The public relations field features fast-paced environments and exciting careers. Job responsibilities include writing editorials and planning promotions that connect organizations with the community. Public relations specialist careers are projected to see a 6% job growth by 2024. The most common job setting for a public relations graduate is in an office. This career path allows you to serve as an integral figure in the relationship between business, government, and the general public.

Choosing a Program

A bachelor's in public relations prepares graduates for careers as PR specialists, event planners, fundraising managers, and copywriters. Program electives allow students to customize their coursework to fit their professional interests, and programs often include topics in nonprofit grant writing, crisis management, and campaign planning. Many public relations programs offer specializations in areas such as information systems and project management. While PR programs share common learning outcomes, requirements will differ between schools. Some programs may require a capstone course or internship. Final projects allow students to integrate knowledge acquired throughout their studies and develop communication strategies that fit within their career goals. Figuring out what your career and personal goals are will help you choose the right program.

What Are The Best Online Bachelor's in Public Relations Programs?

Rank School Description Toggle
1

Colorado State University-Global Campus

Greenwood Village, CO

Located in Fort Collins, Colorado State University is the flagship institution of the CSU system with more than 33,000 students on campus. Nearly 19,000 students are enrolled through CSU's Global Campus, which grants online undergraduate and graduate degrees. CSU offers a flexible online bachelor's in public relations degree specialization, which lets students add a public relations concentration to their bachelor's in communications, management, marketing, or another field.

The online public relations degree specialization at CSU Global prioritizes flexibility. The 15-credit curriculum includes coursework in PR principles and techniques, campaign and event planning, social media, and international public relations. The specialization helps graduates stand out in the job market, aligning with the school's online degree programs in business management, healthcare administration, human services, marketing, and organizational leadership. These programs require students to complete 120 credits toward their degree, with CSU Global allowing up to 90 transfer credits plus an accelerated course schedule with classes starting monthly.

Prospective students should hold a high school diploma or the equivalent. CSU Global requires a minimum 2.3 GPA for full admission, with the option to apply for provisional admission. Applicants should have two years of work experience for full admission, though candidates with one year of experience can receive provisional admission. Part-time employment, internships, and volunteer work meet the requirement. Applicants provide official transcripts during the admission process. CSU Global accepts unofficial transcripts for a summary credit evaluation of transfer credits.


Program Overview
Program Name: BS in Business Management; BS in Healthcare Administration and Management; BS in Human Services; BS in Marketing; BS in Organizational Leadership
Available Concentrations: Public relations
Tuition: $350/credit
Program Length: 4 years

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements
GPA: 2.3 minimum
Work Experience: 2 years

Contact
Phone: (800) 920-6723
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

2

Regent University

Virginia Beach, VA

A private Christian institution founded in 1978 by Pat Robertson, Regent University confers degrees in 130 areas of study from its Virginia Beach, Virginia campus and online. Students can earn an online public relations degree by completing the bachelor of arts in communication studies with an advertising/public relations concentration. With a Christian focus, the degree prepares graduates for careers in media, business, and marketing.

In this public relations degree concentration, students study marketing communication campaigns, media analysis, and creative development. Effective strategic communication lies at the center of Regent's program. Students learn to create public relations campaigns to fit a strategic plan and marketing strategy and study communications design for maintaining a positive brand reputation. Online PR degree students take eight-week classes, with a minimum of 120 credits required to earn the degree. Graduates work in public relations, copywriting, marketing coordination, account management, and media relations.

Prospective students should have a high school diploma or the equivalent and complete an online application and online questionnaire. Regent also requires applicants to provide unofficial transcripts and a copy of a government-issued identification, such as a driver's license, military identification, passport, or permanent resident ID. Regent accepts up to 90 transfer credits, allowing students with significant college experience to complete the degree in as little as one year.


Program Overview
Program Name: BA in Communication Studies
Available Concentrations: Advertising; public relations
Tuition: $395/credit
Credit Requirements: 120 credits
Program Length: 4 years

Delivery
Format: Online

Contact
Phone: (800) 373-5504
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

3

Southern New Hampshire University

Manchester, NH

A private institution offering on-campus and online degrees, Southern New Hampshire University enrolls over 90,000 distance learners, making it one of the largest online institutions in the country. SNHU grants a fully online bachelor of arts in communication with a public relations concentration for degree seekers interested in relationship building between organizations and the public. Graduates work in public relations for corporations, government agencies, and nonprofit organizations.

