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One com­mon mis­con­cep­tion is that media stud­ies are a fluff major. On the con­trary, media stud­ies is a very ver­sa­tile field that cov­ers a wide range of top­ics. Know­ing how to nav­i­gate, use, and com­mu­ni­cate through a form of media is an extreme­ly valu­able skill in the mod­ern world — not just for peo­ple work­ing in tele­vi­sion or radio, but for busi­ness­es, gov­ern­ment, reli­gious orga­ni­za­tions, non­prof­its, and edu­ca­tion. The pro­fes­sion­al world needs work­ers who are able to com­mu­ni­cate effec­tive­ly through dif­fer­ent platforms.

Work­ing pro­fes­sion­als who want to make a career change to media com­mu­ni­ca­tions, or to enhance their cur­rent careers with a stronger ground­ing in media, should con­sid­er an online bachelor’s degree com­ple­tion pro­gram. With accel­er­at­ed cours­es, help­ful trans­fer cred­it poli­cies, and cred­it for work or life expe­ri­ence, stu­dents can com­plete an accel­er­at­ed com­mu­ni­ca­tions degree online in as lit­tle as a year. Bachelor’s Degree Cen­ter has ranked the best col­leges offer­ing stu­dents a faster option toward their bachelor’s degree.

Methodology: Ranking the Best Accelerated Communications Degree Online

To rank the Fastest Online Media Com­mu­ni­ca­tions Degree Bachelor’s Pro­grams, Bachelor’s Degree Cen­ter edi­tors looked for ful­ly online pro­grams that pri­or­i­tize get­ting work­ing adults through their pro­gram effi­cient­ly. With an ini­tial list, pro­grams are ranked accord­ing to data drawn from IPEDS, Col­lege Score­card, and Niche: Cost, Grad­u­a­tion Rate, Grad­u­ate Salary, Job Place­ment, and Stu­dent Reviews.

1. Arizona State University

Ari­zona State University’s online BA in Mass Com­mu­ni­ca­tion and Media Stud­ies degree pro­gram is a mul­ti-dimen­sion­al study of media’s influ­ence. From pol­i­tics and eco­nom­ics to gen­der and race, the full scope of mod­ern media com­mu­ni­ca­tions is Ari­zona State’s top­ic. Fol­low­ing foun­da­tion­al cours­es, stu­dents can tai­lor their pro­gram through elec­tives to suit their career goals. As an accel­er­at­ed com­mu­ni­ca­tions degree online, this gives more stu­dents the oppor­tu­ni­ty to move into a com­mu­ni­ca­tions career.

Through their online pro­grams, Ari­zona State Uni­ver­si­ty gives stu­dents the flex­i­bil­i­ty to work around their cur­rent sched­ules and push through their cur­ricu­lum. The Cronkite School has lived up to its name­sake with numer­ous awards. They lead the nation for win­ning the Hearst Jour­nal­ism Awards — the col­lege equiv­a­lent to the Pulitzer Prize. US News & World Report has long iden­ti­fied ASU as Most Inno­v­a­tive uni­ver­si­ty in Amer­i­ca. They have also received more awards than any oth­er US school from the Broad­cast Edu­ca­tion Association’s Fes­ti­val of Media Arts. The staff awards and suc­cess of grad­u­ates point to the excel­lence of the program.

Degree: BA Mass Com­mu­ni­ca­tion and Media Stud­ies
For­mat: Online — Fast Track

Click to learn more about this accel­er­at­ed media com­mu­ni­ca­tions degree!

2. CSU-Global Campus

In the Col­orado State Uni­ver­si­ty-Glob­al Cam­pus online BS in Com­mu­ni­ca­tions pro­gram, trans­fer stu­dents are able to trans­fer up to 90 cred­its from anoth­er uni­ver­si­ty. The degree pro­gram is unique­ly designed to sup­port online stu­dents, many of whom may be return­ing to school to start a new career. The tutor­ing cen­ter, writ­ing cen­ter, and online library are avail­able when need­ed. Beyond the fun­da­men­tals, stu­dents are able to tai­lor their focus into spe­cif­ic areas such as broad­cast, print, social media or PR, to name a few. Grad­u­ates of the mass com­mu­ni­ca­tions degree online pro­gram have gone on to suc­cess­ful careers in broad­cast­ing, print media, edu­ca­tion, and government.

