The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that by 2026 there will be over 20,000 more jobs for Public Relations Specialists. A degree in Public Relations teaches you how to create and maintain a brand, and how to effectively target your communication.
A PR Specialist has great leadership and management skills, and skills in communication and technology.
A Master’s degree can help you become an effective PR Specialist and an invaluable member of an organization’s team. With these online programs, you can advance your career and meet your most ambitious goals.
Best College Reviews provides degree rankings, such as the Best Online Master’s in Public Relations Degree, from carefully researched data sets published from government and non-profit organizations across the United States. Five primary factors affect how we rank degrees:
25% – Student Satisfaction
30% – Earning Potential
15% – Retention Data
20% – Affordability
10% – Acceptance Rates
For an in-depth breakdown of how we calculate each ranking, check out our Methodology page.
#14 Lasell College
MS in Communication: Public Relations
Lasell College gives students a personalized experience in the MS in Communication: Public Relations program. Classes are capped at 23 students, to ensure meaningful relationships with faculty and useful discussion with classmates. Courses are 8 or 16 weeks and can be entirely online or partially online and partially on campus. Students learn to use feedback to help develop targeted messages and better communicate a brand. They learn the theoretical foundation of PR as well as management and budgeting skills, data analysis, and the legal and ethical issues which accompany a career in PR. Lasell College has a large and active community of alumni to help graduates navigate their professional careers.
#13 Montana State University-Billings
Master of Science Public Relations
An MS in Public Relations from MSU offers students the essential and practical skills they will need to navigate their careers in PR. The program offers four emphases to choose from: Public Relations Theory and Practice, Political and Public Communication, Health Communication, and Media and Society. Each emphasis gives students an important basic understand of PR, plus specialized skills to help them succeed. At MSU, students will learn advocacy and negotiation skills. MSU encourages diverse perspectives and healthy communication. Students can begin courses in the fall, spring, or summer. There are teaching and research assistantships available to ensure that students can get hands-on training and real-world experience.
Tuition: $5,435 / $18,069
#12 University of Maryland-University College
Management Master’s Degree with Public Relations Specialization
The Public Relations Specialization at UMUC prepares its graduates to be leaders in their careers. The program is great for students wishing to enter management roles. They will learn campaign strategies, social media monitoring, and many other practical and applicable skills. Students at UMUC will learn to understand PR on an individual, group, and organizational level. Courses are developed with the help of industry executives, and students are involved in real-life projects. Class topics include Global Public Relations and Public Relations Writing. Students learn the basics of PR at the same time as they learn to build on their analytical and creative skills, preparing them to meet the demands of the field.
Tuition: $8,244 / $11,862
#11 Western New England University
MA in Communication with a Public Relations Concentration
The online MA in Communication gives students a supportive community with the benefits of a flexible program. The online Public Relations Concentration is taught by experienced faculty from a variety of different backgrounds. Classes teach the core principles of PR such as building and expanding a brand and learning to communicate effectively. The program also offers a variety of electives so students can focus the degree to their individual interests. Students learn to manage communication crises and to manage social media. WNE helps students create messages that will stand out and propel them toward success.
#10 Liberty University
Master of Business Administration in Public Relations
Topics of study in the Public Relations MBA at Liberty University include Media Technologies and Digital Communication. Liberty teaches students to plan, create, and implement solutions to real-world problems. Graduates from liberty can become leaders in the field, driven by values and ethics. Liberty helps students integrate their faith with their professional life while developing business skills and public relations expertise. They learn the details of how marketing relates to everyday operation of business. As they begin their careers in PR they will know how to make an impact with their communication. The Public Relations program is 45 credit-hours taught by faculty who are seasoned business professionals. Classes are instantly applicable to real-world issues in PR.
#9 Johns Hopkins University
Master of Arts in Communication
Students at Johns Hopkins University learn usable skills that can be applied to real-life problems. Courses are taught by industry experts and social scientists, and they combine best practices with proven results. Students in the MA in Communication can choose to add a concentration to their degree from the following list: Public and Media Relations, Political Communication, Health Communication, Digital Communication, Corporate/Non-Profit Communication, and Applied Research in Communication. Each concentration is entirely online and can be completed in as little as two years or as many as five, depending on students’ schedules. Johns Hopkins was named #1 Best Online Colleges for a Master’s in Communications by Guide to Online Schools and is #10 in National Universities according to US News.