The 120-credit curriculum includes general education courses in writing, communication, analysis, and problem solving to strengthen students' critical thinking and reasoning abilities. Within the major, students choose courses like social media, organizational communications, electronic public relations, and writing for public relations. All students complete a capstone course that builds practical skills for developing communications campaigns wherein they create and pitch a public relations campaign for a real client.

Prospective students submit an online application, complete a transcript release form for all schools attended, and sign an electronic form attesting they have a high school diploma or the equivalent. SNHU does not set a minimum GPA for admission and admits students on a rolling basis, with six undergraduate start dates throughout the year. Classes operate on an eight-week term. SNHU accepts up to 90 transfer credits toward a bachelor's degree.


Program Overview
Program Name: BA in Communication
Available Concentrations: Public relations
Tuition: $320/credit
Credit Requirements: 120 credits
Program Length: 4 years

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Contact
Phone: (888) 327-7648
Email: enroll@snhu.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

4

California Baptist University

Riverside, CA

Established in 1950, California Baptist University is a private Christian institution that enrolls over 10,000 students on its Riverside, California campus, with additional students earning online degrees. CBU offers a fully online bachelor's in communication studies with a focus on public relations. The degree program blends communication and PR skills, incorporating a Christian worldview throughout the curriculum. Graduates apply their training to design public relations strategies and policies for businesses, nonprofit organizations, and other clients.

The 120-credit bachelor's includes general education courses in composition, mathematics, behavioral science, humanities, and natural science. All students complete six credits in Bible studies and foundations of Christian thought. Within the major, students take 48 credits including courses in rhetoric, communication theory, strategic communication, and PR campaigns and research. Students must also complete a senior project in order to graduate.

Prospective students should have a high school diploma or the equivalent. CBU prefers applicants with 24 or more transfer credits at the college level and requires a minimum 2.0 GPA. Candidates submit an online application and official transcripts. Students work with an admissions counselor to complete the enrollment, registration, and financial aid process. After completing the admission process, students work with an academic adviser to design their degree plan. On average, students complete the major requirements in 16 months.


Program Overview
Program Name: BA in Communication Studies
Tuition: $589/credit
Credit Requirements: 120 credits
Program Length: 4 years

Delivery
Format: Online

Admission Requirements
GPA: 2.0 minimum

Contact
Phone: (877) 236-1617
Email: cbuonline@calbaptist.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

5

Drexel University

Philadelphia, PA

Founded in 1891, Drexel University is a private research university that confers degrees from its Philadelphia campus and online. Ranked as a "best value" college by U.S. News & World Report, Drexel offers online programs that include a bachelor of science in communications with a concentration in public relations. The degree program trains students for careers in PR, strategic planning, and communications for businesses and nonprofit organizations.

Drexel offers its online public relations degree on the quarter system, with 10-week terms. The 180-credit degree includes general education requirements, communication requirements, and public relations concentration courses. Within the PR concentration, students take courses on public relations principles and theory, strategy, campaign planning, and marketing management. Students also strengthen their written communication skills through a course devoted to public relations writing. All majors complete a two-quarter senior project in communications, where students plan and execute a professional project drawing on the skills and knowledge gained during the program.

Prospective students submit an application and official transcripts. First-year students, defined as those with fewer than 24 college credits, must also provide ACT or SAT scores from within the past five years. Transfer students should have earned a minimum of 24 credits from a regionally accredited institution with a grade of C or better. Drexel accepts up to 135 credits for transfer.


