Alumna Jill Ann Bouffard, ESPN Content Associate Program manager, talks with Kenisha McFadden at MediaMashup.

MS in Public Relations (online)

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Introduction

Our Master of Science in Public Relations is transforming PR professionals into leaders by preparing them with the advanced skills needed to guide their team and organization through today’s complex media landscape.

Overview

Manage a company’s identity and shape public opinion

The online MS in Public Relations goes beyond crafting messages to generate buzz, placing an emphasis on preparing leaders to drive strategy at every level of brand management.

Our curriculum covers the most critical elements of an effective communication strategy, as outlined by the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA). You’ll explore crisis management, branding, reputation management and ethics on a global level before choosing from an array of specialized electives to customize your focus, including a social media track. The capstone experience allows you to further delve into a topic that aligns with your career goals through an independent research project of your own design.

Our faculty are always available to share their decades of industry expertise, while our flexible online classroom makes it possible to share your own ideas with other experienced PR professionals. These interactions will provide you with a diverse perspective and deliver actionable insights that you can immediately apply in your career.

Upon completion, you’ll be prepared to sit for the Accreditation in Public Relations (APR) exam offered by PRSA. This designation has long been recognized as a standard for expertise within the industry and will further position you to stand out as a leader in the field.

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Elite recognition

Our MS in Public Relations program is 1 of only 6 graduate programs worldwide to be endorsed by the Certification in Education for Public Relations (CEPR) through the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA). PRSA advocates for rigorous academic standards for public relations education, the highest ethical principles and diversity in the profession.

Social Media Track

Social media track

Social media has grown to be something greater than a personal soapbox or networking tool – it is an invaluable asset for modern public relations professionals, and an integral component to any PR strategy. This concentration teaches the fundamental practices that have led to this rise, how to deploy them across multiple platforms and disciplines and how to develop new solutions and strategies as this media continues to evolve.

Businesses, politicians and entertainers alike rely heavily on social media to reach the public. A series of deftly crafted Facebook posts, Tweets or Instagram photos can make or break customer relationships and brand loyalty, public image, voter turnout and beyond. In our graduate PR program’s social media concentration, you’ll cover basic and advanced social media practices, community management and social and web analytics. You’ll also learn how to effectively integrate marketing concepts and practices with PR strategy to achieve the best possible results for a diverse range of clients.

By the Numbers

+16%

In Demand

Expected job growth for public relations managers through 2020. (Source: Mastersinpublicrelations.net)

93%

Growing Opportunities

Percentage of business leaders who believe that public relations is just as important as marketing and advertising. (Source: PRSA)

+20%

Moving Up

Average increase in pay for those holding a graduate degree in public relations compared to a bachelor’s. (Source: Goodcall.com)

Curriculum and Requirements

MS in Public Relations – Online/Professional Track Program of Study

To earn the master’s degree, students must complete 36 credits with a minimum 3.0 GPA and no grades less than a C.  Any course with a grade of less than C must be retaken.

Core requirements
STC 506Public Relations Management3
STC 505Public Relations Writing3
STC 519Strategic Public Relations and Reputation Management3
STC 516Branding Strategies3
STC 511Global Strategy3
STC 518Measurement and Evaluation3
STC 510Crisis Management3
STC 504Law and Ethics in Public Relations3
Public Relations elective requirements 1
Select three of the following:9
STC 507
Strategic Planning in Public Relations
STC 512
Investor Relations
STC 513
Health and Strategic Communications
ICM 522
Social Media Practice and Techniques
ICM 524
Social Media Analytics
Capstone requirement
STC 605Public Relations Graduate Capstone3
Total Credits36
1

Students pursuing the Social Media Track must complete STC 507 and the following ICM courses as electives: ICM 522, ICM 524.