An Online Communication Studies Bachelor's Degree Completion Program

The online delivery of the Communication Studies Bachelor of Arts degree is a liberal arts program tied to the fundamental process of communication that drives our personal, social and professional lives. In this convenient degree completion program, you will learn the elements of message exchange across a variety of interactions and contexts.

Communication skills are consistently ranked as one of the top skills sought by employers in every field and profession. You will gain the skills to improve both your own communication and the communication outcomes of groups and organizations.

You'll Develop Applicable Skills in...

  • Communication theory
  • Public speaking and media
  • Communication research and inquiry
  • Leadership, persuasion and argumentation
  • Interpersonal, family and intercultural communication
  • Small group and organizational communication
  • A variety of elective courses are available. See the Courses of Study tab below.

Students are encouraged to complete internships for up to six hours of credit, which will help you apply communication theory to practical applications in your current job or use internships to pursue new opportunities.

The Benefit of a Bachelor's Degree

Why finish your degree? Besides the knowledge and skills you'll gain, you will also open the door to better employment opportunities and earnings. Based on final 2017 earnings data, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics found that – compared to those who have only completed some college credit – those with a bachelor's degree...

  • Earned 51% more money each week ($1,173 compared to $774).
  • Had a lower unemployment rate (2.5% compared to 4%).

Visit the full Bureau of Labor Statistics article to view the full interactive charts for tearnings and unemployment data by education level.

Chart of 2017 median weekly earning by level of education, from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Career Options

Because communication skills are vital in almost any career, our Communication Studies majors and minors pursue a wide range of professional paths upon graduation. These are just a few of the possibilities:

  • Community Relations Practitioner
  • Motivational Speaker/Trainer
  • Communication Consultant
  • Sales and Customer Service Professional
  • Event Planner
  • Lobbyist
  • Human Resources Professional

A Liberal Arts Program Designed for Adult Learners

This online bachelor's degree completion program is designed for busy adults of any age who need to fit their college completion into busy lives, no matter where they live.

  • Open Entry: You can begin the program any term (Fall, Interim, Spring or Summer) and even start in the middle of a term because of our 6 and 8-week course options.
  • Fast Progress That Won't Overwhelm You: The program is designed to allow for 12 credits to be taken each term while only taking 2 courses at one time (you can take more credits each term if your situation allows).
  • Quality Brought to You Online: This Communication Studies Bachelor of Arts degree is the same as our on-campus program.
  • Transferable Skills: A broad liberal arts degree is highly valued by employers because it prepares you with communication and research skills that can be applied to any industry, providing you with more career options.

Checkmark over books icon to highlight the program details tabs below

The Communication Studies online program is designed to take two years for those with approximately 60 transferable credit hours. Using a mix of your transfer credit and UNC coursework, you will be required to complete minimum requirements for:

  • The Communication Studies major;
  • Your chosen minor (see below); and
  • A UNC Bachelor of Arts degree (including the Liberal Arts Core).

Flexible Coursework

With our innovative course scheduling, you can earn 12 credits of Communication Studies coursework per term while only taking two courses at a time (you can take more or less credits each term if you choose).

Online Course Tutorial

If you do not have recent experience taking classes online, you will have the chance to complete our online course tutorial. This tutorial will help you learn our Canvas course platform, and prepare you to succeed in your online courses!

Fall and Spring Semesters

  • You will have up to five 16-week courses available to choose from each term...
  • Plus three sequential 6-week courses offered (beginning one week before, and ending one week after, the traditional semester).

Here is an example fall and spring schedule if you take one semester-length course and all three 6-week courses. You can take 12 credits each term and only be responsible for two courses at a time.
The fall and spring semesters are 16-weeks long. One course is offered as a full-semester course and then three courses are offered sequentially for 6-weeks each, lasting 18 weeks total, with the first starting one week before the semester and the last ending one week after the semester ends.

Summer Sessions

  • Multiple courses are offered in the summer term in the two 6-weeks sessions. If you take two 3-credit hour courses each session you will earn 12 credits in the summer term.
  • You can also take internship credits (COMM 492) each Summer.

Interim Session

Communication Studies online courses are also offered during UNC's Interim Session, which runs Dec-January between the Fall and Spring semesters. These are quick, intensive courses. Whether you choose to take interim courses may depend on whether you are taking the third 6-week course in Fall and/or the first 6-week course in Spring.


Required Major Coursework (36 Credit Hours)

To see the upcoming courses, visit this program's Current Students page.

Take All of the Following (21 Credit Hours)

* Please note that COMM 100 and 101 are not offered online as part of this program, but we work with students to suggest available options.

Six Hours of Internship and/or Electives (6 Credit Hours)

We encourage students to take up to six credit hours of internship via COMM 492 Undergraduate Internship but you can also fulfill this requirement with additional COMM prefix electives.

COMM Electives (9+ Credit Hours)

Course Mix Requirements

  • Complete a minimum of 18 semester credits in 300- and 400-level COMM courses, with a minimum of 6 semester credits at the 400-level.
  • A maximum of 3 semester credits of credits from COMM 422 and six credits of COMM 492 may count toward the major requirements.

Required Minor (18 Credit Hours)

There are many options for completing this minor requirement:

  1. Courses from another UNC Extended Campus online program, including...
  2. Courses transferred in from your previous coursework (perhaps from a previous major).
  3. Some students may have the minor requirement waived if they have completed an appropriate selection of previous coursework. Examples include...
    • 27 or more credit hours of coursework in a particular topic (even if that topic does not appear in the UNC minors list).
    • Two separate undergraduate certificates (that are identified on college transcripts).

Additional Credits Required for UNC Graduation

  • 120 total credit hours are required for graduation from this UNC program. For full details, see the official program listing in the UNC Undergraduate Catalog.
  • Many of these credits may come from the courses you transfer as you apply. See the Eligibility & Transfer Credit tab for details about transferring your previous college credit.

Liberal Arts Core (LAC) Coursework

UNC requires a set of courses intended to provide a core of liberal arts knowledge and skills that will make you a continual learner across disciplines. Many of these courses will hopefully be fulfilled from your transferred credit.

View the current LAC requirements and policies. The lists of course requirements by category are available at the bottom of the page.

Waiver of Liberal Arts Core Requirements

Individuals with an Associate of Arts, Associate of Science, or a Bachelor’s degree (regardless of date of completion) from a regionally accredited public institution in the State of Colorado, will have their Liberal Arts Core requirements waived.

Individuals with an out-of-state or private institution degree will qualify for a waiver of Liberal Arts Core requirements if they have successfully completed at least one course in each of the following areas: Communication (Area 1), Mathematics (Area 2), Arts & Humanities (Area 3), History (Area 4), Social & Behavioral Sciences (Area 5), and Physical & Life Sciences (Area 6). If these requirements are not met, the student will need to fulfill the requirements of the Liberal Arts Core in full by the time of their UNC graduation.

Elective Credits

The remainder of your 120 total credit hours will be comprised of elective credits you take at UNC or elsewhere.

Taking LAC or Elective Courses Online

If you are missing any of this coursework:

— Jump Back "Up" to the Program Information Tabs 

Get Started/Apply

Additional Resources