Program Overview
Program Name: BS in Communication
Available Concentrations: Public relations
Tuition: $501/credit
Credit Requirements: 180 credits
Program Length: 4 years

Delivery
Format: Online

Admission Requirements
GPA: 2.0 minimum
Standardized Tests: SAT or ACT (if fewer than 24 transfer credits)

Contact
Phone: (877) 215-0009
Email: DUonline@drexel.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

6

Mississippi College

Clinton, MS

With its founding in 1826, Mississippi College became the first college in Mississippi. The private Baptist institution enrolls over 5,000 students and offers degrees from its Clinton campus and online. Students can choose an online bachelor's in communications with a public relations focus, which provides the flexibility to earn a bachelor of arts or bachelor of science degree. The program emphasizes public speaking, mass media, journalism, and communication research in addition to public relations.

The online public relations degree at Mississippi College integrates virtual classroom learning with hands-on, experiential learning. Students complete internships to gain work experience, pursuing opportunities with media companies, nonprofit agencies, and public relations firms. Learners interested in graphic design or mass media gain skills in editing and post-production equipment used by top industry professionals. Within the public relations focus, students study marketing, corporate advocacy, and advertising, preparing for in-demand careers. Students who choose the BA degree complete 12 credits of foreign languages, while the BS degree does not include a foreign language requirement.

Prospective students submit official transcripts and an online application. Mississippi College requires ACT or SAT scores from applicants who graduated college within the past five years. Applicants must hold a minimum ACT score of 18 or an SAT score of 940 to gain admission. Transfer students, defined as those with at least 12 transferable credits, must hold a minimum 2.0 GPA. Mississippi College grants scholarships based on GPA and standardized test scores.


Program Overview
Program Name: BA or BS in Communication
Available Concentrations: Public relations
Tuition: $550/credit
Credit Requirements: 120 credits
Program Length: 4 years

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements
GPA: 2.0 minimum
Standardized Tests: SAT or ACT

Contact
Phone: (601) 925-3000
Email: admissions@mc.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

7

Pennsylvania State University

University Park, PA

Founded in 1855 as an agricultural school, Pennsylvania State University enrolls approximately 100,000 students across 24 campuses and offers online degrees through its World Campus. Penn State offers over 150 areas of study online, including a bachelor of arts in strategic communications. The interdisciplinary program combines public relations with advertising, marketing, and communications. Strategic communications majors learn to develop PR campaigns, critically evaluate communication plans, and cultivate an organization's public image.

Students earning the 120-credit public relations degree online complete 38 credits within the major and 45 credits of general education requirements. Within the major, learners strengthen their problem-solving, oral and written communication, research, and analytical abilities. The curriculum also emphasizes creative thinking, project planning, and goal evaluation through classes such as principles of strategic communications, writing for the media, strategic communications law, and social media strategies. Students can also choose a three-credit internship to build professional experience working at a newspaper, broadcast media organization, public relations agency, or advertising agency.

Prospective students must hold a high school diploma or the equivalent and submit official transcripts. Acceptance into the strategic communications major requires a minimum 2.0 GPA and prerequisite courses in economics and English. Penn State accepts transfer credit toward a bachelor's degree. Admitted students must complete at least 36 of the last 60 credits of their degree at Penn State. The program accepts new students for fall, spring, or summer start dates.


Program Overview
Program Name: BA in Strategic Communications
Tuition: $555-$596/credit
Credit Requirements: 120 credits
Program Length: 4 years

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements
GPA: 2.0 minimum

Contact
Phone: (800) 252-3592
Email: pennstateonline@psu.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

8

Old Dominion University

Norfolk, VA

Founded in 1930 as a division of the College of William & Mary, Old Dominion University is a state-supported school conferring degrees from its Norfolk, Virginia campus. ODU also offers undergraduate and graduate degrees online, with more than 7,000 students enrolled in undergraduate studies. Students can choose the online bachelor's in communication with a concentration in public relations, advocacy, and persuasion. The degree emphasizes strategic communications, persuasive writing, and client advocacy, preparing graduates for careers in corporate communications, public relations, and marketing.

ODU offers two options for its 120-credit, online public relations degree: a fully online bachelor of science degree and a degree-completion BA or BS option for students with prior college experience. Major courses include understanding media and communication research methods. Within the public relations concentration, students complete 24 credits in foundational and applied theory courses, building career-ready skills. ODU also offers an online concentration in professional communications for students seeking a broader program.

