If you're interested in finding a school that offers a great public relations program, now's the time to explore Study.com's list of the top 50 public relations schools in the nation. This list consists of a wide range of undergraduate and graduate programs that can help you get the training you need to make a huge impact in the field.
When creating this list, we took a close look at data from the Department of Education, like graduation and retention rates, as well as tuition costs. We also examined the academic and financial support provided by schools and what opportunities are available to gain real-life experience on-campus, locally, and abroad.
Study.com's rankings are unique in that they emphasize accessibility, affordability, and quality of education, which we considered the most important attributes in our ranking lists. Once you've browsed our list, you're sure to locate a school that offers the right public relations program for you!
1. University of Oregon
At the University of Oregon in Eugene, students can prepare for great careers in public relations by pursuing a B.S. or B.A. in Public Relations. These programs, the only ones in Oregon to have earned the competitive certification from the Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA), give students the chance to learn the ins and outs of public relations. During their time at this school, students gain experience by creating campaigns for area clients and even developing a portfolio while working for the university's public relations firm, which is led entirely by students. Students can take advantage of generous financial support during enrollment in these programs through scholarships like the Joyce McHolick Scholarship in Advertising and Public Relations.
2. Flagler College - St. Augustine
Students attending Flagler College - St. Augustine in Florida can enroll in a fantastic Strategic Communications (Public Relations) major program that teaches the process of planning and creating communication plans and helps them develop valuable advertising and public relations skills. The program provides great opportunities for practical experience in areas like promotions, radio, media sales, and television. To enjoy additional support, students can join the PRSSA, which offers leadership and networking opportunities and even helps them build professional portfolios.
3. SUNY at Fredonia
At SUNY at Fredonia in New York, students can learn public relations from both a theoretical and practical standpoint by enrolling in the school's B.S. in Public Relations program. In addition to developing their public speaking and writing skills, students can take part in a capstone experience in which they create a campaign for a real business or organization. In addition to their excellent academic experience, public relations students get unique opportunities to travel abroad to places like Australia and Italy and can choose from seven relevant clubs to join, including the PRSSA and Lambda Pi Eta honor society.
4. Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania
Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania is home to a B.A. in Mass Communications program that features several tracks, one of which being Public Relations. Students who enroll in this fantastic program can build their PR knowledge by learning public relations theory and what the practical side of the field entails. As students navigate the program, they can enhance the skills they acquire in the classroom by joining the campus's PRSSA chapter. The university assists students who are interested in attaining additional real-world opportunities through a variety of great internship options.
5. Lee University
Lee University in Cleveland, Tennessee is proud to offer a B.S. in Public Relations and B.A. in Public Relations, both of which aim to prepare students for professional and academic careers in public relations while incorporating a biblical worldview. Each program teaches students public speaking, media law, and public relations writing and even has them plan a public relations campaign. To gain practical experience, students are encouraged to take part in communication internships focused on public relations like those offered by the Austin Hatcher Foundation, American Red Cross, American Heart Association, and Habitat for Humanity.
6. University of Nebraska - Lincoln
The University of Nebraska - Lincoln offers a Bachelor of Journalism in Advertising and Public Relations with a Public Relations emphasis that is designed to prepare students for roles in public relations involving planning and management, communication with public audiences, and crisis management in business. Students get great opportunities to work with real clients and brands during their time in the program. They can also receive support during their academic journeys through clubs and organizations like the PRSSA and Jacht, which allows students to take part in the agency experience.
7. Murray State University
Students who want a stellar academic experience in public relations can enroll in either the B.A. or B.S. in Public Relations degree program from Murray State University in Murray, Kentucky. While in the program, students will accumulate a portfolio of work they can use to help them get jobs in crisis management, speech writing, or other careers in public relations. The Department of Journalism and Mass Communications, in which the degree programs are housed, is one of only three in the state of Kentucky to be accredited by the Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communications (ACEJMC).
8. Appalachian State University
The Department of Communication at Appalachian State University in Boone, North Carolina is home to a B.S. in Public Relations that teaches students to develop their writing and researching skills and fully prepare for careers in public relations. One course available in the program gives students the opportunity to prepare a campaign for a client and even enter their campaign into a case study competition. Upon completion of the program, students will have graphic design, writing, and strategic plan samples to show to potential employers, bolstering their odds of beginning a fantastic career.