The basis of the pro­gram at CSU-Glob­al is to sup­port stu­dents in a dis­tance learn­ing envi­ron­ment. Class­es and mate­ri­als are rou­tine­ly reviewed and updat­ed to ensure that they reflect cur­rent indus­try prac­tice. Stu­dents return­ing to school will also go through an eval­u­a­tion process to assess cur­rent skills and pro­fes­sion­al expe­ri­ence that may qual­i­fy for cred­it. This can stream­line the degree process for many stu­dents. Accel­er­at­ed 8‑week terms com­mence through­out the year to fit in with busy sched­ules. Stu­dents can also choose from audio or text lec­ture options so that they can study when it is con­ve­nient for them.

Degree: BS in Com­mu­ni­ca­tion
For­mat: Online — trans­fer up to 90 credits

Click to learn more about this accel­er­at­ed media com­mu­ni­ca­tions degree!

3. Bellevue University

Belle­vue University’s online BA in Com­mu­ni­ca­tions pro­gram blends the cen­tral ele­ments of com­mu­ni­ca­tions, busi­ness com­mu­ni­ca­tions and PR with ele­ments such as inter­cul­tur­al com­mu­ni­ca­tion, lead­er­ship, and dig­i­tal media skills for a well-round­ed pro­gram. With an accel­er­at­ed com­mu­ni­ca­tions degree online and a focus on stu­dent suc­cess, this is one pro­gram every seri­ous stu­dent should con­sid­er. Bellevue’s online com­mu­ni­ca­tions degree also allows trans­fer­ring stu­dents to bring up to 90 cred­its from anoth­er university.

Belle­vue Uni­ver­si­ty is accred­it­ed by the High­er Learn­ing Com­mis­sion but also has sev­er­al spe­cial­ty accred­i­ta­tions for par­tic­u­lar pro­grams such as the nurs­ing pro­gram and the busi­ness school. While they are known for deliv­er­ing high-qual­i­ty edu­ca­tion­al expe­ri­ences, they are also known for their afford­abil­i­ty. Belle­vue has been offer­ing pro­grams for work­ing adults and oth­er non­tra­di­tion­al stu­dents for decades. For indi­vid­u­als seek­ing a flex­i­ble pro­gram of study that is also eco­nom­i­cal, Belle­vue Uni­ver­si­ty is a good choice.

Degree: BA in Com­mu­ni­ca­tion Stud­ies
For­mat: Online — trans­fer 90 credits

Click to learn more about this accel­er­at­ed media com­mu­ni­ca­tions degree!

4. Webster University

Web­ster University’s online BA Media Com­mu­ni­ca­tions pro­gram pro­vides a sol­id foun­da­tion in com­mu­ni­ca­tions the­o­ry, such as the cul­tur­al, social and polit­i­cal impact media pro­fes­sion­als can have in today’s world. Elec­tives allow stu­dents to move fur­ther into areas such as pro­duc­tion, broad­cast­ing, print jour­nal­ism, online media, and PR. Dur­ing their course of study, stu­dents devel­op a port­fo­lio that is a vital tool when they begin seek­ing employ­ment or pur­sue an advanced degree after grad­u­a­tion. In a par­tic­u­lar­ly impor­tant point for work­ing pro­fes­sion­als, Web­ster accepts up to 98 trans­fer cred­its, includ­ing cred­it for work expe­ri­ence, to make the bachelor’s in com­mu­ni­ca­tion online pro­gram faster.

Web­ster Uni­ver­si­ty active­ly recruits stu­dents and fac­ul­ty from around the world. This glob­al approach gives stu­dents access to fac­ul­ty who are accom­plished. As many fac­ul­ty are still active in media and com­mu­ni­ca­tions relat­ed endeav­ors, the course­work is con­tin­u­al­ly updat­ed to reflect the chang­ing stan­dards of the indus­try. The uni­ver­si­ty is high­ly ranked for their pro­grams. For eight years, Forbes has rec­og­nized them as one of America’s Top Colleges.

Degree: BA Media Com­mu­ni­ca­tions
For­mat: Online — trans­fer up to 98 credits

5. Southern New Hampshire University

The South­ern New Hamp­shire Uni­ver­si­ty online BA in Com­mu­ni­ca­tion and New Media takes a mod­ern approach to the tra­di­tion­al media and com­mu­ni­ca­tions degree. Stud­ies engage in class­es that pri­mar­i­ly focus on new media and emerg­ing media tech­nolo­gies. Cours­es cov­er sub­jects such as con­tent pro­duc­tion, tech­nol­o­gy, social media research, dig­i­tal mar­ket­ing and inter­per­son­al devel­op­ment in dig­i­tal plat­forms. Stu­dents also receive course­work in more tra­di­tion­al com­mu­ni­ca­tion top­ics. Stu­dents com­ing into the sys­tem can trans­fer in up to 90 cred­its, so this accel­er­at­ed com­mu­ni­ca­tions degree online gets them to their goals more quickly.

