Why This Matters


    PR managers are needed in every field to help businesses and organizations maintain their public image and grow their online presence.


    The median annual salary for public relations managers is almost three times more than the median annual salary for all other U.S. occupations.


    Another 18,800 skilled employees are needed to spearhead innovative marketing campaigns and strategize advertising and promotional efforts in digital and physical environments by 2029.

Our Research

This list covers graduate programs in public relations that prepare students for senior-level positions in PR, marketing, and communications. Degrees offered include Master of Science in Public Relations, Master of Science in Global Strategic Communications, Master of Arts in Advertising and Public Relations, Master of Arts in Integrated Marketing Communication, and Master of Arts in Mass Communication. Students can choose between in-person, online, and hybrid learning formats.

National and regional accreditors recognize graduate programs that uphold a high academic standard. The programs on our list are accredited by the Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (ACEJMC), the Higher Learning Commission (HLC), the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU), the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE), and the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

We evaluated each program on the basis of flexibility, faculty, course strength, cost, and reputation. Then we calculated the Intelligent Score for each program on a scale from 0 to 100. For a more extensive explanation, check out Our Ranking Methodology.

  • 61 hours to write this article
  • 208 universities and colleges we assessed
  • 360 education programs we compared

The Top 26 Master’s in Public Relations Degree Programs

Best Master's in Public Relations Degree Programs
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What You Should Know About This Degree

When choosing a career in public relations, you should also consider pursuing a master’s degree in communications or marketing. While public relations prepares you for leadership roles managing the public image of a brand or organization, master’s in communications programs help you understand how to lead communications and messaging efforts for many different situations. Communications programs also teach students advanced writing and technical skills that can be used in jobs for governmental agencies, consumer-facing businesses, and nonprofit organizations. Marketing programs specialize in the selling and advertising of goods and services. This is a special type of communication that involves human behavior and psychology. Determine if you would like to specialize in a particular aspect of communications or be prepared for various occupations after graduation.

Certifications can help public relations professionals demonstrate their expertise to potential employers. Although the job outlook is very positive for graduates with a degree in public relations, the field remains competitive. Graduates should consider obtaining certifications such as Certified Product Manager, Strategic Communication Management Professional, and the Accreditation in Public Relations given by the Public Relations Society of America to showcase their skills.

What’s Next?

Ask yourself these questions when researching Master’s in Public Relations degree programs:

  • Am I eligible for this program? Students who wish to pursue a master’s degree in public relations must hold a bachelor’s degree or equivalent in a relevant field. Some programs may require a minimum GPA and Graduate Record Examination (GRE) score and additional recommendation letters.
  • How long does it take to complete this online degree program? Most graduate programs in public relations take two years of full-time study to complete. The programs on our list require a minimum of 30 and a maximum of 48 credits to graduate.

Every program has specific admission requirements and deadlines. Visit the school’s website or contact the school’s admissions office for more detailed information.

Consider how you will cover the costs of your education. You may be eligible for federal student aid as well as grants and scholarships. Make sure to turn in all financial applications on time.