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24 Best Online Bachelor's in Communications Degrees 2020

By the GradReports team | Updated 4/1/2020

We ranked the top 24 colleges that offer an online bachelor's degree in communications based on the median salary of graduates one year after college. The school with the highest median salary for this degree is University of Pennsylvania, at $49,400. Graduates of Dallas Baptist University had the lowest median debt out of all the schools on the list, at $17,750. Median starting salaries for graduates from the top 25 schools range from $34,000-$49,400.

Tuition, median salaries, and median debt were reported by the U.S. Department of Education in November 2019. View our methodology for more details about these rankings or read more about the top-ranked schools.

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Salary and debt data reported by the U.S. Department of Education
Salary and debt data reported by the U.S. Department of Education
Rank School Location Annual Tuition Median Debt Median Salary
#1 #1 Philadelphia (PA) Philadelphia (PA) $63,452 $19,500 $49,400
#2 #2 Boston (MA) Boston (MA) $60,192 $24,496 $45,400
#3 #3 Greenwood Village (CO) Greenwood Village (CO) $8,400 $25,266 $43,600
#4 #4 Adelphi (MD) Adelphi (MD) $12,336 $21,541 $43,000
#5 #5 Amherst (MA) Amherst (MA) $38,171 $21,559 $39,200
#6 #6 Tucson (AZ) (and 1 other) Tucson (AZ) (and 1 other) $11,800 $19,500 $38,900
#7 #7 Lawrence (KS) Lawrence (KS) $28,035 $22,045 $38,800
#8 #8 Tempe (AZ) (and 4 others) Tempe (AZ) (and 4 others) $30,592 $21,000 $37,700
#9 #9 Lubbock (TX) Lubbock (TX) $24,122 $26,601 $37,600
#10 #10 Nationwide Nationwide $9,552 $40,531 $37,600
#11 #11 Chandler (AZ) Chandler (AZ) $11,960 - $12,110 $29,813 $37,400
#12 #12 Denver (CO) Denver (CO) $42,220 $24,500 $36,400
#13 #13 Dallas (TX) Dallas (TX) $35,310 $17,750 $36,300
#14 #14 Mankato (MN) Mankato (MN) $18,814 $22,248 $36,100
#15 #15 Denver (CO) Denver (CO) $26,818 $19,499 $35,800
#16 #16 Denver (CO) Denver (CO) $56,439 $25,000 $35,700
#17 #17 Grand Forks (ND) Grand Forks (ND) $15,570 $22,455 $35,500
#18 #18 New York (NY) New York (NY) $50,026 $25,000 $35,400
#19 #19 Fayetteville (AR) Fayetteville (AR) $27,410 $21,342 $35,000
#20 #20 San Francisco (CA) San Francisco (CA) $26,728 $31,000 $34,900
#21 #21 Winter Park (FL) Winter Park (FL) $26,307 $38,228 $34,800
#22 #22 Highland Heights (KY) Highland Heights (KY) $20,848 $25,074 $34,700
#23 #23 Pullman (WA) Pullman (WA) $28,385 $20,500 $34,500
#24 #24 Miami (FL) Miami (FL) $18,963 $18,800 $34,000

2020 Best Colleges Highlights

Learn more about the top colleges for a Bachelor's in Communications degree. You can also read student reviews of each school by clicking on the stars. Although student reviews were not used as a ranking factor in this list, we provide ratings and reviews so students can consider the experience of alumni in their decision-making process.

Philadelphia (PA)
Median Salary $49,400
Median Debt $19,500
Annual Tuition $63,452
Graduation Rate 96%

The University of Pennsylvania offers an online Bachelor of Applied Arts and Sciences degree with a concentration in Leadership and Communication, as an option for working adults and other non-traditional students who want to pursue an online Ivy League education. The leadership and communication concentration is designed for future leaders, managers, directors, and visionaries. The degree offers students the practical knowledge and critical thinking skills they need to develop effective, ethical leadership and communication. The concentration is delivered in partnership with Civic, a Washington, DC-based organization that partners with institutions in a variety of sectors to develop new policy initiatives.