9. SUNY College at Oswego
SUNY College at Oswego in New York offers more than 110 majors, minors and programs, including the 45-credit B.A. in Public Relations program that prepares students for careers that involve graphic design, campaign development, and persuasive writing. The Communication Studies Department offers different media labs and studios in Lanigan Hall like a TV station and journalism laboratory to help students hone their communication skills. Campus organizations geared toward students in public relations and media are also available, including the PRSSA and Voices of Diversity for minorities in media.
10. The University of Alabama
The University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa provides a great opportunity for students to pursue or enhance an existing career in public relations through B.A. and M.A. in Public Relations programs. The B.A. in Public Relations prepares students to create and share persuasive messages for organizations, while the M.A. in Public Relations ensures students are ready for managerial roles in the field. Students enrolled in programs unrelated to public relations can benefit from the school's comprehensive Public Relations minor. During their time in their respective programs, students have the chance to get involved in the Arlyn S. Powell Chapter of the Public Relations Student Society of America, which allows them to develop professional skills by working for the student-run firm called the Capstone Agency.
11. Texas State University
Texas State University in San Marcos is home to more than 200 degree programs, including a comprehensive B.S. in Public Relations and Mass Communication. This program, which teaches students public relations from a global perspective, offers concentration options in sports media, digital media, and multimedia production. Students here can take advantage of the university's fantastic PRSSA Mentorship Program, which allows them to connect one-on-one with a PR professional from whom they can receive advice and job mentorship. Enrollees can even benefit from the KGBTexas Scholarship, which is geared specifically toward students in this program.
12. University of Idaho
At the University of Idaho in Moscow, students can pursue either a B.A. or B.S. in Public Relations. Each noteworthy program is designed to teach students how to work with organizations to create sustainable relationships between them and their intended audiences. During their time in their program, students can benefit from hands-on learning opportunities through the university's newspaper, magazine, and radio station. Internships are also available through Gritman Memorial Hospital and other nearby organizations and businesses.
13. Michigan State University
Michigan State University in East Lansing is proud to offer an M.A. in Public Relations with specialization options in nonprofit fundraising and media and information studies. Program enrollees will learn to enhance their skills in media relations, public relations management, quantitative research methods, and much more. At the undergraduate level, students can pursue a Public Relations minor, which teaches them how to develop public relations strategies and create eye-catching portfolios. Both graduate and undergraduate public relations students can seek financial assistance through scholarships like the Richard E. Augenstein Public Relations Scholarship.
14. University of Georgia
The University of Georgia in Athens offers an A.B. in Public Relations that prepares students to work in the public relations field as a planner and analyst. Students enrolled in this program can take advantage of superb opportunities to gain practical experience through study abroad programs that can take them to China, France, or London. The school also offers a variety of campus organizations that can help enhance students' academic and future career prospects, including the PRSSA, Creative Consultants, and the International Association of Business Communicators (IABC).
15. Rowan University
Rowan University in Glassboro, New Jersey is the home of a comprehensive two-year B.A. in Public Relations that helps students develop their skills in public relations writing, research, and more. The university also offers an M.A. in Strategic Communication (previously referred to as the M.A. in Public Relations) that teaches strategic writing, online public relations, visual communication, and media relations. In addition to the university's chapter of PRSSA, students can benefit from PRaction, the school's student-run PR agency that allows them to plan public relations campaigns for real clients.
16. Texas Tech University
Texas Tech University in Lubbock proudly offers a B.A. in Public Relations for students interested in studying different public relations strategies as well as international public relations, crisis communications, and sports public relations. In addition to learning traditional public relations concepts, the college offers the Outpost Social Media Lab, which helps students master new media and learn from beneficial training seminars, workshops and other forms of assistance. Outside of the classroom, students can build their public relations skills through student involvement opportunities that include the RaiderComm student-led PR firm and TechPR public relations student organization.
