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20 Best Online Schools for Master of Public Relations Degree Programs for 2020

public relations and communications

Public Relations and Communications is a crucial department in nearly every business seeking profitable marketing and advertising. These professionals have an understanding and command of numerous communication techniques that are successful within modern platforms.

There are a great many different career paths and positions of employment associated with this discipline, which can be found in the index below. Anyone of these twenty online schools will provide students with the excellence of knowledge and skills to effect positive change in organizations everywhere.

Methodology:

Locating a quality master’s degree program can be a daunting task. Here at Business-Management-Degree.net, we hope to help you make an informed decision about your next step along your educational journey. The list below outlines the 20 Best Online Schools for Master of Public Relations degree programs for your review.

The exceptional schools below are listed in random order; therefore, as each one offers its own unique offerings, you will need to review each school’s website to find a program that fits your specific needs. When compiling this list, the following points were considered: 

  • Offers a comprehensive scope of study in the field of Public Relations and Communications, 
  • Encourages career growth through experiential learning,
  • Provides 100% Online or Hybrid learning format; offering convenience and flexibility, 
  • Grants Financial Aid options, 
  • Instructed by experts in the field of Public Relations and Communications, 
  • Offers Student Support Services, such as Technical Support and Career Centers, 
  • Displays positive reviews from recent graduates, 
  • Allows for the most innovative training available in all types of media outlets pertaining to Public Relations, such as journalism, newspaper, internet marketing, and social media; used for building and maintaining brand recognition, 
  • Sharpens critical-thinking, problem-solving and time management skills needed to excel in Public Relations, 
  • Promotes research practices in Public Relations and Communications. 

Visit our Methodology page for more details.

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UNIVERSITY OF MISSOURI

Master of Public Affairs Distance Learning Degree

 

Program Standouts:

The University of Missouri Master’s Degree in Public Affairs (MPA) is offered through the reputed Truman School of Public Affairs which operates challenging coursework with cutting-edge learning technologies. Online classes are designed and instructed by the same award-winning faculty as the on-campus courses, and give students well-respected credentials. This program is designed for those who are interested in a career in public service or government. The MPA degree program is offered 100% online.

Campus Location: Columbia, MO

Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission; Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs and Administration

Acceptance Rate: 74.7%

Retention Rate: 87%

Admission Requirements:

Applicants must submit a completed online application, the $65 non-refundable application fee, and official transcripts from an accredited undergraduate institution representing a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher. TOEFL scores are required from students who use English as a second language.

Sampling of Coursework:

  • Financial Management
  • Collaborative Governance
  • Public Policy Processes and Strategies
  • Organizational Dynamics & Leadership
  • Ethical Leadership

Degree Outcomes:

Potential career fields awaiting Mizzou graduates include policy analysis, public administration, social services, government relations, and non-profit management, and public health management. Many individuals also choose to further existing careers in government agencies.

LEARN MORE ABOUT UNIVERSITY OF MISSOURI’S ONLINE MASTER OF PUBLIC AFFAIRS (MPA) DEGREE PROGRAM.

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SOUTHERN NEW HAMPSHIRE UNIVERSITY

Online MA in Communication – Public Relations

Program Standouts:

Southern New Hampshire University is one of the finest online schools in America and has been recognized as such on innumerable lists of the best distance education programs ever established. Students in this program are immersed in an enriching and inspiring academic community that “influences technology and tactics that show brands in their best light and keep them there.”

Campus Location: Hooksett, NH

Accreditation: New England Association of Schools and Colleges; Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs

Acceptance Rate: 92.9%

Retention Rate: 68%

Admission Requirements:

Applicants must submit a completed online application, the nonrefundable $40 application fee, official transcripts from an accredited undergraduate institution with a GPA preferably above 2.75, and TOEFL scores from students who use English as a second language. You will also be required to submit your personal statement.

Sampling of Coursework:

  • Social Media Practices
  • Communication, Media, and Society
  • Communication for Leadership

Degree Outcomes:

Graduates of this SNHU program demonstrate the ability to develop targeted and persuasive messaging, effective campaign management practices, and crisis communication strategies using a variety of media technologies and resources. As you connect the public to the product, you’ll learn how to apply moral reasoning to make ethically sound and socially responsible decisions in business and marketing.

