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Master's degree programs in Minnesota are limited, with only three schools available providing public relations training. While St. Cloud State University offers a public relations program, the University of Minnesota and University of St. Thomas offer programs in communications that include training in public relations. Common admissions requirements include a bachelor's degree, an essay, recommendations, work experience and graduate school test scores. Many programs offer part-time and full-time schedules, as well as evening formats. Below are summaries of the three schools in Minnesota that have master's degree programs in public relations.
St. Cloud State University
Located in St. Cloud, this school offers a Master of Science in Mass Communications program through the Department of Mass Communications. Students have access to computer labs and television studios where they can develop hands-on experience while learning about communication theory and strategy. Courses cover community relations, event planning, crisis management and new media communication methods. Along with classes, students have the opportunity to take part in internships within the public relations field. At the end of the program, students complete a culminating project that highlights what they have learned through their courses. Students need to hold a bachelor's degree before they can apply to the program.
University of Minnesota - Twin Cities
Students who want to earn the Professional Master of Arts in Strategic Communication through the University of Minnesota, in Minneapolis, learn how to develop comprehensive communication programs for businesses, government agencies and nonprofit organizations. The program, offered through the School of Journalism and Mass Communication, typically admits 20 students a year to train under nationally recognized communication scholars, researchers and professionals. Students need to hold a bachelor's degree and two years of professional experience before they can start the program. Throughout the 33-credit program, students will take classes that cover communication strategy research, communication strategies across different media and strategic communication case studies, as well as complete a six-credit individual project.
University of St. Thomas
The University of St. Thomas, in Minneapolis, offers a Graduate Certificate of Business Communication program for students who want to help businesses develop communication strategies. Through the Opus College of Business, students have access to classes that examine the latest research in building communication brands, as well as internships so that they can gain professional experience at major corporations and businesses. Students take classes in economic analysis, communication law and marketing management. Students need to complete a communication leadership capstone class as one of the final requirements for the certificate. As part of the class, students will analyze a business communication problem through research and problem solving. The school requires students to hold a bachelor's degree before applying to the program.
School Comparison: At a Glance
|School Name||School Type and Setting||Public Relations Master's Degrees Offered||Graduate Tuition (2015-16)|
|St. Cloud State University||Four-year, public; small city||Master of Science in Mass Communications - Strategic Media Communications||368.66 per credit for in-state students; 560.09 per credit for out-of-state students (for 2016-2017)*|
|University of Minnesota - Twin Cities||Four-year, public; large city||Professional Master of Arts in Strategic Communication||$1,320.34 per credit in-state, $2,042.34 per-credit out-of-state (Tuition for 6-14 credits is a flat $7,922 in-state, $12,254 out-of-state)**|
|University of St. Thomas||Four-year, private not-for-profit; large city||Graduate Certificate of Business Communication||$1,085 per credit***|
Sources: *St. Cloud State University, **University of Minnesota, ***University of St. Thomas