15 Best Public Relation Graduate Programs In 2020

These days, Individuals, companies, and firms seek professionals with skills to keep them up with day-to-day communication, navigate through a crisis, or just help uphold their reputations. 

Because of this high demand, a lot of people are considering taking an advanced degree in public relations.

If you’re a good communicator, then you are certainly an ideal candidate for a Master’s or doctoral degree in Public Relations.

You don’t have to worry about how to get started, we have put together the necessary information that will guide you on your journey to becoming an expertise in this profession.

Also, we will connect you with the best public relations programs available in 2020. You can select the option that best fits your demand. The table below will help you navigate the options.

What Is Public Relation?

Public relations PR is the practice of managing communication between an individual or an organization (such as a business, government agency, or a nonprofit organization) and the public.

Public relations professionals are responsible for upholding and, in many cases, shaping the outward image of a client or organization, build the brand, and minimize the effect of negative publicity.

In top companies and organizations, these professionals can take up a specialized role by utilizing modern methods to engage a large-scale dialog.

examples of public relations are ;

  • Investor Relations
  • Government Relations
  • Community Relations
  • Media Relations
  • Media Production
  • Customer Relations
  • Marketing Communications
  • Influencers

Why Public Relation Graduate Degree

Public relations is an academic area in which individuals study how clients seek assistance to build their reputation or improving the public’s perception of them through any number of communicative channels.

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Everyone needs a good PR person; someone who will be the first line of defense when questions or concerns arise. By acquiring a master’s or doctoral degree in public relations, you will enhance your skill and this will enable you to handle the bigger tasks more efficiently.

when it comes to public relations, each school has a different flair to their curriculum. Therefore, before you take up any program, check for the following factors;

  • Accreditations
  • A solid foundation in communication (both written and digital) and content building
  • Core classes in public relations theory and research
  • Elective options that are available.

How Long Does It Take To Complete A Graduate Program In Public Relations?

The length or duration of public relations graduate programs varies according to schools. A typical master’s in public relations consists of 36 credits; however, some curricula include as many as 54 credits while others may take up to 18 months for full-time students and three to five years for part-time students.

How Much Does It Cost To Get A Graduate Degree In Public Relations?

The fees and tuition associated with earning a graduate degree in public relations vary quite a bit. The factors that determine cost include the specific institution and number of programs you are studying in, as well as your country and length of study.

Though costs vary from program to program and school to school, most master’s in public relations programs cost between $10,000 and $50,000.

What Are The Requirements For Master Degree In Public Relations?

There are certain criteria you have to meet before you can take up an advanced degree in public relations. Most schools require an application form, transcripts, a minimum GPA, and letters of recommendation.

Some schools also require standardized test scores and professional work experience. However, it may be impossible to enroll in a master’s or doctorial degree in this field if you do not meet the following pre-requisite.

Earn A Bachelor’s Degree

 A bachelor’s degree is the entry-level into the public relations profession. You have to complete a bachelor’s in this field or degree in a related field before they can apply for a master’s program.

In cases where a bachelor’s degree is not obtainable, prior coursework in PR can often help an applicant’s chances.

In addition, most master’s programs require you to have a minimum undergraduate GPA of 3.0. However, students with lower GPAs can sometimes offset this requirement with exceptional GRE scores or work experience.

Get A Professional Experience

Many Public Relation programs do not require you to have any professional experience. However, several online options require a year or two of work history.

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What Are The Best Public Relations Graduate Programs In 2020?

In order to advertise yourself for upper-level promotions in today’s media industry, you have to improve your skills by enrolling in a higher degree.

However, there are many advanced qualifications you can select from but a graduate degree in public relations from a reputable institution will do a lot better. 

Many schools offer MA and doctoral degrees in the above-mentioned course but not all are worth it.

That is why we have carefully selected the following graduate programs based on the quality and range of courses provided, as well as school awards, rankings, and reputation.

We got our data from reliable sources, testimonials, interviews, and also by contacting individual schools. Below is the list of the schools, you will have to read further to get information on the various programs offered, tuition info, and program options for these schools.

