Public Relations Graduate Schools in the U.S.

Public relations graduate programs can be completed in as little as two years. In conjunction with core studies, programs may offer areas of specialization so students can focus on specific areas of interest while pursuing their degree.

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Common requirements of a public relations graduate program include a minimum of 30 hours in core courses and either a thesis or an additional amount of credit hours with approval and a written examination. Programs often may involve internships in specific areas like networking, volunteering and developing a portfolio.

Public Relations Graduate Schools

The following schools provide either master's or doctoral degrees in public relations or a field with that subject included:

College/University Location Institution Type Degrees Offered* Graduate Tuition (2015-2016)**
Indiana University - Bloomington Bloomington, IN 4-year, Public Master's, Ph.D. $8,442 (in-state)
$26,812 (out-of-state)
Syracuse University Syracuse, NY 4-year, Private not-for-profit Master's $33,312
University of Georgia Athens, GA 4-year, Public Master's, Ph.D. $8,492 (in-state)
$24,090 (out-of-state)
University of Southern California Los Angeles, CA 4-year, Private not-for-profit Master's $39,984
University of Washington Seattle, WA 4-year, Public Master's, Ph.D. $15,207 (in-state)
$27,255 (out-of-state)
University of Minnesota - Twin Cities Minneapolis, MN 4-year, Public Master's, Ph.D. $15,844 (in-state)
$24,508 (out-of-state)

Sources: *School Websites, **National Center for Education Statistics

School Selection Criteria

Students interested in a public relations graduate school may want to keep these considerations in mind.

  • Look for a specialized, real-life curriculum, concentration in any specific areas of interest such as crisis management or staff supervision, and a specific industry like healthcare or non-profit organizations.
  • Make sure the curriculum includes courses that deal with drafting speeches, newsletters and reports.
  • Intensive writing coursework should be of high concern, particularly for a thesis, so decide if you can handle it or not.

There are several schools in the U.S. that offer graduate programs in public relations or as a concentration within communications or journalism. These graduate programs usually give students the ability to specialize in a certain area and provide them with internships as well.

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