Best Public Relations Schools
In this list, we'll take a look at the 30 best schools for public relations degrees. These colleges and universities were selected for their curriculum, opportunities for learning outside the classroom, and PR-related campus activities. You'll find schools with award-winning or active chapters of the Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA), colleges that offer mentoring services, and schools that encourage global public relations education through study abroad. Additionally, we examined school and program data provided by the Department of Education to select schools that not only have stellar programs, but are also schools that offer affordable and accessible options for students. 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.
1. University of Northwestern - St. Paul
Leading the list of the best PR schools is the University of Northwestern in St. Paul, MN. This university embraces its Christian foundation, with faith and spirituality playing integral roles in courses, student activities, and campus life. You can choose from a Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science in Public Relations or a minor. Experiential learning forms the basis of the undergraduate programs, with opportunities to work on PR events on campus or pursue PR experiences in the busy Minneapolis and St. Paul hubs. Furthermore, 96% of the school's PR grads have reported that they are satisfied with their job.
2. Appalachian State University
Based in Boone, NC, Appalachian State University features a B.S. in Communication with a Public Relations concentration that immerses students in hands-on learning experiences. You'll find numerous opportunities to network with PR professionals through the campus' active Public Relations Student Society of America chapter. You can also participate in two communications associations or pursue global PR opportunities through study abroad programs. You'll need to earn a minor while obtaining your PR degree, and you can choose from minors in marketing, non-profit management, business, and more.
3. Auburn University
Alabama's Auburn University offers an undergraduate public relations degree program through the School of Communication and Journalism. To be admitted to this program, you'll need to complete the prerequisite courses, obtain at least 30 hours of credits related to the degree field, and submit an essay outlining your goals and potential influence on the PR field. In this program, you'll participate in a variety of PR campaigns and get real-world experience through a required internship.
4. Illinois State University
Illinois State University bears the honor of hosting the only PR program in the state to be awarded a Certification in Education for Public Relations. You can earn a B.A. or a B.S. in Public Relations through the School of Communication by taking courses like:
- PR research and management
- Public relations campaigns
- Internal PR
- PR production and writing
The university also offers a chapter of the Public Relations Student Society of America, which provides you with opportunities to attend conferences and network with PR professionals.
5. Bradley University
Bradley University's public relations bachelor's program stands out for its hands-on learning and teamwork opportunities. As a student in this program, you'll team up with fellow students for a senior project designing and putting in place a campaign for an actual business. You can participate in popular Peoria, IL, area events and put your skills to work through internships and campus clubs. All of the courses in the PR program are led by experienced faculty members, and you'll find a welcoming classroom atmosphere with a 12:1 student to faculty ratio.
6. Towson University
Based in Towson, Maryland, Towson University proudly offers a PR program that provides an intensive look at how media and PR impacts society. This degree is a mass communication degree with a specialization in strategic public relations and integrated communications. You'll explore a variety of communication methods designed to highlight a business or agency and find opportunities for a global perspective on PR through study abroad programs in the field. You can choose from electives in PR for nonprofit organizations, international PR, advertising media planning and more, while completing required courses, that include PR writing, strategic PR, and principles of public relations.
7. Westminster College
We're highlighting Westminster College's PR program because of its commitment to experiential education and focus on portfolio building. You'll also have opportunities to complete an internship and work with actual clients through an experiential studies course. At this New Wilmington, PA, school, you can get support in landing an internship through the Professional Development Center and acquire additional knowledge through mentoring opportunities with professors. Also of note, all courses are led by professors, rather than TAs, who bring real world PR experience to the classroom.
8. University of Mount Union
Located in Alliance, Ohio, the University of Mount Union offers a Bachelor of Arts in Public Relations program that emphasizes the building of public speaking skills, social media strategies, and PR design and writing methods. You can expand on your classroom knowledge through student organizations, such as a student media club and PRSSA chapter, which feature student-led activities, conferences, tours, and guest speakers centered on public relations and media concepts. You'll also get real-world experience through a required internship, which may include opportunities to work with nearby sports teams, newspaper agencies, institutes, and medical facilities.
9. Otterbein University
Otterbein University offers a cohesive B.A. in Public Relations that combines elements of journalism and public relations with other areas of interest. Your classes will immerse you in PR activities like planning large events, holding news conferences, designing reports, and launching PR campaigns. Otterbein's location in central Ohio opens the doors to hands-on learning experiences with nearby clients and organizations. You'll also have plenty of opportunities to explore the PR field through field trips and guest speakers offered by the Department of Communication.
