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2023 Most Affordable Online Public Relations Degrees

By the OnlineU team | Updated 12/2/2022
2023 Most Affordable Online Degrees Badge

An online bachelor's in public relations is designed for students who desire careers in media, marketing, consumer services, and/or technology. Prospective students interested in pursuing an online bachelor’s degree in public relations can expect to develop their skills in writing, public speaking, researching, and social media. Some popular courses at many universities include Introduction to Public Relations, Reporting, Crisis Communications, and Fundamentals of Public Speaking. A similar program to public relations is a communications degree, which often covers similar topics in its curriculum. 

Typically, a student must also complete a senior capstone project and an internship to graduate. After graduating from an online public relations bachelor’s program, alums may pursue a master’s degree in public relations or directly obtain employment, like becoming a public relations specialist, content strategist, event planner, or communication coordinator. 

View our methodology for details about rankings or learn more about us. You can also explore our overall list of the most affordable online degrees for more inspiration.

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All tuition numbers were manually collected and verified
Rank School Locations Annual Tuition
# 1 #1 University of Central Missouri Warrensburg (MO) $7,748
# 2 #2 University of Arkansas at Little Rock Little Rock (AR) $8,400
# 3 #3 Northwest Missouri State University Maryville (MO) $8,970
# 4 #4 Waldorf University Forest City (IA) $9,300
# 5 #5 Southern New Hampshire University Online Manchester (NH) $9,600
# 6 #6 Montana State University - Billings Billings (MT) $9,810
# 7 #7 Colorado State University Global Greenwood Village (CO) $10,500
# 8 #8 Texas Tech University Lubbock (TX) $10,890
# 9 #9 University of North Dakota Grand Forks (ND) $11,102
# 10 #10 Florida International University Miami (FL) $11,276
#1
#1
Annual Tuition: $7,748
Annual Tuition: $7,748
Annual Tuition: $7,748

The University of Central Missouri (UCMO) is a public institution that offers an online Bachelor of Science in Public Relations and Strategic Communication requiring 120 credit hours. It can take four years for full-time students to complete the program. The university’s acceptance rate is 64%, and it has a 53% graduation rate.

At UCMO, online students complete coursework, delivered in asynchronous and synchronous formats, through the learning management system (LMS), Blackboard. A public relations curriculum helps students develop leadership and job skills for the industry. Sample coursework includes Principles of Public Relations, Design and Layout, and Advanced PR Writing. Students are also required to complete an internship in order to graduate. Some potential job opportunities for graduates are community relations manager, content specialist, and brand manager.

  • Financial Aid Recipients: 94%
  • Undergrad Online Enrollment: 449
  • Graduate Online Enrollment: 728
  • School Type: Nonprofit
  • School Accreditation: HLC
#2
#2
Annual Tuition: $8,400
Annual Tuition: $8,400
Annual Tuition: $8,400

The University of Arkansas at Little Rock (UALR) is a public institution offering an online Bachelor of Arts in Mass Communication - Public Relations, requiring 120 credit hours. Full-time students take at least four years to complete this program. UALR’s acceptance rate is 56%, with a graduation rate of 39%.

UALR facilitates asynchronous and synchronous online learning via Blackboard. This program’s curriculum focuses on the writing, research, and strategic planning skills needed to excel in a public relations career. The program’s courses include Public Relations Writing, Mass Media Research, and Beginning Reporting. Some prospective careers for graduates of the program are corporate events planner, promotions coordinator, and marketing communications specialist.

  • Financial Aid Recipients: 95%
  • Undergrad Online Enrollment: 1,676
  • Graduate Online Enrollment: 757
  • School Type: Nonprofit
  • School Accreditation: HLC
#3
#3
Annual Tuition: $8,970
Annual Tuition: $8,970
Annual Tuition: $8,970

At Northwest Missouri State University (Northwest), a public institution, prospective students can pursue an online Bachelor of Science in Communication - Public Relations, totaling 120 credit hours. It can take four years to complete this program on a full-time schedule. The university accepts 80% of applicants, with 51% graduating.

