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Master of Science in Public Relations

The master of science in public relations program offers students the opportunity to pursue an advanced degree in a highly competitive and growing field. The program is designed for early- to mid-career professionals interested in advancing their careers in public relations and/or transitioning into public relations from other fields such as finance, law, healthcare, technology, human resources, journalism and marketing. The program also helps recent graduates with bachelor's degrees in public relations and other disciplines gain a competitive edge as they enter the workforce. Quinnipiac also offers undergraduate students the opportunity to apply for a combined, five-year bachelor's/master's degree program.

Students learn the conceptual and theoretical foundations of public relations, practice how to conduct and analyze public relations research and evaluation, and hone their skills in contemporary public relations practices and techniques. The program stresses professional competence, global consciousness and professional and social responsibility.

Graduates of the program work as public relations specialists in both the public sector and private sector with expertise and skills applicable to corporate, non-profit and government institutions.

Reasons to consider graduate studies in public relations at Quinnipiac:

One-year program (fast-track): Students spend nine months on campus, followed by the completion of a research thesis or professional project in the summer or subsequent terms.

Options for full-time or part-time study: Students may take up to six years to complete the program requirements. Enrolling full-time allows the student to complete the degree in two years, or the student may enroll on a part-time basis to complete the degree in three to six years.

Highly qualified faculty with professional experience: Most courses are taught by full-time members of the faculty, which includes internationally recognized and rising scholars who also have extensive professional experience in the field. Adjunct faculty offer special expertise in their respective practice areas.

Professional connections: The public relations faculty have close ties to industry, offering students opportunities for networking and professional development. The School of Communications also provides students the services of a professional career counselor and internship opportunities. Learn more about graduate career development

Curriculum: Unlike many master's degree programs, in which public relations is one of a number of concentrations in mass communications, this program focuses exclusively on professional practice in public relations. Classes reflect contemporary trends and practices and address emerging issues in the field. Through elective courses and the thesis/project option, students have the opportunity to specialize in areas such as international public relations, investor relations or healthcare public relations.

State-of-the art facilities: The School of Communication was one of the first in the nation to go "high def." Students will study and relax in contemporary surroundings and have access to the latest technologies and research capabilities. Learn more about our facilities

Admissions Requirements

New students are admitted only in the fall term. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis. Admission to the master of science in public relations program is competitive and based on the following application requirements:

  • application form and fee
  • professional resumé
  • two letters of reference (preferably from individuals familiar with the applicatn's academic potential_
  • official undergraduate and graduate transcripts from all institutions attended
  • responses to questions regarding the applicant's interest in and potential for graduate study in public relations (see questions)
  • professional portfolio (e.g., writing samples that demonstrate the applicant's ability to communicate effectively with diverse audiences)
  • Graduate Record Exam scores (Note: The GRE requirement may be waived at the discretion of the program director for applicants holding a graduate degree from an accredited institution and/or documented professional accomplishments in their field)
  • minimum 3.0 undergraduate GPA

Information on the application process and requirements is available from the Graduate Admissions Office. Please contact:

Graduate Admissions Office
Quinnipiac University
275 Mount Carmel Avenue
Hamden, CT 06518
Telephone: 203-582-8672
E-mail: graduate@quinnipiac.edu

Curriculum + Requirements

Students have three options to complete the program: fast track, full time or part time. Students on a fast track complete the 36-credit program in one calendar year. They take 15 credits in the fall and spring terms, respectively, and complete a 6-credit research thesis or professional project during the summer or subsequent terms. Full-time students take 9 credits every fall and spring semester and complete the program in two years. Students may also elect to complete the program on a part-time basis.

