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Back to School: 10 Up-and-Coming Graduate PR Degree Programs
Back to School: 10 Up-and-Coming Graduate PR Degree Programs
Back to School: 10 Up-and-Coming Graduate PR Degree Programs
Back to School: 10 Up-and-Coming Graduate PR Degree Programs
Back to School: 10 Up-and-Coming Graduate PR Degree Programs
Back to School: 10 Up-and-Coming Graduate PR Degree Programs
Back to School: 10 Up-and-Coming Graduate PR Degree Programs
Back to School: 10 Up-and-Coming Graduate PR Degree Programs
Back to School: 10 Up-and-Coming Graduate PR Degree Programs
Back to School: 10 Up-and-Coming Graduate PR Degree Programs
Back to School: 10 Up-and-Coming Graduate PR Degree Programs
Back to School: 10 Up-and-Coming Graduate PR Degree Programs
Back to School: 10 Up-and-Coming Graduate PR Degree Programs
Back to School: 10 Up-and-Coming Graduate PR Degree Programs
Back to School: 10 Up-and-Coming Graduate PR Degree Programs
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Back to School: 10 Up-and-Coming Graduate PR Degree Programs

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RAPID GROWTH: PR MASTER DEGREES GREW BY 300% IN 10 YEARS …

RAPID GROWTH: PR MASTER DEGREES GREW BY 300% IN 10 YEARS

Considering the growth of U.S. master-degree PR programs—up from 26 in 2000 to 75 today, says the Commission on Public Relations Education—it’s a wonder they keep coming, but they do. Among them, based on feedback from practitioners and trade press, are our Top 10 “up-and-comers.”

They aren’t necessarily better than other PR and communications graduate programs, but judging by the feedback we’ve received, and the quality of the schools involved, we wouldn’t be surprised if they are. For certain, they’ve topped the profession’s buzz meter as the “most popular” choices among people who want to get into the field quickly, and people in the field who want to get on the fast track to top management.

What makes them popular is their educational philosophy, which is decidedly “practice-makes-perfect.”

