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Public Relations University Courses: Public Relations Schools, Classes, PR Master Degree

If you are interested in a career in public relations or marketing, you may be a good candidate for attending public relations universities or PR schools in your state. Many public and private colleges and universities offer comprehensive public relations degrees and training programs at the bachelor's and master's degree level. Public relations classes and degree programs teach students both fundamental and advanced skills needed in the field of communications, public speaking, marketing, advertising and social marketing. Some campuses have dedicated PR schools onsite, while others offer public relations courses and public relations course programs as part of a communications or marketing degree.

Attending a Public Relations University or Public Relations Schools

Many accredited schools and colleges offer public relations degree programs through their Department of Communications or College of Journalism. Students may also find private public relations universities and training institutes throughout their state. These schools prepare students for a rewarding career in today's competitive marketplace, and graduates of a public relations university can explore a diverse number of career paths in fields ranging from banking to real estate, to advertising and fashion.

Most public relations schools and universities require students to complete a set of general education courses in the field of humanities, social and behavioral sciences, mathematics, and physical and biological sciences. Students can then proceed to take professional courses in areas of reporting, writing, visual communications, campaign management and even fundraising. Some public relations schools also offer international public relations degree programs, and may allow students to complete a portion of their studies abroad.

Types of Public Relations Courses

Every public relations university, school and training institute has its own set of course requirements, but the majority of degree programs require students to complete the following types of public relations courses:

  • Principles of Public Relations

  • Public Relations Research

  • Public Relations Writing

  • Principles of Fund Raising

  • International Public Relations

  • Ethics and Professional Responsibility in PR

  • Law of Mass Communications

  • Public Relations Campaigns

  • Communications on the Internet

  • Survey of Photojournalism

  • Introduction to Telecommunications

  • Magazine and Feature Writing

Many public relations degree programs also require students to complete an internship where they work with a local media firm or public relations agency to gain work experience in their field. Students who are interested in a master's in public relations degree program take more advanced and intensive courses in areas of crisis management, organizational development, qualitative and quantitative reasoning, and the general theory and practice of public relations.

PR schools train students how to handle media, community, consumer and governmental relations and communications in a professional and effective manner, how to develop public relations campaigns, and how to maintain positive relationships between representatives, public interest groups and individuals.

Getting a Public Relations Degree

Public relations schools typically require students to complete a certain number of college and non-college hours in order to get their degree. Most public relations degree programs include a combination of professional courses and electives, and students may need to be proficient in at least one foreign language.

Students who complete a public relations degree program typically have an in-depth understanding and acquire skills in the following areas:

  • Communications and public speaking
  • Public relations writing
  • Research methodology and data analysis
  • Building and maintaining relationships with media professionals
  • Developing strategic communications plans
  • General theories and practice of public relations today
  • Public relations and marketing metrics

Masters in Public Relations Programs

Masters in public relations programs typically require students to complete a wide range of subjects in the field of public relations writing, international public relations, corporate communications management and media relations. A master's degree program at PR schools is typically rounded out by real-world experience through an internship or a practicum requirement, and students may need to complete a special project or develop a portfolio with samples and demos of their work.

Careers with a Public Relations Degree

Students with a bachelor's public relations degree are typically hired for entry-level or assistant positions in their field. Many larger organizations and firms have their own formal training program, and may require students to complete specialized courses in a particular niche. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual wages for salaried public relations specialists were $51,280 in May 2008.

The majority of graduates with a PR degree or masters in public relations work for large firms, companies and enterprises, labor or political organizations, advertising firms, public relations companies or the local government. Some may work for colleges, universities and professional schools.


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