17. University of Central Oklahoma
At the University of Central Oklahoma in Edmond, students can enroll in a B.A. in Strategic Communications - Strategic Communications program that prepares them for careers in public relations, media buying, and marketing management. Students who enroll in this degree program, which focuses largely on public relations and advertising, have the opportunity to pursue a Public Relations minor. School community partners like the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) and Public Relations Society of America Oklahoma City give students a fantastic opportunity to develop professionally while in the program. Students can also grow their PR skills by participating in the school's PRSSA chapter.
18. Cleveland State University
Students attending Cleveland State University in Ohio can opt to enroll in a comprehensive B.A. in Journalism and Promotional Communication program that offers an Integrated Promotional Communication concentration (a joint program in Advertising and Public Relations). By enrolling in this program, students learn about communication campaigns, the principles of public relations, persuasive communication and promotional production from top faculty members, many of whom are public relations and advertising executives. Among the many options for gaining experience in this program is a three-credit internship available to individuals who have a junior or senior standing.
19. Temple University
Temple University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania is happy to provide its students with a B.A. in Public Relations program that teaches communication theories that impact the practice of public relations. Students in this program become skilled in crisis communications and fully knowledgeable of the legal and ethical aspects of public relations; they also learn how to write effectively for public relations. The university supports students who are enrolled in this program through organizations like the PRSSA as well as Temple University's Black Public Relations Society.
20. Salem State University
Salem State University in Salem, Massachusetts is the home of a notable B.S. in Media & Communication degree with a concentration in Public Relations. During their time in this program, students gain a quality understanding of the ins and outs of the field and even learn about public relations as it relates to social advocacy. Students who major in a field outside of public relations can pursue a minor in Public Relations that teaches the principles of the profession and prepares students for performing duties for clients. The campus's PRSSA chapter opens doors for students to network and offers access to great travel opportunities, scholarships, and internships.
21. University of Kentucky
Securing a career in the field of public relations is made possible at the University of Kentucky in Lexington through its Integrated Strategic Communication program through which students can earn a B.A. or B.S. This program features four outstanding academic paths, one of which being a Public Relations program that prepares students to excel in strategic public relations and integrated strategic communication campaigns. As students navigate through their coursework, they can seek financial support by applying for scholarships like the Bernie Vonderheide Scholarship in Public Relations as well as the James C. Bowling Scholarship.
22. Grand Valley State University
Allendale, Michigan is home to Grand Valley State University, an institution that offers both a B.A. and B.S. in Advertising and Public Relations. No matter which program students choose, they can enjoy a well-rounded academic experience that gives them an advanced understanding of campaigns and media planning. Students can join the campus's PRSSA chapter to network with other students, gain professional development opportunities, and find great internships and jobs. The university further assists its students by offering the Frederick A. Chapman Memorial Public Relations Scholarship for individuals in pursuit of a career in public relations who have a proven track record of community service.
23. University of South Carolina - Columbia
At the University of South Carolina - Columbia is a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism and Mass Communications (B.A.J.M.C.) with a major in Public Relations that trains students for top-notch careers in the field. In addition to developing their skills in public relations management, visual communications, and advanced public relations writing, students in this program take part in the capstone experience, which gives them a great opportunity to create a public relations campaign for an actual client. Additionally, students can participate in the school's Bateman team, which allows members to grow their PR skills by developing campaigns at the national level for a competition sponsored by the PRSSA. Even more opportunities for professional development are available through internships that could involve organizing fundraisers and managing crises.
24. Harding University
The Department of Communication at Harding University in Searcy, Arkansas is home to a B.A. in Public Relations program that provides students with advanced knowledge of communication theory, advertising, print news writing, and public relations tactics. During students' time in this program, they can join the student-run Public Relations Organization (PRO) for resume building and interviewing guidance and take part in internships to gain real-life experience in the field. Students can also get hands-on experience through student media like the Bison newspaper, KVHU radio station, and HU16 television station.
25. York College of Pennsylvania
York College of Pennsylvania offers a fantastic B.A. in Public Relations program that gives students the chance to learn theory and gain practical experience through classes covering public relations writing, research, and campaigns. Students who join the college's PRSSA chapter can get additional experience in the field by taking part in the annual Bateman Team Case Student Competition. Individuals who are majoring in another field and still want to study public relations can enroll in the college's 18-credit Public Relations minor program.
