Top 30 Online Schools for Bachelor’s in Public Relations

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Public Relations specialists are in-demand in a variety of organizations, both in the private and public sectors, and are typically responsible for providing information to the public, managing customer relations, and raise the public’s awareness about the services and products the company provides.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the demand for public relations specialists is expected to grow 6 percent from 2018 to 2028.

So if you’re willing to start a career in this field, your job prospects are expected to be good.

This profession requires focus and many skills in order to generate the best results for clients, skills that can be learned by attending a bachelor’s degree program in the field.

There are many colleges and universities across the country that offer Public Relations degree programs fully online, designed to teach aspiring PR specialists the knowledge needed for this career.

In order to help you choose the higher learning institution that best suits your educational needs, on this page, we have included information about the top 30 Online Schools that offer Bachelor’s Degree programs in the field of public relations.


Old Dominion University

With more than 30 years of experience in distance learning, Old Dominion University is one of the top schools that offer an online Bachelor’s Degree program designed to prepare aspiring PR specialists.

The school provides a Bachelor of Science in Communication with a Public Relations concentration.

This program focuses on developing students’ verbal and written skills and helps them thrive in their future careers.

Students need a total of 120 credit hours that include both communication and public relations courses.

Old Dominion University is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools to award baccalaureate, master’s, education specialist, and doctoral degrees.

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Drexel University

The online Bachelor of Science in Communication provided by Drexel University is a great option for those who want to start a career in public relations.

The program includes a concentration in Public Relations designed to teach students how to uphold the image and reputation of a company.

The courses included in this program cover topics in journalism, mass media and society, new technologies, public relations, and publication design.

Classes are taught by renowned faculty.

The tuition rate for the 2019-2020 academic year is $513 per credit hour.

Drexel University is regionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

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University of Memphis

A learner-centered metropolitan research university, the University of Memphis offers a Bachelor of Arts in Public Relations degree program.

Students enrolled in this 120-credit program are required to complete 42 hours of coursework in the Department of Journalism and Strategic Media, 41 hours of general education classes, and the rest of the credits are devoted to public relations.

Core courses include research and campaigns, public relations writing, public relations case studies, crisis communication in public relations, and branding, and social media.

Tuition rates are between $463-$470 per credit hour, depending on the type of program you choose.

The program is endorsed with a Certification in Education for Public Relations Society of America.

The University of Memphis is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools to award bachelor’s first professional, master’s, educational specialist’s, and doctoral degrees.

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University of Florida

The University of Florida is offering an online Bachelor of Science in Public Relations designed to train students in persuasive and strategic communications.

The curriculum focuses on topics such as writing, research, mass communication law, strategy, and visual communication.

Students are equipped with the skills to anticipate, analyze, and interpret public opinion, and develop programs that improve the public’s awareness.

Tuition for online programs is $129.18 per credit hour.

The University of Florida is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award bachelor, specialist, engineer, doctoral, and professional degrees.

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California Baptist University

California Baptist University offers an Online Bachelor of Arts in Public Relations that aims to teach students how to create and maintain a positive public image for an organization.

Graduates are prepared for careers in a variety of industries, including advertising, nonprofit work, social media, journalism, and media relations.

The coursework covers a variety of topics related to communication and journalism.

Students also learn how to apply ethical principles in this fast-paced environment.

The 48 required major units can be completed in as few as 16 months.

Tuition for online and professional studies undergraduate programs is $613 per unit.

California Baptist University is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges.

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Geneva College

Located in a beautiful 55-acre campus in Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania, Geneva College offers a variety of fully online courses.

The college’s catalog includes an online Bachelor of Communication with Public Relations concentration.

Students enrolled in this program learn about public relations practices and how to ethically apply a variety of communication theories, strategies, and techniques.

The program also emphasizes the rhetorical perspective in writing, public speaking, and the use of technology in mass media.

The curriculum covers topics on Public Relations, PR Publications, Digital Communication Design, Contemporary Newswriting, Advanced Public Relations, and Bateman Competition.

