Our 36-credit Public Relations (MA) program is versatile with part-time or full-time options. Courses are offered primarily in the evening, allowing working professionals to participate in our program and leaving time for students to participate in internship and networking opportunities.

Advanced Standing for Working Professionals

Working professionals have the option to turn relevant work experience into up to eight credits of advanced standing toward program requirements. These eight credits will count towards your full 36-credit hours, allowing you to graduate sooner while decreasing your overall cost of tuition.

Students who are granted advanced standing will be required to complete the remaining 28–32 credits at Emerson College in order to satisfy degree requirements.

Please note that advanced standing credit advances a student’s position within the program but credits are not transferable to another institution. If you have questions regarding Advanced Standing, please contact Linda Gallant, Associate Professor and Graduate Program Director of our PR Master’s program, by email at linda_gallant [at] emerson.edu.

Curriculum

Core Requirements

Number Course Online Credits
CC 652 Emerging Communication Technology Available Online in Fall Semester Only 4
CC 645 Research Methods & Practice Not Available Online 4
CC 608 Public Affairs Not Available Online 4
CD 647 Organizational Communication Not Available Online 4
CD 648 Public Relations Available Online in Spring Semester Only 4

CC 692

or 

CC 699

Capstone

or

Master’s Thesis*

Not Available Online 4

*To be repeated for a total of 8 credits

Elective Courses

Number Course Online Credits
CC 604 Strategic Planning and the Managerial Process Not Available Online 4
CC 621 Content Development & Strategy Not Available Online 4
CC 623 Public Diplomacy Available Online in Fall Semester Only 4
CC 624 Campaign Management Available Online in Fall Semester Only 4
CC 626 Crisis Communication Not Available Online 4
CC 628 Entrepreneurship and Creative Problem Solving Not Available Online 4
CC 636 Negotiation and Group Process Not Available Online 4
CC 640 User Experience Design Available Online in Summer Semester Only 4
CC 643 Global Communication Not Available Online 4
CC 655 Project Management and Communication Not Available Online 4
CC 690 Internship in PR Not Available Online 4
CC 695 Seminar in PR Not Available Online 4
CC 697 Directed Study Not Available Online 4
CC 620 Public Relations Management* N/A 4
CC 621 Writing for Marketing Communication* N/A 4
CC 653 Web Page Development and Management* N/A 4

*These elective courses are through the Marketing Communication Department and may only be taken with the approval of the Public Relations Graduate Program Director.

Thesis or Capstone Class

The degree will culminate with a capstone or thesis, giving you the chance to synthesize everything you’ve learned in a format that works best for you. There are two options: 

  • The capstone, which can be a client-based communication or creative project, academic paper, or case study, allows you to put theory to practice, with the option to write a crisis communication plan, develop a publication or online program, conduct a comprehensive communication audit, or create a public affairs and communication plan to affect public policy.
  • The thesis lets you conduct deeper research on a particular dimension of public relations and is a good option if you wish to further your studies with a Ph.D. in communication.