Best Online Schools for Master’s of Public Relations

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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 skill to effect positive change in organizations everywhere.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics lists the job outlook at around 9%, which is as fast as average, and a median annual salary of about $60,000/yr.

Methodology:

  • All information is cited from the unbiased, independent NCES.gov’s College Navigator
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MARIST COLLEGE

Program Standouts:
Marist College is an incredibly popular online school, which can be seen reflected in their incredible student retention rate below. 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: 45%

Retention Rate: 91%

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

LEARN MORE ABOUT MARIST COLLEGE’S ONLINE MASTER’S DEGREE PROGRAM

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SOUTHERN NEW HAMPSHIRE UNIVERSITY

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: 84.2%

Retention Rate: 68%

Admission Requirements:
Applicants must submit a completed online application, the nonrefundable application fee, official transcripts from an accredited undergraduate institution, and TOEFL scores from students who use English as a second language.

Sampling of Coursework:

  • Communication, Media, and Society
  • Communication for Leadership
  • More than Words: Communication by Design

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, and 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’S DEGREE PROGRAM

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GEORGE WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY

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 according to the Washington Post and PR Week.

Campus Location: Washington, D.C.

Accreditation: Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools

Acceptance Rate: 39.5%

Retention Rate: 94%

Admission Requirements:
Applicants must submit a completed online application, the nonrefundable application fee, official transcripts from an accredited undergraduate institution, a statement of purpose, three letters of recommendation, a current résumé, and GRE or GMAT scores.

Sampling of Coursework:

  • Fundamentals of Finance and Management for PR Professionals Graduates from this online school have the skills and knowledge necessary to command attention, gain trust, and convey key messages to internal and external audiences for corporations, associations, nonprofits, political campaigns, and government agencies.
LEARN MORE ABOUT GEORGE WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY’S ONLINE MASTER’S DEGREE PROGRAM

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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.

Campus Location: Lynchburg, VA

Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools

Retention Rate: 69%

Acceptance Rate: 20.2%

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, and TOEFL scores from students who use English as a second language.

Sampling of Coursework:

  • Strategic Marketing Management
  • International Business
  • Contemporary Issues in Human Resource Management

Degree Outcomes:
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’S DEGREE PROGRAM

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FULL SAIL UNIVERSITY

Program Standouts:
Full Sail University has designed a graduate degree in Public Relations that provides a thorough understanding of both traditional and advanced social tools and communication channels. An exciting and diverse array of coursework introduces students to the strongest concepts and theories supporting the industry.

Campus Location: Winter Park, FL

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

Retention Rate: 69%

Acceptance Rate: 100%

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, a copy of a government issued photo I.D. or passport, and proof of English language proficiency.

Sampling of Coursework:

  • Writing for Interactive Media
  • Legal Aspects of Media
  • Reputation Management Strategies

Degree Outcomes:
Graduates of this program know how to design and implement PR media plans, explore concepts of marketing and consumer research, and develop credible relationships with influential voices and profitable clients. 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’S DEGREE PROGRAM

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UNIVERSITY OF SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA

Program Standouts:
The University of Southern California’s Master of Communication Management is well-suited for both new and experienced professionals. Coursework involves real-world business situations in collaboration with top-tier faculty and a global cohort of working professionals. Students analyze the psychological and societal impacts of marketing messages and interpret data for successful campaigns.

Campus Location: Los Angeles, CA

Accreditation: Western Association of Colleges and Schools

Acceptance Rate: 16.5%

Retention Rate: 96%

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, and GRE or GMAT scores.

Sampling of Coursework:

  • Managing Communication
  • Online Marketing Communication Development and Analysis
  • Audience Analysis

Degree Outcomes:
Graduates from this fine online school have entered into positions in management consulting, 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’S DEGREE PROGRAM

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BALL STATE UNIVERSITY

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.

Campus Location: Muncie, IN

Accreditation: North Central Association of Colleges and Schools

Acceptance Rate: 59.9%

Retention Rate: 82%

Admission Requirements:
Applicants must submit a completed online application, official transcripts from an accredited undergraduate institution representing an exemplary GPA, GRE scores, letters of recommendation, a platform statement of educational philosophy and beliefs, a C.V., and five references.

Program Options:

  • Business
  • Communication Studies
  • Public Affairs
  • Sport Communication

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’S DEGREE PROGRAM

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WASHINGTON STATE UNIVERSITY-GLOBAL CAMPUS

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 member remain active in their professional fields and bring cutting-edge technologies and best practices to the classroom.

Campus Location: Pullman, WA

Accreditation: Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities

Acceptance Rate: 47%

Retention Rate: 78%

Admission Requirements:
Applicants must submit a completed online application, the nonrefundable application fee, official transcripts from an accredited undergraduate institution representing an exemplary GPA, letters of recommendation, and GRE/GMAT scores.

Sampling of Coursework:

  • Persuasion for Professional Communicators
  • Creative Media Strategies and Techniques
  • Consumer Behavior and Brand Development

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 and produced as portfolio-quality items.

