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Public Relations

When you enjoy working with people, communicating ideas, information or a story behind a business or an organization, then it might be a good idea to consider a public relations degree when you go to college. A degree in public relations serves a person well when they seek work in any field that involves communications between the public and a private or public entity. Public relations personnel must be excellent communicators with good writing skills. Pursuing a masters degree in public relations will ensure you have access to top jobs.

University Degree Offerings

  • Kent State University Master of Public Relations

    The Kent State University Master of Public Relations program offers a curriculum that emphasizes training in social media, management, crisis communications, branding, internal communications and strategic campaigns. Our coursework is dynamic, challenging, and professionally relevant—all thanks to an innovative, world-class faculty with deep academic and professional expertise.

  • The George Washington University Master’s of Professional Studies in Strategic Public Relations

    The George Washington University Masters of Professional Studies in Strategic Public Relations program utilizes a dynamic approach to building professional credentials that will position graduates to excel in this challenging profession. Our dedicated faculty guide students through the development of skills and examination of the practical application of critical analysis and strategic planning

Public Relations Degrees

Many schools offer a degree in public relations, but it’s important to review the school’s curriculum to ensure that the public relations degree programs the school provides meet your specific requirements. Each school’s curriculum will differ slightly, but most cover similar topics. Obtaining a public relations degree online allows students to complete the coursework on a flexible schedule. This is especially helpful if the student has a full-time job, family or both to consider while going to school.

  • Communication Degrees: Public relations degrees are part of the communications curriculum of most colleges.

Why a Public Relations degree Online

Public relations degrees allow graduates to get jobs in advertising, marketing, promotions and much more, depending on the individual industry or company. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics refers to these positions as “Public Relations Specialists” and projects that employment in this field will continue to grow faster than average. Because of the interest, however, competition is fierce, so obtaining a master’s degree in public relations will give you the opportunity to get a better job. Graduates with a degree in communications, journalism, or public relations stand a better chance of getting a good job.

  • Journalism Degree and Public Relations: Any of the degrees in communication including a journalism degree will help a graduate get a job in many areas of communications.

Public Relations Courses & Areas of Study

Offline and online public relations degree programs teach students how to master the visual, verbal, and written elements of building a good public image for the private or public entity for which they work. Coursework typically includes the general education requirements such as English and Mathematics, but also includes composition, logic, and critical thinking courses as well. Curriculum also includes classes in speech, learning strategies, statistical concepts, general psychology, social and behavior psychology and more.

  • Pursing a Master’s Degree – Because of competition for entry-level jobs, pursuing a masters degree in public relations increases a graduate’s chances of obtaining an excellent position.

Public Relations Career Opportunities

Public relations degrees provide multiple career opportunities. In government, press secretaries are often people that have pursued public relations degrees online or offline. Other career opportunities include corporate communications, communications specialists, media specialists, or publicists for authors or celebrities. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics indicates that people employed in this field can expect to earn an average salary of $51,280, as of May 2008. Public relations specialists in the top ten percent earn more than $97,910 per year according to the same report.

  • Job Outlook for Public Relations Specialists – Graduates with a masters degree in public relations will have the best opportunities because of the fierce competition.

Online Public Relations Degrees

Online Public Relations degrees offer flexible options for students who are looking to develop a well-rounded understanding of the the many theories and practices that are the base of the public relations field. Throughout the online degree in public communications, students will study ways to craft effective messages and to use new and emerging technologies to communicate effectively in today’s global information society.

Public Relations Education & Admissions Requirements

Pursuing an offline or online public relations degree begins with finding a college that meets your requirements. Many schools offer online public relations degree programs for students that work full time, have a family or both. Pursuing a public relations degree online program allows a student to complete coursework as time permits. Undergraduate public relations degree programs typically require placement testing, a diploma from high school or a general education diploma (GED). Graduate programs such as a masters degree in public relations requires transcripts from an accredited college, an application and resume. Some schools may even require a graduate placement test.

  • College Admission Requirements – College admissions typically require a high grade point average as well as admissions tests.

Public Relations Accreditation

Most students don’t pay attention to accreditation, but it’s important to find out whether the school you plan to attend has been accredited by a viable accrediting organization. Accreditation ensures that your college work can be transferred to another college if you choose to further your career with a graduate degree. Accreditation also provides students the opportunity to receive financial aid from multiple government sources. Non-accredited schools do not qualify to receive financial aid from certain organizations. Public relations degree programs from accredited colleges ensure that you receive a quality education.

  • National School Public Relations Association Accreditation – Look for the APR accreditation for schools with public relations programs.

Top Ranked Public Relations Degrees

Public Relations Professional Organizations

As with many professions, a public relations specialist has a chance to become a member of one or several professional organizations. Besides networking, membership in a professional organization can help a student receive scholarship or financial aid and even job placement after graduation. Joining a professional organization helps the public relations specialist stay abreast of important news and topics that affect the job and the industry. Professional organizations also provide those with a public relations degree a chance to meet with their peers at conferences and monthly meetings.

  • Public Relations Society of America – The PRSA advances the professional and the profession for public relations specialists.
  • PR Firms Council – The Council of Public Relations Firms keeps members apprised of developing paradigms and issues for those in public relations.