As an accred­it­ed uni­ver­si­ty, South­ern New Hamp­shire Uni­ver­si­ty is a non­prof­it orga­ni­za­tion. While the uni­ver­si­ty main­tains a phys­i­cal cam­pus, many stu­dents, espe­cial­ly those return­ing to school, ben­e­fit from the ease of access­ing edu­ca­tion­al mate­ri­als and the flex­i­bil­i­ty of most degree plans. US News & World Report cit­ed them as one of the Most Inno­v­a­tive Uni­ver­si­ties in the nation. To sup­port stu­dents, the uni­ver­si­ty has an inter­nal sys­tem to help online stu­dents. They also con­nect stu­dents with their alum­ni base so that they can net­work with pro­fes­sion­als in their industry.

Degree: BA in Com­mu­ni­ca­tion and New Media
For­mat: Online — trans­fer 90 credits

Click to learn more about this accel­er­at­ed media com­mu­ni­ca­tions degree!

6. University of Maryland University College

The Uni­ver­si­ty of Mary­land Uni­ver­si­ty Col­lege online BA in Com­mu­ni­ca­tion Stud­ies degree pro­gram is designed to give stu­dents a sol­id foun­da­tion in media and com­mu­ni­ca­tions with the soft skills, tech­ni­cal knowl­edge, and indus­try tech­nique to posi­tion them for suc­cess in their future roles. All online cours­es give stu­dents the flex­i­bil­i­ty they need to man­age their dai­ly life and cur­rent work sit­u­a­tion, and stu­dents can trans­fer in up to 90 cred­its from anoth­er school. This bach­e­lor’s in com­mu­ni­ca­tions online is specif­i­cal­ly designed to meet the demands of work­ing adults in oth­er fields and those in the military.

More than 70 years ago, the Uni­ver­si­ty of Mary­land Uni­ver­si­ty Col­lege was found­ed specif­i­cal­ly to sup­port the edu­ca­tion needs of work­ing indi­vid­u­als and mil­i­tary mem­bers. It has become a pre­mier online uni­ver­si­ty, though they main­tain cam­pus­es through­out the US and around the world. Some of these are locat­ed on mil­i­tary instal­la­tions. As part of the Uni­ver­si­ty of Mary­land sys­tem, the uni­ver­si­ty is known for its high qual­i­ty and rig­or­ous course­work. The admis­sions process takes into con­sid­er­a­tion the pri­or pro­fes­sion­al expe­ri­ence each appli­cant has. They also pro­vide start dates through­out the year to accom­mo­date busy schedules.

Degree: BA in Com­mu­ni­ca­tion Stud­ies
For­mat: Online — trans­fer up to 90 credits

Click to learn more about this accel­er­at­ed media com­mu­ni­ca­tions degree!

7. Regent University

Regent University’s online BA in Com­mu­ni­ca­tion Stud­ies stress­es hands-on learn­ing expe­ri­ences and easy access to high­ly qual­i­fied fac­ul­ty. Build­ing on the foun­da­tion­al ele­ments of the degree pro­gram, stu­dents can con­cen­trate in nine areas of spe­cial­iza­tion such as jour­nal­ism, tech­ni­cal writ­ing, the­ater, dig­i­tal com­mu­ni­ca­tion, adver­tis­ing, and pub­lic rela­tions, to name a few. This allows stu­dents to pur­sue par­tic­u­lar career paths. Incom­ing stu­dents can trans­fer up to 90 cred­its to their mass com­mu­ni­ca­tion degree online pro­gram for added speed.

Regent Uni­ver­si­ty is a Chris­t­ian-focused uni­ver­si­ty. All edu­ca­tion­al mate­ri­als are deliv­ered with a Chris­t­ian per­spec­tive. Their work is cen­tered on build­ing capa­ble pro­fes­sion­als that are armed with the skills and knowl­edge they need to suc­ceed in today’s mar­ket­place. Region­al accred­i­ta­tion and nation­al rank­ings for online pro­grams demon­strate the val­ue of their edu­ca­tion­al expe­ri­ences and the qual­i­ty of their fac­ul­ty. The flex­i­bil­i­ty of the online degree pro­gram is a plus for many students.