Core requirements: (21 credits)

Course Title Credits
PRR 501 Principles and Theories of Public Relations 3
PRR 502 Public Relations Research Methods 3
PRR 503 Public Relations Research Design 3
PRR 504 Law and Ethics in Public Relations 3
PRR 505 Public Relations Writing 3
PRR 506 Public Relations Management 3
PRR 507 Strategic Planning in Public Relations 3

Public relations elective requirements: (6 credits)
Two courses from the following:

Course Title Credits
ICM 501 Theories of Interactive Media 3
ICM 506 Writing for Interactive Media 3
PRR 510 Crisis Management 3
PRR 511 International Public Relations 3
PRR 512 Investor Relations 3
PRR 513 Issues Management in Healthcare 3
PRR 514 Public Relations and New Media 3
PRR 515 Special Topics in Public Relations 3
PRR 531 Graduate Internship in Public Relations  3
PRR 606 Independent Study 3

Free elective: (3 credits)
Public relations elective from list above or outside elective approved by adviser

Capstone requirement: (6 credits)
PRR 601 Professional project or PRR 602 Research thesis

Total requirements: 36 credits


Recommended degree plan for 1 year fast-track students
For students who wish to complete the degree in one calendar year, the following course schedule is recommended. Core courses will be taught on a fall/spring rotation such that required core courses are offered once per year.

Fall term (15 credits)
PRR 501 Principles and Theories of Public Relations
PRR 502 Public Relations Research Methods
PRR 504 Law and Ethics in Public Relations
PRR 505 Public Relations Writing
Elective

Spring term (15 credits)
PRR 503 Public Relations Research Design
PRR 506 Public Relations Management
PRR 507 Strategic Planning in Public Relations
PRR 531 Graduate Internship in Public Relations
Elective

Summer term (6 credits)
PRR 601 Professional project or PRR 602 Research thesis


Recommended degree plan for 2 year full-time students
For students who wish to complete the degree in two calendar years as full-time graduate students, 9 credit hours must be taken every fall and spring semester. There is no need to take any summer classes. As a result, the following course schedule is recommended. Core courses will be taught on a fall/spring rotation such that required core courses are offered once per year.

Year 1: Fall term (9 credits)
PRR 501 Principles and Theories of Public Relations
PRR 505 Public Relations Writing
Elective

Year 1: Spring term (9 credits)
PRR 506 Public Relations Management
PRR 507 Strategic Planning in Public Relations
Elective   

Year 2: Fall term (9 credits)
PRR 502 Public Relations Research Methods
PRR 504 Law and Ethics in Public Relations
Elective

Year 2: Spring term (9 credits)
PRR 503 Public Relations Research Design
PRR 601 Professional project or PRR 602 Research thesis


Recommended degree plan for part-time students
For students who wish to complete the degree on a part-time basis, the following course schedule is recommended. Part-time students typically complete the program in three-five years. Core courses will be taught on a fall/spring rotation such that required core courses are offered once per year.

Year 1: Fall term (6 credits)
PRR 501 Principles and Theories of Public Relations
PRR 505 Public Relations Writing

Year 1: Spring term (6 credits)
PRR 506 Public Relations Management
Elective

Year 2: Fall term (6 credits)
PRR 502 Public Relations Research Methods
PRR 504 Law and Ethics in Public Relations

Year 2: Spring term (6 credits)
PRR 507 Strategic Planning in Public Relations
PRR 503 Public Relations Research Design

Year 3: Fall term (6 credits)
Two electives

Year 3: Spring term (6 credits)
PRR 601 Professional project or PRR 602 Research thesis

Social Media Track

The social media track for the master of science in public relations program focuses on the organizational use of social media. Students will learn the strategies and tactics for building and maintaining relationships between an organization and a variety of publics, such as customers, employees, investors, donors, volunteers, and traditional media.

The evolution of social media is changing the practice of public relations: companies engage their customers on Facebook, tweet to their shareholders, and recruit on LinkedIn. Yet, managing a Facebook profile for an organization is not the same as logging into Facebook for personal use.