Geneva College is accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools.

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Southern New Hampshire University

One of the fastest-growing universities in the nation, Southern New Hampshire University includes many degree programs online.

The university’s catalog includes a Bachelor of Arts in Communication with a Public Relations option in its required concentration.

Students who attend this program learn how to communicate effectively with clients and the general public.

The curriculum includes general education classes, as well as degree-specific courses.

Tuition for degree/certificate programs at Southern New Hampshire University is $320 per credit hour.

Southern New Hampshire University is a private, nonprofit institution accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education.

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University of Minnesota Crookston

The University of Minnesota Crookston offers a variety of high-quality degree programs on-campus and online, including a Bachelor of Science in Communication.

Students enrolled in this program get the chance of developing their writing, presentation, and interpersonal skills- essential abilities when communicating with clients or the public.

The program includes an emphasis on public relations that covers topics on conflict management, audience research analysis, strategic design, implementation, message evaluation, leadership as well as group and team dynamics.

Students are required to complete 120 credit hours.

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Point Park University

Point Park University offers both on-campus and online programs, including an online Bachelor of Arts in Public Relations and Advertising.

Students enrolled in this program explore both the field of public relations and the one of advertising and can choose their preferred specialization.

The program covers classes in social media, advertising campaigns, integrated marketing communications planning, PR writing, and a capstone project.

The capstone project is a major requirement that allows students to develop a fully integrated marketing campaign for a corporate or nonprofit client.

Point Park University is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

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Concordia University

A private institution of liberal arts and sciences, Concordia University is offering a variety of undergraduate and graduate degrees.

The university’s catalog includes a Bachelor of Arts in Communication with an emphasis on Public Relations.

The program is a good choice for those who want to start a career in government, non-profit organizations as well as media or other private institutions.

Students enrolled in this program have the opportunity of developing their public speaking, writing, and technological skills essential for a career in public relations.

They need a minimum of 2.0 accumulative GPA on all college-level coursework.

Graduates are ready for a career as market research analysts, public relations specialists, and many other PR professions.

Concordia University Texas is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

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Mid-America Christian University

A private Christian liberal arts college, Mid-America Christian University offers a range of programs in counseling, behavioral science, business administration, and more.

Some of the programs are also available in an online format.

Its Bachelor of Science in Communication, Media, and Ethics is designed to prepare students with the necessary skills to grow online engagement.

Students are also taught to appreciate the procedures and practices involved in media production and consumption.

The curriculum covers topics such as media theory and practice, introduction to public relations, public relations research and design, law and ethics in public relations, and more.

Students are required to complete 124 hours for the course completion.

Mid-America Christian University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

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Franklin University

Franklin University offers a traditional degree program designed for adult learners who want to earn their degree without attending classes on-campus.

One of the programs available fully online is the Bachelor of Science in Public Relations.

Students enrolled in this program learn how to use traditional and new media to maintain and improve corporate reputations and how to effectively create an association’s public image.

Students need 124 semester hours for completion, including general education courses, business or professional core, and major area and elective courses.

They also need a minimum of 2.25 GPA.

Franklin University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

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Texas State University

Texas State University offers 98 bachelor’s degree programs, 93 master’s and 14 doctoral degree programs at various colleges.

The university also offers students the opportunity of earning some of the degrees online.

Its catalog includes a Bachelor of Science in Public Relations with a minimum requirement of 120 semester credit hours.

Students enrolled in this program learn how to research, write, create, plan, strategize, and engage the public through ethical and credible communication.

The coursework covers topics on clear communication, public relations, public relations writing, public relations campaigns, media design, and more.

Texas State degree programs are accredited by the Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communications and many other credentialing institutions.

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Montana State University Billings

Founded in 1927, Montana State University Billings has a long tradition of educational success.

The university offers an online Bachelor of Arts in Communication program with an emphasis on public relations.

The coursework covers topics on communication studies, principles of mass communication and public relations, history and theory of persuasion, advertising, media and culture, and video production.