Degree: BA in Com­mu­ni­ca­tion Stud­ies
For­mat: Online — trans­fer 90 credits

Click to learn more about this accel­er­at­ed media com­mu­ni­ca­tions degree!

8. Franklin University

Franklin University’s online BS in Com­mu­ni­ca­tions is one of the most trans­fer-friend­ly mass com­mu­ni­ca­tion degree online pro­grams in the US. Not only can stu­dents trans­fer up to 94 cred­its of pre­vi­ous col­lege cours­es, but Franklin also uses equiv­a­len­cy exams to reduce cours­es stu­dents need to take. Franklin’s bachelor’s in com­mu­ni­ca­tions online pro­gram is explic­it­ly set up as a busi­ness pro­gram, so stu­dents learn com­mu­ni­ca­tions and media in the con­text of the busi­ness world — a strong job mar­ket advan­tage for Franklin graduates.

Franklin Uni­ver­si­ty has put work­ing adults at the cen­ter of their edu­ca­tion­al mis­sion since their begin­ning, way back in 1902, when it was found­ed with night class­es at a local YMCA. Today, Franklin has so thor­ough­ly embraced online edu­ca­tion that 80% of stu­dents take online class­es — even those that are main­ly tra­di­tion­al on-cam­pus stu­dents. Franklin uses per­son­al­ized edu­ca­tion and incor­po­rates gam­i­fi­ca­tion con­cepts to make online cours­es enjoy­able — and to help stu­dents retain more infor­ma­tion more efficiently.

Degree: BS in Com­mu­ni­ca­tions
For­mat: Online — trans­fer up to 94 credits

Click to learn more about this accel­er­at­ed media com­mu­ni­ca­tions degree!

9. Fisher College

Fish­er Logo Blue Vector

Fish­er College’s online BA in Com­mu­ni­ca­tions and Media Stud­ies is designed as an inter­dis­ci­pli­nary pro­gram — as a mod­ern media com­mu­ni­ca­tions pro­gram must be, with the com­plex­i­ties of mod­ern tech­nol­o­gy and a glob­al econ­o­my. Stu­dents learn tra­di­tion­al prin­ci­ples of jour­nal­ism and adver­tis­ing, as well as cut­ting-edge dig­i­tal and social media. Fish­er also accepts trans­fer cred­its gen­er­ous­ly, giv­ing work­ing pro­fes­sion­als and stu­dents with pre­vi­ous col­lege expe­ri­ence a jump ahead.

Fish­er Col­lege prides itself on stay­ing small — even in Boston, MA, the city with per­haps the high­est con­cen­tra­tion of elite uni­ver­si­ties in the US. No class has more than 30 stu­dents, and all fac­ul­ty mem­bers are expe­ri­enced in the field. Fish­er began as a busi­ness school in 1903, and the mass com­mu­ni­ca­tion degree online pro­gram is built on the com­mu­ni­ca­tion needs of busi­ness and indus­try. Grad­u­ates can expect the Fish­er name to take them far, whether they are in Boston or any­where else the media reaches.

Degree: BA in Com­mu­ni­ca­tion and Media Stud­ies
For­mat: Online — trans­fer up to 90 credits

10. Lynn University

Lynn University’s online BA in Com­mu­ni­ca­tion and Media degree pro­gram is built for work­ing adults who want to enhance their career in due time, at an afford­able cost. Not only does Lynn keep tuition low; stu­dents can also trans­fer up to 90 cred­its of pre­vi­ous col­lege cours­es, and earn as much as 30 cred­its for work and life expe­ri­ence. That means that busy work­ing pro­fes­sion­als of all kinds can earn a mass com­mu­ni­ca­tions degree online with­out a moun­tain of debt, or sac­ri­fic­ing years of their productivity.

Lynn Uni­ver­si­ty has been a part of the edu­ca­tion­al land­scape of Flori­da since 1962, when it was first found­ed by nuns from the Sacred Heart of Mary. Today, though, Lynn is known not for nuns (they sold the col­lege in 1970), but for its com­mit­ment to the needs of work­ing adults and oth­er non­tra­di­tion­al stu­dents in Flori­da and beyond. Lynn’s online pro­grams have been wide­ly rec­og­nized for qual­i­ty and val­ue, and every­thing about Lynn is opti­mized for the adult learner.

Degree: BA in Com­mu­ni­ca­tion and Media
For­mat: Online — trans­fer up to 90 — get 30 cred­its for experience

Click to learn more about this accel­er­at­ed media com­mu­ni­ca­tions degree!