LEARN MORE ABOUT SOUTHERN NEW HAMPSHIRE UNIVERSITY’S ONLINE MASTER OF ART IN COMMUNICATION WITH A CONCENTRATION IN PUBLIC RELATIONS DEGREE PROGRAM.

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SOUTH DAKOTA STATE UNIVERSITY

Online Master in Mass Communications

Program Standouts:

South Dakota State University’s online Master of Mass Communication provides professional education to develop communication skills that help advance students toward various goals. This degree program attracts many journalists and professional communicators who develop new media skills necessary for a growing profession.

Campus Location: Brookings, SD

Accreditation: Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communication, Higher Learning Commission; North Central Association of Colleges and Schools

Acceptance Rate: 90.8%

Retention Rate: 77%

Admission Requirements:

Applicants must submit a completed online application, the nonrefundable application fee, official transcripts from an accredited undergraduate institution representing a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher, letters of recommendation, a current résumé or CV, a goal statement, and GRE scores.

Sampling of Coursework:

  • Introduction to Master of Mass Communication
  • Conducting Professional Research
  • Media Law Case Studies
  • Cross-Platform Campaigns

Degree Outcomes:

Career opportunities span a huge array of positions for graduates, such as account director, content designer, policy adviser, speechwriter, event planner, web producer, lobbyist, and much more. There are also numerous options available in the journalism field.

LEARN MORE ABOUT SOUTH DAKOTA STATE UNIVERSITY’S ONLINE MASTER IN MASS COMMUNICATIONS DEGREE PROGRAM.

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GEORGE WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY

Online Master’s in Strategic Public Relations

Program Standouts:

George Washington University is a highly renowned American school that offers flexible yet challenging online programs, such as the Master in Strategic Public Relations. This curriculum delivers a comprehensive education to equip students to solve modern public relations issues and is one of the top programs for crisis management. 

Campus Location: Washington, D.C.

Accreditation: Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools

Acceptance Rate: 40.2%

Retention Rate: 91%

Admission Requirements:

Applicants must submit a completed online application, the non-refundable application fee of $80, official transcripts from an accredited undergraduate institution with an average GPA of 3.0 or higher, a statement of purpose, three letters of recommendation, a current resume, and GRE or GMAT scores. An informal phone interview will be conducted as well.

Sampling of Coursework:

  • Strategic Public Relations: Principles and Practice
  • Media Relations in a Digital World
  • Issues Management and Crisis Communications
  • Sustainable Communications
  • Research Methods for PR and public Affairs Managers

Degree Outcomes:

Graduates are proficient in the fundamentals of Finance and Management for PR Professionals. You will also have the skills and knowledge necessary to demand attention, extend your networking opportunities, obtain your client’s trust, and deliver key messages to all audiences for corporations, associations, nonprofits, political campaigns, and government agencies.

LEARN MORE ABOUT GEORGE WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY’S ONLINE MASTER’S IN STRATEGIC PUBLIC RELATIONS DEGREE PROGRAM.

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Ithica College

Online MS in Communications Innovation

Program Standouts: 

Ithica College’s online Master of Science degree program in Communications Innovation is designed for the working professional interested in advanced positions in public relations management. As a selective degree program, you will be awarded the expertise of exceptional faculty and small class sizes. This program is for students experienced in all types of professions in the field of communications and public relations.

Campus Location: Ithica, NY

Accreditation: Middle States Commission on Higher Education   

Acceptance Rate: 69.9%

Retention Rate: 83%

Admission Requirements:

To apply, you must have previously earned a bachelor’s degree from an accredited university or college, have at least five years of professional work expertise, and complete an online graduate degree application. The non-refundable application fee is $40. You will also need to submit two letters of recommendation, official transcripts, and expect a required phone interview. 