26. Central Michigan University
Students attending Central Michigan University in Mount Pleasant have the unique opportunity to earn a B.A., B.S., or B.A.A. in Integrative Public Relations (IPR). This interdisciplinary major was developed in a collaborative effort from three of the university's departments: Broadcast and Cinematic Arts (BCA), Communication (COM), and Journalism (JRN). The university's PRSSA chapter, which is the primary student organization for the IPR program, gives members the chance to network with PR professionals, take part in national conferences, and even work on campaigns. Students in the program who are in need of financial support can pursue the Integrative Public Relations Alumni Award among other scholarships.
27. West Virginia University
West Virginia University in Morgantown takes pride in offering an Advertising and Public Relations program that results in a Bachelor of Science in Journalism (B.S.J.) degree. Students can choose the Public Relations area of emphasis to develop their skills in strategic writing and media design. This program has been accredited by the Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communications and earned the illustrious Public Relations Society of America's Certification for Education in Public Relations. While enrolled, students can gain hands-on experience through on-campus facilities like the Media Innovation Center, which allows them to interact with professionals in the field and take part in campus media.
28. University of Southern Indiana
Through the University of Southern Indiana in Evansville, students can pursue a B.A. or B.S. degree by majoring in Public Relations & Advertising (PRA) with an emphasis in Public Relations. Enrolling in the PRA program is a great idea for students interested in careers as public relations or communication managers or media/social media consultants. If students are majoring in another subject area but would like to build their knowledge and skills in the field, they can pursue a Public Relations and Advertising minor at the university. The school provides plenty of amazing opportunities for students to gain practical experience by getting involved in campus organizations like the PRSSA and student media like Screaming Eagles Television.
29. Washington State University
At Washington State University in Pullman is a B.A. in Strategic Communication degree program that offers the option to major in Public Relations. The program teaches students how to use their skills to foster impactful relationships between an organization and its stakeholders and also create a good public image. The Department of Strategic Communication helps students get valuable hands-on experience through internships as well as student organizations like the PRSSA. Students can also work with the Cougar Communicators Group public relations firm, which is run by university students.
30. University of Colorado Boulder
The University of Colorado Boulder is proud to offer more than 150 areas of study, including a comprehensive B.S. in Strategic Communication for students who are eager to help organizations create and achieve their communication objectives. While enrolled in this program, students can pursue the public relations track in which they can gain insight into digital storytelling, global public relations, crisis communications, and more. Students who need financial assistance can pursue the Dan Creedon Sports Scholarship, which grants stipends for individuals who are interning in a sports-related department or organization.
31. SUNY College at Plattsburgh
At SUNY College at Plattsburgh in New York, students can choose from two great options in public relations: the B.A. in Public Relations or B.S. in Public Relations. Both programs enhance students' writing and research skills while providing valuable insight into project management, persuasion, journalism ethics and news writing. The university offers a minor in Public Relations that is designed to enhance majors like political science, marketing, and business. During their time in these programs, students can get involved with Cardinal PR, a student-run public relations firm designed to offer real-life experience through campaigns like those that the firm has carried out for the Imaginarium Children's Museum.
32. Mississippi Valley State University
Mississippi Valley State University in Itta Bena, Mississippi offers a four-year B.A. in Mass Communication - Public Relations program designed to prepare students for careers in public relations firms, advertising agencies, educational institutions, and other settings. During their time in this program, students get the chance to develop their public relations research, media writing, and public speaking skills. The university also offers a minor in Public Relations and provides students with opportunities for involvement through organizations like the Lambda Pi Eta - Communications Students Honors Society. Students in need of financial support can pursue scholarships like the Delta Devils Gazette Scholarship.
33. Arizona State University - Downtown Phoenix
At Arizona State University - Downtown Phoenix, students can earn a B.A. in Journalism and Mass Communication with a specialization in Public Relations that focuses on strategic communication, editing, and public relations writing and research. The university also offers a minor in Public Relations and Strategic Communications that prepares students for job opportunities in public relations, special-events planning, campaign communications, and marketing. To help students make the most of their studies, the university provides a Public Relations Lab that allows them to create campaigns and strategies for real clients both nationally and internationally.
