Jun 24, 2024  
2023-24 NSU Graduate Catalog 
2023-24 NSU Graduate Catalog

Public Relations, M.A.

Location(s): Online

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OSRHE Program Code: 186

CIP Code: 090902

Major Code: 4440


The M.A. in Public Relations is a 20 to 24-month program designed to educate the next generation of innovators and leaders in public relations. Graduates are sought by Fortune 500 companies, fast moving start-ups, public relations and digital agencies, communication consultancies as well as government organizations and the nonprofit sector.

The program takes a highly applied approach that emphasizes strategic thinking, problem solving and specific skills to qualify graduates for a successful career in the exciting, rewarding and fast-growing public relations and other communication professions.

Public relations is among the fastest growing professions in the United States and abroad. At NSU, we think of public relations as advocacy communication, meaning the use of communication skills and tools to advocate on behalf of any brand, organization, social cause, entertainment property, celebrity or candidate. Successful public relations professionals are creative, skilled strategists, counselors, managers and communicators. They know how to analyze problems, weigh options, develop solutions, advise senior management and implement programs that achieve organizational goals. The M.A. in Public Relations equips graduates with the conceptual and practical tools needed to be a leader in this dynamic field.


Admission to the Strategic Communication and Public Relations M.A. program requires:

  1. An approved application for Graduate Admission.
  2. A minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.0 in all undergraduate coursework.
  3. A 500-word essay describing what the student hopes to achieve by admission to the program.

Requirements for Graduation

In order to receive the Master of Arts in Public Relations degree, the student must satisfy the following requirements:

  1. Complete thirty (30) semester hours of credit as approved by the advisor and the Dean of the Graduate College;
  2. Achieve a “B” average grade in all graduate coursework attempted with no grade below a “C” applicable to the degree;
  3. Pass the comprehensive examination over selected coursework.
  4. Meet all the requirements set forth in the Academic Information section of the Graduate College Catalog.

Comprehensive Examination

During the final semester prior to graduation, the MA candidate will take a comprehensive written examination over twelve (12) hours of coursework completed for the degree.

Students can take the exams after all coursework is completed only if granted an extension by the graduate director. Should any student fail all or a portion of the examination, s/he will be allowed to take a second examination, which might be written or oral, or a combination of the two. The comprehensive examination may be taken no more than twice.

Student Learning Outcomes

The MA in Public Relations program prepares its graduates to lead in a world where every brand, organization and individual has the opportunity and the imperative to tell their story. NSU is transforming the practice of public relations by training the next generation of communicators using a highly applied, hands-on learning model that includes:

  1. Demonstrate how to communicate during crises.
  2. Demonstrate how to manage a brand’s reputation.
  3. Demonstrate how to evaluate and measure change.
  4. Demonstrate how to influence public opinion.
  5. Demonstrate in-depth knowledge of the public relations discipline.
  6. Demonstrate how to write effectively for public relations.
  7. Demonstrate the ability to communicate orally and present public relations strategies and plans clearly and effectively.

Accelerated B.A. Media Studies: Public Relations/Advertising to M.A. Public Relations

Note:  Please refer to Accelerated Bachelor’s to Master’s Degree Program   for complete information concerning Accelerated Bachelor’s to Master’s Degree Programs.  Refer to the Undergraduate Catalog for bachelor’s degree requirements.


Students admitted to the Accelerated B.A. Media Studies: Public Relations/Advertising to M.A. Public Relations degree program will complete up to 12 hours of graduate level credit to apply toward both the undergraduate and graduate degrees.

Students who do not follow the approved degree plan may become ineligible to continue in the accelerated degree program.

Prior to completing the undergraduate degree, if the undergraduate GPA, graduate GPA and/or overall GPA fall below a 3.00, the student becomes ineligible to continue in the ADP.

Students may withdraw from an approved accelerated degree pathway.  Graduate credit hours completed prior to the student withdrawing or becoming ineligible to continue in the ADP apply toward the undergraduate degree only.


ADP Paired Courses

M S 4063 - Advanced Advertising PR 5433 - Applied Strategies of Advertising
M S 4533 - Crisis Communication PR 5533 - Crisis Management
M S 4653 - Public Relations and the Media PR 5453 - Applied Strategies of Public Relations
M S 4683 - Social Media PR 5683 - Social Media Practice

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