Sampling of Coursework:

  • Innovation and Collaboration
  • Communication to Theory to Practice: A Case Studies Approach
  • Emerging Media: Principles and Theories

Degree Outcomes:

You can expect to become an impactful member of leadership in the field of communications, obtain a comprehensive education in innovation and research, as well as show proficiency in the execution of ideas through this impressive program in the field. 

LEARN MORE ABOUT ITHICA COLLEGE’S ONLINE MS IN COMMUNICATIONS INNOVATIVE DEGREE PROGRAM. 

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UNIVERSITY OF SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA

Online Master of Communication Management

Program Standouts:

The University of Southern California’s Master of Communication Management (MCM) is well-suited for both new and experienced professionals. Coursework involves actual business situations relatable in today’s workplace and is taught by top-notch faculty members. Students analyze the psychological aspects of marketing messages and how it affects the society today. They also interpret research and data for successful campaigns. A capstone project will be required that relates to your field of study. The program lasts 16 months and can be completed online.

Campus Location: Los Angeles, CA

Accreditation: Western Association of Colleges and Schools

Acceptance Rate: 16.6%

Retention Rate: 96%

Admission Requirements:

Applicants must submit a completed online application, the non-refundable application fee of $90, official transcripts from an accredited undergraduate institution representing a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher, and GRE or GMAT scores. You will also need to submit recommendation letters and a current resume.

Sampling of Coursework:

  • Managing Communication
  • Principles of Public Relations
  • Online Marketing Communication Development and Analysis
  • Audience Analysis
  • Foundations of Effective PR Writing
  • Uses of Communication Research

Degree Outcomes:

Graduates from this fine online school have entered into positions in market research, management consulting, sales, corporate and marketing communication, training and development, advertising, marketing promotions, and more. Students are encouraged to manipulate and apply the coursework in a way that aligns with their individual career goals.

LEARN MORE ABOUT THE UNIVERSITY OF SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA’S ONLINE MASTER OF COMMUNICATION MANAGEMENT DEGREE PROGRAM.

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BALL STATE UNIVERSITY

MA in Public Relations Distance Learning Program

Program Standouts:

Students in this online school’s graduate program master strategic communications and planning and management skills. Accomplished faculty introduce complex theories and bring supremely beneficial experience to the virtual classroom, creating a rich and in-depth academic experience. This impressive degree program is certified by the Public Relations Society of America to ensure a quality education in this field.

Campus Location: Muncie, IN

Accreditation: North Central Association of Colleges and Schools

Acceptance Rate: 62.3%

Retention Rate: 78%

Admission Requirements:
Applicants must submit a completed online application with the $60 non-refundable fee, official transcripts from an accredited undergraduate institution representing a minimum of 3.0 GPA, a 500-word statement of purpose, a C.V. or current resume, as well as a writing sample of 1,500 to 2,000 total words.

Program Options:

  • Strategic Communication Development
  • Project Planning and Development
  • Public Affairs
  • Market Research
  • Social Media and Digital Analytics

Degree Outcomes:

Students exiting this program are prepared for careers as public relations executives or consultants. They have developed a network of strong professional industry contacts and are positioned for success in the field. Depending on their area of specialization, graduates enter into a wide variety of work environments that align with their concentration.

LEARN MORE ABOUT BALL STATE UNIVERSITY’S ONLINE MASTER OF ARTS IN PUBLIC RELATIONS DEGREE PROGRAM.

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University of Florida

Online MA in Mass Communications – Public Relations 

Program Standouts:

The University of Flordia is committed to enhancing the adult learner’s career goals. With an online Master of Arts degree in Mass Communications, you can choose to specialize in Public Relations. The comprehensive curriculum is taught by outstanding professionals in the field.   

Campus Location: Gainesville, FL

Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) Commission on Colleges

Acceptance Rate: 46%

Retention Rate: 96%

Admission Requirements: To begin, you must have a bachelor’s degree with an overall GPA of 3.0 or better. Also, you must complete an online application and submit an application fee, in addition to submitting three letters of recommendation, official GRE scores, statement of purpose and professional resume.

