If you love storytelling and finding effective ways to communicate information, you may enjoy working toward a media communications degree.
These bachelor programs typically offer classes in a diverse range of topics within the media field, from journalism and photography to marketing.
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Media communications majors often use their degrees to try to pursue roles in the field, but some pursue further education after receiving their bachelors. Many media communications degree programs also give you the option of focusing on a specialization of your choice.
Online Bachelor’s in Media Communications Degrees
Media communications degrees typically teach students to become effective storytellers. You can learn to communicate messages through a variety of platforms and mediums, including journalism, marketing, photography, public relations, and fundraising.
During your bachelors degree in media and communication studies, you’ll likely study topics like the following:
- Social media
- Multimedia presentations
- Video editing
- Visual advertising tools
- Translating and interpreting
- Market research
- Donor interaction
- Graphic design
- Content creation
- Media Ethics
- Feature writing
In addition to courses like these, many media communications programs teach students valuable skills in verbal communication, presenting, critical thinking, and more. You may be able to choose a specialization to focus on an area of study that interests you.
While students in these programs typically take a plethora of classes in media studies and communications, most bachelors programs also have a core curriculum that students must follow. You may take general education classes in math, history, science, and more.
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Graduates typically either use their bachelors degree to pursue jobs right out of the gate, or apply to masters programs in journalism, art studies, marketing, and other related fields. A growing number of universities now offer masters in multimedia online or on campus programs in addition to undergrad programs.
Many graduates work toward jobs in journalism, such as news analysts, reporters, editors, and journalists. They may also pursue alternative writing roles, such as technical writers and authors. Professionals in the media industry can also work in advertising, social media, public relations, and fundraising.
Common Online BA in Communication Media Specializations
While pursuing a bachelors degree in media and communication studies, you’ll likely have the opportunity to choose a specialization. Below are a few examples of common specializations for this major:
- Journalism. This specialization teaches you how to research, interview, and report news stories, and it also includes broader discussions of the role journalism plays in today’s society.
- Public relations. You’ll learn how to shape a narrative and effectively communicate it by building verbal and written communication skills.
- Advertising. This specialization focuses on using different technologies and techniques to sell products and services to a variety of audiences.
- Organizational Communication. You’ll learn how to effectively communicate information in a corporate environment so that people can work together to accomplish the organization’s goals.
- Electronic and Digital Media. This specialization teaches you how to tell stories and communicate information across a variety of platforms and technologies.
Choosing a specialization can help gear your curriculum toward classes you really enjoy or that apply to the career you want to pursue upon graduation. You may also be able to change your specialization early on if you find that you are more interested in another area of focus.
Media Communications Careers and Salaries
After graduating with a BA in Communication and Media degree, many students go on to pursue roles in the media industry. This can include roles in traditional journalism, such as editors, journalists, and news analysts.
Graduates can also work toward roles in marketing and public relations, such as advertising managers, public relations and fundraising managers, and public relations specialists. Management roles typically require a few years of experience in the field after obtaining a degree.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, below are some examples of jobs associated with media communications.
|Annual Median Salaries
|Advertising, Promotions, and Marketing Managers
|Public Relations and Fundraising Managers
|Writers and Authors
|Market Research Analysts and Marketing Specialists
|Public Relations Specialists
|Interpreters and Translators
|News Analysts, Reporters, and Journalists
Other graduates may pursue roles that don’t involve writing but are still in the media industry. Those with visual media skills may work toward careers as photographers or art directors, while people who speak another language may pursue jobs as interpreters or translators.
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Students who receive a BA in Communications and Media may also use their degree as a stepping stone to pursue further education. Graduates may decide to pursue additional studies in marketing, public relations, art, journalism, and more.
Media Communications Bachelor’s Curriculum & Courses
Your curriculum in a media and communications degree program can differ depending on your school and specialization, but here are some courses you may come across in your studies:
- Introduction to Communication and Media Studies: You’ll learn foundational theories for effective communication and messaging in the media industry.
