The 10 Best Public Relations Schools in the US

The 10 Best Public Relations Schools in the US
Duquesne University (Pittsburgh, PA)

What do prominent individuals, businesses, and organizations have in common? They must be proficient communicators. Or, at the very least, employ capable individuals.

It can be challenging to navigate the complex world of social media, media relations, marketing, and campaigns. Furthermore, the stakes increase with public exposure.

Because of this, receiving a public relations education is not only necessary but also quite beneficial. The day when PR was equated with propaganda or advertising has long since passed. A PR professional nowadays must be able to influence people while upholding connections built on trust.

Writers, marketers, salespeople, designers, data analysts, and leaders are just a few of the various hats worn by PR professionals. In order to be prepared for the dynamic, international nature of the public relations field, the best PR programs train students in all these areas.

We’ve listed the top 10 Best Public Relations schools in America below. Each one provides a special mix of academic research, practical experience, and career advice from top-notch teachers. Graduates from these programs have gone on to prominent positions with eminent people and businesses.

So look no further than these universities if you’re seeking a top-ranked PR school.

The Best Public Relations Schools in the US

  1. Duquesne University (Pittsburgh, PA)
  2. Biola University (La Mirada, CA)
  3. University of Florida (Gainesville, FL)
  4. Emerson College (Boston, MA)
  5. California Baptist University (Riverside, CA)
  6. University of Southern California (Los Angeles, CA)
  7. Penn State University (State College, PA)
  8. American University (Washington, DC)
  9. Drake University (Des Moines, IA)
  10. Syracuse University (Syracuse, NY)

Duquesne University (Pittsburgh, PA)

The sole Spiritan university in the United States, Duquesne University is a highly regarded Catholic college.

Over 50% of students at Duquesne are not Catholic, so they don’t just come to be in a community of Catholic students. They travel there to take advantage of the university’s top-notch strategic PR and advertising programs. PR and advertising majors are both options for students. They gain knowledge on how to apply theories to contemporary affairs, including how cultural differences might affect how a piece of media is interpreted.

Students at Duquesne are prepared for a variety of PR vocations, including account management, media, creative services, and public affairs. All of these fields and more have classes available.

Duquesne has produced alumni in prosperous media professions as a result of the strength of the media department. For more than 25 years, journalist John Clayton reported and wrote for ESPN. Journalist and faculty member Mike Dillon covered football star Johnny Unitas, Tony Bennett, and novelist Norman Mailer.

Biola University (La Mirada, CA)

Students at Biola, a private Christian university, are extremely privileged to study public relations. The school’s PRSSA chapter received the prestigious “Star Chapter” designation in 2013, which is only given to less than 10% of PRSSA chapters.

Additionally, 6th Street PR is run by Biola students. The full-service PR firm, one of the “most accomplished and successful student-run firms,” prepares both on- and off-campus PR campaigns.

Gaining practical experience is also feasible thanks to Biola’s studio facilities. There are approximately 1,000 pieces of equipment, including cameras and microphones, that may be rented in the conference room, which serves as a collaborative workspace for customers and students.

Students can advance their PR studies through the Torrey Honors Program. Students are well-positioned to work for some of the most powerful individuals and organizations after graduation thanks to discussion-based courses and leadership opportunities.

The 10 Best High Schools in New York State

University of Florida (Gainesville, FL)

The College of Journalism and Communications at the University of Florida teaches PR students about all facets of effective communication, including writing, reporting, ethics, research, and media.

They receive a well-rounded education that balances theoretical and practical abilities, equipping them for careers in industry, nonprofits, public relations firms, and the government.

A B.S. in Public Relations and an M.A. in Mass Communication are other options for UF students. Students can shorten the time it takes to complete both degrees by applying up to 12 graduate credits to their undergraduate program.

When it comes to public relations education, UF routinely ranks first. Al Burt, a veteran journalist for the Miami Herald, and Emmy-winning TV correspondent Sharyl Attkisson are both graduates of the journalism program.

Emerson College (Boston, MA)

Emerson College was established in 1880 as a “school of oratory.” By developing into a top liberal arts college for communication and the arts, it has continued to stay true to these foundations.

This includes a top-notch public relations program. Emerson uses a combination of data analytics and narrative to instruct students in the art (and science) of persuasion.

Students have the option of pursuing a B.S. or the 4+1 B.S. and M.A. route, which requires just one extra year of study to earn a master’s degree in public relations. The student to faculty ratio at Emerson, a small private school, is 13:1.

Some notable former students include The Simpsons writer John Frink, internet media figure Veronica Belmont, and photographer and TV producer Patricia Alvarado Nunez.

California Baptist University (Riverside, CA)

According to, CBU is among the top 5 universities in the nation for both its college campuses and its cuisine.

