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What Are the Different Types of Online Communication Degree Programs?

By G. Wiesen
Updated: May 17, 2024

Many online communication degree programs focus on a general curriculum in communications, often with a focus on business and professional applications. These programs can be designed and developed for students who wish to complete an undergraduate education in this field, those culminating in a bachelor's or associate's degree. There are also online communication degree programs that are intended for graduate students who have completed one program and wish to pursue additional education. Some curricula can also be designed to focus on other forms of communications, such as networking and similar technology classes that are intended for people interested in working with computer systems.

Online communication degree programs are typically available as undergraduate courses for students interested in receiving an education in this field. An Internet curriculum, for example, might be designed to grant a student an associate's degree in communications after about two years of coursework. There are also programs that provide students with the opportunity to receive a bachelor's degree after about four years of classes. These types of programs are quite popular, as the online setting allows students to choose classes and attend them when they are available.

There are also online communication degree programs designed for those students who have already completed an undergraduate program and who wish to proceed with additional education. This typically culminates in a master's degree, since a doctorate usually requires more work than is possible through an Internet curriculum. The postgraduate work required in one of these online communication degree programs often includes a great deal of research and the creation of a thesis or dissertation that must be both presented and defended. There are not many online programs that award a student with a postgraduate degree, however, so this type of curriculum may be difficult to find.

Specific fields of research or alternative types of communications may be the focus of other programs, especially those at technical or vocational schools. Network communications, for example, often involve different computer systems and the creation of networks through which they are able to share data and communicate. These types of online communication degree programs do not focus on human interactions and expressions, but teach data transmission protocols and the technology used to allow different electrical devices to communicate. Curricula may also combine these two disciplines, focusing on how changes in technology have altered the ways in which people talk and express themselves.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
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