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10 Up-and-Coming Graduate PR Degree Programs

10 Up-and-Coming Graduate PR Degree Programs


RAPID GROWTH: PR MASTER DEGREES GREW BY 300% IN 10 YEARS Considering the growth of U.S. master-degree PR programsup from 26 in 2000 to 75 today, says the Commission on Public Relations Educationits 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 arent necessarily better than other PR and communications graduate programs, but judging by the feedback weve received, and the quality of the schools involved, we wouldnt be surprised if they are. For certain, theyve topped the professions 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 practicemakes-perfect.

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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.

Research by: Don Bates, PR Instructor, New York University

First Grad PR Program to Be PRSA Certied


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 oncampus 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

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

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

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

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

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 Nations 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

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

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 magazines inaugural "PR Program of the Year" award.

New York University

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

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 programs 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.

Annenberg School for

University of Southern California

10 Up-and-Coming Graduate PR Degree Programs

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80% OF INSTRUCTORS WORK IN PR FIRMS

As 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 these programs is less about academic credentials and much more about PR skills, knowledge, and experience learned on the job. Unlike many tenure-tracked academicians, the instructors are virtually all part-time adjuncts. The Commission on PR Education says the PR field is split on whether a masters degree is necessary for assuring or hastening PR success but opinion is clearly moving in a favorable direction. If someone obtains a PR graduate degree, the Commission adds, it should add the equivalent of three years professional experience.

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.

Research by: Don Bates, PR Instructor, New York University

10 Up-and-Coming Graduate PR Degree Programs

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A PR MASTERS DEGREE EQUALS THREE YEARS EXPERIENCE Students in our up-and-comers want exactly that. As one NYU newbie explained, Im interested in gaining applied knowledge about how to deliver strategies, messages and activities that will add to my clients or employers success right now. Columbias program emphasizes: From day oneyou will be able to take what you learn in the 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 place as strategic thinkers and doers in the expanding public relations profession and associated fields. A masters degree from one of these programs more than likely will provide a big leg up on the competition.

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.

Research by: Don Bates, PR Instructor, New York University

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