Sampling of Coursework: 

  • Public Relations Theory
  • Strategic Writing for Public Relations
  • Measurement and Evaluation

Degree Outcomes:

Graduates of the University of Florida’s Mass Communications degree program will qualify for advanced positions, such as a Public Relations Director, Global Communications Manager,  Crisis Management Agent, or Media Relations Manager, plus much more. 

Learn more about the University of Florida’s Online Master of Arts in Mass Communications – Public Relations Degree Program.

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GEORGETOWN UNIVERSITY

Master of Professional Studies in Public Relations and Corporate Communications Online

Program Standouts:

According to their impressive website, Georgetown University is a “three-time winner of PRWeek’s ‘PR Education Program of the Year’ Award.” The Master in Public Relations and Corporate Communications Curriculum emphasizes critical-thinking, problem-solving and strategic planning, and time-management skills that are necessary to excel in the industry. You’ll appreciate the most innovative technology this program has to offer. The duration of this program is two to five years.

Campus Location: Washington, D.C.

Accreditation: Middle States Commission on Higher Education

Acceptance Rate: 16.8%

Retention Rate: 96%

Admission Requirements: Applicants must submit a completed online application, the $50 non-refundable application fee, official transcripts from an accredited undergraduate institution representing an exemplary GPA, a personal statement, a current résumé or CV, writing samples, and two letters of recommendations. TOEFL scores are required from students who use English as a second language.

Program Options:

  • Public Relations Writing
  • Corporate Communications
  • Cause Communications
  • Digital Communications
  • Conversations in Ethics

Degree Outcomes:

Graduates have the highly sharpened skills necessary that place them in high demand with today’s employers. Students engage with some of the nation’s top communicator’s organizations while gaining hands-on experience and expanding their network contacts. You’ll be proficient in the latest trends in research, practical experience, developing a portfolio and the sharpening of your written skills to excel in the field of public relations and communications.

LEARN MORE ABOUT GEORGETOWN UNIVERSITY’S ONLINE MASTER OF PROFESSIONAL STUDIES IN PUBLIC RELATIONS AND CORPORATE COMMUNICATIONS DEGREE PROGRAM.

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NORTHEASTERN UNIVERSITY

Online MS in Corporate and Organizational Communications

Program Standouts:

Northeastern University is yet another of the strongest online schools available and supplies students with numerous opportunities to apply to learn in real-world situations. The outstanding concentration options, such as Public and Media Relations, Social Media, or Cross-Cultural Communication, among others, provide a distinctive insight into the industry.

Campus Location: Boston, MA

Accreditation: New England Association of Colleges and Schools; Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business

Acceptance Rate: 28.9%

Retention Rate: 97%

Admission Requirements:

Applicants must submit a completed online appellation, the non-refundable application fee, official transcripts from an accredited undergraduate institution representing a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher, a current professional resume and a statement of purpose (500-1000 words), two letters of recommendation, and TOEFL scores from students who use English as a second language.

Program Options:

  • Strategic Communication Management
  • Organizational Communication Assessment
  • Writing Lab
  • Ethical Issues in Organizational Communication
  • Communication Networks and Managing Information
  • Projects for Professionals
  • Organizational Culture, Climate, and Communication
  • Intercultural Communication 
Degree Outcomes:

The overall goal of this curriculum is designed to provide a wide array of communication challenges to present experiences relative to the field of public relations. Graduates will have the ability to influence messages through digital media, along with other outlets; designed to attract consumers in a wide array of topics. You will also be proficient in research and development upon graduation to apply learned methods in the field of communications and public relations.

LEARN MORE ABOUT NORTHEASTERN UNIVERSITY’S ONLINE MASTER OF SCIENCE IN CORPORATE AND ORGANIZATIONAL COMMUNICATIONS DEGREE PROGRAM.

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WEBSTER UNIVERSITY

MA in Public Relations Online

Program Standouts:

Webster University is well-known for its online programs in Public Relations. This graduate degree gives students a deeper look into how globalization, entrepreneurship, and ethical frameworks provide the needed components that mold the current teachings within the field. Through this program, you will learn practical applications designed to enhance your skills and knowledge in the field.

