The 7 Best Colleges for Communication

Learn how to communicate from the best schools across the nation

Communications degrees can be very helpful by giving students the skills they need to effectively communicate complex ideas to others. 

If you’re going to university soon and are extroverted, excited to connect with people, or just don’t know what to study, a communications major might just be for you. Communications degrees are not quite as well known as degrees like engineering, but they are a great option for those looking to pursue a career in liberal arts or humanities. 

Take a look at this post for the best colleges for communications degrees and what you can do with one when you have it! 

How are schools ranked? 

Everyone is looking for something a little different when it comes to the college they attend. However, with this list, we compiled a set of schools that will likely appeal to most first-time college students. These universities are relatively affordable, have flexibility in their programs, have on-campus advancement opportunities whether through academics or career options, and most importantly, possess great communication degree programs.

While there are plenty of amazing universities out there to choose from, we hope that you’ll be able to find some of the best colleges for communications majors on this list! 

Why are Communications majors important? 

Have you ever struggled to connect with others? Have you had a hard time making your point in a presentation or were unsure how to lead a group project? If so, a communications degree can help. 

Communications majors seek to understand the ins and outs of how to communicate ideas to each other to form better and more inclusive societies. Majors in this discipline learn about media, leadership, networking, and so much more. 

Communications majors are needed to help illustrate complex ideas and problems so that we can all have a better understanding of high-level concepts and issues. Sound like something you’re interested in? Then a communications major might be the perfect fit for you.  

Two people looking at a computer screen
Communications majors can succeed in a variety of different fields.

What do Communications majors do? 

Because the study of communications is so broad, as opposed to being a specialized field like computer engineering for example, communications majors often find themselves going in a wide variety of different directions. That makes sense given that having good communication skills is something that is important in these fields.

Majors in this field usually go on to do careers in: 

  • Marketing 
  • Public relations
  • Sales 
  • Political consulting
  • Law 
  • Speechwriting
  • Public policy

With a communications degree, you will learn how to effectively get your point across and interact with a diverse group of people. Your university of choice will help you learn how to draft press releases, mitigate arguments, and much, much more in an effort to give you the skills you’ll need to succeed with your degree. 

But getting those skills requires picking a great institution to study at first. So which schools are the best for communications degrees to get that A+ education? Read on to find out! 

The Best Colleges for Communications 

1. Emerson College 

With one of the oldest schools of communication in the entire country, Emerson College most certainly deserves a spot on this list. One of the best colleges for communication degrees, Emerson’s program includes an impressive interdisciplinary education as well as opportunities to get involved within the university’s home base in Boston, as well as abroad. 

A neat aspect of Emerson College is that they have multiple campuses across the United States and locations in different countries. So for students looking to see and experience as much as possible during their time in college, Emerson might be a great option for your communication studies. After all, experiencing different places and meeting new people is a core element of communication studies. 

2. The Ohio State University 

At one of the largest and most well-known universities in the nation, you can be sure to get a communications degree that counts. The Ohio State University has a communications degree that offers students a great level of flexibility in their education. All communications students have the option of specializing in one of three areas within the major of communications.

With options to specialize in Communication Analysis and Engagement, Communication Technology, and Strategic Communication, The Ohio State University is one of the best colleges for communications because it offers specific concentration—something that is uncommon in most degree programs across the country. 

3. Northwestern University 

One of the more prestigious schools on this list, Northwestern University is a school that encourages cross-training in their communications degree. What does this mean? 

In their communications program, Northwestern University helps students gain real-world communication experience by encouraging participation in the school’s Debate Society and Dean’s Advisory Council. 

In addition to communications schoolwork that includes classes like “Theories of Persuasion,” students will leave this school with a wealth of knowledge and experience regarding communications. 

4. Wake Forest University 

For students looking for a smaller college experience, Wake Forest University might be a great fit for your communications degree. In addition to its gorgeous campus located in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, Wake Forest offers a communications degree that allows students to concentrate in areas such as Public Advocacy, Media Studies, and Integrated Communication Strategies. 

If you’re a student still on the fence about what exactly you want to do with your degree, Wake Forest University could be one of the best colleges for communications majors to pin down what direction they want to go in after graduation. 

Attending a university that has different areas of communications concentrations can help you make the most of your degree. 

5. University of Southern California

The University of Southern California is another institution on this list with a great reputation and communications degree offering. While their program is not that different from other schools, USC will help you move forward in your career in communications

USC students have interned at a variety of amazing media and journalism companies such as Disney, CBS Television Distribution, and 20th Century Fox. While the program can’t get you the job, it can certainly help you connect with former students and professionals who have been where you want to go. Networking is key, and a communications degree from USC will teach you that both inside and outside of the degree. 

6. University of Texas at Austin 

At the University of Texas at Austin, students have a lot of options to choose from when it comes to studying communications. Similar to The Ohio State University and Wake Forest University, students will choose one of three tracks to concentrate in once they declare their major. These tracks include Political Communication, Interpersonal Communication, and Corporate Communication. 

Corporate Communication is a communications track that is not often seen within typical communications degrees, and it is this element that helps make the University of Texas at Austin’s communications degree different from the rest. 

Students who choose a corporate communications track will be well on their way to learning how to succeed in careers within the nonprofit, government, and of course, corporate sectors. 

Communication is an essential element of work. 

8. University of Michigan, Ann Arbor

If you’re looking for a more dynamic communications degree, then the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor is the perfect place for you. Offering a bachelor's degree in Communications and Media, the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor really packs a punch in its program. 

Declaring a Communications and Media degree at the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor is similar to declaring a communications degree at many other schools: you’ll be equipped with great interpersonal skills, develop a broader understanding of how media works, and be able to meaningfully contribute to the conversation surrounding important current events. 

But what sets the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor apart from other schools on this list is that they encourage intense, real-world application of your skills you learn in class. The university offers what they call a “Shadowship Program” for juniors and seniors within the major to help them network. These shadowships are usually connected with alumni of the school and take the form of short internships over the summer or fall. 

Opportunities like this are few and far between at most schools that don’t make work experience as much of a priority. At the University of Michigan, you’ll be putting your communications degree to good use before you even walk across the graduation stage. 

7. Arizona State University 

Arizona State University is unique in that it gives students two options when pursuing a communications degree. Students get the option of either choosing an accelerated BS in Communications to be completed in five years alongside a master’s degree in the fourth year of study or a BA in Communications to be completed in the standard four-year time period. 

Not many schools have this option, and what’s even better is that for those not keen on completing their degree in person, ASU offers their communications degree online as well.

While not all universities are created equally, there are so many wonderful places to study for a communications degree. Some of the best colleges for a communications degree are the ones that offer unique programs that allow students to truly shine—and others contain programs that help students specialize their education. Whatever school you choose for a communications degree will help you become a better communicator not just in your own life but in the lives of others as well. 

Sophia Carlisle
Sophia Carlisle is a professional writer.
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