LEARN MORE ABOUT WASHINGTON STATE UNIVERSITY’S ONLINE MASTER’S DEGREE PROGRAM

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GEORGETOWN UNIVERSITY

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 essential planning, critical thinking, and creative skills that align with the industry.

Campus Location: Washington, D.C.

Accreditation: Middle States Commission on Higher Education

Acceptance Rate: 16.4%

Retention Rate: 96%

Admission Requirements:
Applicants must submit a completed online application, the nonrefundable 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 as second language.

Program Options:

  • Cause Communications
  • Corporate Communications
  • Digital Communications
  • Public Relations

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 communicators organizations while gaining hands-on experience and expanding their network contacts.

LEARN MORE ABOUT GEORGETOWN UNIVERSITY’S ONLINE MASTER’S DEGREE PROGRAM

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NORTHEASTERN UNIVERSITY

Program Standouts:
Northeastern University is yet another of the strongest online schools available, and supplies students with numerous opportunities to apply learning in real-world situations. The outstanding concentration options 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%

Retention Rate: 96%

Admission Requirements:
Applicants must submit a completed online appellation, the nonrefundable application fee, official transcripts from an accredited undergraduate institution representing a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher, a current résumé with at least five years of relevant work experience, two letters of recommendation, an application essay, and TOEFL scores from students who use English as a second language.

Program Options:

  • Human Resource Management
  • Public and Media Relations
  • Leadership
  • Project Management
  • Social Media and Online Communication
  • Usability/User Experience
  • Cross-Cultural Communication
  • Leading Communication Strategy and Talent Development

Degree Outcomes:
The overall goal of this curriculum is designed to give a strategic approach to a wide range of communication challenges. Graduates have the ability to craft and deliver messages with a heavy emphasis on digital media that can influence the attitudes and behaviors of internal and external audiences.

LEARN MORE ABOUT NORTHEASTERN UNIVERSITY’S ONLINE MASTER’S DEGREE PROGRAM

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WEBSTER UNIVERSITY

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, ethical frameworks, and entrepreneurship provides the needed components that mold the current teachings within the field.

Campus Location: Webster Groves, MO

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

Retention Rate: 77%

Acceptance Rate: 72.1%

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:

  • Advertising and Decision-Making
  • Written Storytelling
  • Crisis Management Communications

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 affects the practice of PR within a company.

LEARN MORE ABOUT WEBSTER UNIVERSITY’S ONLINE MASTER’S DEGREE PROGRAM

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NEW YORK UNIVERSITY

Program Standouts:
New York University maintains strong professional affiliation and employs faculty members with incredible accomplishments and, according to their website, “has positioned itself as the very forefront of public relations education.” The curriculum involves theoretical learning and practical skills needed to succeed in the field.

Campus Location: New York, NY

Accreditation: Middle States Commission on Higher Education

Acceptance Rate: 33%

Retention Rate: 92%

Admission Requirements:
Applicants must submit a completed online application, the nonrefundable application fee, official transcripts from an accredited undergraduate institution representing an exemplary GPA, a personal statement, a current résumé with relevant work experience, two letters of recommendation, and GRE or GMAT scores (recommended). Some applicants may be required to complete an admissions interview.

Program Options:

  • Corporate and Organizational Communication
  • Public Relations Management

Degree Outcomes:
Some of the organizations that employ NYU graduates include: Amnesty International, Blomingdale’s Inc, Digital Democracy, The New York Knicks, Johnson & Johnson, and more. Graduates lead global marketing campaigns that drastically effect the reputation and success of their businesses in a positive way.

LEARN MORE ABOUT NEW YORK UNIVERSITY’S ONLINE MASTER’S DEGREE PROGRAM

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JOHNS HOPKINS UNIVERSITY

Program Standouts:
The rigorous and rewarding curriculum from one of the nation’s top universities offers practical and applied knowledge and is taught by social scientists who study effective communication and the practitioners who use it. Students complete real-world issues and challenges that utilize communication and public relations skills of all varieties.

Campus Location: Baltimore, MD

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

Acceptance Rate: 11.4%

Retention Rate: 97%

Admission Requirements:
Applicants must submit a completed online application, the nonrefundable application fee, 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 a completed disposition survey. All applicants must complete an admissions interview.

Sampling of Coursework:

  • Introduction to the Digital Age
  • Theory of Mass Communication Practices
  • Persuasion

Degree Outcomes:
Graduates have the reputation and understanding to enter into positions that require a huge amount of responsibility. JHU establishes students with astoundingly effective resources and networking connections that will guide and support individuals throughout their future careers.

LEARN MORE ABOUT JOHNS HOPKINS UNIVERSITY’S ONLINE MASTER’S DEGREE PROGRAM

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UNIVERSITY OF DENVER

Program Standouts:
At the University of Denver, online students learn strategies to connect with third-party influencers, utilize mass-media outlets, and leverage social media platforms. Research, planning, and implementation are all equally as focused upon throughout the curriculum, and students develop, manage, and analyze effective media relations practices.

