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Bachelor of Arts in Communication Online

Completion Time: Varies Credit Hours: 120 Tuition: $297.07 per credit hour

A communication degree can change your life.

Now The University of Texas of the Permian Basin—part of the prestigious UT System—makes it possible for you to earn a Bachelor of Arts in Communication completely online! Flexible and affordable, UTPB's online degree program is designed to help people just like you succeed.

Our online BA offers smart advantages!

  • Every course is 100% online
  • Tuition is affordable—just $297.07 per credit hour
  • Courses are only 8 weeks
  • Accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools
  • Choose from six convenient start dates

Develop real-world skills—right now.

The Bachelor of Arts in Communication is designed to provide students with a comprehensive overview of communication theories and the impact of modern media on businesses, societies and cultures around the world. Students who pursue a communication degree will explore modern media and society, rhetoric in Western thought, crisis communication and public messaging.

Learn from savvy professionals.

UTPB's online degree program is just as rigorous as our on-campus programs. Every online course is taught by the same respected UTPB faculty members who teach on campus. And just as important, they are committed to mentoring their students. In fact, in the National Survey of Student Engagement, 99 percent of UTPB seniors reported that their professors provided prompt feedback on their academic performance. And our online bachelor degree programs earn high marks from U.S. News & World Report — #3 among Texas public universities and in the nation's top 50 Best Online Bachelor's Degree Programs.

Apply your knowledge to a variety of professional fields.

Because communication is a broad discipline, graduates from our online degree program emerge with a strong skill set they can leverage across a broad range of professional careers—including journalism, politics, management, advertising, law, social services, medicine and more. With a communication degree, you'll feel more confident knowing that you've prepared yourself to succeed in a very competitive job market. Research shows that individuals with a bachelor's degree earn more and have a lower risk for unemployment than their less-educated peers.

Online Courses


For the Bachelor of Arts in Communication online program, students must complete 120 credit hours, including 42 hours of general education courses, 36 hours of communication core courses, 18 hours of minor courses, and 24 hours of electives. View a list of available general education courses.

Communication Core Courses

The Bachelor of Arts in Communication online requires a minimum of 36 hours of communication core courses. The following courses are required of all majors (21 hours). Students must take COMM 1318 or COMM 2333, COMM 2351 or COMM 3385, and COMM 4389 or COMM 4392.

An introductory course that surveys the history, development, and future directions of the field of communication. Equal emphasis is placed on understanding application of theory to everyday situations and learning introductory approaches to research.
This course enables students to analyze and practice communication in one-on-one relationships. Topics include problem solving, decision-making, working with diversity, information processing, understanding of self and others, and effective speaking and listening skills in interpersonal contexts.
Students are introduced to the relationship between modern media and their dynamic interaction with culture.
Explores theories of rhetoric ranging from ancient Greece to modern times. Students examine different concepts of how rhetoric is a tool for public power as well as its use to transmit common ideas in the Western intellectual heritage.
Introduction to communication in small groups. Emphasis is placed on the concept of leadership, effective participation and problem solving.
Introduction to measurement and analysis techniques used in communication fields. Web-based research and dataset analysis and statistical methods.
Survey of communication theory including approaches to understanding media influences on society and theories of human interaction.
Introduction to quantitative and qualitative research methods used in communication research.
Senior seminar in communication. Topics will vary according to class interests. Class may be repeated for credit when topic varies.
Participation in and analysis of applied communication in a professional context. Prerequisite: 15 credit hours of COMM.

Communication Elective Courses

For the 36 hours required in Communication, the student must complete 15 hours of elective COMM courses. At least 12 of those 15 hours should be at the 3000 level or higher. Students will follow a program of study suited to their individual goals in consultation with their faculty advisor. Elective choices include:

