Students seeking public relations programs in Florida can choose from bachelor's and master's degrees at various public and private universities. Within a degree program, public relations may be the main area of study, or it may be offered as a concentration within a larger communications program. Other degree program titles combine public relations and advertising.
Courses cover writing, marketing, public relations strategies, campaign management, organizational communication, and intercultural communication. Additionally, many programs integrate an internship so that students can gain hands-on experience in the field. Students may also have access to campus-based television studios and radio stations, which can provide them with additional practical training. Participation in on-campus public relations student clubs may also prove beneficial.
A bachelor's degree is commonly required to work as a public relations specialist or manager. No certification or license is required. However, voluntary certification is available through the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA). Read on to learn about the various post-secondary institutions in Florida offering public relations training.
Located in Miami, Barry University's Department of Communication offers a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in Public Relations and a Master of Arts (M.A.) in Public Relations and Corporate Communication. Students in both programs have access to the school's radio and television studios. The B.A. includes courses that cover research, case studies, writing and editing, marketing and technology. Students must complete a public relations campaign course, in which they work with clients in the region to develop an actual campaign and build up their portfolio, as well as an internship. The M.A. program coursework examines communication theory, law and research, and it includes public relations electives.
Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University
Tallahassee's Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University offer a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Public Relations through the Division of Journalism. Students take both journalism and public relations courses. The curriculum includes courses in news writing and reporting, publication editing and design, media ethics, communication law, marketing, photography and case studies in public relations. In addition to coursework, students complete a public relations practicum.
Florida Memorial University
Located in Miami Gardens, this school's Department of Humanities offers a B.A. in Communications with a specialization in public relations. Courses delve into news writing, communication research, public relations principles, public opinion, organizational communication, and case studies. Students must also complete an internship, senior project and electives to complete the program.
Florida Southern College
Lakeland-based Florida Southern College allows students to choose between a B.A. and B.S. in Advertising and Public Relations in the school of arts and sciences. Students in both programs study public relations strategies and principles, advertising and public relations campaigns and desktop publishing. To graduate, all students must complete a professional internship. At this school, all students have the opportunity to complete a junior journey, an off-campus program that allows students to study abroad or in a U.S. city.
This school, located in Boca Raton, offers a B.A. in Advertising and Public Relations. Offered through the College of International Business, this program can be completed in four years. Courses cover persuasion, communication theory, public relations planning and strategy, digital layout and design, intercultural communication and strategies in advertising research. The college offers students access to media, design and editing labs and television, radio and cinema production facilities.
Palm Beach Atlantic University
Located in West Palm Beach, Palm Beach Atlantic University offers a B.A. in Public Relations through the School of Communication and Media. Required courses delve into interpersonal communication, persuasion, public relations writing, campaigns and communication ethics. Students must also complete an internship and nine hours of elective coursework. Students have access to award-winning professors with contacts in national and international corporations.
The University of Tampa
The Department of Communication at this university offers a B.A. in Advertising and Public Relations. Students may choose from three different tracks, including one in public relations. Core courses examine digital arts, mass media and society, principles of advertising and public relations, research methods and critical studies in public communication. Students here can join Tampa Spotlight PR, a club that brings speakers to campus and participates in industry events.
University of Florida
This school, located in Gainesville, offers a B.S. in Public Relations or M.A. in Mass Communication with a specialization in public relations. The bachelor's curriculum includes courses in multimedia writing, public relations principles, visual communications, reporting and public relations strategies. The master's program is research-based and prepares students for advancement in the industry or doctoral research. The program delves into public relations research, theories and management, ethics and professional responsibility and mass communication theory. Students must also complete electives and a thesis. The College of Journalism and Communications at the University of Florida is home to four newsrooms, four radio stations, two television stations, an auditorium, satellite ground stations and laboratories with professional equipment, to give students hands-on experience.
University of Miami
Coral Gables-based University of Miami offers a B.S. in Public Relations and M.A. in Public Relations. The B.S. program includes hands-on instruction and covers research, methods of reaching target audiences, writing and design. Students can choose to participate in an internship and practicum. The master's program is offered in a thesis or non-thesis format. The thesis format contains 30 credits and covers theories and methodologies in public relations. The non-thesis track requires 36 credits and covers communications and public relations foundations. This School of Communication is home to a chapter of the PRSA.
School Comparison: At a Glance
|School Name||School Type and Setting||Public Relations Degree Programs Offered||Undergraduate Tuition & Fees (2018-2019)|
|Barry University||Four-year, private nonprofit; large suburb|| B.A. in Public Relations,
M.A. in Public Relations and Corporate Communication
|Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University||Four-year, public; midsize city||B.S. in Public Relations||$5,785 (in-state); $17,725 (out-of-state)*|
|Florida Memorial University||Four-year, private nonprofit; large suburb||B.A. in Communications (Public Relations)||$15,536*|
|Florida Southern College||Four-year, private nonprofit; small city||B.A. or B.S. in Advertising and Public Relations||$36,348*|
|Lynn University||Four-year, private nonprofit; small city||B.A. in Advertising and Public Relations||$38,210*|
|Palm Beach Atlantic University||Four-year, private nonprofit; midsize city||B.A. in Public Relations||$31,450*|
|The University of Tampa||Four-year, private nonprofit; large city||B.A. in Advertising and Public Relations||$29,208*|
|University of Florida||Four-year, public; midsize city|| B.S. in Public Relations,
M.A. in Mass Communication (Public Relations)
|$6,381 (in-state); $28,659 (out-of-state)*|
|University of Miami||Four-year, private nonprofit; large suburb|| B.S. in Public Relations,
M.A. in Public Relations
Source: NCES College Navigator.