Prospective students complete an online application and work with enrollment coordinators to complete the admission process. ODU requests official transcripts, but transfer students can submit an unofficial transcript to determine credits eligible for transfer to ODU. The university provides tuition discounts to Virginia residents and has a guaranteed admission agreement with the Virginia Community College System, making it simple to transfer credits from two-year institutions to ODU.


Program Overview
Program Name: BA or BS in Communication
Available Concentrations: Public relations, advocacy, and persuasion
Tuition: $356/credit in-state; $407/credit out-of-state
Credit Requirements: 120 credits
Program Length: 4 years

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Synchronous and asynchronous

Contact
Phone: (800) 968-2638
Email: artsandlettersonline@odu.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

9

University of Minnesota-Crookston

Crookston, MN

Located in the Red River Valley of Northwest Minnesota, the University of Minnesota-Crookston joined the public university system in 1966. In addition to on-campus programs, UMC offers 16 online majors, including an online bachelor of science in communication with an emphasis in organizational communication/public relations. The online PR degree combines theory and practice, preparing graduates to create, present, and evaluate corporate communications. Students develop strong writing skills, designing a portfolio to showcase their talents.

During the 120-credit degree program, learners complete general education requirements, communications classes, and specialized public relations courses. Within the communications department, students study technology, persuasion, and organizational strategies. The public relations emphasis includes courses in business writing, event planning, and crisis communication, with optional electives in intercultural communication, political communication, and publication design. The curriculum also incorporates an internship where learners gain hands-on experience with a local organization. Graduates of the program pursue careers in corporate communications, public affairs, media relations, and public relations.

Prospective students with no prior college experience after graduation submit an application, official high school transcripts, and college transcripts for any college credits earned during high school. Applicants should also provide ACT or SAT scores. Transfer students submit an online application and official transcripts. UMC charges a flat online tuition fee regardless of state residency status. Admitted online students can also participate in the university's study abroad program.


Program Overview
Program Name: BS in Communication
Available Concentrations: Organizational communication; public relations
Tuition: $445/credit
Credit Requirements: 120 credits
Program Length: 4 years

Delivery
Format: Online

Admission Requirements
Standardized Tests: SAT or ACT

Contact
Phone: (800) 862-6466
Email: umcinfo@umn.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

10

Point Park University

Pittsburgh, PA

Located in downtown Pittsburgh, Point Park University enrolls over 4,000 students earning degrees in 100 undergraduate and graduate programs. Point Park also offers online degrees, including an online bachelor of arts in public relations and advertising. The online public relations degree blends creativity and strategic planning, preparing graduates for careers in public relations or advertising. The career-focused curriculum leads to opportunities as a media buyer, copywriter, public relations coordinator, special events planner, or account manager.

At Point Park, public relations majors complete 42 credits of core courses, with classes in sciences, mathematics, business, and technology. Within the major, students complete 32 credits in subjects such as journalistic writing, ad copy and layout, social media practices, and media ethics. Fifteen credits of electives allow PR students to customize the curriculum with options like media planning and buying, graphic design, branding and corporate identity, and advertising campaigns. All students complete a capstone project by working with an agency to create a fully integrated marketing campaign for a client.

Prospective students should have a high school diploma or an equivalent. Students transferring from a postsecondary institution must have at least 12 college credits or have completed six months of training. During the admission process, prospective students submit official transcripts and an online application. Point Park requires a minimum 2.0 GPA for full admission. Applicants who do not meet minimum requirements may provide supporting documents for consideration by the program director. Students are admitted at multiple times throughout the year.


Program Overview
Program Name: BA in Public Relations and Advertising
Tuition: $455/credit
Credit Requirements: 122 credits
Program Length: 4 years

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Synchronous and asynchronous

Admission Requirements
GPA: 2.0 minimum
Work Experience: 6 months

Contact
Phone: (855) 410-0098
Email: online@pointpark.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

11

Montana State University-Billings

Billings, MT

Founded in 1927, Montana State University-Billings serves over 4,000 students at its campus in Montana's largest city. MSU Billings offers programs in more than 100 areas of study, including fully online degrees. Students interested in public communications can enroll in the online bachelor of science in public relations program. The degree blends theoretical approaches with practical training through an internship, building valuable skills for public relations professionals. Students strengthen their writing, communication, and critical thinking skills through the curriculum, which brings together public relations, media studies, and marketing.

