Communication

Bachelor of arts University of Missouri-Columbia
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Bachelor of arts

Transform into an organizational asset with an online bachelor of arts in communication from the University of Missouri-Columbia (Mizzou).

Verbal and nonverbal to written forms of communication shape and influence our world: the messages we receive, the brands we recognize and the way we interact in a variety of group settings. Mizzou’s fully online program presents a comprehensive perspective of communication theories, strategies and applications. You’ll further hone your knowledge with a specialization in interpersonal, mediated, organizational or political communications.

Top-ranked programs in two categories

Mizzou’s online bachelor's programs ranked among the nation’s finest in two U.S. News & World Report 2022 categories:

Best Online Programs U.S. News and World Report Bachelor's 2022 Badge.
Best Online Programs U.S. News and World Report Veterans Bachelor's 2022 Badge.

Quick facts

Official name

Bachelor of arts in communication

Campus

University of Missouri-Columbia

Program type

Bachelor's degree

Academic home

College of Arts & Science | Department of Communication

Delivery mode

100% online

Accreditation

Higher Learning Commission

Freshman credit hours

120

Freshman estimated cost

$51,180.00

Transfer credit hours

60

Transfer estimated cost

$25,590.00

*This cost is for illustrative purposes only. Your hours and costs will differ, depending on your transfer hours, your course choices and your academic progress. See more about tuition and financial aid.

Why earn an online bachelor’s in communication?

Think about all the elements going into an organization. Communication plays an integral part at multiple levels: crafting a brand, reaching out to the community, broadcasting internal and external messages, encouraging collaboration between teams and resolving conflicts.

Mizzou’s program harnesses your curiosity in the written and spoken word, media and group dynamics to elevate your skills for today’s rapidly-paced and evolving workplace, touching on both traditional methods and current digital tools. Reflecting this, the Department of Communication embraces diversity of experiences, thought and perspective to nurture your academic progress and foster your career success. Understand what to expect as a student in the online bachelor’s in communication program: 

  • Gain a broad range of skills to become a communications expert, including writing and evaluating messages for a variety of audiences and contexts, developing more convincing arguments and seeing written and verbal forms as tools of advocacy. 
  • Become familiar with applied and theoretical approaches to media, social media and communication in interpersonal, organizational, community and political contexts.
  • Understand how to influence individual, organizational and public attitudes and behavior to achieve desired outcomes.
  • Experience a program that blends media, organizational and interpersonal communication issues in ways that reflect the reality of work in the field of communication.
  • Explore how communications can define, elevate and establish a brand in terms of recognition and connecting with consumers.
  • See what goes into developing a communications strategy for an organization, from web presence to marketing collateral to internal messaging.
  • Cultivate leadership, creative, critical-thinking and problem-solving skills. 
  • Discover how communications can influence others, from the workplace to the marketplace to the surrounding community.
  • Get insights from faculty and staff involved in active communications research.
Wood blocks depicting various communication career paths.

Career prospects

Across a number of fields, employers seek out individuals with effective, clear and adaptable communication skills. The online bachelor’s in communication equips you for these roles with an understanding of:

  • How to communicate through a range of media and to multiple audiences
  • Real-world applications of communication theories
  • Key communication tools and channels
  • Digital and traditional communication strategies
  • Project management
  • Budgeting
  • Customer service
  • Organizational and interpersonal dynamics
  • Teamwork and collaboration
Burning Glass Technologies. 2021. Salary numbers and employment growth numbers are based on models that consider advertised job posting salary, Bureau of Labor Statistics data and other proprietary and public sources of information for multiple occupations.
4.94%
Employment growth
Burning Glass Technologies. 2021. Salary numbers and employment growth numbers are based on models that consider advertised job posting salary, Bureau of Labor Statistics data and other proprietary and public sources of information for multiple occupations.
$60,000
Median salary

The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects 14% growth across media and communication occupations from 2020 to 2030. The online bachelor of arts in communication helps you enter this vast field or advance in your current organization. Opportunities exist in:

  • Advertising
  • Copywriting
  • Marketing
  • Sales
  • Digital communication
  • Social media
  • Promotions

Program structure

Students starting an online bachelor’s in communication should expect to earn 120 total credit hours between their major (30 to 52 credit hours) and general education requirements. 

For the program, core courses covering written and spoken communication essentials make up nine credit hours. These are joined by a specialization or area of focus (12 credit hours). Students then explore two additional areas of focus with one course each. 

Areas of focus include:

Interpersonal communication: Courses focus on communication topics involving family dynamics and personal relationships.

Mediated communication: Understand how to craft messages and content via multiple media types and to a spectrum of audiences. Along with research and theories, you’ll study the effects of media and learn digital production techniques.

Organizational communication: Organizations, from nonprofits and government to for-profit entities, function through communication. Understand messaging involved in group dynamics, encouraging team building and conflict management. 

Political communication: Communication helps spread messages, from crafting political campaigns to championing new initiatives to advocacy and activism among communities and social movements. Learn how to communicate to achieve objectives concerning visibility, policy and societal change. 

Along with all courses, online bachelor’s in communication students are encouraged to practice their skills and grow their experience with an internship.

Core course work covers

All online bachelor of arts in communication students take courses in:

  • The fundamentals of oral communication and public speaking
  • Essential communication principles and theories
  • Communication in business and other professional settings

Review the structure and all course descriptions for the online bachelor’s in communication

Delivery

100% online

Calendar system

Semester-based

Typical program length

Varies

Typical course load

Varies if full time or part time

Accreditation

The University of Missouri is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, one of six regional institutional accreditors in the United States.

Faculty spotlight

Christopher Josey

Dr. Josey’s primary area of research resides at the intersection of new technology, media effects and media stereotyping. His work examines how persons of color are framed stereotypically in Internet news and the effects that such portrayals have on media consumers.

Christopher Josey
Assistant Teaching Professor
Kevin Hales

 

Kevin Hales is an internationally respected public scholar who focuses on issues of race, social justice, diversity, inclusion, conflict and communication across cultures. Dr. Hales is a firm believer in fostering research projects that include collaborations with traditional intellectuals in marginalized communities. Some of his partnerships are with scholars in the U.S. and abroad in Nigeria, Cameroon, Honduras and Belize.

During his career, Dr. Hales has received research funds from the University of Missouri-Columbia, the J. William Fulbright Scholar Program and the United States Department of State/Bureau of African Affairs, among other institutions. He has given lectures as a visiting scholar and researcher at several universities. He is involved in a Rural Scholars Program and his research focuses on having conversations about social justice and inclusion with African-descended farmers.

He earned a Ph.D. and master's in communication studies and a master's in history.

 

Kevin Hales
Visiting Assistant Professor

Learn more about this program

This program is administered by the Department of Communication