- Social Media Campaigns: This class teaches strategies for promoting a company, product, or service on different social media platforms.
- Online Storytelling and Audience Engagement: You’ll learn research and reporting skills specifically tailored to online storytelling.
- Media Ethics and Issues: This course covers issues that may arise working in the media industry, and it teaches students ethical decision-making skills.
- Publicity and Media Relations: You’ll learn the basics of public relations, including how to give your company or client exposure in the media.
- Message Design: This class delves into messaging on different technologies, from photography to film and graphic design.
- Video Editing: You’ll learn theories and strategies for telling stories through effective video editing.
- Introduction to Professional Communication: This course teaches you how to present information in the corporate world, focusing on verbal and written communication skills and public speaking.
- Reporting: General News: You’ll learn different theories for news writing as well as the necessary skills to write an informative and engaging news story.
- News, Truth, and Deception: This class teaches you the history of bias in the news and helps equip you with the skills needed to report fact-based and unbiased news stories.
In addition to classes like these, your media and communications degree may also offer opportunities to apply to internships and conduct capstone projects.
Choosing an Online Media Communication Degree Program
When choosing an online media communications degree, it may be strategic to take the following factors into consideration to make sure you’re getting the most out of your program:
- Student-to-professor ratio
- Teaching staff’s credentials
- Cost of tuition and additional school fees
- Online vs. in-person program formats
- Campus location
- Offered areas of specialization
- Graduation rate
- School’s accreditation status
- Internship and mentorship opportunities
Finding a program that has proper student support may pay off in smaller class sizes, more individualized attention from professors, and higher-quality instruction. If you aren’t looking to move for your degree, you may also opt for an online program or a campus in your city.
If you are hoping to focus on a certain area of the field, such as photography or public relations, it could be beneficial to choose a school that offers your preferred specialization.
The admissions requirements for your chosen communication media program may vary, but below are some common criteria:
- High school transcripts
- SAT or ACT scores (only some schools require them)
- Letters of recommendation
- Application essay
In addition to high school transcripts, some schools want to see proof of graduation, such as a high school diploma or GED equivalent. They may also require students to have received a certain grade in relevant high schools classes, such as English or language arts.
Media Communication Degrees Accreditation
Before you apply to a program with a media communications major, it’s strategic to find out if the school is regionally accredited. When a school has regional accreditation, it means that a third-party organization has determined that it meets a series of academic quality standards.
Attending a regionally accredited school is important if you are planning to apply for federal financial aid. It’s also beneficial for applying to jobs after graduation, as many employers want to see these types of schools on your resume.
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To learn more about accreditation, you can visit the US Department of Education’s website.
Financial Aid and Scholarships
To help cover the costs of a bachelor’s degree in media communications, you might consider looking into financial aid opportunities.
On the Federal Student Aid website, you can explore a variety of options that are available to qualifying undergraduate students. Financial aid opportunities are often available from the federal government, state government, and schools. Financial assistance can also come in different forms, such as student loans, grants, scholarships, and work-study programs.
Scholarships can also be available from public organizations or private institutions. Some employers also offer tuition reimbursement programs or professional development opportunities for workers who are earning their college degrees.
What Is a Media Communications Degree?
A media communications degree is a bachelors program that teaches students how to effectively communicate strategic messaging across a variety of platforms and mediums. These programs typically empower students to pursue roles in the media industry upon graduation.
This degree is a versatile one, as graduates may decide to work in everything from photography and journalism to fundraising. The goal of most media communications programs is to show you how to get your message across while maintaining audience engagement.
Is a Bachelor of Media and Communications a Good Degree?
Yes, a Bachelor of Media and Communications is a good degree for many undergraduate students.
In a world of emerging digital technologies, it’s more important than ever to have knowledgeable media and communications professionals. When pursuing a communication media major, you have the opportunity to develop your verbal and written communication skills to tell entertaining or informative stories or messages.
