Online Bachelor’s in Public Relations Degrees 2021

A bachelor's degree in public relations can lead to new and exciting career opportunities. Here, we list the best online public relations programs.

October 14, 2021

reviewed by ACO Rankings Team
Online Bachelor’s in Public Relations Degrees 2021

AffordableCollegesOnline.org is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

Are you ready to find your fit?

Public relations careers require strong writing, communication, and problem-solving skills. A bachelor's degree in public relations builds the knowledge and skills required for entry-level roles in the field.

Public relations professionals benefit from above-average salaries and strong demand. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), public relations specialists make a median salary of more than $61,000 per year. The BLS projects jobs for these professionals to grow 7% between 2019-2029.

This guide ranks the best online public relations bachelor's degrees for 2021. It also includes information on common courses and scholarship opportunities for public relations students.

View Our Rankings List Here

Learn More About a Public Relations Degree

true Q. How long does it take to get a public relations degree?

Earning a bachelor's in public relations typically takes four years for full-time students. Transfer students and those who choose an accelerated program may graduate faster.

true Q. What kinds of jobs can you get with a public relations degree?

Public relations degree jobs include roles like public relations specialist, public relations manager, advertising specialist, and market research analyst.

true Q. Is a public relations degree worth it?

Public relations students build widely applicable skills that prepare them for careers that offer above-average salaries and strong projected job growth, making the degree a worthwhile investment for many students.

true Q. What is the difference between public relations and marketing?

Public relations focuses on an organization's brand and public image, while marketing emphasizes consumer research, pricing strategies, and competitor analysis. Both fields require strong analytical and communication skills.

AccreditedSchoolsOnline.org is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

Accredited Online College Programs

Explore our featured online programs and find the right match for you today.

Why Get a Degree in Public Relations?

Public relations professionals communicate with the media, write speeches, and build favorable images for their organizations. They may specialize in areas like digital communications, strategic communications, or crisis communications.

A public relations bachelor's degree meets the education requirements for roles like public relations specialist, copywriter, advertising specialist, and speechwriter. With experience, professionals can move into managerial roles, like public relations manager.

An online public relations degree gives students the flexibility to balance their studies with personal and professional obligations. Additionally, many schools offer tuition discounts to online students.

How Much Does a Public Relations Degree Cost?

The cost of a public relations degree varies by factors like school, enrollment status, and delivery format. Many colleges charge over $300 per credit for public relations programs. For example, students at Southern New Hampshire University pay $320 per credit for the bachelor's in public relations program.

Private universities typically charge more than public universities, and in-state students at public universities typically pay the most affordable rates. For example, the University of Florida charges $129 per credit for in-state students pursuing the public relations major, while out-of-state students pay $553 per credit.

Online students often save on many of the expenses that on-campus students incur, such as housing and commuting costs. Additionally, many schools allow all online students to pay in-state tuition rates regardless of residency.

Break down your current financial situation, and receive a college tuition estimate you can afford to pay.

How Much Do Public Relations Majors Make?

Public relations graduates can work in fields like public relations, marketing, advertising, and fundraising. Many graduates pursue public relations specialist jobs. These professionals earn a median salary of over $61,000 per year.

Experienced public relations professionals can pursue managerial roles, such as public relations manager. These professionals make a median annual salary of over $116,000 and benefit from much faster-than-average projected job growth between 2019-2029.

Earning professional certifications or a graduate degree also helps public relations professionals increase their earning potential.

Courses in Public Relations

A bachelor's degree in public relations builds strong communication, writing, and analytical skills. Students take courses on topics like public relations writing, media relations, public speaking, and crisis communications. Many programs also incorporate courses in public relations management and project management.

In addition to coursework, public relations majors often complete an internship or capstone project. Courses vary by school, but this section introduces common public relations classes.

Certifications and Licensure for Public Relations

Public relations careers do not require a professional license. However, pursuing voluntary certifications helps candidates stand out in the job market, move into specialized roles, and increase their earning potential. Most certifications require educational and professional experience plus passing scores on an examination.

The APR credential recognizes experienced public relations professionals. Candidates must pass an examination and complete a panel presentation. APR professionals must maintain their credential through continuing education. This credential recognizes early-career professionals who complete public relations education through a qualifying college or university. Candidates must complete preparatory courses and pass an examination. Prospective candidates should contact their university's faculty coordinator to learn more about the process. The CMP credential recognizes business communicators at the management level. A bachelor's degree in public relations meets the training requirement for the credential. Candidates must pass a three-hour, 100-question exam.

Scholarships for Public Relations

Public relations majors can pursue scholarship opportunities to help pay for their bachelor's degree. Unlike loans, scholarships do not require repayment, making them ideal forms of financial aid. In addition to the following scholarship opportunities, students should research opportunities based on factors like their school, state, and career plans.