Campus Location: Denver, CO

Accreditation: North Central Association of Colleges and Schools

Retention Rate: 86%

Acceptance Rate: 76.5%

Admission Requirements:
Applicants must submit a completed online application, the nonrefundable application fee, official transcripts from an accredited undergraduate institution, two letters of recommendation, a personal statement, and a current résumé.

Sampling of Coursework:

  • Public Relations Principles and Processes
  • Public Relations Writing and Tactics
  • Dimensions of Reputation Management

Degree Outcomes:
Titles occupied by Denver graduates include public relations manager, publicist, public relations specialist, brand manager, director of communications, writer, and consultant. New media, new technology, and new global opportunities are all within range for these professionals, and the DU Career Services department strongly supports both students and alumni throughout their careers.

LEARN MORE ABOUT THE UNIVERSITY OF DENVER’S ONLINE MASTER’S DEGREE PROGRAM

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WEST VIRGINIA UNIVERSITY

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 bust strategies and tactics in reaching audiences.

Campus Location: Morgantown, WV

Accreditation: Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business

Retention Rate: 77%

Acceptance Rate: 86%

Admission Requirements:
Applicants must submit a completed online application, the nonrefundable application fee, official transcripts from an accredited undergraduate institution, 1-3 letters of recommendation, a current résumé, a statement of purpose, GRE/GMAT scores, and TOEFL scores from students who use English as a second language.

Sampling of Coursework:

  • Creative Strategy and Execution
  • Media Analysis
  • Audience Insight

Degree Outcomes:
Some of the most prominent positions in the field are occupied by WVU graduates, such as marketing strategist, marketing manager, market research analyst, public relations specialist, business professor, logistician, public relations and fundraising manager, and education administrator.

LEARN MORE ABOUT WEST VIRGINIA UNIVERSITY’S ONLINE MASTER’S DEGREE PROGRAM

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CONCORDIA UNIVERSITY, ST. PAUL

Program Standouts:
Concordia University, St. Paul is a revered online school and the online Master in Communication is designed to help students create solutions to communication challenges using strategic thinking and logical analysis. It is particularly well-suited for students with a background in the industry

Campus Location: St. Paul, MN

Accreditation: North Central Association of Colleges and Schools

Retention Rate: 69%

Acceptance Rate: 53.2%

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

Sampling of Coursework:

  • Media Strategies
  • Crisis Communication Management
  • Innovative Communication

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.

LEARN MORE ABOUT CONCORDIA UNIVERSITY, ST. PAUL’S ONLINE MASTER’S DEGREE PROGRAM

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MISSISSIPPI COLLEGE

Program Standouts:
Mississippi College offers two distinctive online Masters in Communication: Applied Communication and Professional Communication in Health Services. Students deeply explore the foundational history of communication while studying the chronicles of the media and learning skills through a plethora of applications.

Campus Location: Clinton, MS

Accreditation: North Central Association of Colleges and Schools

Acceptance Rate: 53.2%

Retention Rate: 70%

Admission Requirements:
Applicants must submit a completed online application and official transcripts from an accredited undergraduate institution.

Program Options:

  • Applied Communication
  • Professional Communication in Health Services

Degree Outcomes:
Communication graduates from Mississippi College had a huge number of specialty options in the career field, and have gone on to achieve such titles as: announcers, editors, photographers, public relations specialists, and reporters in digital, print, or visual mediums.

LEARN MORE ABOUT MISSISSIPPI COLLEGE’S ONLINE MASTER’S DEGREE PROGRAM

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QUINNIPIAC UNIVERSITY

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. The elective courses allow students to specialize in specific subfields of the discipline.

Campus Location: Hamden, CT

Accreditation: New England Association of Colleges and Schools

Acceptance Rate: 65.9%

Retention Rate: 87%

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 résumé 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’S DEGREE PROGRAM

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UNIVERSITY OF MISSOURI

Program Standouts:
The University of Missouri Master’s Degree in Public Affairs 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.

Campus Location: Columbia, MO

Accreditation: North Central Association of Colleges and Schools

Acceptance Rate: 77.7%

Retention Rate: 86.6%

Admission Requirements:
Applicants must submit a completed online application, the nonrefundable 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 as a second language.

Sampling of Coursework:

  • Collaborative Governance
  • Public Policy Processes and Strategies
  • Research Methods and Inquiry in Public Affairs

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

LEARN MORE ABOUT UNIVERSITY OF MISSOURI’S ONLINE MASTER’S DEGREE PROGRAM

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SOUTH DAKOTA STATE UNIVERSITY

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

Acceptance Rate: Higher Learning Commission; North Central Association of Colleges and Schools

Retention Rate: 76%

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:

  • International Media
  • Media Administration and Management
  • Opinion Writing

Degree Outcomes:
Career opportunities span a huge array of positions for South Dakota graduates, such as account director, content designer, policy adviser, speech writer, 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’S DEGREE PROGRAM

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