The online PR degree at MSU Billings requires 120 credits of coursework in total. Within the major, students take classes in organizational communication, media studies, communication theory, and case studies in public relations. They customize their degree by selecting six credits of public relations electives such as public speaking, visual rhetoric, communicating online, and health communication. All students complete a capstone course where they apply their knowledge in a practical setting, with an emphasis on workplace skills like advocacy, leading effectively, and conducting meetings. The degree prepares graduates for careers in corporate, nonprofit, or government communications.

Prospective students submit official transcripts and an online application. First-time freshmen who graduated high school within the last three years submit SAT or ACT scores. MSU Billings requires a minimum 2.5 GPA for first-time freshmen and sets a minimum ACT score of 22 or SAT score of 1030. The university may admit students who do not meet the minimum requirements. Transfer students from other states should hold a minimum 2.0 GPA.


Program Overview
Program Name: BS in Public Relations
Tuition: $420/credit in-state; $612/credit out-of-state
Credit Requirements: 120 credits
Program Length: 4 years

Delivery
Format: Online

Admission Requirements
GPA: 2.5 minimum
Standardized Tests: SAT or ACT

Contact
Phone: (406) 657-2888
Email: admissions@msubillings.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

12

University of Memphis

Memphis, TN

A public research institution founded in 1912, the University of Memphis enrolls more than 21,000 students. Through University of Memphis Global, UofM also offers 60 undergraduate and graduate degrees, including a fully online bachelor of arts in public relations. The online PR degree trains students to write for clients, design promotional materials, craft media strategies, and build a positive brand image for clients.

Public relations majors at Memphis complete 120 credits to earn their degree, with 21 credits of journalism and strategic media core courses and 24 credits of public relations classes. Core courses include media writing, visual media, and precision language. Within the public relations major, students complete courses on advertising, social media, marketing, sales promotion, and PR campaigns. Students gain professional experience by completing an internship with a mass media organization. The curriculum also incorporates organization and management coursework, preparing graduates for careers in leadership roles.

Prospective students submit an undergraduate application online. Students who have taken the SAT or ACT within the past five years submit their scores. Learners returning to school benefit from Smart Start, a readiness assessment program providing resources and assistance to help identify and address possible academic deficiencies. In addition to accepting transfer credits, UofM offers prior learning assessments that enable students to earn credit for college-level knowledge gained outside of the classroom.


Program Overview
Program Name: BA in Public Relations
Tuition: $420/credit
Credit Requirements: 120 credits
Program Length: 4 years

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements
Standardized Tests: SAT or ACT

Contact
Phone: (901) 678-2111
Email: admissions@memphis.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

13

Mid-America Christian University

Oklahoma City, OK

A private, Christian liberal arts institution, Mid-American Christian University offers Bible-based undergraduate and graduate degrees on its Oklahoma City, Oklahoma campus. MACU also offers fully online degrees, including an online bachelor of science in communication, media, and ethics. The program emphasizes digital communications, digital media literacy, organizational communications, and media theory to prepare graduates for careers in corporate communications and public relations.

The 120-credit, online public relations degree incorporates media studies, public relations, and social media in its curriculum. Students complete 46 credits of general education requirements, including 12 credits in biblical studies and theology. Within the major, students take 42 credits, with courses in public relations, writing for mass media and social media, corporate communications, media effects, and intercultural communications. PR coursework covers law and ethics, design, and management. Students also gain research and presentation experience during the program.

Prospective students should have a high school diploma or an equivalent. They submit an online application and submit transcripts showing all prior college credit earned. MACU offers college credit for experience earned outside the classroom through the prior learning assessment process. After submitting documentation and gaining admission, new students work with an enrollment counselor to review their transfer credits and register for classes. The university offers a new student orientation to help students adjust to the program and learn about online student support services. MACU reports that 98% of students receive financial aid.