10. Baldwin Wallace University
Located near Cleveland, in Berea, OH, Baldwin Wallace University offers a wealth of hands-on learning experiences and opportunities to interact with PR professionals, in addition to classroom learning. You'll have access to several clubs and events on campus, including a PR for Nonprofits networking opportunity and a chapter of PRSSA, which offer networking, co-curricular options, and job shadowing resources to enhance your resume. An internship is required to earn your PR degree, and you could find yourself interning with Fortune 500 companies, non-profits, and more. The university also offers a minor in this field.
11. Franklin College
The PR faculty at this Indiana college put the focus on building student relationships in order to encourage a passion for the subject both in and out of the classroom. Experiential learning plays a key role in the PR major at Franklin College, so you'll have plenty of chances to network with PR professionals, attend a seminar or workshop, participate in on-campus PR events, or tour PR facilities. The major requires an internship as well, but there's no limit to the number of internships you can complete while you're in the program.
12. Rowan University
New Jersey's Rowan University proudly features an award-winning chapter of PRSSA, recognized on a national scale for its efforts. The university's Bachelor of Arts in Public Relations incorporates simulations into its classes, offering you the chance to hone your problem-solving, presentation, and PR skills while working alongside actual clients. You can participate in one of the school's student-led agencies, like PR Action or the ad club, and learn from experienced faculty who remain active in the PR field through research and ongoing APR certification. A master's program is also available at Rowan, with course offerings in school and online PR, strategic communication, and PR planning.
13. York College of Pennsylvania
At York College of Pennsylvania, the PR major is part of the Graham School of Business and includes courses in PR campaigns, persuasion, and new media. This program stands out for its commitment to hands-on learning, with practical experiences starting in the first year of study. You can expect to work with your classmates on PR campaigns, and you will have the opportunity to complete an internship while you earn your degree. One of the highlights of this program is the emphasis on writing, with courses in print media writing, PR writing, and rhetorical communication.
14. University of Rhode Island
University of Rhode Island's PR bachelor's program emphasizes strategic communication and offers a project-focused approach to public relations education. At this Kingston, RI school, you'll learn from PR experts who guide you through the process of creating PR campaigns for real clients and teach you the essentials of PR research and media relations. One of the university's most popular majors, the PR program includes internships and networking opportunities that can be used to build your portfolio and provide you with the practical skills you need to start your career.
15. University of Tennessee - Knoxville
You'll find bachelor's, master's, and doctoral degrees in public relations at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville. In the bachelor's program, you can acquire global experience in public relations and communications through study abroad programs or get hands-on experience through internships, field trips, and networking opportunities. Research plays a key role in the PR programs offered here, and you'll find a research exhibition for undergrad students as well as a research symposium for grad students.
16. Anderson University
South Carolina's Anderson University proudly offers a Bachelor of Arts in Communication with a Public Relations emphasis. This program integrates Christian principles and values into PR courses and activities, providing a solid foundation for your career. You'll explore PR fundamentals through coursework, internships, and community projects. You can also get a global perspective on public relations through a study abroad opportunity.
17. Kent State University
Located in Kent, Ohio, Kent State University provides students with a PR program that integrates concepts of communication and technology into a curriculum that emphasizes both classroom learning and practical knowledge. You can get experience in public relations without leaving campus through a student-run PR agency or by joining the nationally recognized PRSSA chapter. You'll also find opportunities for experiential learning at a marketing and communications agency in Kent or via the required internship.
18. University of Georgia
The Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Georgia in Athens is home to a bachelor's program in public relations that emphasizes practical experience and global learning options. Internships aren't required to earn your degree but they are encouraged, so you'll find numerous resources to help you land an internship, including an internship newsletter and online info provided by Grady's career services center. Your courses are led by award-winning faculty, and you'll have access to opportunities for fieldwork nationwide and study abroad options for global experiences. The university also offers graduate programs in public relations.
19. Ball State University
Ball State University, in Muncie, IN, proudly offers a public relations bachelor's program that has received accreditation from the Public Relations Society of America. You can earn a Bachelor of Science or a Bachelor of Arts through this program, which teaches you the essentials of managing PR campaigns, organizing public events, delivering press releases, and more. Your education won't just take place in the classroom here, and you'll find yourself getting hands-on experience through Ball State's student-run strategic communication agency. You can also choose from three optional concentrations while earning your PR degree:
- Event management and planning
- Emerging media
20. California Baptist University
California Baptist University offers you a customized approach to public relations, making it possible to choose from concentrations in media relations, new media, international PR, strategic communication, or integrated marketing. Social media strategies, media interactions, branding, and ethical PR approaches are just some of the key concepts you'll be introduced to in the B.A. in Public Relations program. Courses in the program include PR campaigns and research and a writing for media course. You'll also be able to complete an internship as part of your selected concentration.
