The field of public relations holds promising career options in numerous capacities. There is always a need for communication professionals to craft messaging, assemble advertising campaigns, build brands, and so much more. To become a versatile public relations professional, a well-rounded education is key. A growing number of undergraduate students are choosing distance-learning as a means to begin a public relations career. Depending on individual goals, there are online degrees in public relations that provide the needed hands-on education in the field. For more general information on distance learning programs visit our ranking of the top online colleges.
Featured Online Schools
The following ranking represents the top 20 online bachelor’s degrees in public relations. These schools were selected following a research process that focused on the key elements of an online undergraduate degree in public relations.
- Range of industry-current academic curriculum in the field of public relations (1-5 points)
- Quality of online classroom portal and resources (1-5 points)
- Range and quality of hands-on experiential learning opportunities, including internships (1-5 points)
- Networking opportunities for career advancement (1-5 points)
- An additional point was awarded for noteworthy features that made it a top college for undergraduate public relations degrees online.
In the event of a tie in points, the school with the lower net price appears higher in the ranking.
Tuition and enrollment data was sourced from College Navigator.
The following list of ranked colleges represents the top 5 online bachelor’s degrees in public relations.
#1 – Drexel University
Total Enrollment: 24,232
Net Price: $39,021
Drexel University is a globally-respected institution with over 200 available degree programs. This college’s campus and online academics have ranked among the best in the nation; recently, U.S. News and World Report placed Drexel Online in the top five for student engagement. Drexel’s nine bachelor of science in communications has an available concentration in public relations; this degree spans topics in journalism, publication design, mass media and society, and new technologies in communication. Drexel University degrees have a strong reputation in the job market, and graduates find they have the right background to succeed.
#2 – Point Park University
Total Enrollment: 4,093
Net Price: $22,262
Point Park University of Pittsburgh has earned a solid reputation for its academic excellence, experiential learning opportunities, and stellar instructor faculty. This institution’s online component has a bachelor of arts in public relations and advertising, a degree designed by industry professionals who know what students need to get ahead. Online BA students can tailor their degree to gain more curriculum in public relations; some of these targeted courses include public relations issues and practices, branding and corporate identity, PR writing, among others. Additionally, Point Park has a “career prep seminar” that addresses key topics in building a career in communications.
#3 – Penn State World Campus
Total Enrollment: 13,411
Net Price: $23,129
Penn State’s World Campus is an expansive distance-learning division of the college, welcoming students with virtually any academic need. Penn State Online’s bachelor of arts in advertising/public relations is a 120-credit program for the strategic communicator; this degree includes curriculum that enhances the student’s problem-solving skills, creative thinking, multiple modes of communication, and research analysis. Penn State has connections to numerous internship sites, providing a means to apply knowledge into practice.
#4 – University of Florida
Total Enrollment: 2,240
Net Price: $11,976
The University of Florida is a dynamic, affordable college with a growing list of degree options. This college attracts high-achieving, career-oriented students who prefer individualized learning. UF Online is this college’s distance-learning division. It recently ranked eleventh best online bachelor’s program by U.S. News and World Report; among the available degrees is an online bachelor of science in public relations, a degree track that leads to in-depth knowledge of public issue analysis, economics, political science, and many more areas. Graduates of UF’s BS in public relations find roles in a wide spectrum of lucrative careers.
#5 – Southern New Hampshire University
Total Enrollment: 73,177
Net Price: $34,984
Southern New Hampshire University has earned a consistently positive reputation in academics, faculty, and student success rate. Students seeking to major in public relations online may select SNHU’s BA in communications; this degree program equips its students with the necessary diverse set of field skills. Among the clear communications and public relations curriculum includes business communication, communication in the digital age, electronic public relations, social psychology, and many more courses. Southern New Hampshire additionally has an expansive network of internship opportunities through its well-organized partnerships. SNHU has the advanced online education technology resources for a seamless distance education experience.