According to the Bureau of Labor & Statistics data, the average pay for those working in the public relations career arena is $30,000 up to $100,000 with the more difficult endeavor of entering the field due to job availability. In order to command a high earning potential, PR job-hunters have to demonstrate sharp skills to excel in a rapidly changing job market.
Public relation professionals can get the necessary tools needed from obtaining an online master’s in this field. These skills include understanding all the ways in which modern communication is always transforming and how to use this for the benefit of an organization.
In a 24/7 globalized world of communication it is vital to make use of areas like social media, press releases, multi-cultural dialogue and crisis management for creating the global image for a company. A graduate degree in public relations will help accomplish this goal.
We have compiled a list of the best online programs Master’s in Public Relations with accredited degrees. The schools listed here produce top graduates who have firm grasp on the complexities of private, public, and nonprofit organizations.
George Washington University
GWU has tailored their Master of Professional Studies in Strategic Public Relations to produce top results in education for students wanting to enter the job market with great earning potential. This school has strong connections in Washington D.C., formulating a strong graduate program of instruction from seasoned professionals working in the in-depth sectors. Students will be prepared for a public relations career with some of the top names in both the business and the political world.
GWU rates as one of the very best thanks to their Blackboard powered virtual classroom which is a state-of-the-art custom online learning environment. The online masters program is the same as the program offered on campus, but created to be convenient for working adults needing a different educational alternative.
Prospective students can search for programs by topic or degree level. The average entering salary is $47,343 annually. GWU offers three online bachelor's degree programs: Health Sciences ($16,560 annually), Nursing ($27,120 annually), and Police and Security Studies ($18,600 annually). The U.S. News & World Report’s magazine calls GWU the Best Online Education Programs ranking in the top ten.
Montana State University-Billings
With concentrations in Public Relations Theory, Health Communication, Public Communication and Media & Society Communication, the Master of Science in Public Relations from MSUB is an ideal option for students wanting to focus on a specific area within the field of PR. The program concentrates on building the practical skills needed to excel in private, public and nonprofit organizations, and the school assists students in garnering internships to facilitate this objective. Courses are offered on campus in the evenings, as well as online, to provide maximum flexibility for working adults. Taking a full course load, students can graduate in 3-4 semesters. The cost of tuition is $5,745 in state residents and $17,088 for out of state residents.
eLearning at MSU - Billings is hosted by Desire2Learn, a platform that allows for interactive student participation and real-time communication. Through this online portal, students have access to an assignment drop box, news, chat, email and threaded discussions. Online students receive a host of support services, including academic advising, financial aid, library resources, online tutoring and career services.
Kent State University
The Master's in Public Relations Online from Kent State is a unique degree targeted towards PR professionals, individuals looking to make a career change and students with little-to-no PR experience. Kent's multidisciplinary approach allows them to have a program beneficial to a broad range of students, as even veteran PR experts will be exposed to new concepts and ideas. The school builds well-rounded professionals with the skills and talents needed to excel in a management level position. Specifically, the curriculum itself develops abilities in digital media and story sharing, as well as business savvy and political acumen. In-state residents can expect to pay $9,816 for tuition and $17,776 for out of state residents.
The degree consists of twelve, 3 credit hour courses taught on the Blackboard platform. Students participate in both synchronous and asynchronous activities designed to enhance their abilities to effectively communicate in a digital environment, as well as challenge their critical thinking skills.
Southern New Hampshire University
Students looking to earn a communications graduate degree with a PR focus can turn to SNHU's Master of Arts in Communication - Public Relations program. The degree consists of seven core communications courses in subjects like Knowledge & New Media, Law & Ethics and Communication by Design. The public relations concentration is composed of four additional courses: Reputation Management, Social Media Practices, and Crisis Communication in a 24/7 World and Integrated PR Campaigns & Measurement. To graduate, a final capstone course is required; in it, students must demonstrate their cumulative knowledge of a graduate education in PR. $28,884 annually
The virtual classroom at SNHU is hosted on the Blackboard LMS. Students participate in their coursework asynchronously through the submission of weekly assignments and regular postings on threaded discussions. A virtual bookstore is also available, allowing students to order their textbooks quickly and easily online. Full library access is granted to every online learner.