Program Overview
Program Name: BS in Communication, Media, and Ethics
Tuition: $398-$478/credit
Credit Requirements: 122 credits
Program Length: 4 years

Delivery
Format: Online

Admission Requirements
Standardized Tests: SAT or ACT

Contact
Phone: (405) 692-3281
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

14

Franklin University

Columbus, OH

A private institution, Franklin University began conferring degrees in 1902. Franklin operates a main campus in Columbus, Ohio and more than 25 locations throughout the midwest. The university also offers fully online degrees, including an online bachelor of science in public relations. Franklin's transfer-friendly policy lets students transfer up to 94 credits toward the 124-credit, online public relations degree. During the program, public relations majors study new media, corporate reputations, and strategic communications, preparing for careers as PR account managers, copywriters, and public relations specialists.

Franklin students earning a public relations degree complete 36 credits of general education requirements, 24 credits of professional core classes, and 28 credits within the major. The professional core requirements include communications, professional writing, management, and marketing classes. Within the major, students complete coursework in media writing, crisis communications, promotional strategy, and client engagement. Seniors participate in a capstone course to apply their knowledge, planning and managing a professional communications campaign.

Prospective students with fewer than 24 college credits provide documentation of a high school diploma or the equivalent. All candidates submit an online application and any college transcripts, which Franklin reviews to determine transfer credits. Franklin accepts applications on a rolling basis and processes new applications within 48 hours. Admitted students schedule a registration appointment with an admissions adviser and complete an online orientation. Franklin recommends submitting an application at least six weeks before the term's start date to allow for transcript reviews.


Program Overview
Program Name: BS in Public Relations
Tuition: $526/credit
Credit Requirements: 124 credits
Program Length: 4 years

Delivery
Format: Online

Contact
Phone: (877) 341-6300
Email: admissions@franklin.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

15

Concordia University-Texas

Austin, TX

A private, Lutheran-affiliated institution founded in 1926, Concordia University Texas offers over 50 majors and concentrations from its Austin campus and online, including a fully online bachelor of arts in communication with a public relations concentration. Students enrolled in the PR degree online build writing, public speaking, and technological skills for a career in public relations, advertising, or corporate communications. The curriculum emphasizes shaping public perception, digital and social media, and brand advocacy. Graduates pursue careers in public relations, marketing, or advertising, working with businesses, government agencies, and nonprofit organizations.

During the 128-credit bachelor's program, Concordia students complete general education requirements, communications classes, and courses within the public relations and advertising concentration. Major requirements include coursework in persuasive communication, organizational communication, digital journalism, and advertising management, with the option to customize the degree through choosing public relations electives. The curriculum builds strengths in communication theory, integrated marketing communication, and corporate communication. Online students can also choose an internship to build professional experience while earning their degree.

Prospective students submit an online application and transcripts. Concordia requires a minimum 2.0 GPA on college-level coursework or a minimum 2.5 GPA in high school for applicants with fewer than 12 credits at the college level. Applicants who do not meet the minimum can receive provisional admission from the admissions committee. Concordia operates on an eight-week term, with multiple start dates throughout the year.


Program Overview
Program Name: BA in Communication
Available Concentrations: Public relations
Tuition: $460/credit
Credit Requirements: 128 credits
Program Length: 4 years

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Synchronous

Admission Requirements
GPA: 2.5 minimum

Contact
Phone: (512) 313-4289
Email: admissions@concordia.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

What Else Can I Expect From an Online Bachelor's in Public Relations Program?

This section serves as a guide to assist prospective PR students in the process of pursuing their online degree. While details differ depending on the program and school chosen, the following information highlights common features of a public relations bachelor's degree online and other important topics to consider when selecting an academic program.

CURRICULUM FOR AN ONLINE BACHELOR'S IN PUBLIC RELATIONS

While courses may vary slightly, the following sample curriculum highlights common topics found in a bachelor's degree in public relations. Each course provides students with a specific skillset that's needed for careers in the field.