#8 George Washington University
Online Master’s in Strategic Public Relations
A good PR specialist knows how to command attention, gain trust, and convey key messages to their audience. The Master’s in Strategic Public Relations at George Washington University teaches students to command attention and trust from their audience. Students learn strategy, foresight, and adaptability to the changing field of communication. Graduates become experts at finding the connections between brand image and performance and at understanding the impacts of public policy. George Washington University is in the 100 Top Colleges on Forbes and US News. Its graduates find work for corporations, associations, nonprofits, and government.
#7 Ball State University
Master of Arts in Public Relations
At Ball State University, PR students graduate as data-driven storytellers. The program teaches students the basics of analytics, research, and technological skills, while also encouraging creativity and quick thinking. Students can choose to add a concentration in PR Leadership or Media Analytics. Both tracks are taught by professors with industry experience and valuable connections to help students advance toward their professional goals. BSU offers graduate assistantships and plenty of opportunities for students to communicate with classmates and professors for useful network experience, without sacrificing the flexibility of an online degree.
Tuition: $8,554 / $21,172
#6 University of Florida-Online
Online Master’s in Public Relations
UF was named #35 in US News’ National Universities and #9 in its Best Public Universities, as well as #68 in Forbes’s Top Colleges. The Online Master’s in Public Relations is partnered with APCO Worldwide to provide students with hands-on experience, networking and advancement opportunities, and the option to participate in a mentoring program. UF-Online has created a student-centered learning experience that teaches cutting-edge strategies and challenging courses. Students learn brand management, oral and written communication skills, and other important PR skills. The program encourages them to learn to influence public opinion and successfully reach their target audience.
#5 California Baptist University
Master of Arts in Public Relations
At CBU, Public Relations students learn to integrate biblical thought with contemporary cultural concepts. Students learn to communicate with credibility and impact as they step into positions in management, research, and social media direction. They master critical thinking and professional practice skills. Courses at CBU teach students to present oral and written information, to evaluate public relations efforts and campaigns, and to understand the history and theories of public relations. CBU was named among the top 50 Regional Universities West on US News. The online program offers flexibility for students’ busy schedules while preparing them for success in the field.
#4 Marist College
Poughkeepsie, New York
B.A. Communication, Public Relations, concentration
Named #8 in Regional Universities North by US News, Marist College teaches students the basic skills needed for a career in Public Relations. Courses include “Digital Toolbox” and “Public Presentations.” The program combines knowledge of technology and research with essential communication skills. Students learn to gather, evaluate, and use information from a variety of sources. Marist College offers a nationally-renowned internship program. Students who are able to visit campus can participate in the Public Relations Student Society of America for foundational networking and advancement opportunities as they complete their degree.
#3 Quinnipiac University
MS in Public Relations
The MS in Public Relations at Quinnipiac University is one of only six graduate programs worldwide to receive the Public Relation Society of America’s Certification in Education for Public Relations. Graduates from the program are prepared to sit for PRSA’s Accreditation in Public Relations exam. The program aims to evolve with the technologies and prepare students to adapt to the shifting landscape of PR. They learn to effectively build and maintain strong brand affinity and to manage all aspects of an organization’s image. The program is 36 credit-hours and includes course topics such as strategic writing, crisis communications, branding, and more.
#2 Webster University
St. Louis, Missouri
Public Relations (MA)
Webster University’s 36 credit-hour Public Relations program is filled with electives to give students the freedom to tailor the program to fit their needs. Webster’s PR program aims to provide a practical application of the theory of public relations. Students study the key components shaping the current practice of public relations. They learn to review and anticipate trends and to become familiar with what affects public relations. The program emphasizes team-building and leadership skills so that students can step out of the classroom and into positions in leadership and management.
#1 Georgetown University
Master’s in Public Relations & Corporate Communications
Georgetown University’s Public Relations & Corporate Communications program was named PR Week Program of the Year for three years in a row. It’s the #22 National University for US News and #12 on Forbes’s Top Colleges list. Students at Georgetown University inspire change. They learn to think strategically, digitally, and globally. Courses integrate real-world client work with PR theories, so students can get hands-on practice, expand their network, and build their portfolios. Students graduate with essential skills in critical thinking and creative problem solving and the knowledge they need to succeed in their careers.