Campus Location: Webster Groves, MO

Accreditation: North Central Association of Colleges and Schools; Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business

Acceptance Rate: 46.6%

Retention Rate: 79%

Admission Requirements:

Applicants must submit a completed online application, the nonrefundable application fee, official transcripts from an accredited undergraduate institution representing a cumulative GPA of 2.5 or higher, a personal essay, and one letter of recommendation. TOEFL scores are required from students who use English as a second language.

Sampling of Coursework:

  • Strategic Communication Applications
  • Media Communications and Media Research
  • Public Relations
  • International Communications
  • Writing for Public Relations

Degree Outcomes:

Graduates demonstrate the ability to perform PR research and communicate their understanding of the findings in order to effectively solve the communications problems of the organization. Entering into the workforce, alumni command a concrete understanding of how team-building, leadership and entrepreneurship affect the practice of PR within a company. You will also develop and fine-tune your research and critical-thinking skills to understand the practice of globalization and how to apply in within the field efficiently.

LEARN MORE ABOUT WEBSTER UNIVERSITY’S ONLINE MASTER OF ARTS IN PUBLIC RELATIONS DEGREE PROGRAM.

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Drexel University

MS in Communication Distance Learning Degree

Program Standouts:

Today, the era of digital media and the like is as important as ever. Drexel University offers its students the opportunity to master skills in communications that will prepare you for a variety of leadership roles in the field. In addition, there are concentrations to focus on if you wish, which includes coursework in Science and Health Communication, Technical Communication, or Public Communication.

Campus Location: Philadelphia, PA

Accreditation: Middle States Commission on Higher Education

Acceptance Rate: 74.6%

Retention Rate: 89%

Admission Requirements:

Must have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited university or college, official transcripts with a GPA of 3.0 or higher, a completed application with a non-refundable fee of $50, a resume, along with two letters of recommendation, and a 750-1000 word essay. If your GPA is below 3.0, please submit GRE scores with your application.

Sampling of Coursework: 

  • Theories of Communication & Persuasion
  • Creating & Managing Communication Professional Identities
  • Many Electives, depending on your choice of program concentration

Degree Outcomes: 

Upon graduation, you will be prepared to tackle a wide variety of career options, such as needed in Journalism, Technical Writing, Marketing, Public Relations, and Digital Media, plus many more. 

Learn more about Drexel University’s Online Master of Communication Degree Program.

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LIBERTY UNIVERSITY

MBA in Public Relations Distance Learning Degree

Liberty university

Program Standouts:

Liberty University has been included on a huge amount of lists indexing the best online programs in the country. The Master of Business Administration in Public Relations emphasizes skills in public relations writing, research, communication, and leadership. Your degree can be completed in less than two years, allowing you to maintain a job while pursuing your master’s degree in public relations. Liberty University is dedicated to assisting its students in the pursuit of their dream career by enhancing business skills, as well as professional capabilities.

Campus Location: Lynchburg, VA

Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

Acceptance Rate: 20.4%

Retention Rate: 82%

Admission Requirements: Applicants must submit a completed online application, the non-refundable application fee of $50, official transcripts from an accredited undergraduate institution representing a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher, and TOEFL scores from students who use English as a second language.

Sampling of Coursework:

  • Strategic Marketing Management
  • Communication and Conflict
  • Media Technologies & Communication Strategies
  • Strategic Communication Campaigns for the Digital Age

Degree Outcomes:

Earning an online MBA with a concentration in Public Relations will enhance your skills so you can obtain a leadership role in PR. Liberty coursework provides access to positions in corporate, private, and non-profit environments throughout the world. Graduates have entered into career fields such as public relations officer, public relations coordinator, community relations coordinator, account executive, product manager, and more!

LEARN MORE ABOUT LIBERTY UNIVERSITY’S ONLINE MASTER OF BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION IN PUBLIC RELATIONS DEGREE PROGRAM.

