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Confident communications professional

Communication, BA

Overview

Communication is a core aspect of building a successful career in any industry around the world. Whether you’re speaking or writing, being able to convey thoughts, ideas, and objectives clearly and concisely is one of the most important skills a professional can possess. Not only will you gain broad theoretical knowledge, but you'll also get practical, hands-on experience that will help you implement what you learn in the classroom to real-world situations.

Our online Bachelor of Arts in Communication degree is designed to provide you with a well-rounded foundation for future success. We pride ourselves on preparing effective communicators, leaders, and advocates across industries.

The online BA program teaches practical skills you can use every day in your personal, professional and civic life. These skills include writing, speaking, building relationships, critical thinking, analysis, and teamwork skills. This skill set is valuable to both employers and graduate schools, as effectively expressing ideas is essential to success in the workplace and the classroom. You’ll also deepen your understanding of the political, social, cultural, global, and historical aspects of communication. The possibilities are endless!


Prepare for a career in areas including:

  • Advertising
  • Brand Management
  • Business
  • Digital media
  • Education
  • Event planning
  • Fundraising and development
  • Government
  • Healthcare
  • International relations
  • Journalism and media writing
  • Labor Relations
  • Leadership and governance
  • Lobbying
  • Marketing
  • Media relations
  • Nonprofit management
  • Public relations
  • Public service and government
  • Sales and customer service
  • Social activism
  • Social Media Management

Not only will you gain broad theoretical knowledge, but you’ll also get practical, hands-on experience that will help you implement what you learn in the classroom to real-world situations. This program will prepare you for a rewarding career in public relations, social media management, training, media creation, and more. The possibilities are endless!


Program Details

The online Bachelor’s in Communication features the ability to customize your degree based on your area of interest.

Applied Digital Media Studies (UCCS)

Applied Digital Media Studies focuses on the understanding of media, culture, and society as well as their interrelationships. In the required courses, you will explore theories and research dealing with the social and psychological effects of media and learn how to conduct research. You will gain an understanding of relevant media theories, develop important media skills, and apply what you have learned to specific areas of media studies, such as advertising and health communication. Exciting electives allow you to customize the program to your specific interests. By focusing on research, theory, and practice, the Applied Digital Media Studies track will prepare you to work in a variety of sectors and professions, including in the media industry as a content developer, consultant, or as part of a marketing team; with user experience firms as a researcher; and with government or international agencies, among many others. The track is also a perfect stepping stone for those who want to continue their education in graduate school.

Health Communication (CU Denver)

Health communication is a growing area with real-world impact. This pathway helps students to design, employ, and evaluate health messages across a wide variety of contexts from doctor-patient communication to online wellness messages. Whether you are interested in being a health content creator, a pharmaceutical representative, or patient advocate, this pathway provides a great foundation for anyone interested in a career in health and medicine. In conjunction with this pathway, we offer a certificate in health communication to further boost your resume and qualifications through coursework in designing health messages, social media for social change, and an experiential capstone.

Professional Communication in the Digital, Virtual World (UCCS)

The Professional Communication track focuses on leadership, organizational communication, and strategic communication in a rapidly changing virtual world. You will learn how leadership functions in today’s collaborative digital environment, gain an in-depth understanding of communication in teams, organizational culture, and training and consulting as well as the functions of social media in professional settings. Exciting and forward-looking electives such as crisis communication, emerging technologies, and managing virtual teams integrate these areas and treat diverse types of media and interaction. The Professional communication track will prepare you to work in a variety of sectors, fields, and occupations, including social media management, public relations, human resources, brand management, entrepreneurship, independent consulting, and many other professional settings.

Global & Intercultural Communication (CU Denver)

In an increasingly mobile and connected world, employees need to navigate complex international information systems, build multinational relationships, and create diverse and inclusive global businesses. In this pathway, you will learn the foundational knowledge and skills for communicating effectively in a global business environment. If you’re interested in travel, intercultural communication, or working for a global organization, this is the pathway for you! This pathway can help launch you into internships and careers related to international business and human resources, global public relations, international journalism, foreign service, security, international law and negotiation, media and entertainment, and any other industry with a multinational focus.

