Back to School: 10 Up-and-Coming Graduate PR Degree Programs
RAPID GROWTH: PR MASTER DEGREES GREW BY 300% IN 10 YEARS
Considering the growth of U.S. master-degree PR programs—up from 26 in 2000 to 75 today, says the Commission on Public Relations Education—it’s a wonder they keep coming, but they do. Among them, based on feedback from practitioners and trade press, are our Top 10 “up-and-comers.”
They aren’t necessarily better than other PR and communications graduate programs, but judging by the feedback we’ve received, and the quality of the schools involved, we wouldn’t be surprised if they are. For certain, they’ve topped the profession’s buzz meter as the “most popular” choices among people who want to get into the field quickly, and people in the field who want to get on the fast track to top management.
What makes them popular is their educational philosophy, which is decidedly “practice-makes-perfect.
80% OF INSTRUCTORS WORK IN PR FIRMS
As a result, 80 percent or more of their instructors are high-level practitioners from PR firms, corporations, government agencies, and not-for-profit enterprises. What they bring to these programs is less about academic credentials and much more about PR skills, knowledge, and experience learned on the job. Unlike many tenure-tracked academicians, the instructors are virtually all part-time adjuncts.
The Commission on PR Education says the PR field is split on whether a master’s degree is necessary for assuring or hastening PR success – but opinion is clearly moving in a favorable direction. If someone obtains a PR graduate degree, the Commission adds, it “should add the equivalent of three years’ professional experience.”