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2023 Most Affordable Online Master's Degrees in Public Relations

By the OnlineU team | Updated 1/18/2023
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An online master’s degree in public relations prepares students and established professionals with the knowledge and skills to assume careers in the industry of media and communication. These programs can cover the theories and principles of public relations, like marketing strategies, copywriting, and social media analysis. Some examples of standard courses within an online master’s in public relations can include Social Media Marketing, Media Criticism, and Writing for Digital Communication. Graduates may pursue careers like marketing communications specialists, social media managers, and special events coordinators.

An online master’s in public relations is similar to a master’s in communication, which explores similar topics like digital marketing and media communications. You can also check out our overall list of the most affordable online degrees for some inspiration. View our methodology for details about rankings or learn more about us.

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All tuition numbers were manually collected and verified
Rank School Locations Annual Tuition
# 1 #1 University of Alabama Tuscaloosa (AL) $6,600
# 2 #2 Wayne State College Wayne (NE) $6,840
# 3 #3 Montana State University - Billings Billings (MT) $8,315
# 4 #4 Ball State University Muncie (IN) $10,008
# 5 #5 University of Florida Gainesville (FL) $10,353
# 6 #6 Stephen F. Austin State University Nacogdoches (TX) $12,281
# 7 #7 West Virginia University Morgantown (WV) $12,300
# 8 #8 Webster University St. Louis (MO) $12,600
# 9 #9 Washington State University Pullman (WA) $12,739
#1
#1

University of Alabama

Tuscaloosa (AL)
Annual Tuition: $6,600
Annual Tuition: $6,600
Annual Tuition: $6,600

The University of Alabama (UA) is a public institution offering an online Master of Arts in Advertising and Public Relations - Digital Communication totaling 30 credit hours. The program consists of 15 credit hours of advertising and public relations courses as well as 15 digital communication courses. It can take full-time students at least two years to finish the program.

UA facilitates asynchronous and synchronous online learning via the learning management system Blackboard. The online public relations program helps students obtain the knowledge and skills for public relations and digital marketing careers, with sample courses that include Analysis and Insights, Media Strategy and Analytics, and Writing for Digital Communication. Graduates may become public relations coordinators, social media analysts, and account managers, to name a few options.

  • Financial Aid Recipients: 79%
  • Average SATs: 1080 -1340
  • Undergrad Online Enrollment: 2,856
  • Graduate Online Enrollment: 1,659
  • School Type: Nonprofit
  • School Accreditation: SACS COC
#2
#2

Wayne State College

Wayne (NE)
Annual Tuition: $6,840
Annual Tuition: $6,840
Annual Tuition: $6,840

At Wayne State College (WSC), a public institution, prospective students can pursue an online Master of Science in Organizational Management - Public Relations Management. Requiring 36 credit hours, students can expect to spend two years finishing this program if they maintain a full-time pace. The program’s core curriculum covers topics relating to organizational management, with additional coursework about public relations topics.

WSC facilitates asynchronous and synchronous online learning through the software Canvas. The organizational management program is designed for students who desire to help companies improve their communication and marketing strategies. Some of the program’s courses include Social Media Marketing, Organizational Leadership, and Integrated Brand Promotion. Students must complete a thesis, scholarly project, or internship in order to graduate. Potential career paths are marketing managers, copywriters, and digital communications specialists.

  • Financial Aid Recipients: 95%
  • Undergrad Online Enrollment: 163
  • Graduate Online Enrollment: 498
  • School Type: Nonprofit
  • School Accreditation: HLC
#3
#3
Annual Tuition: $8,315
Annual Tuition: $8,315
Annual Tuition: $8,315

Montana State University - Billings (MSU Billings) is a public institution that offers an online Master of Science in Public Relations requiring 30 credit hours. Full-time students can expect to take at least two years to finish this program, which gives students an overview of the various niches within the public relations profession.

Online students at MSU Billings complete coursework on D2L Brightspace, where classes are delivered in asynchronous and synchronous formats. A master’s in public relations can help students obtain leadership roles in marketing and communications after graduation. Some examples of courses are New Media Skills, Health Communication, and Media Criticism. Additionally, an internship, a seminar, and comprehensive exams are also required for graduation. Alumni may pursue careers like event coordinators, global communications managers, and public relations specialists.

  • Financial Aid Recipients: 91%
  • Undergrad Online Enrollment: 1,035
  • Graduate Online Enrollment: 202
  • School Type: Nonprofit
  • School Accreditation: NWCCU
#4
#4

Ball State University

Muncie (IN)
Annual Tuition: $10,008
Annual Tuition: $10,008
Annual Tuition: $10,008

Ball State University (BSU) is a public institution offering an online Master of Arts in Public Relations totaling 30 credit hours. Full-time students may complete the program within 1-2 years. Importantly, this public relations program doesn’t require applicants to submit GRE scores for admission.

At BSU, online students in this program take courses asynchronously and synchronously through the learning management system Canvas. The curriculum teaches students the skills necessary to become sought-after candidates for job opportunities, with courses such as Social Media Analytics and Engagement, Public Relations Evaluation Techniques, and Studies in Journalism and Communication Theory. In addition to coursework, distance learners must also finish a thesis, capstone project, applied research, and a research paper. Potential career paths for graduates include communications coordinators, media relations managers, and market research analysts.

  • Financial Aid Recipients: 91%
  • Undergrad Online Enrollment: 759
  • Graduate Online Enrollment: 4,320
  • School Type: Nonprofit
  • School Accreditation: HLC
#5
#5

University of Florida

Gainesville (FL)
Annual Tuition: $10,353
Annual Tuition: $10,353
Annual Tuition: $10,353

The University of Florida (UF) is a public institution offering an online Master of Arts in Mass Communication - Public Relations. Since it totals 36 credit hours, full-time students can expect to spend at least two years completing this program. They can begin during the fall, spring, or summer semesters.

UF students complete coursework virtually on the Canvas learning software, which is delivered in asynchronous and synchronous formats, depending on the instructor. The program is aimed at helping students become experts in mass communication and public relations. In addition to completing a capstone course, students must take the following courses: Principles of Public Relations, Strategy and Messaging, and Digital Reputation and Brand Management. Prospective careers for graduates are public relations directors, crisis management agents, and event coordinators.

  • Financial Aid Recipients: 92%
  • Average SATs: 1310 -1470
  • Undergrad Online Enrollment: 1,029
  • Graduate Online Enrollment: 3,401
  • School Type: Nonprofit
  • School Accreditation: SACS COC

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