Scholarships for Public Relations
Scholarship Amount Who Can Apply

Betsy Plank/PRSSA Scholarship

Up to $5,000 PRSSA members in their junior or senior year of a bachelor's program qualify for this award. The scholarship committee looks for academic achievement, leadership skills, practical experience, and a commitment to public relations. Applicants must provide a recommendation letter.

Axia Public Relations Scholarship

$2,000 This scholarship supports public relations students who demonstrate financial need. Applicants must be juniors or seniors with some public relations experience. The scholarship application requires a cover letter or intro video, a statement of financial need, and information on career goals.

PRSA Diversity Multicultural Scholarship

$1,500 This scholarship supports undergraduates with Black, Latino/a, Asian, Native American, Alaskan Native, or Pacific Islander ancestry. Applicants must be full-time undergraduates at an accredited institution and hold a minimum 3.0 GPA.

Online Bachelor's in Public Relations Programs 2021

Florida International University View School Profile Miami, FL $9180

FIU offers a 120-credit online bachelor's in public relations, advertising, and applied communications. The program accepts recent high school graduates. Transfer students with at least 60 college-level credits from an accredited college may also apply. Learners with fewer than 60 credits must apply as first-time enrollees. Transfer students need a minimum 2.85 GPA.

FIU pairs online enrollees with a success coach. Their coach guides them from enrollment to graduation. The program offers several customizable courses that learners can tailor for their career and educational goals.

Courses for the public relations concentration cover topics such as persuasion and strategic data presentation. Learners analyze public relations principles. They also learn how to design communication strategies. To graduate, students complete an internship in their concentration area. FIU provides prospective students with a tuition calculator to estimate their degree costs.

University of Florida-Online View School Profile Gainesville, FL $10287

UF offers a bachelor's in public relations online through the College of Journalism and Communications. The degree focuses on writing, research, and strategy. In addition, the curriculum covers mass communication law and visual communication.

The program accepts applications from first-time college students. Lower-division transferees (those with 12-59 college credits) and upper-division transferees (those with 60 or more college credits) may also apply. Each applicant must meet specific admission criteria. For example, upper-division transferees must show completion of prerequisite courses. These courses include statistics and American history. Lower-division transferees and first-time college students must submit ACT or SAT scores.

The public relations major comprises 55 credits, which includes 19 elective credits. Core subjects cover topics such as consumer and audience analytics. Florida residents in the online program pay the lowest tuition rate.

Point Park University View School Profile Pittsburgh, PA Unconfirmed

Point Park offers a 121-credit online bachelor's in public relations and advertising. The degree prepares learners for roles such as content manager and media buyer. Graduates also become public relations coordinators.

Degree-seekers can earn credits in many ways, including through the College Level Examination Program and experiential learning assessments. The program caps experiential learning credits at 18 credits. Students complete 42 credits of fundamental coursework. They also complete 28 and 21 credits, respectively, of departmental and major requirements. Finally, learners complete 15 credits each of major and general electives.

The public relations core curriculum covers topics such as PR writing and strategic communication. Students complete a capstone project as the program's culminating experience. The project involves creating a public relations campaign for a real client.

Applicants need a cumulative 2.0 GPA. Students with at least 12 college credits must include their postsecondary transcript in their application.

Montana State University Billings View School Profile Billings, MT $11859

MSU Billings offers an online bachelor's in public relations. The 120-credit program features three emphasis areas. These areas include community public relations, digital media, and public affairs. Graduates can pursue jobs as media directors, PR managers, and employee relations representatives.

The program's PR curriculum aligns with the educational recommendations of the Public Relations Society of America. Core PR courses cover topics such as communication law and ethics, and campaign planning. Enrollees must complete an internship to earn their degree.

Applicants may choose to submit ACT or SAT scores with their application. The university considers applicants with 12 or more credits from another accredited institution as transfer students. These learners must meet specific admission criteria.

Franklin University View School Profile Columbus, OH Unconfirmed

Franklin's online bachelor's in public relations comprises 124 credits. Students can transfer up to 76% of the degree's total credit requirements from another accredited college or university. Courses follow six- and 12-week delivery schedules. Many courses run asynchronously.

The curriculum aligns with the standards of the Public Relations Society of America. PR core subjects cover topics such as client engagement and media research and writing. Students hone communication skills in groups and teams and learn how to manage customer relationships. Learners must complete a capstone experience to graduate.

Students must complete at least 30 credits while enrolled in the program at Franklin. In addition, enrollees must maintain a cumulative 2.0 GPA (2.25 in the major area) throughout their studies at Franklin. As of August 2021, tuition costs $398 per credit.

Related articles that may interest you

AffordableCollegesOnline.org is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

Do this for you

Explore your possibilities- find schools with programs you’re interested in and clear a path for your future.