The excellent PR department at CBU educates students in all facets of communication. Through practical experience working with nonprofits, businesses, the government, and media organizations, they learn the written, vocal, and visual elements of persuasion.

Integrated Marketing Communication, International Public Relations, Media Relations and Writing, New Media, or Strategic Communication and Planning are the concentrations available to PR majors. As an alternative, a shortened course of study in the topic is provided through the Public Relations minor.

Like many Christian universities, CBU places a strong emphasis on service-oriented learning throughout all academic disciplines, including PR.

Assemblyman Nathan Fletcher of the California State Legislature and guitarist Drew Shirley of Switchfoot are notable alumni.

University of Southern California (Los Angeles, CA)

PR students are trained at the USC Annenberg School of Communications to address the industry’s shifting needs.

Public relations undergraduate and graduate programs are among the best in the country and around the world. This is mostly because of its elite faculty, which consists of experts with actual PR expertise.

Fred Cook is the CEO of the PR company Golin, where he has worked with well-known figures like Steve Jobs and Jeff Bezos. Disney, Toyota, and Nintendo were all managed by Cook. He is currently the USC Center for Public Relations director.

Jennifer Floto worked in public relations for well-known companies like Acura, Mattel, and Xerox. She still consults in addition to her teaching responsibilities, earning her the “Professor of the Year” honor in 2006 and the 2012 Mellon Mentoring honor.

Penn State University (State College, PA)

Students learn the concepts and methods that support the dynamic field of public relations at Penn State in University Park.

Students graduate prepared to jump right into the workforce by fusing persuasive storytelling with concepts from business, behavioral sciences, and applied statistics. They are ready for the PR role’s competitive, technological, and diverse environment.

Related minors are offered in subjects including Media Studies and Digital Media Trends & Analytics. PR majors frequently minor in English, a second language, business, psychology, or sociology to enhance their comprehension of interpersonal interactions.

Jayne Jamison, senior vice president and publisher of O, the Oprah Magazine, is one notable alum. alums and academic staff At Facebook, Bjorn Trowery holds the position of Manager of Consumer Communications.

American University (Washington, DC)

American University excels at teaching about public and international politics, like many other institutions in Washington, D.C. The values of AU’s public service and social justice are also influenced by its Christian traditions.

Students attend history and economics courses in addition to PR-related technical and soft skills classes to get a more comprehensive understanding of the PR sector. PR students at AU have the option to pursue combined degrees, which allows them to achieve both a B.A. and an M.A. in less time, similar to Emerson and UF.

The teachers at AU combine academic expertise with real-world PR experience. Journals like Nonprofit & Voluntary Sector Quarterly and the International Journal of Public Administration have published Khaldoun AbouAssi’s research. Additionally, he spent more than 12 years working for charity and public institutions throughout the Middle East.

Muriel Bowser, the mayor of Washington, D.C., Julius Maada Bio, the president of Sierra Leone, and Judge Judy are all notable alumni.

Drake University (Des Moines, IA)

Only 40 other undergraduate programs worldwide, including Drake University’s, have earned the prestigious Certification in Education for Public Relations (CEPR).

A Drake education is rigorous, which reflects this distinction. PR students work with peers to develop a multimedia campaign for nearby NGOs during their final year. Graduates will be ready for PR employment in the public and commercial sectors thanks to this capstone project, which will also be a valuable asset for their resumes.

The PR backgrounds of the Drake professors are varied. In Ghana, Eric Kwame Adae held a number of PR positions. He is currently conducting research on how corporate activism, social justice, and environmental activism connect. Award-winning campaigns were carried out by Kelly Bruhn for Verizon and other nonprofit groups.

Drake has produced a number of notable politicians, including 10 U.S. Representatives from Iowa and four governors of Iowa.

Syracuse University (Syracuse, NY)

Drake and Syracuse are the only two PR programs to have received CEPR recognition. On U.S. News’ list of the top graduate public affairs programs, it comes in at number one.

Syracuse University’s PR department was one of the country’s first and teaches students the principles of speaking, writing, and presenting that characterize a PR expert. By the time they graduate, students will have a complete web portfolio to show prospective employers thanks to Syracuse partner PAN Communications, a national integrated marketing and PR agency.

The top PR experts in the industry will teach students at Syracuse. Christopher Cathcart has more than 30 years of experience working for prestigious media organizations like Warner Bros. Television, Motown Records, and CNN/Turner Broadcasting. With more than 25 years of experience, Gary Grates has advised more than 100 CEOs and businesses, such as PepsiCo, Shell, Kraft, eBay, and Pfizer.

President Joe Biden, pioneer astronaut Eileen Collins, and Emmy Award-winning sportscaster Bob Costas are also notable alumni of Syracuse.


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