Graduates typically find employment as public relations assistants, news reporters, fundraisers, corporate communication specialists, or advertising strategists.

Montana State University Billings is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.

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Regent University

Located in Virginia Beach, Regent University offers degree programs both online and on-campus.

Its catalog includes a Bachelor of Arts in Communication Studies with a focus on Public Relations that tackles subjects on theories, branding, practices, marketing, and using communication to get a message across.

Students are equipped with the skills they need to understand marketing communication campaigns, creative development, media choice, and media analysis.

Students are required to complete a minimum of 120 credit hours.

Some of the courses included in this program are public speaking, communication theory, foundations of communication, public relations, and writing for strategic communication, among many others.

Regent University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award associate, baccalaureate, masters, and doctorate degrees.

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Wilmington University

Wilmington University offers a variety of degree programs that are available fully online, including a Bachelor of Science in Communication.

This program focuses on teaching students effective, strategic communication, branding, and storytelling.

Students also have the opportunity of customizing this program with a concentration in integrated marketing communication that focuses on marketing, advertising, and public relations.

Through this concentration, the university aims to prepare students to inform and persuade potential clients through a variety of media channels, including print and digital platforms.

The curriculum covers topics on technical writing, communication theory, media strategy, legal aspects of communication, and public relations.

Wilmington University is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

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Walden University

Headquartered in Minneapolis, Minnesota, Walden University is an accredited institution with more than 45 years of experience.

The online Bachelor of Science in Communication offered by Walden University is a great choice for those who want to start a career in public relations.

The 181 credit-hour program includes 46 credits of general education courses, 90 credits of core courses, 40 credits of electives, and a capstone course.

Some of the core courses are Principles of Public Relations, Crisis Communication, Intercultural Communication, Marketing, and more.

Students enrolled in this program will learn how to create targeted social media campaigns, how to solve conflicts, and how to build relationships.

Tuition is $325 per quarter hour while the technology fee is $160 per quarter.

Walden University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

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Northern Arizona University

Northern Arizona University offers online degree programs that are fully accredited and provide the same quality as traditional degrees.

The university’s catalog includes a Bachelor of Arts in Communication Studies designed to teach students how to communicate in a variety of contexts.

Students need at least 120 units of credit to complete this program.

Graduates may start careers in fields such as communications, public relations, management, speechwriting, and more.

Northern Arizona University offers some of the lowest tuition rates in the state.

Their online competency-based degrees (with the exception of Nursing Programs) cost $3,000 for a 6-month subscription.

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University of Louisville

The University of Louisville is a nationally-recognized research institution that offers degree programs both online and on-campus.

Their online Bachelor of Arts in Communications can help students who want to start a career in public relations.

The coursework focuses on organizational, interpersonal, rhetorical, and mediated contexts and perspectives.

Students enrolled in this program learn a variety of theories, philosophies, methods of inquiry, and practices that are used in the communication field.

The University of Louisville is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

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University of Maryland University College

The University of Maryland University College was founded more than 70 years ago and offers a variety of online undergraduate and graduate programs.

One of its degree programs is the bachelor’s in communications studies, a program designed to prepare students for a career in media and public relations.

The program’s multidisciplinary curriculum covers a wide range of disciplines from mass communication, journalism, and public relations to speech communication.

In-state tuition for undergraduate programs is $306 per credit in summer and fall 2020 for in-state students while out-of-state students pay $499 per credit.

Students need 120 credits for graduation and can transfer up to 90 credits.

University of Maryland Global Campus is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

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Penn State World Campus

Another great place where lifelong learners have the opportunity of earning their degree entirely online is Penn State World Campus.

Among its 150 programs is a Bachelor of Arts in Strategic Communications.

The program offers a balance of theory, research, and practice and prepares students with the skills to design, implement, evaluate the impact messages have on a group of people.

Graduates are ready to analyze and manage public relations, advertising, and marketing communication to create a positive public image for their future clients.

The 120-credit interdisciplinary program covers topics on Strategic Communications, Psychology, Statistics, Social Media Strategies, Law of Mass Communications, and much more.