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JOHNS HOPKINS UNIVERSITY

MA in Communications Distance Learning Degree

Program Standouts:

The rigorous and rewarding curriculum of Johns Hopkins University’s MA in Communications degree program is one of the nation’s top universities that offers practical and applied knowledge and is instructed by exceptional social scientists who specialize in the art of effective communication. Students complete real-world issues and challenges that utilize communication and public relations skills of all varieties. You’ll learn how to construct a strong portfolio, sharpen your communication skills, and learn through experiential applications. This program can be completed in as little as two years, or up to five years, depending on your dedication to the program.

Campus Location: Baltimore, MD

Accreditation: Middle States Commission on Higher Education; National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education

Acceptance Rate: 12.8%

Retention Rate: 97%

Admission Requirements: Applicants must submit a completed online application, the non-refundable application fee of $75, official transcripts from an accredited graduate institution representing a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher, a current résumé or CV, a personal statement, three letters of recommendation, and writing sample.

Sampling of Coursework:

  • Introduction to the Digital Age
  • Research & Writing Methods
  • Theory of Mass Communication Practices
  • Analytic Techniques in Communication Research
  • Changing Behavior through Communication

Degree Outcomes:

Graduates have the reputation and understanding to enter into positions that require a huge amount of responsibility, such as needed in management, or senior executive positions within corporations, non-profit organizations or governmental agencies.  JHU establishes students with astoundingly effective resources and networking connections that will guide and support individuals throughout their future careers. You can expect to be skilled in conducting and analyzing relevant research, giving you a competitive edge and marketability when searching for employment.

LEARN MORE ABOUT JOHNS HOPKINS UNIVERSITY’S ONLINE MASTER OF ARTS IN COMMUNICATION DEGREE PROGRAM.

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WEST VIRGINIA UNIVERSITY

Online MS in Integrated Marketing Communications 

Program Standouts:

This program is designed to enhance the knowledge and skills of communications professionals, who learn to align their marketing activities to ensure a constant flow of information to consumers from a variety of media. One of the greatest attributes of this program is its “learn-it-today, use-it-tomorrow” focus that teaches the best strategies and tactics in reaching audiences.

Campus Location: Morgantown, WV

Accreditation: Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business

Acceptance Rate: 76.1%

Retention Rate: 76%

Admission Requirements: Applicants must submit a completed online application, the non-refundable $60 application fee, official transcripts from an accredited undergraduate institution, 1-3 letters of recommendation, a current résumé, a personal statement (300-500 words), GRE/GMAT scores, and TOEFL scores from students who use English as a second language.

Sampling of Coursework:

  • Introduction to Integrated Marketing Communications 
  • Creative Strategy and Execution
  • Marketing Research and Analysis
  • Media Analysis
  • Direct and Digital Marketing
  • Audience Insight

Degree Outcomes:

Some of the most prominent positions in the field are occupied by WVU graduates, such as marketing strategists, marketing managers, market research analysts, public relations specialists, business professors, logisticians, public relations and fundraising managers, and education administrators.

LEARN MORE ABOUT WEST VIRGINIA UNIVERSITY’S ONLINE INTEGRATED MARKETING COMMUNICATIONS MS DEGREE PROGRAM.

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CONCORDIA UNIVERSITY, ST. PAUL

MA in Strategic Communications Management Distance Learning Degree

Program Standouts:

Concordia University, St. Paul is a revered online school. Their online Master’s of Communication degree program is designed to help students create solutions to communication issues by using analytical and strategic thinking skills. It is particularly well-suited for students with a background in the industry, such as in public relations, corporate communication, or other senior-level leadership and management positions.

Campus Location: St. Paul, MN

Accreditation: North Central Association of Colleges and Schools

Acceptance Rate: 65%

Retention Rate: 72%

Admission Requirements: Applicants must submit a completed online application, official transcripts from an accredited undergraduate institution representing an exemplary GPA, a current resume, and a personal statement. TOEFL scores are required from students who use English as a second language.

Sampling of Coursework:

  • Media Strategies
  • Leadership Communication
  • Strategic Customer Experience
  • Corporate Social Responsibility & Ethical Leadership
  • Project Management & Analytics

Degree Outcomes:

Graduates exiting this program have a strong understanding of emerging technologies, industry innovation, leadership, and intercultural communication. CUSP maintains a hugely impressive 92% job placement rate, which is one of the best in the nation. Graduates are prepared for a career in the field of communications management.