34. Iowa State University
Iowa State University in Ames is the proud home of a comprehensive B.S. in Public Relations that trains students to assist organizations in building relationships with their desired audience. In addition to growing their knowledge through top-notch curriculum, students in the program get valuable hands-on experience through a mandatory 400-hour professional media internship - one of the most demanding in the nation - that gives students the chance to work in impressive professional environments like the Boston Globe and NASA. The university also offers a Public Relations minor for students who are not enrolled in a major offered through the university's Greenlee School of Journalism and Communication.
35. Southeast Missouri State University
At Southeast Missouri State University in Cape Girardeau, Missouri is a notable B.S. in Mass Communication program with a Public Relations option that gives students fantastic insight into strategic writing and public relations campaigns. The degree is offered through the university's Department of Mass Media, which is accredited by the ACEJMC and has earned Certification in Education in Public Relations from the PRSA. As students progress through the program, they can gain valuable experience by getting involved with the Riverfront Public Relations firm, which is run by peers.
36. University of Rhode Island
The B.A. in Public Relations from the University of Rhode Island in Kingston helps students strengthen their writing skills while learning about public relations as it relates to small communities as well as the international economy. In addition to taking courses that focus on strategic media relations and public relations practices, students can gain valuable hands-on experience through a practicum focused on public relations production. Students enrolled in other majors have the choice to minor in Public Relations by enrolling in an 18-credit program. The university offers the PRSSA through which students can network and strengthen their public relations skills outside of the classroom.
37. Western Kentucky University
At Western Kentucky University in Bowling Green is the B.A. in Public Relations, a PRSA-certified program that educates students in areas that include digital tactics and international public relations. While enrolled in this program, students can work with the Communication Success Center to gain assistance in social scientific essay writing as well as speech preparation. Students in this program have fantastic opportunities for professional development and practical experience through student organizations like the International Association of Business Communicators, Communication Ambassadors, and PRSSA.
38. Brigham Young University - Provo
Brigham Young University - Provo in Utah is home to more than 180 undergraduate majors, one of which being the B.A. in Communications: Public Relations. The program, which incorporates a Gospel-centered perspective, gives students the opportunity to learn about strategic public relations campaigns and digital media production as well as the teachings and doctrine of the Book of Mormon. This program has been honored to have its students organize the PRSSA's national conference more than once and even earn second place nationally in the Arthur Page Society Case Competition. To support students in their academic journeys, the university offers public relations scholarships like the Hopson Family Communications Scholarship.
39. Ball State University
The Department of Journalism at Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana offers a comprehensive B.A. in Public Relations and B.S. in Public Relations, both of which prepare students to play an important role in social media campaigns, photo shoots, crisis communications, radio interviews, and more. At the graduate level, students can pursue an M.A. in Public Relations if they want to get into market research, project planning, digital analytics, or strategic communication development. The university offers a variety of student-run agencies and associations that can help students get valuable public relations experience, including the Journalism Education Association and McKinley Avenue Agency for public relations, media sales, advertising, and marketing.
40. University of Akron
The University of Akron in Ohio takes pride in offering a complete B.A. in Communication program with a concentration in Public Relations. The concentration is designed to train students to work both in nonprofit and corporate sectors. Students enrolled in this program can get valuable hands-on experience through media production labs and real-world experience by participating in the School of Communication's Internship Program. Campus organizations available to PR students include the PRSSA and Association for Women in Communications.
41. Western Michigan University
At Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo is a fantastic Public Relations major that prepares students to make a splash in the field through their ability to think strategically and manage an organization's crisis communications. Students who would like to enter the related field of strategic communication can enroll in a Strategic Communication major and pursue an undergraduate certificate in Public Relations in which they learn the foundations of journalism, how to write for public relations, and great ways to develop public relations campaigns. Students can get valuable practical experience through the university's Clifford Center, which offers a top-notch multimedia auditorium, multimedia teleconference center, and lab for public relations and advertising design.
42. Minnesota State University Moorhead
Minnesota State University Moorhead is happy to offer its students a comprehensive B.S. in Public Relations and 18-credit minor in Public Relations. The B.S. in Public Relations educates students in media writing, social media campaigns, and public relations principles, while the minor in Public Relations teaches typography, writing for public relations, and photography. The university proudly boasts that 100% of alumni who studied public relations have secured careers within one year of graduating. In addition to enjoying an impactful academic experience, public relations students can receive financial help through a variety of fantastic scholarship opportunities.
