Online Masters Degrees in Public Relations

If you have ambitious goals and a curious mind, if you're hooked on current events and are interested in discovering and reporting stories beyond your own, an online masters in public relations could further those goals.

An online masters in public relations awards you an advanced degree in a concentrated area of communications. It allows you to continue your education and hone your knowledge in a particular area of communications, such as reporting, magazine writing and editing, interactive publishing, or videography.

Master-level study of communications online attracts students with real-world experience and hands-on knowledge. Many come from the working world, have studied abroad, volunteered, spearheaded community campaigns, or had an internship in the field.

An online masters in public relations can be intense; students need to be mature and professional to succeed in this fast-paced arena. Students embarking on master-level study of communications should have a record of strong academic achievement, excellent writing and interpersonal-communication skills, and be willing to learn about and use new technologies.

Master-level study of communications may teach you to be a compelling communicator. You'll likely study the impact of the media, learn documentary filmmaking, find out how to influence public opinion, and learn how politicians share their message. Admission to master-level study at the graduate level online usually requires passing the graduate record examination (the GRE), and any other required examinations (a language test, for instance).

Some online programs award solely a master degree, while others award the master degree en route to a doctoral degree. Some schools offer the bachelor and master degree in communications in tandem, so both could be completed in five years.

Core courses for the master-level study of communications online generally include communication and organizational theory, research methods, ethics, strategic communications, media skills, media theory, research methods, global communications, politics, economics, public speaking, and editing. The master-level student of communications chooses a specialization to build expertise in a particular segment of the industry, and may focus their studies on a world region or global issue.

Culmination of master-level study is writing a thesis on a communications topic of your choice, with approval and advisement from a faculty member in your department. Once completed, you could graduate with the training and knowledge to help solve real-world problems with effective communication.

Someone with a master degree in communications is poised to find fulfillment in journalism, advertising, public relations, government, corporate communication, or teaching college-level courses.