The faculty of the program was forged through a collaboration between Penn's College of Liberal and Professional Studies (LPS) and Civic. Professors include both scholars and former leaders in government, business, and the nonprofit sector. Some of the popular courses the program offers include Leadership Theory and Practice, Professional Communication and Personal Development, Positive Psychology at Work, and Leadership and Public Administration.

Visit University of Pennsylvania's website.

Boston (MA)
Median Salary $45,400
Median Debt $24,496
Annual Tuition $60,192
Graduation Rate 91%

Northeastern University's innovative Bachelor's of Science in Digital Communication and Media is designed to get students ready to enter the media field or advance their career. The online format is a degree completion program with a focus on experiential learning, combining academics with professional practice. The program helps students develop a range of digital competencies, from research and content creation to channel development. Encouraging real-world experiences, Northeastern's degree has students design, implement, and manage a major communication campaign as a participant of their Virtual PR Firm.

The faculty of the BS in Digital Communication and Media program takes a hands-on approach and aims to bring real-world communications knowledge, expertise, and connections to students. On top of general education courses, students complete courses for the major such as Professional Speaking, Designing and Implementing a Promotional Campaign, Writing for the Web, Human-Computer Interaction, and Consumer Behavior. The program is designed for students interested in job titles such as social media specialist, copywriter, video specialist, public relations representative, and marketing communications specialist.

Visit Northeastern University's website.

Greenwood Village (CO)
Median Salary $43,600
Median Debt $25,266
Annual Tuition $8,400
Graduation Rate 64%

CSU Global offers a Bachelor's Degree in Marketing and Communication, which is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs. The program teaches students to study and apply current marketing theory, including defining target markets, understanding buyer behavior, and evaluating market segments. Upon graduation, students can expect to have learned valuable skills such as using market research tools to predict market potential, knowledge of technological and global developments changing the scope of marketing, and strategies for ethical marketing decision-making. The degree aims to prepare students for many areas within marketing and communications, including creative services, strategic planning, advertising, research, promotion, and public relations.

Requiring a total of 120 credits to complete the program, the marketing and communications degree requires general education, core degree, and elective courses. Degree specialization courses are also an option, allowing students to choose to customize their degree with a specific subject such as business administration, digital marketing, public relations, or project management.

Visit Colorado State University Global's website.

Median Salary $43,000
Median Debt $21,541
Annual Tuition $12,336
Graduation Rate 16%

Developed with input from employers and industry experts, UMGC's online Bachelor's of Arts in communication studies offers a balance of theoretical knowledge and sophisticated communication skills. The program teaches students to apply communication theories to both personal and professional studies, helping them develop "soft skills" and communication techniques for the workplace. The degree is designed to help prepare students for a career in mass media, new media, journalism, public relations, business, or online communication.

Faculty of the program combine academic credentials with a wealth of experience in the field, coming from organizations such as the New York Times, Washington Post, CIA, and NSA. The multidisciplinary curriculum covers speech communication, mass communication and new media, journalism, public relations, business writing, and technical writing. Some of the courses in the major include Introduction to News Writing, Communication and Gender, Mass Media Law, Writing for Managers, and Public Relations Theory.

Visit University of Maryland Global Campus's website.

Median Salary $39,200
Median Debt $21,559
Annual Tuition $38,171
Graduation Rate 83%

The University of Massachusetts - Amherst offers a Bachelor of Arts in Film and Media Studies Concentrations that focuses on growing film and media professionals who are prepared to think critically and lead with integrity. The Film and Media Concentration is part of the University Without Walls (UWU) degree completion program that is designed to help adults complete their first bachelor's degree. The UMass UWU program allows students to design their own program of study in film and media, and requires a minimum of 12 college credits to apply.

The film and media courses at UMass are taught by award-winning instructors and professional filmmakers at the top of their fields. Professors come from a wide range of academic departments including Communications, Film Studies, Journalism, and Arts Management. Some popular course topics include digital narrative production, media programming and institutions, film criticism, public relations, social media, film and TV law, and more.

Visit University of Massachusetts - Amherst's website.