The field of public relations examines trends and implications in business, communications and public affairs. Students have the option of pursuing a concentration area within the field, such as public affairs, sports communication, corporate public relations or educational public relations.
Prerequisites for a master's degree in public relations include a bachelor's degree in a related field, GRE scores and a writing sample. Programs may require students to complete a thesis assignment focused around an area of public relations.
Students should gain skills in organization, self-direction, problem identification, resolution development, critical thinking, strategic-level analysis and tactical production. Throughout a program, students may be required to participate in internships or practicum experiences, and students generally complete a portfolio of work prior to graduation.
Master's Degree in Public Relations
Throughout a public relations program at the graduate level, students may take courses that teach them how to develop public relations plans, assess communication tools and identify changes in trends. Students may take courses that address topics such as:
- Advertising strategies
- Account planning
- International and strategic communications
- Communication technologies
- Speechwriting and campaigns
- Crisis management and public opinion
Popular Career Options
Individuals who graduate from a master's degree program in public relations are prepared for flexible careers in public relations or a related field. A graduate may find a position as a:
- Public relations manager
- Management analyst
- Purchasing manager
Employment Outlook and Salary Info
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employment prospects for public relation specialists are projected to grow by 6% from 2014-2024 (www.bls.gov). The BLS reported in 2015 that PR specialists earned a median yearly wage of $56,770.
Individuals who obtain a master's degree in the public relations may choose to pursue further education in the field by enrolling in a doctorate program in public relations. Doctorate programs offer students the opportunity to conduct research in an area of public relations, which could be applied to multiple fields, including academia, healthcare or corporate organizations. The completion of a dissertation is commonly required.
Those seeking a master's degree in public relations should consider the educational requirements to pursue this degree, as well as the opportunities available after graduation, job outlook and median salary expectations for public relation specialists.