The overall median wage for media and communication careers is $62,340, which is higher than the average for all occupations (Bureau of Labor Statistics). There is also a range of career paths associated with this field. For instance, some graduates go on to work in journalism, public relations, advertising, and social media.
What Can I Do with a Media Communications Degree?
A media communications degree may help prepare students to pursue a variety of careers in the media industry. Traditional media roles include journalists, public relations specialists, editors, writers, and photographers.
Professionals who know how to tell a powerful story may also do so in careers like art directors, marketing managers, and authors. A media communications degree may allow students to choose a specialization in one of these areas.
While many graduates jump right into job searching after graduation, a bachelors degree can also give students a foundation to pursue graduate studies.
Should I Major in Media Communications?
If you love writing, photography, or digital media, then you may enjoy majoring in media communications. Not only do these programs give you opportunities to develop your skills, but they can also help you prepare to work toward a variety of roles in this growing field.
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Many roles in the media industry—such as reporters, editors, and public relations specialists—don’t require additional education beyond a bachelor’s degree. This may differ depending on the specific job and employer. The decision to major in media communications ultimately depends on your career goals, but many find it to be a rewarding path.
How Long Does It Take to Get a Bachelors in Media Communications Degree Online?
The timeframe for completing a bachelors in media communications online varies depending on a few different factors, such as your specific program, enrollment status, and attendance. But it’s much like the timeframe for an online new media studies bachelor’s degree program.
It typically takes 4 years for most students to obtain their bachelors degree, provided they are attending school full-time and following a traditional 16-week semester. If you stay enrolled throughout the year, including during the summer, it may take less time to complete your degree.
Following an 8-week semester may reduce your program length even further, and programs leading to online multimedia degrees may provide additional flexibility with your schedule.
Is a Bachelors Degree in Media Communications Worth It?
Yes, a bachelors degree in media communications is worth it for many students. New platforms and technologies for communicating information are emerging all the time, and professionals who know how to effectively message across these news forms of media are in demand.
If you love writing, editing, or any form of storytelling, you may enjoy taking the classes required to complete a bachelors degree in media communications. These programs can help set you up to pursue these types of careers upon graduation.
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According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, media, and communication occupations overall are expected to see 6% job growth over the next ten years.
Universities Offering Online Bachelors in Media Communication Degree Programs
Methodology: The following school list is in alphabetical order. To be included, a college or university must be regionally accredited and offer degree programs online or in a hybrid format.
Adams State University offers a fully online program for a Bachelor of Arts in Media Industry and Communication. Potential courses include Public Speaking, Fundamentals of Media Communication, and Digital Filmmaking. Students must also select a minor in specialties like marketing or business. On average, the degree can be completed in 4 years.
Adams State is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
Arizona State University offers a Bachelor of Arts in Mass Communication and Media Studies. Graduates often pursue careers as market research analysts, communications specialists, production assistants, or marketing promotions managers. This program requires the completion of 41 classes for a total of 120 credit hours. Classes meet online and are typically 7.5 weeks long.
ASU is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
Brenau University offers an online program for a Bachelor of Arts in Communication and Media Studies. Courses cover topics like media writing, communication theory, market research, and film production. The program admits incoming students three times a year. The program’s 120 required credit hours can typically be completed in 8 semesters when attending full-time.
Brenau University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
Colorado State University offers a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism and Media Communication. Potential classes include Communications Law, Statistical Literacy, and Copywriting. The program strives to provide flexibility by allowing students to complete coursework at their own pace in a convenient online format. It offers three start dates a year in fall, spring, and summer terms.
Colorado State University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
CUNY School of Professional Studies offers a Bachelor of Arts in Communication and Media. This program aims to help students develop foundational knowledge in the discipline, like communication strategies, media law and ethics, and audience assessment. The curriculum consists of 120 credit hours total. All classes can be attended conveniently online.
