Whether we're connecting with people in our personal lives, dealing with others in the workplace, speaking in public, or consuming media, communication is an integral part of our everyday lives. Communication degree programs help students learn about the theories that guide verbal and nonverbal exchange -- including workplace, interpersonal, intercultural, and media communication -- as well as practical applications for this knowledge. Thanks to the Digital Revolution, much of our communication today is dictated by technology -- a fact that degrees in the field have come to reflect. Many well-known universities now offer communication degree programs online, combining their on-campus curriculum with the latest advancements in learning technology and digital communication. Below are 10 schools that have embraced this new frontier:
Arizona State University: Arizona State University offers an online bachelor's degree in communication that emphasizes the application of communication theory in a number of common contexts. The core curriculum includes courses such as Introduction to Human Communication, which covers concepts that guide daily interactions and behaviors; Communication in Business and Professions, which explores how to effectively and professionally communicate in the workplace; and Gender and Communication, which compares the different ways men and women express themselves.
Colorado State University: The bachelor's degree program at Colorado State University gives students the knowledge they need to enhance their written and verbal communication skills, as well as evaluate the effectiveness of messages based on ethical and legal standards. Additionally, CSU's online program offers students the opportunity to choose an area of specialization, giving them the specific expertise they need to pursue a career in the field. These concentrations include business administration, finance, human resources and organizational development, criminal forensics, marketing, public administration, and project management.
CUNY School of Professional Studies: This school offers an online bachelor's degree in communication and media, which is an interdisciplinary program linking communication theory with different types of media. Students can expect to learn how culture influences the way people experience media, especially new mediums. Courses examine topics such as mass communication, which covers more traditional media such as broadcast and print journalism, advertising, and public relations; new media, which explores how to communicate on blogs, podcasts, and webisodes; and mass media ethics, which teaches students the ethical norms applied to messages in journalism, advertising, and public relations.
University of Southern California: The University of Southern California's Annenberg School of Communication and Journalism offers an online master's degree program in communication management designed to prepare students for the realities of communication-related professions. To that end, the program presents evidenced-based communication theories and connects them with best practices for the business world. USC allows students to work closely with their peers while taking classes such as communication management, online marketing, global communication and marketing, and communication research.
University of Minnesota Crookston: For students who want to pursue communication-related fields like corporate communications, public relations, media relations, speech writing, or technical writing, the University of Minnesota Crookston offers an online bachelor's degree that focuses on how messages are developed, created, and presented to an audience. Students in this program can expect to study subjects such as organizational communication, writing, public relations, and communication theory. In addition, students will have the opportunity to create a professional portfolio they can use when looking for employment after graduation.
University of North Dakota: The University of North Dakota offers an undergraduate degree in communication that allows students to learn about interpersonal communication, print journalism, media studies, advertising, and public relations. Courses in this online program cover topics such as communication technologies, the relationship between language and community, how our interpretations of messages influence the way we respond to them, and the role ethics plays in how we communicate in various contexts.
Gonzaga University: Gonzaga University's master's degree in communication and leadership focuses on topics such as leadership, communication theories, humanist theories, and how communication theory can be used to solve real-world problems. The online program includes courses in organizational communication, travel writing, media literacy, international and intercultural communication, and communication research.
John Hopkins University: John Hopkins University offers a master's degree in communication that emphasizes writing, digital technology, and communication strategies. In addition, online students can pursue a concentration in a specific area of communication. For example, the health communication major covers the use of communication in public health campaigns and during health crises; public and media relations teaches students the process of public relations campaigns from start to finish; and the digital communications specialty explores the use of digital communication tools in business and how to use these technologies effectively.
Indiana University East: Indiana University East offers a bachelor's degree completion program in communication studies designed to prepare students to use communication effectively in any workplace setting. Core curriculum of this online program includes courses in public speaking, business communication, interpersonal communication, new media, nonverbal communication, and telecommunications.
University of Denver: The University of Denver's online master's degree in organizational communication helps students learn about the fundamentals of communicating in the workplace. The program includes coursework in topics such as group communication, persuasion methods, intercultural communication, conflict resolution, and human communication theory. Graduates of this program might pursue careers as communications directors, marketing coordinators, corporate communications associates, account executives, events coordinators, or internal communication specialists.
Communication Online Degree, Arizona State University, http://asuonline.asu.edu/online-degree-programs/undergraduate/bachelor-science-communication, Accessed January 12, 2013
Online Bachelor of Science Degree in Communication, Colorado State University, http://csuglobal.edu/educational-programs/bachelor-degrees/communication/, Accessed January 12, 2013
Online Bachelor's Degree in Communication and Media (B.A.), CUNY School of Professional Studies, http://sps.cuny.edu/programs/ba_commedia, Accessed January 12, 2013
Master of Communication Management Online, The University of Southern California, http://communicationmgmt.usc.edu/, Accessed January 12, 2013
Communication, BS Online, University of Minnesota Crookston, http://www1.crk.umn.edu/academics/online/communication/, Accessed January 12, 2013
Bachelor of Arts in Communication, University of North Dakota, http://distance.und.edu/degree/?id=bacommunication, Accessed January 12, 2013
Master of Arts in Communication and Leadership Studies, Gonzaga University, http://www.gonzagaonline.com/online-masters-communication.asp, Accessed January 12, 2013
Master of Arts in Communication, Johns Hopkins University, http://advanced.jhu.edu/academics/graduate-degree-programs/communication/, Accessed January 12, 2013
B.A./B.S. in Communication Studies, Indiana University East, http://www.iue.edu/online/programs/communication.php, Accessed January 12, 2013
Organizational Communication (Master's), University of Denver, http://universitycollege.du.edu/comm/degree/masters/organizational-communication-online/degreeid/450, Accessed January 12, 2013