This social media track addresses such differences with a focus on the strategic use of social media in the professional practice of public relations. Students will learn how to use social media tools available, read social media analytics, conduct social media campaigns, and manage an organization's presence on social networks. In addition, students will learn about principles and theories of public relations, public relations research, law and ethics, public relations writing, and managing public relations programs.

Graduates of the program can apply what they have learned in their work for non-profit organizations, corporations, small businesses, government agencies, international organizations and public relations firms.

Students have three options to complete their degree:

  • Fast track: completing the program in one calendar year
  • Full time: completing the program in two years
  • Part time: completing the program in three to six years

The coursework includes:

Core requirements (21 credits):
PRR 501 - Principles and Theories of Public Relations
PRR 502 - Public Relations Research Methods
PRR 503 - Public Relations Research Design
PRR 504 - Law and Ethics in Public Relations
PRR 505 - Public Relations Writing
PRR 506 - Public Relations Management
PRR 507 - Strategic Planning

Social Media requirements (9 credits):
PRR 514 - Social Media Platforms, Concepts, and Usage
PRR 524 - Social Media Analytics
Social Media Elective

Capstone requirements (6 credits):
PRR 601 - Professional project or PRR 602 - Research thesis


Recommended degree plan for 1 year fast-track students
For students who wish to complete the degree in one calendar year, the following course schedule is recommended. Core courses will be taught on a fall/spring rotation such that required core courses are offered once per year.

Fall term (15 credits)
PRR 501 - Principles and Theories of Public Relations
PRR 502 - Public Relations Research Methods
PRR 504 - Law and Ethics in Public Relations
PRR 505 - Public Relations Writing
PRR 514 - Social Media Platforms, Concepts, and Usage

Spring term (15 credits)
PRR 503 - Public Relations Research Design
PRR 506 - Public Relations Management
PRR 507 - Strategic Planning
PRR 524 - Social Media Analytics
Social Media Elective

Summer term (6 credits)
PRR 601 - Professional project OR PRR 602 - Research thesis


Recommended degree plan for 2 year full-time students

For students who wish to complete the degree in two calendar years as full-time graduate students, 9 credit hours must be taken every fall and spring semester. There is no need to take any summer classes. As a result, the following course schedule is recommended. Core courses will be taught on a fall/spring rotation such that required core courses are offered once per year.

Year 1: Fall term (9 credits)
PRR 501 - Principles and Theories of Public Relations
PRR 505 - Public Relations Writing
PRR 514 - Social Media Platforms, Concepts, and Usage

Year 1: Spring term (9 credits)
PRR 506 - Public Relations Management
PRR 524 - Social Media Analytics
PRR 507 - Strategic Planning

Year 2: Fall term (9 credits)
PRR 502 - Public Relations Research Methods
PRR 504 - Law and Ethics in Public Relations
Social Media Elective

Year 2: Spring term (9 credits)
PRR 503 - Public Relations Research Design
PRR 601 - Professional project OR PRR 602 - Research thesis


Recommended degree plan for part-time students

For students who wish to complete the degree on a part-time basis, the following course schedule is recommended. Part-time students typically complete the program in three-five years. Core courses will be taught on a fall/spring rotation such that required core courses are offered once per year.

Year 1: Fall term (6 credits)
PRR 501 Principles and Theories of Public Relations
PRR 505 Public Relations Writing

Year 1: Spring term (6 credits)
PRR 506 Public Relations Management
PRR 514 Social Media Platforms, Concepts, and Usage Law and Ethics in Public Relations

Year 2: Fall term (6 credits)
PRR 502 Public Relations Reasearch Methods
PRR 504 Law and Ethics in Public Relations

Year 2: Spring term (6 credits)
PRR 507 Strategic Planning in Public Relations
PRR 503 Public Relations Research Design

Year 3: Fall term (6 credits)
PRR 524 Social Media Analytics
Social Media Elective

Year 3: Spring term (6 credits)
PRR 601 Professional project or PRR 602 Research thesis

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