MS in Public Relations

The MS in Public Relations was designed to prepare students not only for professional careers in public relations and related areas but also for the possibility of continuing academic study toward doctoral degrees upon graduation. Since this Public Relations degree program began in 1947 as the world’s first university-based degree program in public relations, graduates of this MS degree program have advanced into employment in myriad fields, including corporate, nonprofit, public affairs, and media-based communication. The program effectively incorporates theory, research, and practice to provide a deeper understanding of media relations, intercultural affairs, digital expression, ethics and crisis communication, and campaign strategy. Additionally, this graduate degree program offers a wide array of methodological and practical-based tactics for building complex messages and efforts on interpersonal, group, and public scales. As has been proven time and again during the past 70 years, students graduating from this MS degree program will have the knowledge and tools to compete with the most elite communicators and will be armed with talents on how to influence public opinion, develop relationships in the public and private sectors, design effective campaigns, and use innovation to solve complex and critical problems.

Learning Outcomes

  • Develop advanced skills and competencies based upon the science beneath the art of public relations.
  • Develop a detailed understanding about various business and financial strategies necessary for success in the public relations industry.
  • Demonstrate an advanced understanding about the role played by theory, research, strategic planning, action, and evaluation in the public relations process, including practical application via internship and PRLab experiences.
  • Demonstrate refined understanding of media relations for both traditional print/broadcast media as well as for emerging social/digital media.
  • Develop a scholarly and advanced professional sense of communication effectiveness in terms of both written and oral communication.



The MS in Public Relations program consists of a minimum of 12 courses/48 credits. Students must also pass a formal faculty review of their online Presentation of Final Work.

Section Requirements  (7 total courses, 28 credits):

  • COM CM 580 PRLab or COM CM 809 Internship (adding up to at least four credits)2
  • COM CM 700 Financial and Strategic Public Relations Management
  • COM CM 701 Contemporary Public Relations
  • COM CM 703 Basic Media Writing1
  • COM CM 707 Writing for Media Professionals
  • COM CM 722 Communication Research Methods
  • COM CM 742 Strategic Media Relations and Management

1All students will take COM CM 703 in the fall semester and COM CM 707 in the spring semester. There is one exception: students who are waived out of COM CM 703 will take COM CM 707 in the fall semester. These students who are waived from COM CM 703 will be required to take an additional four credits of electives to meet the overall requirement of 48 credits. 

2Only 8 credits from PRLab or Internship can be used to satisfy the 48 credits required for the degree.

Electives (students select 20 credits of electives):3

  • COM CM 506 Governmental Public Affairs
  • COM CM 513 Investor Relations
  • COM CM 519 Interactive Marketing Strategy
  • COM CM 522 Crisis Management and Communication
  • COM CM 524 PR Career Management
  • COM CM 525 PR Ethics
  • COM CM 526 Integrated Marketing Communication
  • COM CM 530 Public Relations in Nonprofit Settings
  • COM CM 535 Political Campaigns
  • COM CM 539 Health Campaigns
  • COM CM 548 International Public Relations
  • COM CM 555 Advanced Media Writing or COM CM 750 Advanced Writing for Media Professionals
  • COM CM 709 Corporate Public Affairs
  • COM CM 714 Professional Presentation
  • COM CM 730 Marketing Communication
  • COM CM 738 Global Marketing Communication [London only]
  • COM CM 739 Social Media Strategy
  • COM CM 743 New Media & Public Relations

3At least 16 of these 20 credits must be from this elective list. The other 4 credits can be from this list or can be other 500-level or higher courses at Boston University.