Tuition is $545 per credit for students who take fewer than 12 credits per semester and a flat rate of $6,611 for students who take more than 12 credits per semester.

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University of North Dakota

The University of North Dakota offers more than 225 programs in a variety of fields, including a Bachelor of Arts in Communication designed for students who want to start a career in advertising and public relations.

Students can complete the coursework at their own pace.

They may also customize their major in communication with an area of focus, including an area in public relations.

The program requires 141 credit hours for graduation and can be completed within 4 years.

Tuition is $342.16 per credit while fees are $70.51 per credit.

The University of North Dakota is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

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Boise State University

Boise State University offers education opportunities not only at its campus but also for long-distance learners.

Their catalog includes a Bachelor of Arts in Public Relations available fully online.

The program aims to help students understand the concept and practices needed for a career in public relations.

The 120-credit program includes classes in media law, global public relations, public relations case studies, client relations, and community relations, crisis management, and business and professional communication.

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Indiana University

Indiana University offers a variety of programs for adult and long-distance learners who want to complete the degree at their own pace.

Their Bachelor of Arts in Communication Studies is a great choice for those who are looking for an online degree in public relations.

Students enrolled in this program learn about the interpersonal, organizational, group, and public communication as well as communication that is electronically mediated.

The 120 credit-hour program includes core courses in communication but also classes in public relations, propaganda and persuasion, and cross-cultural communication.

Graduates are prepared for positions as public relations specialists, media relations specialists, publications editors, and more.

Tuition is $229.84 per credit hour for Indiana residents and $330.99 per credit hour for out-of-state students.

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Mississippi College

Mississippi College offers more than 80 undergraduate areas of study, including a bachelor’s in communications.

The program is also offered online to accommodate the schedules of long-distance and adult learners.

The curriculum covers topics in public speaking, mass media, graphic design, communication law, and much more.

Students need a total of 130 credit hours to complete this program.

Full-time tuition (12-18 hours) is $9,100 for the fall/spring semester 2020-2021.

Mississippi College is accredited by the Southern Association of College and Schools Commission on Colleges.

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Washington State University

A nonprofit public research university, Washington State University offers a variety of online degree programs.

The university’s catalog includes a Bachelor of Arts in Strategic Communication designed to train students who want to become communication experts and those who want to start a career in public relations.

Through this program, students learn how to use a variety of technologies, techniques, and strategies to effectively communicate messages and help organizations reach their public.

The curriculum covers topics on foundations of persuasion, principles of public relations, digital content production, multimedia content creation, writing in communication, and more.

Students need 120 credit hours to complete this program.

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Delaware City University

Delaware City University offers a Bachelor of Science in Communication designed for distance learners who want to start a career in public relations or even politics.

This degree program is provided through the university’s College of Journalism and Communications.

Students enrolled in this program learn how to create targeted social messages, how to design marketing campaigns, how to communicate effectively in writing, and how to promote ideas and inspire action.

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University of Nebraska

The University of Nebraska is offering educational programs for long-distance learners through its online platform.

The Bachelor of Science in Organizational and Relational Communications offered through the University of Nebraska online platform aims to equip students with the skills that will prepare them for careers as professional and ethical communicators.

Students enrolled in this program learn how to apply written, oral, and visual communication strategies to current issues.

The program requires 120 credit hours and includes courses that cover a variety of topics, including communication theory, persuasion, and propaganda.

In-state tuition is $259 per credit while out-of-state students pay $396 per credit.

All University of Nebraska campuses are accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

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University of Arkansas

The University of Arkansas offers several degree programs entirely online.

One such program is the Bachelor of Arts in Communication that teaches students how to apply communication strategies to multiple contexts and platforms.

The 120-credit hour program takes four years to complete.

Graduates are qualified for positions in public relations, media and social media consultation, corporate training, sales and management, project management, and more.

Tuition is $252.28 per credit hour

The University of Arkansas is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

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New England College

The online Bachelor of Arts in Communication provided by New England College includes a public relations concentration.

