Online Degrees and Certificate Programs in Public Relations

Many types of organizations need public relations specialists in order to interpret and influence public opinion. Online degree programs can help your career in this field by providing instruction in marketing, writing, and business. Undergraduate and graduate programs are available. Schools offering Public Relations degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Public Relations Degrees and Certificates Are Available Online?

You can enroll in an online public relations degree or certificate program at the undergraduate or graduate level, based on your prior education and professional experience. If you are a recent high school graduate or have limited to no work experience in the field, you may enroll in an associate's or bachelor's degree program or choose to pursue a certificate. These programs provide basic knowledge intended for entry-level careers.

If you already possess a bachelor's degree, or are a professional looking for a career change or advancement, you may enroll in a public relations master's degree or graduate certificate program. These programs are available both fully and partially online. While some colleges and universities offer specific degrees and certificates in public relations, others offer programs in communications or journalism with a specialization in public relations.

Degree Levels Associate's, bachelor's, undergraduate certificate, master's, and graduate certificate
Common Courses Campaigns, marketing, crisis communications, ethics in public relations
Online Program Requirements High-speed internet connection and word processing software
Median Salary (2014) $55,680* (for public relations specialists)

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

What Courses Will I Take?

In a public relations program, you study career-focused skills such as marketing practices and campaign writing. In addition, you learn how to budget for a public relations campaign, which may relate to general business issues or laws regarding political actions. You may learn how to handle public relations crises, which often require immediate responses with minimal planning. Lessons also discuss ethical issues related to public relations, including what constitutes proper conduct with the media, government officials and clients.

What Will I Need For Online Study?

Completing an online degree or certificate program requires extensive use of a computer with high-speed internet. In most cases, you also need to be comfortable using word processing software, such as Microsoft Word. You can expect to spend time watching recorded lectures and participating in discussion groups with your fellow students, as well as using e-mail to correspond with faculty. You need to complete tasks, such as homework assignments and tests, on strict deadlines that require self-discipline and organization.

What Is My Career Outlook in This Field?

Becoming a public relations specialist, you join approximately 208,030 others who were employed in the field as of 2014, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Jobs in public relations are expected to grow 6% from 2014-2024, though your competition is expected to be fierce due to a high number of strong applicants. Organizations in the advertising, public relations, and related services industry are top employers for these professionals, though opportunities commonly arise in educational institutions, local government and business or professional organizations. Your salary depends on your experience level and field, but the median annual salary for public relations specialists in May 2014 was $55,680, according to the BLS (www.bls.gov).

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

  • 1. Degree Options:
The schools in the listing below are not free and may include sponsored content but are popular choices among our users. Tuition and costs will vary across programs and locations. Be sure to always request tuition information before starting a program.

Popular Schools

  • Southern New Hampshire University

    Southern New Hampshire University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Southern New Hampshire University:

    • Master
    • Bachelor Degrees
    • Associate Programs

    Online Programs Available

  • Ashford University

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    Online Programs Available

  • Full Sail University

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    Popular programs at Full Sail University:

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  • Colorado Christian University

    Colorado Christian University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Colorado Christian University:

    • Bachelor Degrees
    • Associate Programs

    Online Programs Available

  • Regent University

    Regent University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Regent University:

    • Doctoral
    • Master
    • Bachelor Degrees

    Online Programs Available

  • New England College

    New England College responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at New England College:

    • Bachelor Degrees

    Online Programs Available

  • Post University

    Post University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Post University:

    • Bachelor Degrees
    • Associate Programs

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  • Penn Foster High School

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    Popular programs at Penn Foster High School:

    Online Programs Available

  • Florida Tech

    Florida Tech responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Florida Tech :

    • Master

    Online Programs Available

  • Saint Leo University

    Saint Leo University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Saint Leo University:

    • Master

    Online Programs Available

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