Public Relations Schools in Los Angeles, CA with Degree Summaries

Feb 15, 2019

There are three universities within 35 miles of central Los Angeles that offer public relations degrees. Read an overview of these schools' programs and requirements to find out which one is right for you.

Los Angeles Public Relations Programs

Public relations (PR) certificate and degree programs prepare students to represent individuals, businesses and organizations to the public. This article puts the spotlight on the coursework and learning opportunities available at three colleges in the Los Angeles area offering education in the field. There's also a table of statistics on the profiled institutions, which are all less than 45 minutes away from the city's center.

  • The University of Southern California (USC) is located roughly four miles from downtown Los Angeles and is the largest of these three schools. Students can pursue a bachelor's or master's degree in public relations at the institution.
  • Located about 30 miles from central L.A., Pepperdine University was founded in 1937 and opened its Malibu campus in 1972. It offers a bachelor's degree program in PR.
  • Chapman University, one of the oldest private universities in the region, offers a public relations and advertising bachelor's degree program as well as a minor in PR. The campus is around 33 miles from L.A.'s downtown area.

Comparison of Schools

As private universities, the profiled institutions charge similar tuition rates; however, they differ in a number of areas including campus setting, student enrollment and acceptance rates. Explore these and other facts in the table below to assist you in your school research.

University of Southern California Pepperdine University Chapman University
School Type 4-year; private not-for-profit 4-year; private not-for-profit 4-year; private not-for-profit
Total Enrollment (2017) 45,687* 7,710* 9,392*
Campus Setting Large city Large suburb Midsize city
Tuition & Fees (2017-2018) $54,259* $51,992* $50,594*
% of First-Year Students Receiving Some Form of Financial Aid (2016-2017) 64%* 86%* 88%*
Acceptance Rate (2017) 16%* 40%* 57%*
Retention Rate (2016-2017) 96% for full-time students* 90% for full-time students* 91% for full-time students*
Graduation Rate (students who began in 2011) 92%* 85%* 79%*

Source: *NCES College Navigator

University of Southern California

A private research university, USC was ranked 22nd among national universities by U.S. News & World Report in 2019. PR students benefit from the school's location in the heart of Los Angeles, a hub for film, television, music and art. The Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism was founded in 1971 and offers undergraduate and graduate programs in public relations.

Bachelor of Arts in Public Relations

Participants learn to put together printed and digital media, organize news stories and implement theories for influencing public opinion. Some classes address methods for applying public relations practices to entertainment companies, non-profit organizations and political campaigns. Graduates are prepared to represent small companies, large corporations, non-profit organizations, politicians and entertainment figures to diverse national and international audiences.

Master of Arts in Strategic Public Relations

This 40-credit degree program trains individuals to put together PR campaigns. Learners use crisis management procedures to develop solutions to problems. They analyze social, economic and political applications to write material for broadcast and print publications. Through electives, graduates can prepare for careers in a specific area of public relations, such as sports, health care, public affairs, entertainment or crisis management.

Pepperdine University

Pepperdine University boasts five colleges and schools, including Seaver College, a liberal arts school that offers a bachelor's degree in public relations. The public relations program at Pepperdine University is one of the oldest PR programs on the West Coast.

Bachelor of Arts in Public Relations

This program provides students with the theoretical knowledge and practical skills to work in a variety of public relations jobs with non-profit organizations, government agencies and more. Students gain strong writing and analytical skills through core coursework in communications before moving on to their major coursework. Course subjects include media law, marketing and public relations management. Internship opportunities are also available.

Chapman University

Chapman University opened its doors over 150 years ago and now serves students from the United States and 60 other nations. A bachelor's degree and a minor in public relations are offered through the Dodge College of Film and Media.

Bachelor of Arts in Public Relations and Advertising

Chapman University offers a bachelor's degree program that brings together the related fields of public relations and advertising. Students in the program begin their studies with comprehensive core curricula, then choose to specialize in public relations, advertising or both areas. Core coursework includes copy writing, entertainment marketing, persuasion and media strategies. Students studying public relations take focused courses in theories of journalism and public relations writing.

Minor in Public Relations

Students who are earning a bachelor's degree in another area but have an interest in public relations can choose a minor in PR. Individuals cannot pursue this minor without seeking advanced approval from Dodge College. While adding this minor to a related course of study can enhance a student's educational experience, it's important to note that certain major and public relations minor combinations are not permissible since they are too close in subject matter.

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