The Top 10 Online Colleges For Bachelor’s In Public Relations 2021

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A good Public Relations campaign benefits private and public companies alike. By attracting public interest and providing accessible information, Public Relations differs from marketing and advertising. Perhaps the ultimate distinction between them is that while Public Relations focuses on building the reputation of the brand or business, marketing tries to establish its products and services.

Many career options are available in the field of public relations. According to Statista, PR was estimated to be worth 63.8 billion dollars worldwide in 2018. Forecasts tell us that the industry will exceed 93 billion dollars by the end of 2022, with a growth rate of 9.9%. 

Professionals in communication are always in demand to craft campaign messaging, create advertising campaigns, and build brands, among other things. Having a well-rounded educational background is key to becoming a versatile PR professional. In the public relations field, distance learning has become more popular with undergraduate students. If you are interested in gaining hands-on education in public relations online, several online universities or colleges can help you. 

Many people associate PR careers with fast-paced environments that require a diverse set of skills. Some PR experts claim that they receive exclusive freebies and attend special events. But while there may be many appealing perks and points of being a PR professional, it also comes with challenging tasks and demands. To achieve the best results for clients, PR requires intense focus and strategic planning. The hours are long, and the writing is endless.

In the years ahead, students who earn a degree in Public Relations will have a bright future. It is projected that by 2028, the demand for PR professionals will grow by 7%. This can be attributed to how social media dominates digital technology and shapes public opinions and perceptions. The  Bureau of Labor Statistics specifies that PR specialists earn an annual median wage of $61,150. Suppose you’re concerned about having a sustainable job that will have great demand in the future and can make you earn a living. In that case, it’s best to seriously consider taking up an online bachelor’s degree in Public Relations.

What Kind of Jobs or Careers can You Pursue with a Degree in Public Relations?

Since public relations graduates connect organizations with the public, you won’t lose job opportunities after earning your degrees. You can land jobs n the public sector, private sector, corporate or nonprofit organizations, or government or foundations. Having earned your PR degree, you should possess excellent analytical and communication skills, enabling you to succeed in various employment roles.

One option is to become a public relations specialist for your clients, managing their image in public. You may prepare press releases, conduct media inquiries, and organize digital and traditional campaigns in a private firm. You can expect its growth to be at 9% for this kind of job, and your salary range will be at $59,000 annually. 

Another possible industry that a public relations specialist can also work for is advertising. This typically includes skills such as promoting, advertising, and publicizing a product. You should imply effective strategies that have the potential of fostering customer relationships. With this job, you’ll get to earn as much as $130,000 yearly. 

If you would like to work with organizations that need to build their image and identity, a public relations manager would be a good fit. Plan and manage public relations campaigns, supervise specialists, and work with executives. These are some of the routine job tasks you need to perform. Furthermore, as a PR manager, you’ll also participate in fundraising events, set goals, and develop action plans to achieve those goals. The median annual salary for a public relations manager is about $111,000 in a year.

What are the upsides of earning a Bachelor’s Degree in Public Relations?

PR has often been described as the most critical aspect of a business because public opinion does dominate the modern industry.  Your products and services will not matter how fantastic they are if you lose public trust. 

On the other hand, a positive PR campaign can be pretty effective in persuading individuals that a particular brand, business, product, or service is indeed outstanding even when, in fact, the contrary is true. This is how powerful public relations can be. 

Marketing and PR are closely interconnected in many ways. As opposed to selling products or services when marketing, PR requires you to sell the total image or reputation of a brand or company. PR professionals are responsible for turning things around when public opinion turns negative. Perhaps this is a reason why PR is a crucial asset in the company.

You can build a public image, respond to public inquiries, impact the public, and offer product information when you get a degree in public relations. 

So consider more benefits below when deciding whether to take a degree in public relations or not:

Comes With Promising Job Opportunities. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) indicates an increase in PR jobs of 6 percent every year until 2024. As a result, the BLS expects fundraising and public relations managers to encounter a 7 percent growth in job possibilities. The job market may also continue to be favorable for PR master’s degree graduates.

Allows You to Become a Communication Expert. There are no limits to whoever can take a bachelor’s degree in public relations. Even when you’ve already established your profession as a doctor, lawyer, entrepreneur, or political leader, this degree in PR can enhance your verbal communication and presentation skills. It is beneficial for lawyers to learn techniques to handle court cases verbally.