  • Georgetown University
  • Syracuse University
  • New York University 
  • University of Georgia Athens
  • George Washington University
  • Boston University 
  • Coventry University
  • Full Sail University
  • Hofstra University
  • Western New England University
  • Ball State University
  • Seton Hall University
  • Michigan State University
  • University of Miami
  • University of Denver

#1 Georgetown University

Georgetown University (GU) is a top-ranked private research university. The school offers a Master’s in Public Relations & Corporate Communications. The program features over 30 credits the course of with the following key concepts;

  • Communications Research
  • Digital Crisis Management
  • Media Relations
  • Employee Engagement and Internal Communications

The public relations graduate program at GU provides students with skills essential for career growth, including integral research, planning, implementation, and reputation management for organizations of all sizes.

#2 Syracuse University

Syracuse University (SU) is accredited and listed among the top-ranked schools in the U.S. 

SU features an M.A. in Public Relations that most students complete in about 13 months. Courseworks covers the theory, concepts, processes, and practices of public relations (PR). The tuition is 58,748 USD.

At the end of the program, you will acquire skills in areas like Computational Public Relations, Digital, Interactive and Converged Communication that will help you to become an expert in your field.

#3 New York University 

New York University (NYU) is a private university, founded in 1831. NYU offers M.S. in Public Relations and Corporate Communication program that helps graduate to develop a set of core skills needed in government or nonprofit work.

The program consists of 42 credit hours. Courseworks covers topics including Public Affairs, Crisis Communication, Investor Relations, and Public Relations Consulting.

#4 University of Georgia Athens

The University of Georgia Athens offers a Masters in Public relations through the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication.

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The College of Journalism has a wide range of centers and organizations to provide students with theoretical knowledge and practical competencies in the areas of specific aspects of communication of organizations and their external and internal image.

Coursework covers key concepts in Advertising, Mass Media Studies, and Emerging Media.

#5 George Washington University

George Washington University (GWU) offers MA programs in public relations through the Graduate School of Political Management. Classes are scheduled both online and on-campus for working-class students who may prefer distance learning.

Courses in this program feature lessons on Integrated Marketing Communications, Multicultural Marketing, Nonprofit & Association Communications Strategies, and Multicultural Marketing.

#6 Boston University 

Boston University features a three-semester M.S. in Public Relations in public relations through the College of Communication offers.

The program is designed to explore the role of PR counsel in commercial and not-for-profit organizations. Coursework features topics in Political Campaigning, Global Marketing Communication, Advanced Writing for Media Professionals, and Political Campaigning.

#7 Coventry University

If you’re interested in an advanced degree that will lead to a career in the media industry worldwide, consider a public relations graduate program at Coventry University.

The school offers a one year program with tuition of 16,491 EUR per year. Course work features the following topics;

  • Global Media and Communication
  • Multiplatform Journalism Practice 
  • Journalism Law and Ethics
  • Specialist Professional Practice
  • Specialist of Journalism Research and Analysis

Admission requirements include a good undergraduate degree in any field – with a demonstration of interest in people and events and also proficiency in English.

#8 Full Sail University

Full Sail University offers a Master of Arts degree in Public Relations program. The school features both the campus and online degree programs designed to provide students with a thorough understanding of both traditional and new social tools and communication channels. 

The program is approved by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges and features the following specialized courses;

  • Social Media Metrics and ROI
  •  Public Relations in a Digital World
  •  Reputation Management
  •  The Online Media Room
  •  Consumer Research Analysis

#9 Hofstra University

Hofstra University is s private institution founded in 1939. The school is accredited and approved by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools and The Higher Learning Commission to offer degree programs.

BSU offers an M.A. in Public Relations. Masters classes at Hofstra are offered in two different formats: weeknight classes and Saturday classes with 36 credits of coursework.

The program features theoretical and applied communications. The course curriculum focuses on Reputation Management and Crisis Public Relations, Business Essentials and Corporate Public Relations, International and Intercultural Public Relations, Digital Communication.

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#10 Western New England University

Western New England University(WNEU) is a private institution that is known for excellence in teaching and commitment to service.

WNEU is approved by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges, Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges.