LEARN MORE ABOUT CONCORDIA UNIVERSITY, ST. PAUL’S ONLINE MASTER OF ARTS IN STRATEGIC COMMUNICATIONS MANAGEMENT.

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MARIST COLLEGE

Comprehensive Online Integrated Marketing Communications Master’s Degree

Program Standouts:

Marist College is an incredibly popular online school, which can be seen reflected in their incredible student retention rate below. With a focus on the liberal arts, the Public Relations Master’s degree is designed to give marketing graduate students a thorough understanding of public relations as it relates to marketing and brand management.

Campus Location: Poughkeepsie, NY

Accreditation: Middle States Commission on Higher Education;

Acceptance Rate: 41%

Retention Rate: 87%

Admission Requirements: Applicants must submit a completed online application, official transcripts from an accredited undergraduate institution, three letters of recommendation, an application essay, a current resume, and a writing sample.

Sampling of Coursework:

  • Principles of Integrated Marketing Communication
  • Global Consumer Insights
  • Social Media Strategies and Tactics

Degree Outcomes:

This unique degree program educates students in marketing principles as they relate to specific areas of public relations, and students gain vital knowledge about research-based decision making as well as persuasive communication. Graduates have well-sharpened skills with which to communicate strategies to co-workers and clients. Potential careers to consider with this degree includes Director of Sales and Marketing, Director of Marketing Operations, and Director of Marketing and Communication, plus many more. 

LEARN MORE ABOUT MARIST COLLEGE’S COMPREHENSIVE ONLINE INTEGRATED MARKETING COMMUNICATIONS (IMC) MASTER’S DEGREE PROGRAM

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QUINNIPIAC UNIVERSITY

Online MS in Public Relations

Program Standouts:

In Quinnipiac University’s online program, students will handle and conduct in-depth research in order to understand the requirements of diverse publics, in addition to, creating strategic messaging for mobile, digital outlets, and digital print, and coordinating programs that communicate a client’s needs and goals effectively. You’ll be able to build upon your current foundation of knowledge in the field of Public Relations as you prepare for a management position. The elective courses allow students to specialize in specific subfields of the discipline. Quinnipiac offers an accelerated program that can be completed in one year.

Campus Location: Hamden, CT

Accreditation: New England Association of Colleges and Schools

Acceptance Rate: 76.4%

Retention Rate: 86%

Admission Requirements: Applicants must submit a completed online application, official transcripts representing a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher, two letters of recommendation, a letter of personal intent, and a current resume with relevant work experience.

Sampling of Coursework:

  • Principles and Theories of Public Relations
  • Strategic Planning in Public Relations
  • Law and Ethics in Public Relations

Degree Outcomes:

Quinnipiac grads have the skills necessary to lead careers as social media managers, public affairs officers, community relations officers, or media relations specialists. With the fast-track option, it allows students to enter into new positions of employment, or enhance current ones, as quickly as possible.

LEARN MORE ABOUT QUINNIPIAC UNIVERSITY’S ONLINE MASTER OF SCIENCE IN PUBLIC RELATIONS DEGREE PROGRAM

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FULL SAIL UNIVERSITY

MA in Public Relations Online

Program Standouts:

Full Sail University has designed a graduate degree in Public Relations that provides a comprehensive understanding of the advanced tools and communication channels needed to excel in the field. An exciting and diverse array of coursework introduces students to the strongest concepts and theories supporting the industry. This degree program can be completed in as little as one year. 

Campus Location: Winter Park, FL

Accreditation: Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges; Commission for Independent Education

Acceptance Rate: 100%

Retention Rate: 64%

Admission Requirements:

Applicants must submit a completed online application, the non-refundable $75 application fee, official transcripts from an accredited undergraduate institution representing a cumulative GPA of 2.0 in a similar scope of study. GRE scores are not required.