Paves an Exciting Career Path Ahead. Besides interacting with clients and analyzing target events, PR professionals also have to communicate, write, and manage public opinion as part of their daily schedule. Without monotony, you can expect this job to be exciting and challenging all at the same time.

Comes with Flexible Career Options. It’s not atypical for PR professionals to switch jobs without much difficulty. Students with a Public Relations degree can work in diverse industries upon graduation. You can explore many fields like education, media, healthcare, internet, sales, social media, or become a PR freelancer.

Media, government agencies, nonprofit and educational institutions are some sectors where PR graduates can find employment. Those with a degree in public relations can work as media planners, press secretaries, public relations specialists, lobbyists, marketing assistants, speechwriters, and event coordinators. An MBA in public relations can lead to public relations, marketing, or marketing communications director positions as a public relations manager.

How Long does will students finish an Online Bachelor’s Degree in Public Relations?

Generally, a full-time student takes four years to complete an online bachelor’s degree in public relations. However, the time it may take part-time students to earn their degree may range from five to eight years. Curriculums typically contain 120-124 credits. Graduation time could be prolonged by internship requirements, while prior credits earned accelerated semester structures could help to accelerate it.

The course of study for online public relations degrees is done at the student’s own pace. Students may enroll in self-paced programs at any time, and assignments can be completed at their convenience. On the other hand, distance learning programs also offer the cohort learning model, fostering a group educational experience. Spring and fall semesters are the most common times for students to start their programs. As students progress together in a cohort program, they create a learning community that fosters a sense of interconnectedness. You get to choose which online learning model would work better for you.

What do Online Bachelor’s in Public Relations Students Study?

The online Public Relations significant degree covers the theories, concepts, and strategies related to modern public relations and communications. Students will learn the foundations of public relations and communication in a corporate setting in the core academic courses. To continue your academic progress and participate in postgraduate studies, advanced courses must be completed.

Universities and colleges offer different curriculum but may offer similar courses. Public relations curriculums commonly cover the following topics. Students receive specific training for careers in each field that they need to be successful.

Media Planning

The students gain experience developing media plans. This course focuses on how consumer research can guide media planning and strategies across various media, including television, radio, and print. The media planning skills of special event coordinators and executive directors are essential.

Principles of Public Relations

Students will gain a basic understanding of public relations throughout this course. Learn about concepts and tools used in public relations, and develop skills to promote positive publicity. A PR management foundational course is designed to prepare students for careers in community relations, public affairs, and PR management.

Writing for Public Relations

In this course, students gain fundamental knowledge of writing as well as writing techniques for copywriting. In this class, students write news releases, editorials, and brochures. Writing features and copy is the focus of this course.

Electronic Public Relations

The course focuses on technology-based public relations. By using digital formats, students learn how to communicate effectively and ethically. Students with technology communication training are better qualified to be media relations specialists and digital PR representatives.

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A Public Relations undergraduate degree leads to numerous career options that highlight your skills in communication, attention to detail, organization, and problem-solving skills! In coming up with our list of the 10 Best Online Public Relations Bachelor’s Degree Colleges of 2021, we considered factors such as top-standard coursework, superior faculty credentials, a state-of-the-art learning platform, strong online program and college reputation in the industry, excellent student and career services, and updated accreditation status.

Acquiring up-to-date and in-depth Public Relations skills is critical to your success in the workplace. With an online Public Relations program that does not skimp on academic program quality, you’ll be a step ahead of your peers in the careers game!

Please see our Methodology page to learn more about our online college and degree program selection process.

Here are the 10 Best Online Public Relations Bachelor’s Degree Colleges of 2021:

List of 10 Best Online Public Relations Bachelor’s Degree Colleges

University of Florida

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There is an online bachelor’s program in public relations at the University of Florida, ranked nationally. The in-state tuition and reciprocity rates are among the lowest of all regionally accredited colleges in the country for in-state and reciprocity students.

With a degree in public relations, students are prepared for entry-level jobs and graduate studies. The online program emphasizes three main learning areas: cross-platform communication and digital media communications skills, public opinion research skills in the industry, and public policy and economics basics. This top online program has been recognized with more Public Relations Student Society of America-sponsored competitions than any college or university.