CUNY School of Professional Studies is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.
DePaul University offers a Bachelor of Arts in Communication and Media. Core curricular courses include Intercultural Communication, Public Speaking, and Introduction to Mass Communication. The program is housed fully online. Part-time students typically finish in 3 years, while full-time students often complete their requirements in 2 years.
DePaul University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
Eastern Oregon University offers a bachelor’s degree program in communication studies. Depending on professional goals, students can complete the program as a Bachelor of Arts or Sciences. On average, the 120 required credits can be completed in 4 years of full-time study. Graduates often pursue careers as journalists, digital marketing specialists, editors, or public relations managers.
Eastern Oregon University is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.
Fisher College offers a Bachelor of Arts in Communication and Media Studies. The program’s 120 credit interdisciplinary curriculum combines concepts from disciplines like marketing, film studies, journalism, and communication. Classes meet entirely online, and terms are 8 weeks long. Concentrations are offered in Advertising, Journalism, Public Relations, and Video Production.
Fisher College is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education.
Lynn University offers a Bachelor of Arts in Communication and Media. This program may be an excellent fit for students pursuing careers in fields like journalism, videography, advertising, public relations, or politics. The program admits incoming students three times a year. The degree requirements can typically be completed in 4 years of full-time attendance.
Lynn University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
Mercer University offers a Bachelor of Arts in Communication. Concentrations are available in Digital Marketing Communication, Organizational Communication, and Public Relations. This program is designed with working adults in mind, providing flexible attendance options either online, on-campus, or in a blend of the two. Classes utilize an accelerated learning format that is typically 4 to 8 weeks long.
Mercer University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
National Louis University offers a 100% online program for a Bachelor of Arts in Communication and Media. Courses cover topics like community relations, professional writing, conflict management, and video production. This program requires the completion of 120 credit hours. Students can tailor their studies to their personal interests through the program’s wide variety of minors and elective coursework.
National Louis University is accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission.
Southeastern University offers a Bachelor of Science in Communication and Mass Media. This program features dedicated faculty, a flexible online learning format, and curriculum taught from a unique Christian perspective.
Upon finishing general education requirements, students must complete at least 31 credits of major-specific coursework. Graduates often pursue careers as communication managers, copy editors, and multimedia journalists.
Southeastern University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
Southern New Hampshire University offers a Bachelor of Arts in Communication. Concentrations are offered in Business Communication, New Media, Professional Writing, and Public Relations. Classes meet entirely online and are typically 8 weeks long. Up to 90 qualifying credits may be transferred in toward the program’s 120 required credits.
SNHU is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education, Inc.
Stevenson University offers a Bachelor of Science in Business Communication. This program aims to provide students with the skills needed to excel in various professional roles within communication, media, and business fields. Coursework can be completed conveniently online. Potential courses include Conflict Resolution and Negotiation, Business Writing, and Organizational Communication.
Stevenson University is accredited by the Commission on Higher Education, the Middle States Association of Colleges and Universities.
The University of Massachusetts offers a Bachelor of Arts in Communications and Media. Graduates often pursue careers as video editors, advertising and promotion managers, marketing strategists, and public relations specialists.
After finishing their general education baccalaureate requirements, students must complete a minimum of 42 credit hours of core and elective coursework in their major. All classes meet 100% online.
The University of Massachusetts is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education.
Getting Your Media Communication Degree Online
If you want to build upon your communication skills, you might consider getting your bachelors in media communications. You might be able to choose a specialization based on your specific interests, such as writing, journalism, public relations, photography, and more.
In these programs, you can develop valuable verbal and written communication skills, and you can gain an understanding of different communications platforms. Online programs may offer flexibility in your schedule, which could especially help if you’re working or pursuing internships while going to school.
To get started on your journey toward a bachelors degree in media communications, you could begin exploring accredited schools today.