Remote students at Northwest complete coursework through Canvas. The classes are all delivered asynchronously, which means that students can study communication research methods entirely at their own pace. Core classes include Crisis Communication, Introduction to Advertising, and Public Relations Techniques. Students are also required to complete an internship and a senior capstone before they can graduate and have career opportunities, such as speech writers, public relations coordinators, and event planners.

  • Financial Aid Recipients: 98%
  • Average SATs: 998 -1240
  • Undergrad Online Enrollment: 271
  • Graduate Online Enrollment: 959
  • School Type: Nonprofit
  • School Accreditation: HLC
#4
#4

Waldorf University

Forest City (IA)
Annual Tuition: $9,300
Annual Tuition: $9,300
Annual Tuition: $9,300

Waldorf University (Waldorf) is a private, for-profit institution that offers four online bachelor’s in public relations programs: (1) Bachelor of Applied Science in Public Relations, (2) Bachelor of Arts in Public Relations, (3) Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice - Public Relations, and (4) Bachelor of Science in Fire Science Administration - Public Relations. Each online degree requires 120 credit hours, which takes full-time students at least four years to complete. Waldorf’s acceptance rate is 61%, and only half of enrolled students graduate.

Waldorf facilitates asynchronous and synchronous online learning through Blackboard. Each of the programs above explores communication, editing, and public speaking, with core courses that range from Digital Imaging and Media Literacy to Editing. Some potential career opportunities for graduates include brand manager, public relations specialist, and content writer.

  • Financial Aid Recipients: 96%
  • Average SATs: 920 -1110
  • Undergrad Online Enrollment: 1,950
  • Graduate Online Enrollment: 519
  • School Type: For-Profit
  • School Accreditation: HLC
#5
#5
Annual Tuition: $9,600
Annual Tuition: $9,600
Annual Tuition: $9,600

Southern New Hampshire University Online (SNHU Online) is a private, nonprofit institution offering an online Bachelor of Arts in Communication - Public Relations that requires a total of 120 credit hours. Students can expect to spend a minimum of four years completing this program if they maintain a full-time pace. The university accepts 94% of applicants, and 40% of SNHU students finish their degrees.

At SNHU Online, remote students complete their coursework asynchronously and synchronously (depending on the class) through D2L Brightspace. A public relations curriculum prepares students to assume positions in various industries. Some of the program’s courses are Public Relations, Crisis Communication, and Digital Photography. Students must also complete an internship and an experiential learning course. Graduates of the program may pursue careers like social media coordinator, digital producer, and media consultant.

  • Financial Aid Recipients: 77%
  • Undergrad Online Enrollment: 86,849
  • Graduate Online Enrollment: 19,526
  • School Type: Nonprofit
  • School Accreditation: NECHE
#6
#6
Annual Tuition: $9,810
Annual Tuition: $9,810
Annual Tuition: $9,810

Montana State University Billings (MSU Billings) is a public institution offering two online bachelor’s in public relations: (1) a Bachelor of Science in Public Relations and (2) Bachelor of Science in Liberal Studies, which offers several public relations concentrations in various sectors — from management to mass communication and more. Each of these four-year programs requires 120 credit hours. While 100% of students who apply to MSU Billings are accepted, the school maintains a 35% graduation rate.

MSU Billings facilitates asynchronous and synchronous online learning through D2L Brightspace. Students in the public relations program online can expect to develop their writing, speaking, and critical thinking skills. Sample core coursework includes Reporting, Media Criticism, and Communication Theory. Students may also need to complete an internship. Prospective careers for alums are media directors, community development managers, and public relations managers.

  • Financial Aid Recipients: 91%
  • Undergrad Online Enrollment: 1,035
  • Graduate Online Enrollment: 202
  • School Type: Nonprofit
  • School Accreditation: NWCCU
#7
#7

Colorado State University Global

Greenwood Village (CO)
Annual Tuition: $10,500
Annual Tuition: $10,500
Annual Tuition: $10,500

At Colorado State University (CSU Global), a public institution, prospective students can choose from five online bachelor degrees with a public relations emphasis: (1) Business Management, (2) Human Services, (3) Organizational Leadership, (4) Healthcare Administration and Management, and (5) Marketing. These 120-credit programs take full-time students at least four years to complete. CSU Global’s acceptance rate is incredibly high at 98%, with a graduation rate of 46%.