This degree program focuses on helping students develop a stronger understanding of effective public relations campaigns.

The program covers topics such as the principles of public relations, cross-cultural communication, and many more.

Tuition for bachelor’s degree programs at New England College is $415 per credit hour.

The New England College is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Q. What is a Bachelor’s Degree in Public Relations program?

In short, a Bachelor’s Degree in Public Relations program is designed to help students become PR specialists.

Specialists in public relations are needed in almost every industry because in this day and age organizations need to communicate with their target audience through a variety of channels, including social media.

PR professionals have the role of communicating with the media and maintaining a positive relationship with the public.

They also participate in creating the organization’s identity.

To be able to succeed in this profession there are several skills that you need to master and communication is one of them.

Most schools that offer public relations degree programs focus on communication classes because the methods and channels of communication affect the way the message is extended to the public.

Another important part of a public relations program is marketing because aspiring public relations experts need to know how to use marketing tools to promote an idea, a product, an opinion, or a public image.

Programs also focus on developing critical thinking skills and teaching students how to use technology tools.

Students who graduate from a degree program in public relations become strategic communicators, meaning that they know how to apply communication strategies to protect and preserve the image of an organization, nonprofit, or small business.

Public relations programs typically prefer students who enjoy researching and analyzing information in order to find reliable sources where they can verify the information they receive.

A public relations specialist should also have public speaking skills and must be updated with the current news and affairs.

Q. How can I earn a degree in Public Relations?

The first step is to determine if this career is right for you.

If you’re a good communicator who’s not afraid to speak in public then finding a good public relations degree program will help you perfect your skills and acquire new abilities.

Finding the school that best suits your needs and professional aspirations is an important next step.

There are many universities and colleges that offer high-quality bachelor’s degree programs in public relations and many of them also give students the opportunity of finishing their education entirely online.

Most schools require prospective students to submit an online application and pay an application fee and some also want a good GPA rating.

After being accepted into the program you will start with general education classes and afterward, you will delve into courses that make up your major.

Some degree programs also give students the possibility of choosing between several concentrations.

Many programs include classes in writing, media relations management, ethics, public relations principles, media and technology, communication theories and strategies, and more.

Online bachelor’s degree programs in public relations can typically be completed within a period of four years but it can take longer especially if you choose a program that has a complex curriculum.

These programs typically have a total of 120 credits but some of them include more than 130 credits.

Tuition can be anywhere between $10,000 – $40,000 a year, depending on the school you choose.

Private schools cost more than public schools and some universities offer lower tuition rates for in-state students.

Students also have access to a variety of financial aid options in the form of grants, scholarships, or financial aid.

Q. What careers can I pursue with a Bachelor’s Degree in Public Relations?

A degree in public relations qualifies you for careers in a variety of industries.

You may work in the public or private sector, for nonprofits or for corporations, for foundations or for the government.

After graduating from an online Bachelor’s degree in Public Relations you will be equipped with great communication and analytical skills that can be valued in a multitude of different sectors.

For example, you can become a public relation specialist that manages the image of their clients.

In this position, you can work for private firms and write press releases, respond to media requests, and organize digital and traditional marketing campaigns.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the demand for public relations specialists is projected to grow 6 percent from 2018 to 2028 so your job prospects are expected to be good.

The median salary in this field is $61,150 as of May 2019, according to BLS.

Final Thoughts

In our day and age, both good and bad news spread rapidly through the internet and public relations specialists are in-demand in a variety of industries because organizations need to maintain and enhance their reputation and public image.

If you want to start a career in this field there are a few important skills that you should master.

You should be an excellent communicator with a strong understanding of both traditional and digital marketing tools.

There are many schools that offer degree programs that focus mostly on helping students develop these abilities and many of them try to accommodate the needs of busy adults by offering a fully online curriculum.

If you have read our list of top 30 Online Schools for Bachelor’s Degree Programs in Public Relations it’s your turn to continue the research and choose the one that best meets your schedule, budget, educational needs, and professional aspirations.

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