Why This Matters


    Job growth for skilled writers who can prepare instructional manuals and how-to guides is expected to grow at a percentage much greater than the national average.


    With a median annual salary of $55.86 per hour, PR managers make more than three times the median yearly wage of all U.S. occupations.


    There will be an estimated 294,300 public relations specialists nationwide by the end of the decade. Demand is expected to increase by 7%, a rate much higher than the national average.

Our Research

This list covers associate, bachelor’s, and master’s degree programs in communications. Graduates of these programs are prepared for writing, public relations, and communications leadership positions across multiple industries. Degrees offered include Associate of Arts in Communication, Bachelor of Arts in Communication, Bachelor of Arts in Communication and Media, and Bachelor of Science in Media, Culture, and Communication. Students can choose from in-person, online, and hybrid learning programs.

Communications degree programs that prepare students for the global workforce and uphold a high academic standard receive national and regional accreditation. The schools on this list are accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC), Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC), Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU), New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE), and Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE).

We evaluated each program on the basis of flexibility, faculty, course strength, cost, and reputation. Then we calculated the Intelligent Score for each program on a scale from 0 to 100. Our top picks for the best Communications Degree program are affordable, respected, and flexible. (For a more extensive explanation, check out Our Ranking Methodology.)

  • 69 hours to write this article
  • 195 universities and colleges we assessed
  • 214 education programs we compared

The Top 50 Communications Degree Programs

Best Communications Degree Programs
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What You Should Know About This Degree

When deciding on a career in communications, you might also consider pursuing a degree in marketing or public relations. Communications programs teach students how to apply messaging in many situations, and graduates are prepared to work in roles at governmental, nongovernmental, and nonprofit organizations. Marketing programs also teach students about effective communication but under the lens of promoting, selling, or advertising goods and services. Public relations degree programs deal with messaging and specialize in building and maintaining the public image of brands and organizations. Determine if you’d like a more comprehensive or focused study when choosing which program is right for you.

Communications is a competitive field, and graduates who wish to increase their future job opportunities might want to consider obtaining certification. The International Association of Business Communicators awards certifications to communications professionals who’ve demonstrated excellence in the field. The Communication Professional certification is aimed at professionals with six to eight years of experience. The Strategic Communication Professional certification is given to senior-level professionals with more than eight years of experience in the industry.

With the rise of digital and social media, brands and organizations in every industry will continue to rely on skilled workers to help them communicate with their audiences.

What’s Next?

Here are some questions to ask yourself when researching communications degree programs:

  • Am I eligible for this program? Students from all educational backgrounds with a high school diploma or equivalent can pursue an associate or bachelor’s degree in communications. Some programs might also require a minimum GPA and standardized test scores as well as letters of recommendation. Master’s degree programs require students to hold a bachelor’s degree in a relevant field.
  • How long does it take to complete this online degree? Associate and master’s degree programs in communications require two years of full-time study. Bachelor’s degree programs require four years of full-time study. Students must complete between 42 and 132 credits to graduate from the programs on our list.

Application deadlines and academic prerequisites vary for each program. Obtain detailed information about the program to which you’re applying by visiting the school’s website or contacting the admissions department.

Higher education requires financial investment. Consider how you’ll cover the cost of your studies by researching scholarships, grants, and work-study programs. You might also be eligible for federal student aid that doesn’t have to be repaid.