When choosing where to pursue your love of public relations, there are lots of factors to consider. Sure, plenty of universities have public relations programs, but you need one that fits your interests and career goals. You don’t have to go to an Ivy League school to learn the ins and outs of this field, though. There are plenty of great universities that offer public relations degrees in every part of the U.S.
1. Georgetown University
Georgetown is nestled in the heart of Washington, D.C., which makes it perfect for someone who loves city life and staying busy. It offers a master’s degree in Public Relations and Corporation Communications that can serve students who hope to work in the corporate world. The tuition can be expensive, so you may have to investigate student loans to help you finance this degree.
2. Washington and Lee University
Just a few hours east of Georgetown University is Washington and Lee University. This small college offers a bachelor’s degree in strategic communications, which encompasses a public relations, marketing and advertising program. It’s ranked among the best colleges in the country. If you’re looking for a cozy atmosphere and small class sizes, you’re likely to feel at home here.
3. Northwestern University
This is a consistently ranked top university in the country that every aspiring public relations professional should look into. Located in Evanston, IL, Northwestern offers bachelor’s degrees in communication studies and journalism, plus a master’s degree in communication that prepares you for the professional world of public relations.
4. University of Texas at Austin
UT Austin has the number one public relations program in the country. Part of the Moody College of Communications, the program boasts 85% of graduates are employed after they leave the university. Students have access to top-notch professors and large college resources, plus the amenities of the Lone Star State’s capital.
5. University of Southern California
Located in Los Angeles, USC is another nationally ranked school that boasts significant graduate success. In fact, 97% of the public relations graduates are employed within a month of earning their degree. The bachelor’s and master’s programs are both part of the Annenberg School of Communication and Journalism, which has 39 public relations courses and 53 faculty members. The class sizes here are significantly larger than other colleges, with 270 students currently enrolled in the bachelor’s program.
6. University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
The communications campus is located at the Champaign, IL, campus of the university. For your bachelor’s degree, you can major in advertising and earn your minor in public relations. This gives you a solid foundation in both fields, which often work hand-in-hand in the professional world. Tuition for a full-time in-state undergraduate student hovers around $7,000 per semester, making this university an affordable option.
7. Elon University
Elon University in Elon, NC, is a private university with a medium student population. It hosts a number of degrees in its School of Communications, including a bachelor’s degree in strategic communication. This degree path prepares students in the tenants of public relations as well as public speaking and business communications. It’s a great path for students who want a more intimate college experience and are hoping to pair their communication skills with business savvy.
8. University of Florida
Located in the college town of Gainsville, Florida, this university boasts its own public relations department within the College of Journalism and Communication. The public relations bachelor’s degree offers unique instruction that pairs classroom learning with real-world experience and partnerships. After earning this degree you can also pursue a professional master’s degree that will leverage your skills and teach you how to be more competitive in the job market.
9. Boston University
Boston University is yet another top-rated university in the country that features an excellent communications program. You can earn your bachelor’s and master’s degrees in public relations through the College of Communications. Right in the heart of Boston, this university gives students access to all of the history and culture the city has to offer, on top of excellent instruction and diverse opportunities.
10. University of Louisiana at Lafayette
UL Lafayette is a highly ranked public college in south-central Louisiana. Despite its growing student population, its communications program remains relatively small when compared to other universities, which means you get smaller class sizes and more close contact with faculty. The public relations concentration is nestled within the larger mass communications bachelor’s degree. You can also pursue your master’s degree here with a small cohort and lots of individual interactions with your professors.
These are 10 options for you to consider if you want to earn a bachelor’s or master’s degree in public relations. Look into each program to find the one that best fits your personal and career goals and then get started on your application!