound is ranked the 85th best among national liberal arts colleges. Similar to Seattle Pacific University, this school only offers undergraduate training in communications.

Both the University of Puget Sound and Seattle Pacific University boast high overall graduation rates of at least 73% among students who enrolled in 2005, according to the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES).

School Comparison Chart

Category University of Washington - Seattle Seattle Pacific University University of Puget Sound
Ranking (2013) 13th among public national universities*
46th among national universities, overall*
2nd best value school among regional universities in the West*
15th overall among regional universities in the West*
Rated 85th best national liberal arts college*
Location Seattle Seattle Tacoma (25 miles from Seattle)
School Type 4-year, public 4-year, private not-for-profit 4-year, private not-for-profit
Tuition & Fees (2012-2013) $12,383 (in-state, undergraduate);
$29,938 (out-of-state, undergraduate);
$14,358 (in-state, graduate);
$26,768 (out-of-state, graduate)**
$32,067 (undergraduate)** $40,250 (undergraduate)**
Communications Degree Levels Offered Bachelor's, master's, and doctoral degrees Bachelor's degrees Bachelor's degrees
Communications Degrees Awarded (All Levels) in 2011-2012 516** 52** 15**
Most Popular Communications Degree Program 2011-2012 Bachelor's degree (453 awarded)** N/A N/A
Undergraduate Graduation Rate (in 150% of normal program time) for 2005 Entering Class 80%** 74%** 73%**
Noteworthy Community news lab course allows undergraduate students to publish stories in Seattle area publications Internship opportunities available to communications students Students can lead communications research projects

Sources: *U.S. News & World Report, **NCES College Navigator

Winner: University of Washington - Seattle

  • Numerous student clubs and student media organizations are available to help students gain practical experience
  • Mentor program connects students with alumni working in the communications field
  • Department of Communications is home to 26 full-time faculty and 5 artists in residence
  • Department houses archives and research centers that promote citizen journalism and global access to information
  • The university's student-faculty ratio was 13:1 in fall 2011, per NCES figures

Undergraduate students who want to earn a Bachelor of Arts in Communication must choose a 15-credit area of focus from among options including communications technology, cultural communications, global communications, political communications, rhetoric and cultural studies, and social interaction. Degree candidates also complete an interdisciplinary methods course that delves into topics like media structure and communications research. Additionally, they can take part in a study abroad program to understand communications and culture in countries like Rome and Barbados. There's also a journalism option for students who want to complete a communications bachelor's program that includes classes in mass media law and journalism ethics.

At the graduate level, students can earn a Master of Arts or Ph.D. in Communication. These programs largely focus on research and allow students to pursue concentrations in the same areas available to undergraduates. Master's-level students complete a thesis, while students pursuing doctoral degrees are required to write a dissertation. Many students in these programs have had their research published.

Runner-Up #1: Seattle Pacific University

Communication and Journalism Department faculty include authors and experts in areas like interpersonal communication and argumentation

  • Collegiate speech and debate team encourages members to develop public speaking skills through student competitions
  • Students can earn course credit through internships
  • Weekly student-run newspaper gives students hands-on journalism experience

Students earning a Bachelor of Arts in Communication can choose between the communication studies track and the journalism track. Students who enroll in the communication studies track take a minimum of 55 communications credits covering subjects like rhetoric, organizational communications, and argumentation. They also participate in a senior seminar discussing such topics as gender or interpersonal communications. Students in the journalism track must earn at least 58 communications credits. Courses can include media law, editing, and storytelling. Students also take part in internships with on- or off-campus publications to complete program requirements.

Runner-Up #2: University of Puget Sound

  • Alumni represent editors, marketing professionals, and public relations specialists
  • Communications students can participate in research projects and conferences
  • A range of scholarship opportunities are available to communications students displaying academic excellence
  • Students can join the school's debate team

The University of Puget Sound offers a Bachelor of Arts in Communication Studies program that explores the role of human communication in society and culture. Students can focus on areas like relational and behavioral studies, media studies, rhetoric, and organizational communications. The curriculum includes core and elective courses covering interpersonal communications, communications theory, television and film criticism, and argumentation. There's also the opportunity to get internship experience with the Rhetoric Social Quarterly as an assistant to the editor.

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