The distance learners at CSU Global complete coursework through the LMS, Canvas. Faculty deliver public relations courses in asynchronous and synchronous formats, depending on the course. Some of the program’s courses include Principles of Public Relations, Campaign and Event Planning, and International Public Relations. Some job opportunities for graduates are public relations specialists, community managers, and content specialists, to name a few options.

  • Average SATs: 950 -1140
  • Undergrad Online Enrollment: 8,114
  • Graduate Online Enrollment: 4,556
  • School Type: Nonprofit
  • School Accreditation: HLC
#8
#8

Texas Tech University

Lubbock (TX)
Annual Tuition: $10,890
Annual Tuition: $10,890
Annual Tuition: $10,890

A public institution, Texas Tech University (TTU) offers an online Bachelor of Arts in Public Relations and Strategic Communications Management that requires 120 credit hours. Full-time students can expect to spend at least four years completing this program. TTU accepts 70% of applicants, with 62% of students graduating.

At TTU, online students complete coursework through Blackboard, which is a software that delivers the content asynchronously and synchronously. The public relations curriculum gives students the knowledge and skills to pursue careers in strategic communication management. Sample coursework includes PR Strategies, PR Graphics, and Crisis Communication. Graduates of the program usually acquire roles like social media manager, digital strategist, and content coordinator.

  • Financial Aid Recipients: 78%
  • Average SATs: 1070 -1260
  • Undergrad Online Enrollment: 1,931
  • Graduate Online Enrollment: 1,811
  • School Type: Nonprofit
  • School Accreditation: SACS COC
#9
#9

University of North Dakota

Grand Forks (ND)
Annual Tuition: $11,102
Annual Tuition: $11,102
Annual Tuition: $11,102

The University of North Dakota (UND) is a public institution offering an online Bachelor of Arts in Communication - Public Relations that requires 120 credit hours. This program can take four years to complete at a full-time pace. UND’s acceptance rate is 87%, and exactly half of the enrolled students end up graduating.

UND facilitates online asynchronous and synchronous learning through the digital platform, Blackboard. The program’s curriculum provides students with opportunities to develop their skills in teamwork, written communication, and analytical thinking. The core courses for a public relations concentration are Fundamentals of Public Speaking, Introduction to Communication, and Writing for New and Traditional Media. Students are also required to complete a senior capstone in order to graduate. Afterward, job opportunities for alumni include event planners, public affairs specialists, and account executives.

  • Financial Aid Recipients: 92%
  • Average SATs: 1010 -1250
  • Undergrad Online Enrollment: 1,851
  • Graduate Online Enrollment: 1,500
  • School Type: Nonprofit
  • School Accreditation: HLC
#10
#10
Annual Tuition: $11,276
Annual Tuition: $11,276
Annual Tuition: $11,276

Florida International University (FIU) is a public institution offering an online Bachelor of Science in Public Relations, Advertising, and Applied Communications, which totals 120 credit hours. Full-time students can expect to spend four years completing this program. The university’s acceptance rate is 58%, and its graduation rate is 65%.

At FIU Online, students complete coursework through Canvas in asynchronous and synchronous formats. A public relations curriculum explores various topics around creating high quality and persuasive content for a public relations career. Some core courses for this degree are Global Media and Society, Writing Fundamentals for Communicators, and How We Know What We Know. Graduates are eligible to pursue a range of careers — from promotions coordinators and marketing communications specialists to community relations managers.

  • Financial Aid Recipients: 90%
  • Average SATs: 1110 -1280
  • Undergrad Online Enrollment: 10,922
  • Graduate Online Enrollment: 2,749
  • School Type: Nonprofit
  • School Accreditation: SACS COC

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