Best School in San Francisco for a Marketing & Public Relations Degree

Students interested in studying marketing and public relations in the San Francisco, California, area have many schools to choose from. Read about the top schools' degree options, tuition and ranking info to find the right one for you.

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School and Ranking Information

In the San Francisco, California, area, students can pursue business or communication degrees with coursework in marketing and public relations at more than 30 schools, including large state universities and small private schools. Some schools offer concentrations in both marketing and public relations, while other schools only offer one of these concentrations. Based on program rankings and offerings, the top schools for these programs in San Francisco are:

*Winner: The University of California - Berkeley was chosen as the top school for the area based on its 5th best undergraduate marketing program ranking in 2014 by U.S. News & World Report. This school also has an overall graduation rate over 90%.

*Runner Up #1:The University of San Francisco is the first runner up because it offers undergraduate and graduate business marketing concentrations and a specialized communication minor in public relations.

*Runner Up #2: California State University - East Bay offers an undergraduate major in advertising and public relations through the business administration degree, as well as graduate marketing programs. While this school has many programs, it is located almost 30 miles away from downtown San Francisco.

School Comparison Table

Category University of California - Berkeley University of San Francisco California State University - East Bay
Ranking 20th among national universities (2014) 117th among national universities (2014),
93rd among part-time MBA programs, nationwide (2013)*
90th among regional universities in the West (2014),
342nd among best undergraduate business programs, nationwide (2013)*
Location Berkeley, California (15.1 miles from San Francisco) San Francisco, California Hayward, California (28.5 miles from San Francisco)
School Type 4-year, public 4-year, private not-for-profit 4-year, public
Tuition and Fees (2012-2013) $12,874 (in-state, undergraduate),
$35,752 (out-of-state, undergraduate),
$12,874 (in-state, graduate),
$27,976 (out-of-state, graduate)**
$38,884 (undergraduate),
$20,390 (graduate)**
$6,309 (in-state, undergraduate),
$17,967 (out-of-state, undergraduate),
$7,816 (in-state, graduate),
$17,362 (out-of-state, graduate)**
Marketing and Public Relations Degrees Offered Bachelor's, master's and doctoral degrees Bachelor's and master's degrees Bachelor's and master's degrees
Undergraduate Graduation Rate (150% of Normal Program Time) for 2006 Entering Class 91%** 67%** 41%**
Noteworthy Professional sequence and certificate program available Management school accredited by the American Assembly of Collegiate Schools of Business Students have access to the Business Opportunity Program

Sources: *US News & World Report, **NCES College Navigator

Winner: University of California - Berkeley

  • Research institutes and centers available to students, including Asia Business Center and Center for Responsible Business
  • Faculty include internationally recognized leaders in the field

Through the Haas School of Business, undergraduate students can complete marketing coursework in consumer behavior, brand management and advertising on their way to a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration degree. Graduate students can pursue a Master of Business Administration (MBA) with an emphasis in marketing. Marketing courses examine consumer behavior, strategic planning and integrated marketing communication. The school also offers a PhD in Marketing program that examines marketing science and consumer behavior.

The university also offers extension programs for professionals and bachelor's degree holders that include a Certificate in Marketing or a Professional Sequence in Marketing. The certificate program includes courses such as public relations, cross-cultural communication, copywriting and digital marketing. Other undergraduate options include a Bachelor of Arts in Media Studies program, featuring business coursework in marketing and advertising strategy.

1st Runner-Up: University of San Francisco

  • 88% retention rate for first-time students pursuing a bachelor's degree, according to NCES statistics
  • According to NCES, 74% of full-time beginning undergraduate students received grant or scholarship aid

A private Catholic institution, the University of San Francisco was founded in 1855 by Jesuit missionary Anthony Maraschi. Through the School of Management, students can pursue a bachelor's program in business administration with a major in marketing, featuring coursework on brand strategies, behavioral pricing and consumer behavior. The program also includes an integrated marketing communication course that covers public relations, advertising and promotion. The MBA program also offers a concentration option in marketing.

Through the bachelor's program in communications studies, offered through the College of Arts and Sciences, students can pursue a minor in public relations. Minor program courses include public relations principles, communication research and advertising law, as well as public relations writing and campaigns. Graduate students can pursue a master's degree in sports management program, featuring coursework covering strategic management, sports marketing and public relations. The master's program includes a master's project and internship experience.

2nd Runner-Up: California State University - East Bay

  • Experiential learning opportunities
  • The business administration program includes 12 concentrations, including a public relations and marketing management track

The Hayward campus of the California State University system was founded in 1957 as the State College for Alameda County. The College of Business and Economics houses the Department of Marketing and Entrepreneurship, which offers a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration program with a concentration in public relations and marketing management. The 16-credit public relations track includes courses in media planning, account creation and corporate advertising, while the 16-credit marketing management concentration includes courses in advertising management, promotion, pricing, consumer behavior and international marketing.

Graduate students can pursue an MBA program with a concentration in marketing management where they will study topics such as marketing strategy and pricing, as well as integrated marketing communication. In addition to coursework, students complete a capstone practicum or seminar. The college also features the Business Opportunity Program, offering experiential learning opportunities through professional consulting work in areas that include marketing.

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