Top Graduate Schools with PR Programs

Graduate programs in public relations (PR), which may also be referred to as strategic communication, can typically be found as either stand-alone degrees or as concentrations within a university's communication or professional studies school. Discover the rankings, program specifics and other details about the top graduate schools for studying PR.

School Overviews

Public relations (PR) or strategic communication graduate programs are offered at colleges and universities across the country. Some programs focus on advanced professional skills, while others, particularly those at the doctoral level, are based more on research. New York University (NYU) and the University of Alabama (UA) are nationally respected institutions, and they have two of the nation's top-rated graduate programs in PR. The programs at both schools lead to a master's degree in the field.

1. New York University in New York, NY

School Highlight: New York University (NYU) was named the 32nd best university in the nation by U.S. News & World Report in 2015.

At the NYU Midtown Center, the School of Continuing and Professional Studies offers a Master of Science in Public Relations and Corporate Communication. After taking the core courses, students choose a concentration in public relations management or corporate organizational communication. The 42-credit hour program can be completed within 2 years full-time or five years part-time.

2. The University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa, AL

School Highlight: In 2015, the University of Alabama (UA) was ranked 43rd among the nation's top public colleges by U.S. News & World Report.

The College of Communication and Information Sciences' program leading to a Master of Arts in Advertising and Public Relations can be completed in two years with a research thesis and a concentration in advertising or public relations. The program may also be taken as a 1-year professional option without a thesis or concentration. Students take courses in media planning, persuasive communication and visual communication.

Top Schools with Graduate Degree Programs in PR

School Name Distinction Location
Ball State University PR master's program is the only one in the U.S. certified by the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA); students can study in face-to-face, online or blended formats Muncie, IN
Boston University Operates a student run public relations agency, the PRLab, where students work with real corporate and non-profit clients Boston, MA
Georgetown University PR program named PRWeek's Program of the Year for three years in a row; university's Center for Social Impact Communication (CSIC) conducts public relations research and training Washington, DC
George Washington University Graduate PR program delivered either in face-to-face evening classes or online; degree can be earned in a year Washington, DC
Iona College PR grad program is one of only six programs in the state of New York accredited by the Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communication; students can study at Rockefeller Center location; face-to-face and online options New Rochelle, NY
Rowan University PR grad students can concentrate in corporate or educational public relations or public affairs; graduate certificates also available in school public relations and integrated marketing communication Glassboro, NJ
University of Denver Designed for early to mid-level career professionals; program offered online or face-to-face Denver, CO
University of Southern California University's Los Angeles location provides students with numerous opportunities for internships and other hands-on experiences Los Angeles, CA
Virginia Commonwealth University PR grad students take courses on Friday evenings and on Saturdays, and they spend a couple of weeks studying PR in China; program designed for those with PR experience Richmond, VA
Webster University PR master's program classes are offered five times per year; students can study face-to-face at numerous campus locations or online Saint Louis, MO

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