College of Communication & Creative Arts - Public Relations & Advertising
M.A. Public Relations
Welcome to Rowan’s graduate program in public relations.
For more than 30 years, our program has been helping students build successful careers in public relations and its related fields. Today, our graduates serve organizations of all types throughout the country.
Our program also recognizes the distinct needs of all of our students. Its flexible structure allows you to attend full time or part time—or take only one course at a time. And its convenient evening classes accommodate students who work full time.
All graduate faculty members also serve as practitioners—as consultants, trainers, planners, and researchers. This means you will work directly with experienced educators and practitioners in public relations, public affairs, and integrated marketing communication. We look forward to working with you.
Program at a Glance
Rowan’s program leads to a master's degree in public relations. It will equip you to serve as a director of communication and public relations for corporations, businesses, industries, schools, colleges, and non-profit organizations. It also enables you to work in public relations and advertising firms.
Some graduates use the degree as a stepping stone to a doctorate in communication. Others apply their skills in positions that require excellent writers or presenters. A number of graduates have become executive directors for non-profit organizations and others have become CEOs of small and large businesses.
The program is divided into three areas of focus: Corporate Public Relations, Educational Public Relations and Public Affairs. We also offer Certificates of Graduate Study in Integrated Marketing Communications and School Public Relations. (Note: Students must apply for admission to a certificate program through the College of Graduate and Continuing Education before taking any courses related to the certificate program.)
Application for Admission
Some admission requirements: Rowan’s M.A. program in public relations requires the general GRE (the subject test is not required) as a standardized test score. Prior to admission to the program, students will need to have taken a course in publication layout and design, or be able to demonstrate proficiency with layout and design. If not, the course must be taken before completing the program and does not count toward the 33 semester hours required for the degree.
Students are also required to submit writing samples with their applications. Brochures, flyers, professional statements, and other written and printed works are encouraged; as well as any other materials that have been professionally published. Term papers should not be used as writing samples.
For complete information on application and admission requirements please visit the web site for the College of Graduate and Continuing Education.
Students attending full-time may be able to complete the program course requirements in one calendar year. Required courses are offered on a fall-spring sequence, so full-time students generally begin in the fall and complete required courses in the fall and spring. They then complete remaining elective courses in the summer semester. Students who choose to enter the program in the spring or summer semesters focus on elective courses and begin their required course sequences in the fall.
Students attending part-time generally complete the course requirements over two or three years. Students should make their first course Public Relations Overview. This course offers a comprehensive introduction to public relations. It helps you understand the skills needed to practice successfully, and it helps you identify areas in public relations where you might want to focus your research and career. Two other courses students take early in the program are Techniques in Communication and Introduction to Communication Research. These two courses, along with Public Relations Overview, are offered in the fall semester and are required for enrollment in Seminar and Internship.
Incoming full-time students, however, may begin Seminar at the same time as the previously listed courses. (Seminar must be taken in a fall-spring sequence.) All courses are offered in the evening and accommodate working professionals.
To complete the program, students must earn a minimum of 33 semester hours (36 if a foundation course in publication layout and design is needed), maintain a 3.0 GPA, pass a comprehensive exam, and complete an approved thesis.
Students write a thesis on any aspect of public affairs, educational communication or corporate communication to complete the program. The thesis adds academic rigor to the program and provides students with the opportunity to conduct original research and publish their findings.
Topics range from advertising, corporate communication, crisis management, consulting, education, community relations, new media, integrated marketing communication to strategic planning.
In some semesters the Department of Public Relations and Advertising offers graduate work assistantships to qualified students. Financial aid information is available from the College of Graduate and Continuing Education.
Upon receiving an M.A. in Public Relations, Rowan University graduates have many career options. Our graduates have gone on to fill positions as CEOs, directors, managers, and many other exciting roles in a variety of national and regional organizations.
How do I apply?
You may apply online at the College of Graduate and Continuing Education (CGCE) web site. Enrollment advisors at CGCE would be happy to talk with you and answer any questions you may have about the application process.
What standardized test do I need to take?
This program requires the general GRE. (The subject test is not required.)
Are there prerequisites?
Students need to have taken a foundation course in publication layout and design. Students admitted without having completed this foundation course may complete it while enrolled in the program. The foundation course must be taken before completing the program and does not count toward the 33 semester hours of the program.
How long does it take to complete the program?
The program is 33 semester hours and may be completed in one calendar year. Many students, however, choose a several-year approach to completing the program.
Will the program interfere with my job?
The program is designed for working professionals and should not interfere with your job. Classes meet weekly in the evening and can easily be accommodated into your work schedule.
What are the requirements for the program?
Students must complete 33 semester hours of course work, pass a comprehensive exam and complete a thesis.
Links for more info:
Professor Edward H. Moore, APR
Dr. Suzanne D. FitzGerald, APR, Fellow PRSA