Online Master's Degree in Public Relations
As a public relations specialist, it's your duty to establish and maintain a mutually beneficial relationship between your company and the public. An online master's degree program can enhance your skills by providing instruction in persuasive communication, campaigns and media regulations. Schools offering Public Relations degrees can also be found in these popular choices.
What Can I Expect From an Online Master's Degree Program in Public Relations?
A 33- to 36-credit online program might take you up to two years to complete. Though programs generally lead to a Master of Arts in Public Relations, other options include a Master of Professional Studies with a concentration in strategic public relations.
You'll gain graduate-level writing skills and learn how to communicate persuasively to specific audiences via spoken and written word. You'll study public relations cases to gain a better understanding of how public relations works in corporate and non-profit organizations.
Courses include media organization and regulations, media communications, social statistics, international public relations, public relations campaigns and strategic writing. You may also be required to complete a capstone project or a thesis, particularly if you intend to continue to a doctoral program.
|Common Courses||Media regulations, public relations campaigns, media communications, social statistics, international public relations|
|Program Departments||Journalism, communication or professional studies departments|
|Admission Requirements||Bachelor's degree with minimum GPA, GRE scores, letters of recommendation, prerequisite courses or work experiences|
|Average Salaries (2014)||Public relations specialists: $64,050; artists', performers' and athletes' agents and business managers: $97,220; public relations and fundraising managers: $115,400*|
Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Where Can I Find a Program?
Graduate public relations programs are usually offered through a university's school of journalism, communication or professional studies. The Public Relations Student Society of America maintains an online list of schools offering programs that have been certified by the Public Relations Society of America (www.prssa.org).
In addition, the National Center for Education Statistics' online, searchable database lists nearly 30 universities that offer programs leading to a graduate degree in public relations (www.nces.ed.gov). Further investigation of each school can let you know which ones offer online programs.
How Do I Qualify for Admission?
As with most graduate schools, you must hold a bachelor's degree from an accredited undergraduate school; there is usually a minimum undergraduate GPA requirement, ranging from 2.75-3.0. Some schools require previous education in the field of public relations or previous work experience showing production skills, but you may be able to take prerequisite coursework to fulfill these requirements. Often there is a minimum composite score requirement on the Graduate Record Examination (GRE). Typically, you're also required to provide 2-3 letters of recommendation.
What's the Employment Outlook?
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), there are a variety of career paths open to graduates of master's degree programs in public relations. Possible positions include artists' or athletes' agent, community relations liaison, media specialist, press secretary for a government official, public affairs specialist for a government entity or public relations manager.
The BLS stated that employment of public relations specialists was expected to grow 6% from 2014-2024. This is about the average rate for all occupations. A 2014 wage survey by the BLS determined that the mean annual salary for public relations specialists was $64,050. Artists', performers' and athletes' agents and business managers made an average salary of $97,220. Public relations and fundraising managers topped the lists with an average salary of $115,400.
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