MA in Communication - Public Relations

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Take your place in a fast-growing field with a Public Relations Degree.

In a 24/7 world, the scrutiny never stops. The Master of Arts in Communication with a concentration in Public Relations allows you to immerse yourself in technology and tactics that show brands in their best light and keep them there.

Current PR professionals, or those seeking to explore this burgeoning field, can advance their careers with the knowledge and skills they gain from a public relations degree. As media has grown ever more pervasive, the demand for adept PR professionals has grown with it.

  • For example, the Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates a 23% employment increase in public relations in the decade ending in 2020. That’s a faster growth rate than the average for all occupations.

This 36-credit program begins with seven core courses, four specialized courses below, and a capstone.

Public Relations Concentration Courses

COM-655: Reputation Management: Building a Brand
The public relations field distinguishes itself through its emphasis on capturing hearts and minds. Above and beyond the marketing goal of persuading target consumers to the desired economic end, it is the task of the public relations professional to persuade individuals and groups to accept a certain belief or opinion. In this way, the topics of messaging and branding take on new meaning within the context of public relations. In this course, students will make that transition in to the world of public relations by re-examining and building upon core principles to build a foundation for the public relations concentration.
COM-500 or COM-510
COM-656: Spread the Word: Social Media Practices
The ease of self-publishing using blogs, the dedication of entire mainstream news segments to the "conversation" on Twitter, the use of RSS feeds to immediately deliver customized messages and other personalization of communication all hail the dawn of a new era that is at once global and highly individualistic. For a public relations professional, social media technologies present unique challenges and opportunities to develop and protect one's brand. In this course, students will engage in thorough investigations and practical applications of the specific technologies, outlets, platforms, networks, and mediums that will populate their professional tool kit. Students will gain proficiency in particular, relevant tools, as well as add to their general fluency in the language of technology.
COM-500 or COM-510
COM-657: Crisis Communication in a 24/7 World
The pervasiveness of social media, 24-hour news coverage, and mobile communications has transformed the role of public relations specialists. What constituted 'private' has become increasingly public given individuals' immediate access to multiple platforms and technologies to publish sensitive information. Protecting a brand and maintaining a consistent message in the maelstrom of broadcasted opinions is certainly more difficult than ever before. This course addresses the topics of public relations ethics and crisis management through the investigation of landmark cases and hypothetical crisis scenarios, preparing students to develop crisis management, prevention, and response skills crucial for today's media environment.
COM 500 or 510
COM-658: Integrated Public Relations Campaigns & Measurement
Developing and executing a public relations campaign requires the integration of skills, strategies, and tactics to create a cohesive, dynamic whole. Similarly, this course integrates components from previous coursework by addressing topics such as the life cycle of the campaign, campaign management strategies, effective tracking and measurement, and making modifications based on data analysis. Students will evaluate past successful and unsuccessful campaigns in order to glean and substantiate best practices in campaign design and execution. Finally, students will create structured components of public relations campaigns in order to prepare for the critical task in the capstone course.
COM-500 or COM-510

Admission Requirements

Acceptance decisions are made on a rolling basis throughout the year for our five graduate terms. You can apply at any time and get a decision within days of submitting all required materials. To apply, simply contact an admission counselor, who can help you explore financial options.  Your counselor can also walk you through the application process, which involves completing a graduate application ($40 fee) and providing undergraduate transcripts.

Additional requirements:

  • Undergraduate degree (can be in a discipline outside of the intended MA degree program).
  • Statement of Purpose: 200-500 words explaining why you wish to enter the program.
  • Writing Sample:  Minimum 3-5 pages (i.e. research paper, creative work, critical analysis of a literary piece, or work from previous academic studies).

Students with an undergraduate GPA below 2.75 are eligible for provisional acceptance. Based on your educational background, some Master of Arts provisional students may be required to take SNHU 501 – Introduction to Graduate Studies – which will provide students with the scholarly tools to be successful in their Master of Arts program of study. This policy is effective for new students enrolling for the 15TW4 graduate term starting April 27, 2015.

      Business or professional writing is also acceptable.
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