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  • 1. Back to School10 Up-and-Coming Graduate PR Degree Programs
  • 2. Back to School 10 Up-and-Coming Graduate PR Degree Programs RAPID GROWTH: PR MASTER DEGREES GREW BY 300% IN 10 YEARSConsidering the growth of U.S. master-degree PR programs—up from 26 in 2000 to 75today, says the Commission on Public Relations Education—it’s a wonder they keepcoming, but they do. Among them, based on feedback from practitioners and trade press,are our Top 10 “up-and-comers.”They aren’t necessarily better than other PR and communications graduate programs, butjudging by the feedback we’ve received, and the quality of the schools involved, we wouldn’tbe surprised if they are. For certain, they’ve topped the profession’s buzz meter as the“most popular” choices among people who want to get into the field quickly, and people inthe field who want to get on the fast track to top management.What makes them popular is their educational philosophy, which is decidedly “practice-makes-perfect.” Research by: Don Bates, PR Instructor, New York University Don Bates teaches basic and advanced public relations writing at New York University and in private workshops and in public programs run by the PRSA-National Capital Chapter and other professional organizations.
  • 3. First Grad PR Program to Be PRSA Certified • Program: MA in Public Relations • Degree: M.A. • Location: Muncie, IN • GRE required: Yes • Date established: On-Campus 1968, Online 2009 • Credits for graduation: 33-36 • On campus: Yes • Online: Yes • Graduates per year: approx. 20 (both on- campus and online) • Graduates to date: 600+ Learn More • Description: Recently certified by PRSA, this is the first graduate PR program in the U.S. to receive this distinction. Stresses PR planning and management to achieve public understanding based on two-way communication. Emphasizes mastery of professional skills. Students learn interrelationship of management, organization, and communication theories.Ball State University
  • 4. Strategic Communications Taught by Pros • Program: Strategic Communications • Degree: M.S. • Location: New York, NY • GRE required: No • Established: 2002 • Credits for graduation: 36 • On campus: Yes • Online: No • Graduates per year: approx. 40 • Graduates to date: approx. 350 Learn More • Description: Students learn from practicing professionals. The part-time program focuses on becoming a strategically oriented communication executive. Courses cover planning, research, writing and creative insight. Knowledge gained in the program is immediately applicable. From day one, the program helps students to move into and progress upward in professional communication careers.Columbia University
  • 5. Building Strategic Leaders • Program: Strategic Communications • Degree: M.S. • Location: Boston, MA • GRE required: No • Established: 2002 • Credits for graduation: 36 • On campus: Yes • Online: No • Graduates per year: approx. 40 • Graduates to date: approx. 350 Learn More • Description: Students learn from practicing professionals. The part-time program focuses on becoming a strategically oriented communication executive. Courses cover planning, research, writing and creative insight. Knowledge gained in the program is immediately applicable. From day one, the program helps students to move into and progress upward in professional communication careers.Emerson College
  • 6. Marrying Health and Strategic Communications • Program: MA in Communication • Degree: M.A. • Location: Fairfax, VA • GRE required: Yes • Established: 2002 • Credits for graduation: 33 • On campus: Yes • Online: No • Graduates per year: approx. 20 • Graduates to date: approx. 90 Learn More • Description: There are two areas of specialization: health communication and strategic communication. Health communication explores the use of PR and public affairs to improve the health and well-being of individuals and communities. Strategic communication focuses on developing and executing public communication campaigns based on public relations theory and research.George Mason University
  • 7. Responding Ethically to Communications Challenges • Program: Master of Professional Studies in Public Relations and Corporate Communications • Degree granted: M.P.S. • Location: Washington, DC • GRE required: No • Established: 2007 • Credits for graduation: 30 • On campus: Yes • Online: No • Graduates per year: approx. 100 • Graduates to date: 250+ Learn More • Description: Emphasizes strategic thinking, planning, evaluation, writing and leadership. Equips students to respond ethically and confidently to communication challenges. Associated with Center for Social Impact Communication (CSIC), which seeks to establish industry standards for responsible communication practices, and to educate and inspire students to have a social impact.Georgetown University
  • 8. Graduate School of Political Management • Program: Masters in Strategic Public Relations • Degree granted: M.P.S. • Location: Alexandria, VA • GRE required: Yes • Date established: Fall 2007 • Credits for graduation: 33 • On campus: Yes • Online: Yes • Graduates per year: NA • Graduates to date: 200+ Learn More • Description: Takes advantage of connections in the Nation’s Capital, focusing on public policy and advocacy roles of PR firms and of PR departments in corporations, government agencies, and not-for-profit associations. Students employ new and traditional media to deliver targeted messages to specific audiences, serving as communication strategists as well as tacticians.George Washington University
  • 9. Emphasizing Research and Theory • Program: Master of Arts in Communication • Degree: M.A. • Location: Washington, DC, campus • GRE required: Yes • Established: 2001 • Credits for graduation: 40 credits • On campus: Yes • Online: Yes • Graduates per year: Approx. 26 • Graduates to date: Approx. 260 Learn More • Description: Emphasizes academic excellence and applied knowledge. Instructors teach what they do as practitioners; top scholars teach science, research and theory. By combining practice and scholarship, students acquire skills and knowledge to help them advance in the workplace. Students pursue degrees full-time and part-time on campus in Washington, D.C., or online.Johns Hopkins University
  • 10. Designed with Input from PR Execs • Program: Master of Science in Public Relations and Corporate Communication • Degree: M.S. • Location: New York, NY • GRE required: No • Established: 2005 • Credits required for graduation: 42 • On campus: Yes • Online: No • Graduates per year: 50 (328 now enrolled) • Graduates to date: 200 Learn More • Description: Designed with the assistance of top executives in corporations and PR agencies. Combines theory and practice with emphasis on strategic planning, management, writing, oral communication, research, and evaluation. Faculty includes leading scholars and PR practitioners. Awarded PRWeek magazine’s inaugural "PR Program of the Year" award.New York University
  • 11. International, Investor or Healthcare PR • Program: Master of Science in Public Relations Program in the School of Communications • Degree: M.S. in PR • Location: Hamden, CT • GRE required: Yes • Established: 2009 • Credits for graduation: 36 • On campus: Yes • Online: Some courses offered online Learn More • Description: Designed for early to mid-career professionals interested in a public relations career, or in advancing their current career in the field. Students may specialize in international, investor or healthcare public relations. Full-time students spend nine months on campus, followed by a research thesis or professional project.Quinnipiac University
  • 12. Annenberg School for Communication & Journalism • Program: Public Relations Studies Program • Degree: Master in Strategic Public Relations • Location: Los Angeles, CA • GRE required: Yes • Established: 1998 • Credits for graduation: 40 • On campus: Yes • Online: Not currently • Graduates per year: 59 in 2011 • Graduates to date: 376 Learn More • Description: Trains highly skilled, strategically oriented professionals able to “hit the ground running.” Based on continuing interaction with professional leaders and findings of program’s Generally Accepted Practices Study (GAP) of PR trends and practices. Majority of students enroll in International Program, which enables them to study and work in China, the UK, or South Africa.University of Southern California
  • 13. Back to School 10 Up-and-Coming Graduate PR Degree Programs 80% OF INSTRUCTORS WORK IN PR FIRMSAs a result, 80 percent or more of their instructors are high-level practitioners from PR firms,corporations, government agencies, and not-for-profit enterprises. What they bring to theseprograms is less about academic credentials and much more about PR skills, knowledge,and experience learned on the job. Unlike many tenure-tracked academicians, theinstructors are virtually all part-time adjuncts.The Commission on PR Education says the PR field is split on whether a master’s degree isnecessary for assuring or hastening PR success – but opinion is clearly moving in afavorable direction. If someone obtains a PR graduate degree, the Commission adds, it“should add the equivalent of three years’ professional experience.” Research by: Don Bates, PR Instructor, New York University Don Bates teaches basic and advanced public relations writing at New York University and in private workshops and in public programs run by the PRSA-National Capital Chapter and other professional organizations.
  • 14. Back to School 10 Up-and-Coming Graduate PR Degree Programs A PR MASTER’S DEGREE EQUALS THREE YEARS’ EXPERIENCEStudents in our up-and-comers want exactly that. As one NYU newbie explained, “I’minterested in gaining applied knowledge about how to deliver strategies, messages andactivities that will add to my clients’ or employer’s success right now.”Columbia’s program emphasizes: “From day one…you will be able to take what you learn inthe classroom and apply it in your workplace to inspire and implement meaningful change.”All Top 10 share the same goal — graduating students who are educated to take their placeas strategic thinkers and doers in the expanding public relations profession and associatedfields. A master’s degree from one of these programs more than likely will provide a big legup on the competition. Research by: Don Bates, PR Instructor, New York University Don Bates teaches basic and advanced public relations writing at New York University and in private workshops and in public programs run by the PRSA-National Capital Chapter and other professional organizations.
  • 15. The #1 online grad school center for communications professionals

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