The school awards a Master of Arts in Communication with Public Relations. The program features a 30-credit curriculum course load that can be completed in 15 months. Learning is conducted exclusively online to better fit the schedule of the working class students. 

The program focuses on the core principles of public relations, with opportunities for students to explore specific industry interests through their coursework.

#11 Ball State University

Ball State University(BSU) is a global research university recognized for world-class arts and technology programs. Founded in 1918. Accredited by North Central Association of Colleges and Schools and The Higher Learning Commission.

BSU offers a master of arts in public relations. The program is certified in the nation by the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA), the largest professional organization serving the field of public relations. 

Students can pursue the program on-campus or through a blend of both online and on campus. Coursework covers topics in Journalism and Communication Research Methods, Public Relations Management, Public Relations Case Studies, Public Relations Campaigns, and Public Relations Evaluation Techniques. 

#12 Seton Hall University

If you are seeking to acquire the leadership qualities needed to succeed in a global marketplace, Seton Hall University(SHU) is the right place for you.

SHU is accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools, Middle States Commission on Higher Education, and offers a unique two-year MA in Public relations. The program aims to cultivate students’ passions while enhancing their leadership skills.

The MA course curriculum covers key concept in Global Perspectives, Reputation Management, Public Relations Research and Reporting.

In addition to core courses of study, there is a unique portfolio course set up assists students in transitioning from graduate studies to an employment opportunity. The average cost per credit is $1,304.

#13 Michigan State University

Michigan State University(MSU) awards a Master of Arts in Public Relations through the College of Communication Arts and Sciences.

The doctoral program at MSU provides both theoretical and practical concepts, and practical skills in the major areas of Event Conception and Implementation, Risk Management, Client Service and Venue, and Project Management.

Coursework covers key concepts in Media Theory, Qualitative Research Methods, Fundraising and Philanthropy in Nonprofit Organizations, and Consumer Behavior Theories.

#14 University of Miami

The University of Miami(UM) is a private institution situated on the southern tip of Florida.

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UM, awards an M.A. in Public Relations through the School of Communication, and the program requires 30-36 credits. The course curriculum is divided into the thesis and non-thesis tracks.

The coursework includes Media Relations, Sports, Publicity & Promotions, International Public Relations, Nonprofit, and Public Information Campaigns.

In addition to the program curriculum, the school offers about thirty different scholarships that are specific to the School of Communication.

#15 University of Denver

The University of Denver (DU) was founded in 1864. The university awards a master’s degree in Public relations through the University College of Professional and Continuing Studies.

The program is very flexible and accessible; classes are offered in a variety of formats (online, evenings, flex-scheduling) and takes 18 month duration.

Coursework features electives like Branding and Marketing Positioning, Integrating Social Media, Persuasion Methods & Techniques, and Writing Digital Content.

The 15 programs above will prepare you for a highly rewarding career in public relations.

What Can I Do With A Public Relations Degree?

Public relations Master’s graduates are employed in a variety of job settings. They can work with corporations, governmental agencies, PR consultancy firms, healthcare organizations, charities, public figures; or may work as freelancers.

Several job positions include press secretaries, publicists, campaign managers, event organizers, media planners, to name a few including information technology industries, finance, and education.

How Much Money Do People With A Masters In Public Relations Make?

In the project management professions, individuals with a higher degree level usually earn more starting out than those with a lower-level degree. However, top professionals can make up to $133,000 annually.

What Is The Job Prospect For People With Masters In Public Relations?

The demand for people with an advanced degree in public relations is on the rise. Data from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics show that those positions are expected to increase by 9 percent over the next ten years.

Conclusion

 An advanced degree in Public relations could be an opportunity to build foundational skills and gain the experience necessary to participate in the industry confidently. Take advantage of the PR programs we’ve highlighted in this article, they will help you pursue a wide range of occupations.

Frequently Asked Questions On Public Relation Graduate Programs

What are the types of public relations?

Community Relations
 Investor Relations
Government Relations
Influencers
Media Relations
Customer Relations
Marketing Communications

Can I get an Advanced Degree In Public Relations without a Bachelor’s Degree?

Most schools accept candidates with a bachelor degree with CGPA of 3.70 and above.

How long Is MA In Public relation?

References

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