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15 Best Online Public Relations Degree Programs in 2021

August 23, 2021 | Staff Writers

Online Public Relations Degree
Degree Finder
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Public relations professionals have a variety of important duties that they perform either for the company that they work for, or for individual clients. The benefits of working in public relations is one reason that students choose to earn an online public relations degree.

Benefits of Choosing an Online Public Relations Degree

Public relations professionals work in a variety of settings, including large companies or organizations, at public relations firms, at small businesses, and for important or powerful individuals. Public relations specialists also work for the local, state or national government. This wide range of potential employment settings likely helps students plan their entry level employment, and possibly to work up to their desired long-term career goals.

Franklin University describes some of the points that may help an individual decide if a public relations career is the right step for them to take when considering an online public relations degree. They characterize the career as being a lot like Charles Dickens, in that the public relations professionals meets some “memorable characters.” Students that like a fast-paced work environment, that like to write, have an outgoing personality, thrive under pressure, and are well-versed in current events, and popular culture may thrive in a public relations career.

Another benefit to choosing a career in public relations is the job outlook. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reveals that there is an expected addition of nearly 20,000 new public relations specialist jobs through at least the year 2029, and that there is a ‘faster than average’ job outlook for the same time period.

These online public relations degrees prepare students for entry-level positions as a public relations specialist, or provide the opportunity for current public relations professionals to enhance their current skills and career opportunities. The stated tuition is for the cost of one credit hour of instruction. It does not include the cost of any fees, required books or supplies, or other costs.

15 Best Online Public Relations Degree Programs

1. University of Florida

The online Bachelor of Science in Public Relations program at the University of Florida provides students with the analytical and writing skills that are necessary for success in a public relations career. Students gain knowledge in areas such as communications skills across multiple platforms, technical skills in opinion research, community engagement, media relations, and public issue analysis.

Students in the program have won more competitions in the Public Relations Student Society of America’s (PRSSA) Bateman Case Study Competition than any other university in the country.

  • Tuition: $111.92 per credit hour
  • Accreditation: SACSCOC

2. Florida International University

Florida International University students that want to pursue a career in public relations have the opportunity to enroll in the online Bachelor of Science in Public Relations, Advertising, and Communications program. The online degree curriculum provides students with the knowledge and skills to develop and promote creative strategies and execution, and how to use effective and clear communications techniques. Some topics covered in the program include written and visual communications, designing communication strategies, writing for public relations, and social media and globalization.

  • Tuition: $146.52 per credit hour
  • Accreditation: SACSCOC

3. Texas State University

Texas State University provides students interested in a public relations career the opportunity to earn a Bachelor’s in Public Relations degree. The Texas State University School of Journalism and Mass Communication (SJMC) Public Relations program is designed to ensure that graduates have the skills and knowledge to thrive in the constantly changing global communication environment.

Students learn to create connections, engage stakeholders, and to understand the importance of ethical, credible communications.

  • Tuition: est. $297.34 per credit hour
  • Accreditation: Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communication, SACSCOC

4. Boise State University

The Online Bachelor of Public Relations program at Boise State University is offered in a 100 percent online format, and focuses on preparing graduates for a variety of possible career options. Some topics in the 120-credit hour curriculum includes public relations campaign strategies, social media strategies for professionals, and media law. Students also complete a capstone project.

  • Tuition: $350 per credit hour
  • Accreditation: Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities

5. Montana State University Billings

Earn a Bachelor’s degree in Public Relations from Montana State University Billings and prepare for a career in public communications across a variety of professional settings. The program focuses on theoretical approaches to public relations, critical thinking skills, writing, and public speaking.

  • Tuition: est. $384 per credit hour
  • Accreditation: Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities

6. Franklin University

Franklin University offers an online Bachelor in Public Relations degree that is transfer-friendly, and that prepares students to either enter the profession or to advance their current public relations career.

The 124-credit hour program guides students through gaining insight into human behavior, learning how to leverage the traditional and new media in order to build and manage the reputation and relationships of their clients. Students gain knowledge of performing tasks related to promotions, special events, publicity, community and media relations, social media and web communication, and crisis management.

Current service members receive a generous tuition discount.

  • Tuition: $398 per credit hour
  • Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission

7. University of Minnesota Crookston

The University of Minnesota Crookston online Bachelor of Science with an Organizational Communication/Public Relations emphasis prepares students to start work immediately after graduation, or to continue their public relations education.

