Hybrid Masters of Public Relations Programs
Hybrid masters in public relations programs are completed by taking both online and in-house coursework at the same time, propelling students into their careers confident of their knowledge. The bottom line for this type of program is simple. Students are taught how to communicate through means like social and mass media to form views of an organization consistent with the organization’s goals. They are taught how to tell a positive story about an organization, how to campaign in favor of their organization’s interests, and how to focus monetary and human resources toward an organization’s objectives.
These days, public relations people have to work within multiple settings, including for-profit, non-profit, and governmental organizations. The priorities and values guiding each institution change from place to place, and a graduate degree in this field may help prepare students for each of these settings. These degrees might also prepare individuals to pursue PhD level work.
As with most master's degree programs, the emphasis lies with teaching students methods and knowledge, where they engage original research and intellectual advancement. Of course, with a program like public relations, part of that process might include practicum courses or internships. Students within these programs are exposed to both theoretical and practical knowledge.
University professors and departments typically work to ensure that students are given ample educational opportunity. Students in hybrid public relations programs oftentimes gain both in-class hands on experience while completing other coursework online. Students might gain hands on experience by working with local companies or with their professors in a practical setting.
Public relations and advertising master's students earning their degree in a hybrid program are likely to find that these programs afford them more flexibility than traditional classroom based curriculum. In a hybrid program students often are free to complete a great deal of their required coursework from their home or office computer. Taking the majority of ones courses online might help cut down on expenses associated with transportation or relocation.
Unlike purely online learning formats hybrid programs do not completely eliminate the face to face teaching element that is valued by some students. Hybrid programs often require students to participate in some coursework in a traditional classroom setting. The advantage to in-class experience is the networking and face-to-face education students can receive.
Typically the first semester of a public relations master's program will include more core level courses in marketing, statistics, advertising, public relations, communication law, and the like. These courses generally provide an overview of some of the fundamentals of the discipline. The courses often help students determine where they want to focus their elective courses. The two sides to the public relations and advertising are generally reflected in the curriculum.
Other potential public relations coursework might include:
Students in a hybrid masters in public relations programs may be required to participate in practicums or research projects. For example, students might work on campus with department faculty on a number of different projects, be they creative, technical, or research focused. You might also be able to find internship work related to your degree from local companies.
Depending on the program, students might have the freedom to select elective courses either during their core curriculum year(s) or after. Generally, students will want to focus their attention electives on those courses they believe will be the most important for their future, be it in the business world, for the government, or even for academic interests. Electives give students the opportunity to take full advantage of their program, catering classes to their specific needs.
Brand building, mass communications, digital design, communication theory, research, internships, engaging real-life problems, and solving real life problems: these are just a few of the educational experiences an individual pursuing a hybrid master's degree in public relations might encounter. The degree is a combination of creativity and strategy, with the ultimate goal of becoming skilled in excellent media and public communication on behalf of an organization.
Seton Hall University now offers a M.A. in Public Relations. Just 12-18 months to complete, and GREs or GMATs are not required.
Ball State University’s master of arts in public relations was the first and only graduate PR program certified in the nation by the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA), the largest professional organization serving the field of public relations.