Other pathways:

Media & Cultural Studies

The media play a powerful role in how we communicate and how we perceive communication in a digital environment. The Media & Cultural Studies pathway examines how a broad range of communication technologies impact your cultural, personal, and professional lives. Whether you’re interested in a career in a media-related field or you want to learn how to be a more critical media consumer, this pathway will help you get there. While broadcast television, radio and print remain a key part of our media landscape, new media such as mobile telephony, video games, and Web-based platforms (blogs, social networking sites, podcasts, Wikis) offer new and exciting areas of study across contexts such public relations, advertising, political communication, and public advocacy.

Strategic Communication

Strategic communication involves creating and evaluating coordinated messaging within and across organizations. You will learn to move through the stages of strategic communication to create organizational plans for building trust and transparency, achieving stakeholder buy-in, and conveying a sense of mission and purpose to wider audiences in culturally sensitive ways. This skill set is useful for leaders across many industries, which is why we offer a 12-credit certificate in strategic communication.


Add a Minor in Communication or a Certificate

In addition to arranging the communication major coursework in pathways, CU offers a minor in communication and three certificate programs at the BA level and one at the MA level. If you're interested in specializing your degree further, you can choose to pair your major with a certificate in mediation, health communication, or strategic communication.

Health Communication Certificate (15 credit hours)

Every sector of the health care industry needs strong health communicators, from clinical practice to public health. The Undergraduate Certificate in Health Communication is for those who are interested in careers as health communicators and those whose careers require clear, accurate, culturally sensitive health communication. This certificate teaches the necessary knowledge and skills to create, implement, and assess health messages across a variety of contexts. Students with this certificate go on to advanced study related to a health-related career or they accept meaningful roles as health communicators or trainers. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts growth in this field in the coming decade.

Strategic Communication Certificate (12 credit hours)

Strategic Communication involves planning, research, publicity, promotion, and collaborative decision-making to help any organization’s ability to listen to, appreciate, and respond to its stakeholders in meaningful ways that align with the organization’s mission and vision. The undergraduate or graduate certificate in strategic communication is designed to provide students with the principles and theories to guide the work of public relations practitioners in commercial, public, and nonprofit contexts.

Mediation Certificate (12 credit hours)

Conflict is a routine part of life. Managed well, conflict can transform personal and professional relationships. Mediation involves using alternative dispute resolution to create favorable outcomes for parties in conflict. The undergraduate certificate is designed for communication majors or any student interested in developing creative, practical skills in conflict resolution. The courses in this certificate focus on strategies for managing conflict in personal, public, legal, political, governmental, and corporate contexts. From negotiating and bargaining to creating safe spaces for mediation, this certificate confers a wealth of skills that can serve you across many areas of work and life.

Unsure whether you’re interested in a fully online degree program? Maybe you’re more interested in just taking a couple of classes here or there online. No problem! We’re happy to help you design a hybrid degree program that allows you to take some classes on campus and others online.


Tuition and Fees

Investing in your future is a big decision. However, becoming a fully online student at the University of Colorado is a high-quality and affordable option for learners of all types. Tuition and fees are based largely on the degree program you enroll in.

The tuition amount assessed is determined based on which University of Colorado campus, school, or college is offering your degree program, as well as if it is at the undergrad or graduate level, and finally your resident status. Visit our tuition and financial aid page for more information.

Financial aid and scholarships are available for those who qualify.

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Career Outlook

Graduates with a Bachelor’s degree in Communication have a very wide range of career opportunities available to them. With skills that translate well to a variety of industries and careers, there are countless jobs available to these graduates.

Here are some of the top career opportunities that you could expect after graduation and their starting median annual salaries:

  • Social Media & Digital Design: $50k
  • HR Training & Professional Development: $100k
  • Political Analyst: $68k
  • International Brand & Communication Manager: $65k
  • Corporate Wellness Director: $85k
  • Media Writers: $61k
  • Public Relations Manager: $70k

Admissions

Admission requirements and deadlines vary based on the program. In addition, you will have different requirements depending on if you are a first-time student, a transfer student or an international student. 

Learn more about the admissions process by filling out the form above or contacting an Enrollment Navigator today.