The 120-credit hour program provides students with knowledge of applying theory, listening, reading, speaking, and writing in professional contexts, and demonstrating proficiency in interpersonal and group processes, team building, collaboration, and leadership. Students take courses in public relations, corporate training, crisis communications and other relevant courses.

  • Tuition: $418.55 per credit hour*
  • Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission

*There is a tuition cap of $5,441.00 for any student taking 13 credits or more.

8. University of Memphis

The University of Memphis offers a Bachelor of Arts in Public Relations in an online format that provides students with knowledge and skills in areas such as content marketing, corporate and executive communications, internal communications, media relations, reputation management, brand journalism and several other areas. Students also study additional promotional and protective public relations careers.

  • Tuition: $413 per credit hour
  • Accreditation: SACSCOC

9. Bridgewater State University

Bridgewater State University offers a Bachelor of Arts in Communication Studies, Public Relations concentration program. Students gain the foundational knowledge of public relations theory and research, along with professional communication skills. The 120-credit hour curriculum also focuses on strategic writing, speaking, visual communication and public relations planning, and media literacy.

  • Tuition: est. $443 per credit hour
  • Accreditation: New England Commission of Higher Education

10. Mercer University

Mercer University offers an online Bachelor of Arts in Communication with a public relations concentration. Students study a curriculum that focuses on general communications courses, and advanced courses in the public relations concentration. The focus area includes developing and accessing communications campaigns, monitoring the image of organizations, and building relationships with a variety of stakeholders.

  • Tuition: $485 per credit hour
  • Accreditation: SACSCOC

11. Point Park University

The Point Park University online Bachelor of Arts in Public Relations and Advertising degree program offers students the advantage of having an immediate edge in the job market, in a flexible, online program format. Students learn critical thinking, writing, and teamwork skills that are essential for success in public relations in the 122-credit hour program.

Students take courses such as Journalistic Writing and Editing, Ad Copy and Layout, and Social Media Practices.

  • Tuition: $499 per credit hour
  • Accreditation: Middle States Commission on Higher Education

12. Drexel University

Drexel University offers students the opportunity to complete the online Bachelor’s in Communication degree with a public relations concentration. Students that choose the public relations concentration prepares students for a career in public relations with a curriculum that includes topics such as upholding the image and reputation of companies or organizations, public relations writing, and campaign planning.

  • Tuition: $530 per credit hour
  • Accreditation: Middle States Commission on Higher Education

13. Mississippi College

Mississippi College offers a Bachelor of Science in Communication with a focus on public relations. Students learn the theories and practical skills of communications, while focusing on the important aspects of public relations. The public relations focus prepares students for a public relations career through building skills in marketing, corporate and issue advocacy, and relationship building.

  • Tuition: $570 per credit hour
  • Accreditation: SACSCOC

14. Syracuse University

The Syracuse University online Master of Science in Communications degree with Public Relations specialization guides students through learning to apply foundational communications skills to new technologies, learning the successful models of public relations, and how to design and execute a public relations campaign, including for non-profit, for-profit, and government organizations. Students also learn to apply strategic research and planning to individual client needs in the 33-credit hour program.

  • Tuition: $1,084 per credit hour
  • Accreditation: Middle States Commission on Higher Education

15. George Washington University

The Online Master’s in Strategic Public Relations degree program at George Washington University prepares students to meet the unprecedented demand on the communications industry. Students develop the strategic mindset and specialized skills that are imperative for success in the public relations profession. Students focus on new perspectives and valuable skills that captures the attention of audiences, shapes public policy, and earns public trust.

The curriculum focuses on the principles, best practices, techniques and progression in a public relations career.

  • Tuition: $1,315 per credit hour
  • Accreditation: Middle States Commission on Higher Education

Methodology

We searched colleges and universities across the country and compiled a list of the best online public relations degree programs. We included and ranked only programs that are offered in a 100 percent online format, that are fully accredited and that are affordable degree programs.

Would you like to have your school included in our rankings? Do you need to update or edit the information for your school? Please contact us and we will be glad to help you.

Do you need help finding the right online college or university? We can help you with that, based on the program that you select.

Find the program that’s right for you

Whether you’re trying to start your career or make a big change, we can help you find the perfect school to help you reach your goals.

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BestValueSchools.org 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.
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