21. Monmouth College
Monmouth College, in IL, is proud to offer an interdisciplinary bachelor's degree in public relations with features like accessible faculty and state-of-the-art technology to enhance your education. Monmouth's program combines theoretical knowledge, an emphasis on strategic communication, and practical experience. You'll have access to the Associated Colleges of the Midwest Chicago Urban Studies Program for experiential learning opportunities as well as a computer and media lab, audio broadcast studios, and campus newspaper and TV for PR projects.
22. Capital University
Student learning through various mediums is a key component of Capital University's communication programs, including their major in public relations. You'll find a PR program that offers opportunities for research, hands-on learning, and culminating experiences to ensure your understanding of the PR field at this Columbus, OH university. Your culminating project can be in one of three forms, allowing you to immerse yourself in client-driven projects, pursue an independent PR project, or participate in an internship.
23. Lipscomb University
Nashville, TN's Lipscomb University has a public relations Bachelor of Arts program that highlights the importance of social media and digital communication as well as adaptability to constant changes in the PR world. You'll explore PR tools through classroom discussions and hands-on experiences, which include opportunities working with actual clients. To earn the degree, you'll be expected to complete an internship and two capstone projects that showcase your PR knowledge. The program offers small classes led by industry experts and access to the larger Nashville area, opening up numerous opportunities for real-world learning.
24. West Texas A&M University
West Texas A&M University, in Canyon, provides a combined PR and advertising bachelor's degree program through the media communication department. This program culminates in a B.A. or B.S. and provides you with the leadership, analytical, and practical skills necessary to work in the PR field. You'll explore mass media and communication theories and qualitative research methods while you hone your understanding of public relations campaigns, PR copywriting methods, media writing and design, and ethics. At this university, you can participate in an internship or work in the university's student-run PR office to get the practical experience you need to jump start your career.
25. Keene State College
New Hampshire's Keene State College is one of just a few New England colleges to offer a fully self- contained journalism program with three options, one of which is PR. The Bachelor of Arts in Journalism - Public Relations focuses on media, ethics, and writing, and it provides opportunities to build your presentation and research skills. You'll get an in-depth look at the practice of PR and explore television and media production, mass media history, and public affairs reporting methods. This program requires you to complete an internship and provides access to a broadcast studio and editing labs on campus.
26. Oral Roberts University
Based in Tulsa, OK, Oral Roberts University has a Bachelor of Science in Public Relations that focuses on corporate PR strategies, writing skills, and critical thinking. You'll immerse yourself in public relations methods and strategies in Oral Roberts University's PR bachelor's program, which offers opportunities to collaborate with real clients, interact with PR professionals, and visit various PR agencies and related organizations. The program encourages involvement in student competitions and internships to build your practical experience. You can also find jobs on campus related to the PR field, including positions in sales, social media, event planning, and fundraising.
27. Huntington University
This New Jersey-based university is home to a PR undergraduate program that combines classroom learning with hands-on experiences. You'll explore the basic tenets of public relations through communication and writing courses, learn about PR's role in the media, and acquire an understanding of ethical PR practices. The university offers a wealth of practical learning experiences to build your resume, including practicums and internships. You can find a role on the university's newspaper or take an in-depth look at PR crisis management while you earn your degree.
28. Carroll College
A Catholic college based in Helena, Montana, Carroll College features a PR major with a strong emphasis in communication. You'll study all aspects of communications, from public speaking to conflict management communication. This undergraduate degree program encourages a focused educational experience, with concentration options in print journalism, marketing, and television production. You'll find plenty of opportunities for real-world experience here as well, through internships and PR campaigns for real clients.
29. Ohio Northern University
Located in Ada, OH, Ohio Northern University's public relations program puts the emphasis on the student, with mentoring programs that last throughout your tenure at the university. You'll meet your faculty mentor at the start of your first year on campus and they'll help you with a variety of academic services, including internships and experiential learning options. You can also get a mentor through the university's chapter of PRSSA who can help you prepare for your career. In addition to your coursework, you need to complete one internship, but more are encouraged, and you might find yourself working at a national or international corporation to gain PR experience.
30. Mount Vernon Nazarene University
Experience is key at Ohio's Mount Vernon Nazarene University, where the public relations bachelor's program offers a variety of global, regional, and national learning opportunities. While earning your degree, you can study abroad to acquire a global perspective on PR or take advantage of the resources available in the Columbus area to build your resume and PR skills. On campus, you'll find resources like the college radio and television stations or PR clubs to engage in outside of the classroom.
To get a more in-depth look at our school ranking methodology, please visit Study.com's ranking methodology page.