Home > Top 10 Online Communication & Public Relations Bachelor’s Degree Programs of 2017

Top 10 Online Communication & Public Relations Bachelor’s Degree Programs of 2017

Communication and public relations specialists play a vital role in shaping public opinion and behavior. Businesses, nonprofit organizations, and government agencies all rely on people skilled in the arts of oral and written communication for their success and well-being. An online communications degree can be the first step on the road to joining this vital industry.

Increasingly, people are choosing to pursue their communications and public relations due to the greater flexibility and affordability of online degrees. Because the quality and credibility of online schools and online degree programs vary widely, it’s important to do a thorough investigation before settling on a program. To help with that investigation, we’ve put together a ranking of what we consider to be the best online and distance learning bachelor degree programs in communication, public relations and journalism. Our online degree rankings are based on several factors, including school and program reputation, peer and instructional quality, and overall affordability. Only fully accredited programs were considered for our rankings. You can also check out our ranking of online communication and public relations master’s degree programs.

What Are The Best Online Communication & Public Relations Programs?

Three Myths About Communications Degrees

Communications is one of those career paths that is plagued with misinformation. Here, we set the record straight on a few of the .

MYTH #1: It's a degree for people who don't know what they want to do.

No. It’s a degree for people who want a wide range of options. Everything from publishing to journalism is open to you.

MYTH #2: It's just looking at Instagram.

No. Navigating social media is its own unique discipline in the modern world, and every company that wants to succeed needs to learn how to do it. Communications majors are the vanguard of that approach.

MYTH #3: Communications is a 'soft subject.'

No. Learning how to reach people and get them to listen is just about the oldest and most important science of our species. You may be utilizing the science for an ad campaign or a political movement, but the end result is the same. Communication is vital.

PR vs. Marketing

These are two areas where communications might seem identical, but they’re actually not. Public relations is how a company or brand sells itself, whereas marketing is how a company sells its product. Basically, PR is how an entity looks beneficial to everyone involved in it, and marketing is how what they sell looks good to the general public. Both are vital parts of communications, but they have different goals.

Communication and Public Relations Job Prospects

Communications is an area that is only getting bigger and more diverse in an increasingly connected world. The opportunities for someone who specializes in communications are vast. Public relations, for instance, can net nearly $60,000 annually, while translators are one of the fastest growing industries in the country, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Technical writers (those who prepare manuals and other essential communications) are also in high demand. There are a lot of things you can do with a communications degree.

Beyond the basic degree level, there are other opportunities. You could get your Accreditation in Public Relations, for instance. Or, if you’re patriotically-minded, there’s a military version of the same that’s worth pursuing. Communications is a vast discipline with many paths to excellence.

Opportunities for Communication and Public Relations Bachelor’s Degree Graduates

A bachelor’s degree in communication or public relations can greatly expand your career options and give you an entry into this exciting and growing field. A bachelor’s degree in communication, public relations, or journalism is a necessary prerequisite for most entry-level positions, be they in Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Indiana, etc. The number of possible occupations for graduates of communication, public relations and journalism programs are numerous and include positions in corporate communications (Media Relations, Speech Writer, Public Affairs), marketing/sales (Sales Representative), advertising (Media Planner, Ad Specialist), education (Teacher, Admissions Counselor, College Recruiter), government (Speech Writer, Lobbyist, Campaign Director), broadcasting (On-air Talent, Floor Director, Assistant Producer) and religion (Minister, Preacher, Motivational Speaker). If you already have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited university, you might consider a top-ranked master’s degree program in communication or public relations.

*The schools listed above are sponsored. Sponsored school listings are distinct paid advertisements and are clearly marked with a “SPONSORED” or “FEATURED” tag to distinguish them from editorially ranked schools. Learn more about how rank schools or contact us with questions.

To determine the best online Bachelor’s in Communication & Public Relations degrees, we looked at the most important factors prospective students, mainly common predictors of future success and a school’s commitment to online programs. This boils down to admissions rate, student loan default rate, retention rate, graduation rate, and the percent of students enrolled in online classes. All data points are taken from information provided by colleges and universities to the National Center for Education Statistics.

Each factor is weighted evenly in order to give an objective view and determine the 9 best online Bachelor’s in Communication & Public Relations programs. To calculate our rankings, we looked at a school’s ranking when organized by a single factor, and then averaged each category’s ranking to find an overall score: Admissions Rate (20%) + Default Rate (20%) + Retention Rate (20%) + Graduation Rate (20%) + Percent of Students Enrolled in Online Classes (20%) = Final score.

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