Is Media Studies a Good Degree?

This depends on what kind of career you want to pur­sue. If you are deeply inter­est­ed in media com­mu­ni­ca­tion, then yes! The great thing about the media job mar­ket is that it is a broad field; many employ­ers will be look­ing to hire pro­fes­sion­als who are skilled at com­mu­ni­ca­tion or media usage. Hav­ing the knowl­edge and skillset to work with media will open your work life up to many career oppor­tu­ni­ties. How­ev­er, keep in mind that this is also a some­what com­pet­i­tive job mar­ket, as many oth­er grad­u­ates have majored in media studies.

In a media stud­ies pro­gram, the stu­dent will learn a great deal about the his­to­ry of mass com­mu­ni­ca­tion, dif­fer­ent forms of media, the devel­op­ment of media tech­nol­o­gy, the most effec­tive ways of com­mu­ni­ca­tion, and the effects that mass media has on peo­ple. This broad field cross­es into oth­er areas like cul­tur­al stud­ies, soci­ol­o­gy, social the­o­ry, art his­to­ry, film the­o­ry, lit­er­ary the­o­ry, phi­los­o­phy, and infor­ma­tion the­o­ry. In learn­ing about these spe­cial areas of inter­est, a media stud­ies major can devel­op vital com­mu­ni­ca­tion skills for future use.

Can I Get an Accelerated Communications Degree Online?

Yes. There are dif­fer­ent types of com­mu­ni­ca­tion degrees offered at var­i­ous schools, includ­ing online and accel­er­at­ed pro­grams. Some degree seek­ers are busy pro­fes­sion­als who would pre­fer to com­plete a pro­gram with­in a short amount of time. That is where an accel­er­at­ed edu­ca­tion comes in handy. In as short as eight weeks, you can earn an accel­er­at­ed com­mu­ni­ca­tions degree online.

To get an accel­er­at­ed bach­e­lor, you gen­er­al­ly need an asso­ciate degree or oth­er trans­fer­able col­lege cred­its to start. Your aca­d­e­m­ic advi­sor will help you set up your enroll­ment in a full-time pro­gram and get the cor­rect cred­it hours, apply for finan­cial aid, and under­stand your tuition rate.

Beyond gen­er­al edu­ca­tion, com­mon cours­es in this area include:

  • soci­ol­o­gy
  • psy­chol­o­gy
  • polit­i­cal science
  • media research
  • media the­o­ries
  • jour­nal­ism
  • film
  • art
  • lit­er­a­ture
  • social media
  • pub­lic speaking
  • mar­ket­ing
  • human resources
  • busi­ness communication
  • cor­po­rate communication
  • strate­gic communication
  • pro­fes­sion­al communication
  • orga­ni­za­tion­al communication
  • inter­per­son­al communication
  • effec­tive communication

and oth­er com­mu­ni­ca­tion cours­es. Any of these cours­es are tak­en to pre­pare stu­dents with com­pe­ten­cies like crit­i­cal think­ing for a career in media stud­ies or communication.

Can I Get a Job With an Online Mass Communication Degree?

Yes, as long as the degree is earned from an accred­it­ed school. Accred­i­ta­tion lets the employ­er know that the school is able to meet high-qual­i­ty stan­dards set by an orga­ni­za­tion. Media stud­ies is a large field that encom­pass­es these types of jobs in media: media plan­ner, social media man­ag­er, pub­lic rela­tions spe­cial­ist, web con­tent man­ag­er, copy­writer, tech­ni­cal writer, jour­nal­ist, video pro­duc­er, film pro­duc­er, tele­vi­sion pro­duc­er, adver­tis­er, mar­ket­ing spe­cial­ist, mar­ket researcher, and social media man­ag­er are just some mass com­mu­ni­ca­tion degree jobs you can find. If you are won­der­ing about the types of entry-lev­el jobs for com­mu­ni­ca­tion majors, you can become a pub­lic rela­tions assis­tant, an edi­to­r­i­al assis­tant, a social media spe­cial­ist, a brand ambas­sador, a dig­i­tal mar­keter, a com­mu­ni­ca­tions assis­tant, reporter, a fundrais­er or more.

Relat­ed Rank­ings:
25 Best Bach­e­lor’s in Media Com­mu­ni­ca­tions Degree Pro­grams
15 Best Online Media Com­mu­ni­ca­tions Degree Bach­e­lor’s Pro­grams
10 Most Afford­able Online Media Com­mu­ni­ca­tions Degree Bach­e­lor Programs