Location:

  • Gainesville, Florida

Accreditation:

  • Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

Program Features:

  • Requires 124 credits for completion

Course Options:

  • Public Relations Research
  • Public Relations Writing
  • Sight, Sound, and Motion
  • Public Relations Campaigns

Admission Requirements:

  • GPA of 3.0
  • Should have taken 3-5 pre-requisites courses like the Principles of Macroeconomics

Tuition:

  • $129.18 / credit hour

Financial Aid:

  • Loans
  • Employments
  • Scholarships
  • Grants
  • Florida Bright Futures
  • State of Florida Programs

What’s Unique About the Program:

  • The cost of a similar degree is a fraction of UF Online.
  • They help people find a better way of life through online higher education and remove barriers, successfully setting the bars high for distance education.
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Point Park University

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The goal of Point Park University is to provide a more active, professional, and meaningful educational experience for its students. Students can earn a degree in Bachelor of Arts in Public Relations entirely online. 

Students can explore public relations and advertising in this comprehensive, fully online program and choose a particular area of specialization. Students will learn about integrated communications through what they will learn in this major. You can expect to understand social media, advertising campaigns, capstone projects, integrated marketing,  communications planning, introduction to multimedia, media planning, and PR writing.

These courses are eventually helpful when the time comes that you want to establish your PR agency or if you want to work and create an integrated marketing campaign for your client in private or public sectors. 

Location:

  • Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Accreditation:

  • Middle States Commission on Higher Education

Program Features:

  • 121 total credits required for completion

Course Options:

  • Explore the World
  • Investigate Science
  • Succeed in Business
  • Understand People
  • Appreciate and Apply the Arts

Admission Requirements:

  • Online application
  • Official transcripts of record

Tuition:

  • $520 / credit

Financial Aid:

  • Federal and state grants
  • Scholarships
  • Loans
  • Payment plans

What’s Unique About the Program:

  • In your capstone project, you can work with a marketing agency to develop a full-fledged integrated marketing campaign for a corporation or nonprofit.
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University of Memphis Global

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University of Memphis (U of M) ranks as another prominent research university on our list. Several academic programs at the university are available via distance learning through UofM Global. Public Relations Society of America Bestows Certification in Education for Public Relations on this online bachelor’s program. 

The curriculum includes thorough training in media strategy, crisis management, and writing promotional materials. There are also many internship opportunities for you to take on, most prominent companies in a society like FedEx, Malmo, and Inferno. Students may join the Public Relations Student Society of America or Meeman 901 Strategies to network with public relations professionals. Such a program holds many chances for you to develop your PR career while learning as a student.

Location:

  • Memphis, Tennessee

Accreditation:

  • Southern Association of Colleges and Schools

Program Features:

  • Requires 120 credit hours to graduate
  • It can be completed entirely online at UofM Global or combined with other completed college online resources.

Course Options:

  • Public Relations Campaign
  • Public Relations Writing
  • Advertising
  • Sales Promotion

Admission Requirements:

  • Pay application fee
  • Online application
  • Official transcripts
  • Official test scores

Tuition:

  • $419 / credit

Financial Aid:

  • Scholarships
  • Experiential Learning Credit
  • Fee Discount and Waivers
  • Credit by Examination

What’s Unique About the Program:

  • The Public Relations Society of America awards the Certification in Education for Public Relations. 
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Franklin University

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In Franklin University’s online course in Public Relations, students learn to build relationships with media and corporations using both traditional and new media. With a completely online program, online learners gain valuable insights and practical experience. Writing, verbal, and social communication are the elements of public relations students are expected to master. 

Upon graduation, graduates will possess adequate communication skills appropriate to a social, cultural, and environmental context. You will gain the skills demanded and sought after by giant companies who need a professional PR expert to join their community of professionals.

Location:

  • Columbus, Ohio

Accreditation:

  • The Higher Learning Commission

Program Features:

  • Requires 120 total credits for completion
  • Six and 12-week courses

Course Options:

  • Organizational Communication
  • Customer Relationship Management
  • Rhetoric and Social Influence
  • Independent Studies in Public Relations
  • Communications in Groups and Teams

Admission Requirements:

  • Official transcripts
  • High school diploma
  • English language proficiency documents

Tuition:

  • $398 / credit

Financial Aid:

  • Scholarship and grants
  • Federal and state aid
  • Military and veteran benefits
  • Scheduled payment plans
  • Deferred tuition payment

What’s Unique About the Program:

  • The program is student-focused, comes with competitive costs, and you can maximize your transfer credits.
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Florida International University

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A bachelor’s degree in Public relations, advertising, and applied communications is available online through Florida International University. Students in this program learn how public relations can be used as an advertising and marketing tool, with a strong focus on case studies.