43. The University of Tennessee - Knoxville
The School of Advertising and Public Relations at the University of Tennessee - Knoxville offers an eight-term B.S. in Communication with Public Relations major. In the program, students learn advertising and public relations design and public relations principles and take part in a seminar that gives them a head start in their mass communication careers through assistance in resume writing and portfolio creation. A number of scholarships are available for students enrolled in this program, including the Advertising & PR Student Travel Fund, which invests in students' professional growth by assisting with travel expenses, conference costs, and more. Students can even gain invaluable international experience through study abroad trips to Italy or other countries.
44. Lindenwood University
Students attending Lindenwood University in St. Charles, Missouri can enroll in a comprehensive B.A. in Advertising & Strategic Communications program that prepares them to work in the advertising and public relations industry through courses that teach public relations plan management and advertising skills. Students in this program can pursue a minor in Public Relations that teaches the basics of reporting, consumer behavior, and effective messaging. The university encourages students to join the ADSPRC student organization, which is linked to the American Advertising Federation (AAF) and PRSSA and helps with internships, jobs, and advanced educational training.
45. Illinois State University
Normal, Illinois is home to Illinois State University, an academic institution proud to offer both a B.A. in Public Relations and B.S. in Public Relations. This program is designed to help students get their start as professionals who manage communication between the organization they work for and the public. The university takes pride in the fact that this is the only program in the state of Illinois to receive the PRSA Certification in Education for Public Relations. To help students do their best in their studies, the university offers financial support via two public relations scholarships: the Baldwin Scholarship Fund and Mayor Judy Scholarship Fund.
46. Morehead State University
At Morehead State University in Morehead, Kentucky is a B.A. in Strategic Communication that teaches students about crisis communications, conflict management, and how to write effectively and create persuasive messages. The university also offers a minor in Public Relations & Event Planning in which students learn how to develop media kits and news releases while studying strategic messaging and public relations principles. Fantastic opportunities for financial support are available via the Cave Run Storytelling Festival PR and Social Media Internships among others. The university also gives students the chance to take part in media operations like the campus TV station, on-campus TV news program, and campus newspaper.
47. Northern Arizona University
Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff aims to give its students a great start in the field of public relations through its B.S. in Strategic Communication, which offers an emphasis in Public Relations. Students enrolled in this program can become skilled at interpreting the communication goals of an organization and get top-notch experience in creating a public relations campaign. A minor in Public Relations is available for students majoring in another field who would like to build their public relations knowledge and skills. All students in these programs can gain practical experience and enjoy opportunities for professional development by participating in the campus's PRSSA chapter.
48. Penn State University
Penn State University in State College is proud of its B.A. in Advertising/Public Relations, which provides students with a well-rounded learning experience focused on research, practice, and theory. Students who pursue the public relations option develop their news writing, PR campaign, and mass communication research skills. This program is housed in the Donald P. Bellisario College of Communications, which offers resources for students like internships, access to job fairs, and mentorship opportunities with university alumni.
49. Kennesaw State University
Kennesaw State University in Kennesaw, Georgia offers a fantastic B.S. in Public Relations program that prepares students to excel in crisis communications, multimedia communication strategy, and public relations writing. The university also offers a 12-credit Public Relations minor that focuses on many concepts and skills taught in the B.S. program. The School of Communication & Media at the university offers a class called the Agency that is set up much like a PR agency, giving students a chance to get practical experience in public relations planning and implementation. The school also provides global learning opportunities in public relations in places like the U.K. and Italy.
50. University of Houston
University of Houston students ready to make a difference in the field of public relations can get the start they desire by enrolling in the B.A. in Strategic Communication program and pursuing a concentration in Public Relations. In addition to a stellar curriculum, the program gives students the chance to work with real organizations, some of which can be found in the Bauer College of Business Wolff Center for Entrepreneurship. The university's Valenti Integrated agency, led by students, offers opportunities to work with clients while earning college credits. Students already working in public relations who would like to take on greater responsibilities in the field like managerial roles can pursue an M.A. in Public Relations at the university.
To get a more in-depth look at our school ranking methodology, please visit Study.com's ranking methodology page.