Practical activities across the sub-disciplines of the field of Communication.
A course in the history, theory and practice of public speaking with an emphasis placed upon the organization and delivery of informative and persuasive speeches. Further emphasis is given to the reduction of anxieties associated with public speaking. Fulfills general education core curriculum “Oral Communication” requirement.
This course enables students to analyze and practice communication in one-on-one relationships. Topics include problem solving, decision-making, working with diversity, information processing, understanding of self and others, and effective speaking and listening skills in interpersonal contexts.
Introduction to writing styles for different forms of media. Includes an introduction to journalistic practices and reporting skills.
An introduction to the basic elements of visual language and design as they apply to the use of a computer as a communication medium. Computer technologies used in creative expression will be presented.
Introduction to communication in small groups. Emphasis is placed on the concept of leadership, effective participation and problem solving.
Introduction to measurement and analysis techniques used in communication fields. Web-based research and dataset analysis and statistical methods.
This course is an introduction to public relations principles and practices. Students are introduced to the history and development of public relations as a profession over the years, to the range of responsibilities and functions that public relations practitioners assume in a variety of organizations, and to the significant issues and trends that shape and will continue to influence the practice of public relations in the future.
An exploration of how various research techniques used to identify public groups are translated in messages in various media.
The study and practice of communication strategies involved in preparing for and responding to crises. While a wide range of crises are considered, the course pays particular attention to corporate crises.
This course identifies the major areas of nonverbal communication and the current terminology used in the field. Relevant connections of nonverbal to other areas of communication will be presented.
The study and practice of preparing messages for various media. Specific topics and concentrations will vary. May be repeated for credit when content changes. Prerequisite: COMM 2311 or equivalent.
An exploration of the theoretical perspectives in understanding person-to-person communication. The course includes personal and professional perspectives. Prerequisite: COMM 1318 or permission of the instructor.
An exploration of the theoretical perspectives in understanding person-to-person communication. The course includes personal and professional perspectives.
A study of the application of communication principles to election campaigns, debates, governance and advertising with emphasis on both the historical and contemporary uses of mass media in the political process.
Introduction to quantitative and qualitative research methods used in communication research.
Undergraduate courses which will be offered only once or will be offered infrequently or which are being developed before a regular listing in the catalog.
An examination of the complex dynamics that drives messages in organizations. The course will focus on application of nonlinear dynamic approaches to human and mediated communication in an organizational environment.
An examination of the theory and practice of interactions among and between various cultural and sub-cultural groups. Emphasis will be placed on how the various cultural assumptions affect human symbolic interaction and relationship-building at the interpersonal and cultural levels.
Legal aspects of rights and responsibilities of the press, radio and television including libel, privilege, copyright and access to information. Prerequisite: COMM 2311 or equivalent.
A study of how communication functions in instructional settings with emphasis on student-teacher interaction. Includes techniques for assigning and evaluating oral presentations, dealing with communication apprehension, fostering effective listening and conducting discussions.
The economic and persuasive foundations of advertising and public relations are examined using case studies. Prerequisite: 9 credit hours of upper level COMM coursework.
This course takes an in-depth look at how theories of communication and group leadership support one another. Students learn to analyze and practice methods of leadership communication including creative thinking models, decision-making techniques and parliamentary procedure. Prerequisite: COMM 3340 or Permission of Instructor.
A detailed examination of the history and development of effective argument and persuasion. Emphasis will include theories of argument and their role in media and society. Prerequisite: COMM 3345 or permission of the instructor.
Research methods in communication including data gathering and analysis. Prerequisite: 15 credit hours of upper-level COMM coursework or permission of instructor.
Principles and practice of the analysis of rhetorical discourse. Students will compare systems of rhetorical criticism and will explore methodological issues and techniques for doing scholarly criticism. Prerequisite: 6 hours COMM coursework.
Studies in the history, theories and methodologies of rhetoric. Course may be repeated with change in topic.
Senior seminar in communication. Topics will vary according to class interests. Class may be repeated for credit when topic varies.
Advanced independent study or research (equivalent to senior-level course).
Participation in and analysis of applied communication in a professional context. Prerequisite: 15 credit hours of COMM.

Minor Option: Psychology

18 hours are required for this minor, including 12 hours of upper division courses. Choose from the following courses.

Foundation for the understanding of basic psychological principles affecting human behavior (A prerequisite to all other courses in psychology).
Measures of central tendency, variability, correlation and hypotheses testing, with emphasis on the application of statistical methods to research in the behavioral sciences and education. Prerequisite: must have fulfilled general education mathematics requirement.
Interrelationships between individuals and their social environment, considering social influences upon motivation, perception, behavior and development, and change of attitudes and opinion.
Variables involved in the development, maintenance and treatment of a variety of behavior disorders.
Examination of theories and research on biological, cognitive, social, emotional and personality factors that affect individuals from infancy through old age. Prerequisite: PSYC 1301.
This course will focus on psychological strengths and areas of personal growth among individuals, such as love, optimism, and self-efficacy.
Introduction to the planning and execution of psychological research.
Major factors affecting the development of psychology as science of behavior, with emphasis upon philosophical roots of major psychological concepts.
Neurophysiology and neuroanatomy. Variables that contribute to behavioral effects in the areas of sensation, perception, motivation and learning.
Pharmacologic basis of psychotropic drugs and their associated abuses. Theories of cause and treatment of abusers are reviewed.
Applications of psychological principles to industrial problems such as personnel selection and appraisal, employee motivation and satisfaction, and the influence of organizations on behavior.

Minor Option: Sociology

18 hours are required for this minor, including 12 hours of upper division courses. Choose from the following courses.

Students are introduced to the basic concepts and theories used to study the nature of social processes and the structure of society.
Measures of central tendency and dispersion, elementary probability theory, the binomial and chi-square distribution, tests of hypotheses and parameter estimation and simple correlation and regression. Emphasis is on the application of statistical methods to research in the social sciences.
This course involves the study of the development of sociological thought and perspectives through the examination of the ideas of classical and contemporary theorists; these may include Marx, Durkheim, Du Bois, Martineau, Parsons, Gramsci, or Lukacs among others. Substantive theories of social organization are examined.
Analyzes dramatic changes occurring in the work lives of Americans and considers the future of American workers within the global economy. Explores emerging labor markets and technology in shaping contemporary American work settings.
This course will consider the social consequences of the economic and environmental impact of energy choices in the U.S. and globally and how they shape societal norms and values. It will develop a critical understanding of the social attitudes, norms, values and behaviors toward energy consumption.
Focuses on theories of social inequality as applied to the exercise of power and large-scale social control. Issues of class, race and gender and other inequalities are considered in the U.S. and globally.
Relationship between political and social structures with emphasis on the concepts of power, ideology, elites, class, and politics.
Social and cultural factors associated with the definition, occurrence, and experience of health and illness. An examination of the social determinants that affect the etiology and distribution of illness and the social organization of the medical profession and the hospital.
The role of substance abuse in family violence, child rearing and marital discord. Various ways of intervening to moderate the effects of substance abuse in families will be discussed.
The course provides a comprehensive overview of social science research methods, with emphasis given to the concepts used in the conduct of research, measurement strategies, and research designs. This course includes a one-semester credit hour lab that focuses on the steps undertaken in the completion of a research paper. Required for all sociology majors.

Bachelor of Arts in Communication Degree Plan (.PDF)

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UTPB is ranked as the #3 Best Online Bachelor's Degree Program among Texas public universities by U.S. News & World Report.

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UTPB's Bachelor of Arts in Communication program has been ranked #3 Best Online Colleges - Communications for 2016 by Affordable Colleges Online.