During lectures, students learn to tackle and understand the anatomy of campaigns and why they work and don’t work. By implementing their knowledge creatively, students retain the flexibility to tailor their studies to their needs. Besides major courses, you will also gain access to helpful elective courses that will help you develop your written communication skills, public speaking, digital communication skills, research skills, and social media skills. 

Location:

  • Miami, Florida

Accreditation:

  • Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

Program Features:

  • 120 total credits required for completion

Course Options:

  • Designing Communication Strategies
  • Communication Research Methods
  • Writing for Public Relations
  • Creative Concepts

Admission Requirements:

  • Online application
  • $30 application fee
  • Official SAT or ACT scores
  • Official transcripts
  • GPA of 2.85 required

Tuition:

  • $228.81 / Credit hour for in-state; $345.87 / credit hour for out-of-state

Financial Aid:

  • Grants
  • Scholarships
  • Loans
  • Federal work-study
  • Funds for books

What’s Unique About the Program:

  • Using the corporate and public media as examples, students can develop and promote creative communication strategies, creatively execute projects, and use effective and clear language in this interdisciplinary and customizable course.
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Texas State University

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There are many bachelor’s degrees, master’s degrees, and graduate degrees offered by Texas State University in San Marcos, Texas. Many of these degrees can be earned either on-campus or online.

Public relation is a field that is constantly growing, so the university offers the Bachelor of Science in Public Relations in an online setting. Students are taught how to engage with stakeholders and create connections with them to build mutually beneficial relationships. Researchers, writers, planners, creators, strategists, and audiences are trained to engage in ethical and credible communication. Hopefully, after this distance learning program, you’ll be able to work in diverse industries.

Various topics include promotion, PR writing, PR campaigns, media planning, and media design during their coursework.  

Location:

  • San Marcos, Texas

Accreditation:

  • Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC)

Program Features:

  • 120 semester credit hours required

Course Options:

  • Video Production
  • Digital Entrepreneurship
  • Public Relations Research
  • Media Law and Ethics

Admission Requirements:

  • GPA of 2.25 required
  • Online application
  • Pre-requisite courses

Tuition:

  • $307.36 / credit for in-state; $715.36 / credit for out-of-state

Financial Aid:

  • Grants
  • Work-study
  • Student loans

What’s Unique About the Program:

  • PR students will have the opportunity to practice their PR skills by possibly working at the campus outlets, like Bobcat Promotions, The University Star, and KTSW-FM 89.9 radio. This could be in the form of volunteers, course credit, or as a working student. 
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Montana State University

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Since then, Montana State University was founded in 1927 and provides education locally and via distance education. Students at MSU have the opportunity to develop a rewarding and lasting career based on their learning styles. Online bachelor’s degrees are available through MSU Billing’s distance learning program. One of which is the Bachelor’s degree in Public Relations. 

In this unique program, participants are exposed to individuals from many industries, including nonprofit organizations, media, public relations theory, marketing, and much more. Furthermore, Montana State University provides internships to integrate the curriculum with practice. This will give you worthy exposure to the PR industry even as a student.

Location:

  • Billings, Montana

Accreditation:

  • Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU)

Program Features:

  • 120 total credits required for completion

Course Options:

  • Exploring Comm Studies
  • Principles of Public Relations
  • New Media Skills
  • Media Criticism
  • Campaign Planning

Admission Requirements:

  • Online application
  • ACT or SAT scores
  • Official transcripts
  • Immunization records
  • GPA of 2.5

Tuition:

  • $468.27 / credit hour for in-state; $660.85 / credit hour for non-resident

Financial Aid:

  • Grants
  • Federal pell grant
  • State and institutional grants
  • Work-study and student employment
  • Loans
  • scholarships

What’s Unique About the Program:

  • The program helps students get acquainted with the PR dynamics in corporations, nonprofits, government organizations, healthcare, and education.
  • A broad-based professional degree that focuses on both nonprofit and public information.
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Southern New Hampshire University

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The success rate of the University’s faculty, students, and academics is consistently high. You can enroll at SNHU’s BA in Communications online and choose to concentrate on Public Relations. Students in this program gain the necessary skills to succeed in their field. Besides business communication and communication in the digital age, electronic public relations, social psychology, and many more courses are available in this public relations curriculum. A well-designed partnership network also offers extensive internship opportunities to students in Southern New Hampshire. A seamless distance education experience is possible at SNHU since the university offers advanced online education resources.