  • Principles of Public Relations: This course provides an overview of the field of public relations. Students develop skills to promote positive publicity and become familiar with concepts and tools used in the field. This foundational course prepares students for careers in PR management, community relations, and public affairs.
  • Electronic Public Relations: This course familiarizes students with technology-based PR strategies. Students learn how to ethically use social media and effectively communicate through digital formats. Knowledge of technology communication prepares students for careers as media relations specialists and press agents.
  • Media Planning: Students gain skills in media plan development. This course examines the process of message distribution and emphasizes the use of consumer research to guide media planning and strategies used in a variety of formats, such as television, radio, and newsprint. Special events coordinators and executive directors rely on knowledge of media planning.
  • Writing for Public Relations: This course examines the fundamentals of writing and provides students with an overview of writing techniques for copywriting. Students learn how to write news releases, editorials, and brochures. This course prepares students for careers as feature writers and copywriters.

HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO GET AN ONLINE BACHELOR'S IN PUBLIC RELATIONS?

A public relations bachelor's degree online takes about four years of full-time study to complete. Part-time students may take five to eight years to earn their degree. Some programs offer single consecutive courses that require part-time status. The average curriculum consists of 120-124 credits. Internship requirements may lengthen the time it takes to complete the degree, while previously earned credits and accelerated semester structures shorten the path to degree completion.

Online public relations degrees allow students to pursue their degree at an individual pace or through a cohort learning model. Self-paced learning programs often have rolling admissions dates, and students independently complete assignments at their convenience. Cohort learning fosters a group educational experience, and students often begin their program in the spring or fall semester. Students in a cohort program progress through the curriculum together and create learning communities that promote interconnection.

Accreditation for Online Bachelor's in Public Relations Degrees

The top online bachelor's programs are accredited. This assures students that the program and university adhere to educational standards set forth by an accrediting body. The majority of U.S. universities are regionally accredited. Six regional accrediting associations exist in the U.S. and set the standards for universities in specific areas. National accrediting agencies commonly accredit vocational and trade schools. While regionally accredited universities tend to cost more to attend, nationally accredited universities are less standardized and credits may not transfer to regionally accredited schools. When choosing an online school, it is important to search for DEAC accredited programs. Online schools accredited by DEAC participate in assessments and peer reviews to ensure academic quality. ACEJMC accredits mass communication programs and promotes professional standards through the rigorous evaluation of program curriculum, instruction, and diversity.

Regional and national accrediting agencies are recognized by the U.S. Department of Education (ED) and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA). While the ED does not play a role in the institutional accreditation process, it ensures that accrediting agencies enforce standards. Similarly, CHEA employs recognition standards that promote academic quality and institutional accountability. Both the DOE and CHEA play important roles in the advancement of higher education, such as requiring the ongoing self-scrutiny of accrediting bodies. The ED and CHEA provide extensive databases of accredited universities and programs, allowing prospective students to make informed decisions about their academic futures.

Employment Outlook for Bachelor's in Public Relations Graduates

JOB PLACEMENT

A bachelor's degree in public relations provides students the opportunity to advance their careers and improve their potential earnings. Most entry-level positions in public relations require a bachelor's degree. Data from the BLS demonstrates that higher education positively impacts annual earnings. The following table contrasts annual earnings of careers in public relations and similar areas in relation to their educational training required. PR careers that require a bachelor's degree offer higher salaries with increases up to 70%.

Annual Salary by Occupation

Job Title Entry-Level Education Annual Average Salary
PR and Fundraising Managers Bachelor's degree $107,320
Public Relations Specialist Bachelor's degree $58,020
Advertising Sales Agent High school diploma or equivalent $50,380
Customer Service Representative High school diploma or equivalent $32,300

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

BACHELOR'S IN PUBLIC RELATIONS SALARY

Factors that influence annual earnings of public relations specialists include work experience, employer industry, and location. The following table features data from the BLS highlighting the highest paying states and corresponding annual earnings for public relations specialists. Not only does the District of Columbia provide public relations specialists with the highest salaries, it has the highest concentration of employment in the field.

Top 5 paying U.S. States for Public Relations Specialists

State Average Salary
District of Columbia $95,750
California $77,870
Virginia $76,110
Rhode Island $75,170
Washington $71,410

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

BACHELOR'S IN PUBLIC RELATIONS CAREERS

Graduates of public relations programs possess the knowledge and skills needed to pursue a variety of careers, including entry-level positions as PR specialists and executive roles as PR and fundraising managers. The following careers illustrate the occupational paths available to students upon earning their bachelor's degree in public relations. The following careers require strong interpersonal, organizational, and problem-solving skills. Fast-paced work environments and frequent deadlines are common of these careers.

