Public and Organizational Relations (MA)
School of Communication and Media
Program Coordinator: Dr. Todd Kelshaw
- Public and Organizational Relations: The Big Picture
- What You Will Study
- Careers and Professional Resources
- Apply Now
Whether talking to the media, presenting to an audience or addressing an organizational crisis, effective communication is key to success – and to your professional advancement.
The Master of Arts (MA) in Public and Organizational Relations is a highly marketable credential for both aspiring and seasoned professionals who wish to advance in such fast-growing, fast-paced fields as corporate communications, public relations, healthcare communication, organizational consulting, marketing and non-profit development.
Our program is unique in its recognition and presentation of public relations and organizational communication as thoroughly intertwined disciplines and practices. Through advanced study and applied experience, you will learn how to integrate theory and research with strategies for addressing organization-based challenges while maintaining an organization’s good-will relationship with its “publics.”
Alumni of the program have advanced professionally in corporate, nonprofit and academic careers including those in public relations, marketing, human resource management, sales, organizational consulting, broadcast media, higher education and public administration—virtually all professions and industries that value highly-developed communication skills. At the same time many graduates aspiring to academic careers go on to doctoral studies. In the School of Communication and Media, we are committed to educating the next generation of communication leaders and scholars and, thus, aim to provide one of the best masters-level experiences in the country.
The multi-faceted Public and Organizational Relations curriculum offers professional training in:
- New technology and communication methods
- Team leadership and collaboration
- Idea innovation
- Strategic planning
- Management of organizational identity
- Globalization strategies
Taught in small classes that allow for individualized attention provided by an expert faculty, coursework explores the full-range of communication research methods that are employed in the field today, including modes and styles of leadership, problem solving, meeting facilitation and practices that support team-based innovation.
You will learn how communication theories are applied in organizational settings to help ensure positive communications, both internally and externally. You will develop your abilities toward persuasion, a capacity for active listening, advanced appreciation for cultural diversity and global networking, and knowledge of how cutting-edge new media is strategically incorporated into an organizational communications plan. You will also have the flexibility to pursue an independent study, if desired, or take a class outside of the School to satisfy a particular area of interest. Students also pursue internships in prestigious settings that span various industries including business, non-profit and government settings. The final semester culminates in a capstone course that explores the communication implications of today’s global environment.
Classes typically meet once a week in the evening, enabling students to maintain a daytime job. The program's 33 credits may be completed full-time over 4 semesters or over 5-6 semesters part-time. As you near completion of the program, you will have the option of writing a thesis or taking a comprehensive examination and completing an alternative project, through elective coursework, that demonstrates your growth in communication competence and analytical rigor.
For complete course requirements and descriptions, go to:
The School of Communication and Media is dedicated to your professional growth and, thus, provides meaningful internship opportunities. In this regard, we maintain a progressive network of relationships with Fortune-500, government and nonprofit entities as well as broadcasting networks, PR firms and sports organizations. Students also participate in professional associations which provide opportunities to present scholarship as well as network with influential specialists.
Graduates of the program have a diversity of professional options, either to advance in an industry or pursue studies at the doctoral level. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics provides a very positive outlook for careers in Communication and Media. Below is a sampling of career areas and titles:
- Chief Executive Officer
- Chief Operating Officer
- Corporate communications (product, service and information industries)
- Government relations (public affairs, environmental affairs)
- Issues/crisis management
- Events Planning
- Executive Coach
- Human Resources (employee relations)
- Institutional Advancement
- Media Manager
- Organizational Change Manager
- Team Leader/Manager
- Time Management Consultant
- Media and Public Affairs Officer
- Account Supervisor – Public Relations & Communication
- Community Relations/Engagement Liaison
- Political Campaign Manager
- Strategic Communication Director
- Branding Officer
- Client Services Manager
- Communication/Change Analyst
- External Affairs Officer
- Government Relations Director
- Corporate Teams Leader
- Compliance Manager
- Customer Service Manager
- Stakeholder Relations Advisor
- Global Communications Consultant
- Public Relations Strategist
- Sales Manager
- Political Campaign Director
Please visit the links below for additional professional and career-related information:
The M.A. in Public and Organizational Relations is appropriate for emerging and established professionals including those anticipating doctoral studies.
Applicants are recommended to have completed an undergraduate major from a relevant humanistic or social scientific area of study such as anthropology, broadcasting, business, communication studies, journalism, political science, psychology, or sociology. Where necessary, students may look to improve their preparatory backgrounds by taking additional undergraduate courses before applying to the program. (note: Graduate credit cannot be given for such courses.)
For application instructions, go to: