Rankings

The 10 Best Online Master’s of Public Relations Graduate Schools

Written by Grad School Center Team We are a passionate team of experienced educators and advisors at GradSchoolCenter.com, dedicated to guiding students through their graduate education journey. Our experts, with advanced degrees across various disciplines, offer personalized advice, up-to-date program information, and practical insights into application processes.

Reviewed by David Krug David Krug is a seasoned expert with 20 years in educational technology (EdTech). His career spans the pivotal years of technology integration in education, where he has played a key role in advancing student-centric learning solutions. David's expertise lies in marrying technological innovation with pedagogical effectiveness, making him a valuable asset in transforming educational experiences. As an advisor for enrollment startups, David provides strategic guidance, helping these companies navigate the complexities of the education sector. His insights are crucial in developing impactful and sustainable enrollment strategies.

Updated: February 23, 2024, Reading time: 23 minutes

Best Online Master's PR - featured image

Find your perfect college degree

Grad School Center is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

Every successful company or institution has a distinct and attractive profile or public “face.” The face that is presented is shaped to a very large degree by experts in Public Relations. This article profiles ten of the very best online Master’s of Public Relations schools currently available.

Before looking at the schools, let’s take a few moments to discuss what public relations are all about. Public Relations deal with optimizing the public perception of an organization. These efforts are designed to improve both marketing and advertising as well as fundraising.

An online Master’s degree in Public Relations will give its graduates the needed knowledge and experience in communications, marketing, predictive modeling and analysis, and management.

According to the latest data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median pay for Public Relations and Fundraising managers is an impressive $119,860 per year, and Public Relations Specialists earn on average a respectable $62,800 per year. In the major areas of public relations employment, job growth is predicted to be higher than average over the next decade. This is attributed to the rising need of individuals and organizations to project a good public image.       

public relations

The work environment for Public Relations managers, Media and Communications Specialists, and Public Relations Specialists has traditionally been office-based. A great deal of travel and public speaking and presentations were also part of the job.

However, the new situation that Covid brought about has changed a great many aspects of these fields. Online opportunities are much more common now, and social media is now a prime area for establishing the right kind of public image for a given institution.

Advanced information technology and the universal reach of social media have changed how people review and process information. A business’s or institution’s best and likely only change to make the right impression and win the trust of potential customers and patrons will come in that first online encounter through social media.

Public Relations professionals need to flourish in these environments. If they are good at their craft, they can help their clients or employers earn the trust of their targeted audiences.


Quick audio summary:


METHODOLOGY

In this ranking, we have compiled a list of the Best Online Master’s of Public Relations Graduate Schools based on attributes that will provide each student with quality education, professional enrichment, or career advancement. The following opportunities were considered:


Best Online Master’s of Public Relations Graduate Schools

Georgetown University

Georgetown University

Washington, DC

Master’s in Public Relations & Corporate Communications

Georgetown University’s online Master in Public Relations & Corporate Communications degree program helps you develop the skills you need to perform efficient public relations and communications work. Their online program helps you to master cutting-edge technology, including predictive modeling, automation tools, and artificial intelligence. You will need these to stand out as a public relations professional in the modern world.

Admission Requirements

To qualify for admission to Georgetown University’s online Master of Public Relations program, you need to comply with these requirements:

Standout Features of Georgetown University’s Master of Public Relations Degree Program 

Georgetown University does not require applicants to submit Graduate Record Examination (GRE) or Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) results to be admitted into their master’s degree programs.

Industry leaders and practitioners are the experts behind George University’s Master in Public Relations & Corporate Communications degree program. It gives you that competitive edge in media analysis, gathering customer insights, professional writing, and other essential PR skills necessary for pursuing your educational and career goals.

While studying, Georgetown University will also allow you to work with real-world clients, including:

Georgetown University’s Master’s in Public Relations & Corporate Communications program is a three-time winner of PRWeek’s “PR Education Program of the Year” Award. Some of the school’s notable alumni include Bill Clinton and Bradley Cooper.


Webster University

Webster University

St. Louis, MO

Master of Arts (MA) in Public Relations

Webster University offers its Master of Arts in Public Relations program through its School of Communications. It is also offered online by the university’s Belvoir campus. The degree is intended for students who want to advance their careers in public relations.

Admission Requirements

Students who wish to be admitted into Webster University’s graduate degree programs must comply with these requirements:

Standout Features of Webster University’s Master of Arts in Public Relations Degree Program 

Webster University’s Master of Arts in Public Relations degree program makes students learn and understand the role of public relations in entrepreneurship and globalization. 

Students who succeed in the university’s master of public relations degree program are expected to display these skills:

Webster University has a campus network. It has campuses in at least nine countries, including the United States, Great Britain,  Austria, the Netherlands, Greece, China, Switzerland, Ghana, and Thailand.


Quinnipiac University

Quinnipiac University

Hamden, CT

Online MS in Public Relations

Quinnipiac University’s Master of Science in Public Relations is a degree program you can complete online. Their curriculum is made under the Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities (KSA) prescribed by the Public Relations Society of America for their accreditation in the public relations (APR) exam. It also prepares you for leadership roles and responsibilities in public relations. 

Admission Requirements

To qualify for admission to Quinnipiac University’s MS in Public Relations program, you must comply with these requirements:

Note: You don’t need to hold an undergraduate public relations degree to qualify for admission to Quinnipiac University’s MS in Public Relations program. However, if you hold a degree in a related field, you are encouraged to apply.

Standout Features of Quinnipiac University’s Master of Science in Public Relations Degree Program 

Quinnipiac University’s MS in Public Relations program focuses on key public relations management topics, including strategic writing, relations and reputation management, branding, crisis communications, etc. Qualified applicants can choose from many electives that can help you focus on your areas of interest.

Quinnipiac University prides itself in its curriculum focused on effective communication strategies recognized by the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA). Quinnipiac’s MS in Public Relations program will develop your communications and leadership skills and your marketing skills as well. Its core curriculum includes branding, crisis management, ethics, reputation management, and social media. Their program will help you to develop and sharpen your leadership and public relations skills. These are the new skills you are expected to demonstrate upon completion of the program:

The MS in Public Relations program of Quinnipiac University is one of only four graduate programs worldwide endorsed by the Certification in Education for Public Relations (CEPR) through the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA).


California Baptist University

California Baptist University

Riverside, California

Online Master of Arts in Public Relations

California Baptist University’s Master of Arts in Public Relations is one of the best schools to develop your critical thinking and hone your professional practice skills, with ample consideration of biblical truths as your moral guide.

As a Master’s in PR student, CBU will train you to be creative, competent, and confident. The school will also sharpen your ability to communicate effectively. These can help you attain success in your career in relations.   

Admission Requirements

If you wish to enroll at California Baptist University’s MA in Public Relations, you should meet the following requirements:

Standout Features of California Baptist University’s Master of Arts in Public Relations Degree Program 

The online Master of Arts in Public Relations at California Baptist University will make you ready for the professional challenges of the real world. It will develop your skills in essential public relations subjects, including:

California Baptist University was founded in 1950. It is handled by faculty and staff that are 100% Christian.


University of Florida-Online

University of Florida-Online

Gainesville, FL

Online Master of Arts in Mass Communication with a Specialization in Public Relations

When you enroll at the University of Florida College of Journalism and Communications, you will be taught different ways to manage information professionally. Information is a very important yet fragile matter. Through this curriculum, you will learn effective ways to access, write, and present information in a way that will help any campaign you make take a smooth take-off towards the attainment of your PR goals.

Admission Requirements:

These are the minimum requirements for admission into the University of Florida’s online master’s degree programs:

Standout Features of the University of Florida’s Master of Arts in Mass Communication with Specialization in Public Relations Degree Program 

The University of Florida’s College of Journalism and Communication online master’s degree programs are intended for students who see their courses as a challenge to grow as communicators. They learn via hands-on assignments and constructive feedback from instructors and peers. 

The online courses offered at UF CJC are flexible. They provide live online meetings and prerecorded lectures to allow you, the student, to take part in their courses wherever you may be in the world. 

On top of these, the University of Florida’s Master of Arts in Mass Communications with Specialization in Public Relations is an admired graduate degree from a prestigious, high-ranking public university.

The University of Florida is the first school in Florida to be included in the US News & World Report Best Colleges’ list of top 10 best public universities in 2018. In 2021, it is still a top public university in the US.


Ball State University

Ball State University

Muncie, IN

Online Master’s Degree in Public Relations

Ball State University’s master’s degree in public relations is certified by the Public Relations Society of America. A degree program makes you ripe for a career or profession or academic advancement in communication, social media, market research, and several other fields.    

Admission Requirements

If you wish to apply for admission into Ball State University’s Master’s Degree in Public Relations, these are the requirements that you need to comply with:

Note: Ball State University doesn’t require a GRE from students who qualify for admission into their master’s in public relations degree program. 

Standout Features of Ball State University’s Master’s Degree in Public Relations Degree Program 

Ball State University’s master’s in public relations curriculum is designed for experienced and new professionals regardless of their field of endeavor. Should you opt to take this master’s degree at Ball State University, you will be exposed to a great opportunity to learn and develop skills that many modern employers are looking for.

Ball State University prides itself on an award-winning faculty that fosters innovation, leadership, and sound information management.

Ball State University’s Public Relations team won third place in the national Arthur W. Page Society 2020 Case Study Competition.


Johns Hopkins University 

Johns Hopkins University

Washington, DC

Online Master of Arts in Communication

The easy availability of information makes the creation of powerful messages to many people. This means you need to do more to make people hear, see, and act upon what you say.

The Johns Hopkins University’s Master of Arts in Communication degree is intended for the modern workplace. It is an advanced and innovative curriculum anchored on key communication elements, including research, writing, strategy, and technology.

Admission requirements

If you wish to pursue a Master of Arts in Communication degree at JHU, you must adhere to these requirements:

Standout Features of Johns Hopkins University’s Master of Arts in Communications Degree Program 

When you enroll at Johns Hopkins University’s on-campus or online Master of Arts in Communication degree, you can avail of these benefits:

Johns Hopkins University is the first research university established in the United States.


Liberty University Online

Liberty University Online

Lynchburg, VA

Online Master of Business Administration in Public Relations

Liberty University established its online Master of Business Administration in Public Administration degree program to equip you with the expertise you’ll need to pursue a rewarding career in public relations. Their curriculum is designed to equip you with management and leadership capabilities essential for the success of any business or organization.

Admission Requirements

To qualify for admission to Liberty University’s Online Master of Business Administration in Public Relations, you need to comply with these requirements:

Standout Features of Liberty University’s Online Master of Business Administration in Public Relations Program

Liberty University’s School of Business is one of only 3% of business schools worldwide to be accredited by ACBSP or the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs. It is a recognized institution of learning because of its affordability, academic quality, and accessibility. Earning an online master’s degree from a nonprofit institution like Liberty University is a plus factor for you and your career. 

Liberty University hasn’t increased its tuition for all of its degree programs in six years. 


Liberty University is one of the 2021 top 10 online schools in America.


Western New England University

Western New England University

Springfield, MA

Online Master of Arts (MA) in Communication – Public Relations Concentration

The online Master of Arts in Communication with Public Relations Concentration program at Western New England University was established to accomplish definite objectives. 

Admission Requirements

If you wish to qualify for enrollment at Western New England University’s online Master of Business Administration in Public Relations, these are the requirements that you need to comply with:

A bachelor’s degree from a duly accredited college or university. Graduates of Journalism, Business Communication, English, Public Relations, or Marketing are encouraged to apply, although graduates of other baccalaureate degrees are also welcome;

Standout Features of Western New England University’s Online Master of Arts in Communications with Public Relations Concentration Program

Western New England’s master of arts in communication with a focus on public relations will hone your skills in enhancing the following areas:

The classes at WNE University’s MA in communication are limited in size. This encourages individualized interaction with professors and enables students to learn and develop communication quickly.

The university’s online MA in communications program is the stage that allows you to enhance your PR skills and makes you ready to mingle and compete in a growing PR job market.

Members of WNE University’s MA in communications faculty are experts in public relations. The courses they handle can offer new insights that you can apply in the field. 

Western New England University has 3,690 students from 39 states and 22 countries.


University of Maryland Global Campus

University of Maryland Global Campus

Largo, MD

Online Strategic Communications Master’s Degree Program

The University of Maryland Global Campus’ management master’s degree in strategic communications will deepen your understanding and sharpen your skills in applying strategic communication theories, principles, and practices. It will develop and prepare you for leadership positions in public relations and related fields. 

Admission Requirements

To apply for admission to UMGC’s Management Master’s Degree with Public Relations Specialization, you must adhere to the following requirements:

Standout Features of the University of Maryland Global Campus’ Online Strategic Communications Master’s Degree Program

UMGC’s online strategic communications master’s degree program fine-tunes your fundamental knowledge or experience and makes you learn many new things about communication, public relations, and related fields. It teaches you to use data analytics and modern research methods to create effective stories about the organization or entity you promote.

By learning the best principles of leadership and management, along with your expertise in communications and public relations, you will be able to communicate to different levels of the organization the best ways to achieve the organization’s objectives. 

UMGC is a leader in online education. It offers over 90 bachelor’s degrees, graduate degree programs, and certificates and specializations. Most programs can be completed entirely online.


Frequently Asked Questions

What is a Master of Public Relations degree?

In contrast to a bachelor’s degree, which makes you qualified for entry-level positions, a master’s degree in public relations is your key to developing more advanced skills in addition to your previous education and work experience. Some courses in this master’s degree program focus on developing your leadership skills to qualify you for supervisory or managerial positions in public or private establishments.

As a Master of Public Relations degree program student, you will acquire advanced knowledge of essential topics like strategic communications, media relations, public relations writing, etc. 

If you graduate with a bachelor’s degree in public relations and aspire to improve your career, you should earn a master’s degree in public relations online. It is one effective way for you to hone your strategic, leadership, and interpersonal skills. You will need these abilities in pursuing your PR career – whether you intend to work in the public or private sector.

A master’s in Public Relations can lead to careers including:

What is an online Master of Public Relations degree?

An online Master of Public Relations degree program is one whose classes are offered through the Internet. You need a computer or laptop and an internet connection to be able to attend classes online. 

While most classes in an online Master of Public Relations program do not require traditional classrooms, they are based on the same curricula as their on-campus counterpart. Online classes offer flexibility for working professionals and students who can’t leave home due to additional responsibilities such as taking care of children, etc.

If you choose to pursue a Master of Public Relations degree online, you’ll finish the degree by completing 30 – 36 credits. If you’re a full-time student, you’ll be able to complete this degree in one or two years. 

What are the admission requirements of a typical online Master of Public Relations degree program?

If you intend to pursue a Master of Public Relations degree, you’ll need: 

When applying for admission, be sure to enroll in an accredited Master of Public Relations program, as it can impact your course credit transferability and eligibility for financial aid.

What are the types of online Master of Public Relations degree programs?

Many professionals in communication and public relations seek to advance their careers without giving up their jobs. Many colleges and universities offer an online master’s degree in public relations to meet this growing need, which is a viable option for students whose jobs or personal commitments prevent them from attending on-campus lectures. An online master’s in public relations program brings the school closer to students, especially those who cannot relocate.     

Students can take two types of online Master of Public Relations degree programs to suit their learning preferences and eventually earn a degree. These are:

Asynchronous – This program allows students to obtain course materials, attend discussions, and perform assignments any time they want. But they must be able to meet specific deadlines. While it offers the greatest flexibility, it requires commitment and self-motivation from students to prevent them from falling behind in their studies. 

Synchronous – It is a program that utilizes live online lectures and discussions. Students who choose this program must be available online at predetermined times to take part in the classes. A synchronous program typically involves video conferencing as the method of conducting classes. Students and instructors converge in a virtual classroom using a virtual meeting application and a webcam. This allows an instructor to conduct a live lecture and enables students to interact with and give real-time feedback. 

While synchronous programs require students to attend preset schedules, their lectures are typically recorded. This allows students to access the material if they miss a session or want to clarify certain things.

We’re certain of one thing—your search for more information on picking the best graduate degree or school landed you here. Let our experts help guide your through the decision making process with thoughtful content written by experts.