It encompasses understanding new media and technology and developing and implementing targeted messages to specific audiences in a fast-paced, ever-changing field. Students in the Public Relations Concentration will build on the skills developed in the Communication core by studying the ethics of communication to a public audience with specific technological tools and multimedia platforms.

Location:

  • Manchester, New Hampshire

Accreditation:

  • the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE)

Program Features:

  • Can transfer up to 90 credits
  • Must complete 120 credits to graduate

Course Options:

  • Public Relations
  • Electronic Public Relations
  • Writing for Public Relations
  • Public Relations Campaign Planning Seminar

Admission Requirements:

  • Online application
  • Official transcripts
  • Electronic attestation form
  • GPA of 2.75

Tuition:

  • $320 / credit

Financial Aid:

  • Grants
  • Scholarships
  • Student loans

What’s Unique About the Program:

  • Southern New Hampshire University’s online programs offer some of the lowest tuition rates in the nation, with the option of receiving financial aid.
  • In addition to accepting 90 earned credits for a bachelor’s degree and 45 earned credits for an associate degree, SNHU also makes it easy to transfer credits from another institution.
  • Thousands of students, alumni, and faculty can serve as a valuable resource for you as you build your connections after graduation. 
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Geneva College

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Geneva College offers Bible-based education, which makes it an excellent choice for students who want a curriculum based on the Bible. Its academics, distance-learning curriculum, and value for tuition are consistently praised at Geneva. This degree program at GC offers a challenging path for students seeking a career in public relations. Online students provide a comprehensive program in crisis management, market research, graphic design, and digital communication. It is a member of the Public Relations Student Society of America, an excellent means for networking on the job market.

Building effective relationships with various publics is a significant part of the curriculum. In public relations courses, students learn to use rhetoric to improve their writing and public speaking skills and utilize technology in media.

Location:

  • Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania

Accreditation

  • Commission on Higher Education of the Middle States Association of Colleges & Schools

Program Features:

  • one semester is equivalent to 12-18 credit hours
  • hybrid of online and on-campus classes

Course Options:

  • PR Publications
  • Digital Communications Design
  • Contemporary Newswriting

Admission Requirements:

  • Online application
  • Official transcripts

Tuition:

  • $14,580 / semester

Financial Aid:

  • Federal and State Grants
  • Scholarships
  • Loan options

What’s Unique About the Program:

  • Public relations students studying this program will develop the ability to think critically and apply theory to real-world challenges and opportunities in for-profit and nonprofit organizations.
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Regent University

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Regent University values building solid foundations and passions in preparation for a thriving career in the highly competitive industry. This is done entirely online through the Communication Studies- Advertising- Public Relations bachelor’s degree program. As a student in this program, you will gain communication experience for the workplace. Courses emphasize communication theory and practice within the context of marketing campaigns, media choices, and analysis. Christian principles are integrated into the school’s core courses, crucial for building a solid learning foundation. 

Location:

  • Virginia Beach, Virginia

Accreditation:

  • Southern Association of Colleges and Schools

Program Features:

  • Can be taken online or on-campus
  • 120 required credits for completion

Course Options:

  • Marketing Principles
  • Communication Ethics
  • Public Relations
  • Writing for Strategic Communication
  • Principles of Journalism

Admission Requirements:

  • Online application
  • FAFSA application

Tuition:

  • $13, 500 / year with 24-36 credits

Financial Aid:

  • Honors College scholarships
  • Merits scholarships
  • Student loans

What’s Unique About the Program:

  • Acquire a Christian worldview to anchor your skills and knowledge.
  • They have also had consistently been ranked as the #1 Best Online Bachelor’s Program in Virginia for eight straight years.