Sampling of Coursework:

  • Media Relations
  • Public Relations ina Digital World
  • Social Media Metrics and ROI

Degree Outcomes:

Graduates of this program know how to design and implement public relations media plans, develop reliable relationships with profitable clients, as well as exhibit concepts learned in consumer research, marketing, and communications. These professionals understand the foundational elements of communication and “utilize model methods to engage large-scale dialogues.”

LEARN MORE ABOUT FULL SAIL UNIVERSITY’S ONLINE MASTER OF ARTS IN PUBLIC RELATIONS DEGREE PROGRAM

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WASHINGTON STATE UNIVERSITY-GLOBAL CAMPUS

Online Master’s in Strategic Communications

Program Standouts:

Washington State University’s Murrow College of Communications contains some of the strongest graduate programs in the nation according to NewsPro Magazine. Faculty members remain active in their professional fields and bring cutting-edge technologies and the best practices in the classroom. This exceptional degree program is available entirely online and is perfect for the working professional.

Campus Location: Pullman, WA

Accreditation: Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities

Acceptance Rate: 72%

Retention Rate: 79%

Admission Requirements: Applicants must submit a completed online application, the non-refundable $75 application fee, official transcripts from an accredited undergraduate institution representing an exemplary GPA of 3.0 or higher, and written statement of purpose.

Sampling of Coursework:

  • Persuasion for Professional Communicators
  • Professional Digital Content Promotion
  • Creative Media Strategies and Techniques
  • Consumer Behavior and Brand Development
  • Capstone Project/Portfolio Preparation and Presentation
  • Research Methods for Professionals

Degree Outcomes:

Whether students are seasoned professionals upon entering the program or not, the degree program will advance and energize their career paths. Upon exiting the WSU, students have created multimedia materials that are evaluated by peers and produced as portfolio-quality items.

LEARN MORE ABOUT WASHINGTON STATE UNIVERSITY’S ONLINE MASTER’S IN STRATEGIC COMMUNICATIONS DEGREE PROGRAM.

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How do I get started with a Master’s in Public Relations degree?

A Bachelor’s degree is necessary before anyone can start a Master’s program, and the Public Relations discipline is not an exception. Minimum GPAs and GRE scores are also often required.

The protocol dictates that applicants should send an application letter to the faculty, pass the qualifications check, and submit the required documents typically consisting of a diploma, a transcript, and a resume. The university, online or brick-and-mortar, usually requires students to pass an examination demonstrating their ability to keep up with the school’s academic standards. An interview with a panel is optional but has grown more popular nowadays.

What is the career outlook for a Master of Public Relations degree holder?

Graduates can expect higher entry-level salaries and a plethora of options in the corporate world. Virtually all Master’s degree holders work for corporations, although a few open their firms and a handful of work as freelancers and consultants.

Customer-centric companies require skilled senior-level customer service specialists and salespersons who have had the extensive training that Master’s degree holders get. Business Translators, Public Relations Managers, Marketing Directors, and Communications Trainers are stable and conventional career paths.

Most graduates work as the mouthpiece of companies and businesses. Communications specialists who also double as business translators or interpreters receive higher pay, considering the “language premium” that the latter usually receives. Globalization has led to increased trade, and while English is still the lingua franca of the business world, other languages can get lost in translation.

Another familiar role is that of a Public Relations Specialist, but holders of a Master’s degree usually jump to mid-level management and make it as PR managers. Post-graduate PR degree holders also become Communications trainers.

The career outlook for degree holders is bright, as all industries need to communicate. All economic activity requires talking to people, and experts in communication can help businesses reach and even exceed their goals.

What is the salary potential for me with a  Master of Public Relations degree?

PR Managers get around $114,800 annually, and the Bureau of Labor Statistics projects the growth rate at 8%, which is quite higher than the average growth for most other jobs. Working hours are the usual 9-to-5, and the work-life balance is good.

Of course, mastery of language is not the only reason why graduates are in hot demand and paid well. Communication skills are applied not only within the business circle but also in engaging with prospects and customers. This leads to the lucrative Marketing Manager position, which grosses around $124,850  to $150,000 plus bonuses and stock options.

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