Public Relations Specialist

Public relations specialists conduct a variety of tasks, including writing press releases, helping clients communicate with the media, and maintaining an organization's image. A bachelor's degree in public relations prepares students for entry-level positions that often consist of assembling speeches and maintaining an organization's files.

Median Annual Salary - $58,020
Projected Growth Rate - 6%

Meeting, Convention, and Event Planner

An event planner ensures the smooth operation of an event from start to finish. Tasks include planning the time, location, and cost of the event; reviewing bills; and approving payments. Several planner specializations exist, including corporate planners, government meeting planners, and nonprofit event planners.

Median Annual Salary - $47,350
Projected Growth Rate - 10%

Public Relations and Fundraising Managers

Public relations managers develop advertising and promotion programs to maintain the public image of their employer. They convey their organization's point of view to its audience through the use of media and follow social and political trends that impact their organization's image. Fundraising managers apply for grants, contact potential donors, and devise fundraising strategies. Both positions require a bachelor's degree and several years of work experience.

Median Annual Salary - $107,320
Projected Growth Rate - 7%

Advertising, Promotions, and Marketing Managers

Advertising managers communicate with potential buyers and create product interest. Promotions managers increase sales through purchasing incentives, such as discounts or rebates. Marketing managers identify the need for new products and potential markets. Shared duties include planning promotional campaigns, negotiating advertising contracts, and conducting market research studies. Managers have several years of work experience and often begin their careers as public relations specialists.

Median Annual Salary - $100,810
Projected Growth Rate - 5%

Copywriter

Writers in the field of public relations often establish careers as copywriters. Job duties include preparing advertisements, promoting sales, developing slogans, and creating advertising themes. Copywriters work with clients to develop content. Copywriters usually hold a bachelor's degree in public relations or a related area and have skills in web page coding.

Median Annual Salary - $61,240
Projected Growth Rate - 2%

PROFESSIONAL ORGANIZATIONS

Professional organizations provide public relations students and recent graduates with numerous opportunities, including access to continuing education programs, recent job postings, and conferences. Professional conferences allow students to network with professionals and explore the latest PR topics. These invaluable experiences expose new professionals to diverse perspectives presented by leaders in the field. Professional organizations emphasize ethical conduct and professional advocacy. Extensive job boards connect recent graduates with potential employers around the world. Many professional organizations provide access to scholarly publications and case studies.

Financing Your Online Bachelor's in Public Relations Program

A variety of options exist to help pay for your public relations bachelor's degree online. Federal aid programs provide students with financial support. To begin the process of securing federal financial aid, complete the FAFSA online. In addition to federal aid, numerous scholarships and grants exist to help reduce the cost of tuition. Universities and public relations professional organizations offer scholarships, including the Gary Yoshimura Scholarship and the Bill Gove Scholarship.

AN OVERVIEW OF FINANCIAL AID

Approximately two-thirds of today's college students rely on loans to fund their education, but there are plenty of overlooked financing options you can use to reduce your overall student debt.

UNDERSTANDING THE FAFSA

Completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is a crucial first step for any student with financial needs. Our FAFSA guide features a step-by-step rundown on the process and answers to several frequently asked questions.

FINANCIAL AID FOR ONLINE STUDENTS

Financial aid for online learning is equivalent to what you'll find for campus-based learning, but that hasn't always been the case. Learn about the changes that have taken place, as well as the different funding opportunities available to online students.

SCHOLARSHIPS FOR SINGLE PARENTS

Online college programs can be a flexible, affordable option for single parents who are interested in earning a degree and securing their family's financial future. We've compiled a list of scholarships, grants, and other financial aid options geared toward single moms and dads.

FINANCIAL AID FOR VETERANS AND ACTIVE MILITARY

Millions of dollars in free money is available to U.S. military personnel, but much of it goes unused. Learn more about grants, scholarships, and other financial aid opportunities available to veterans, active-duty service members, and reservists.