Public Relations Certificates: Requirements to Enroll in and Complete a Public Relations Certificate Program

Published Aug 14, 2009

RSS Feed

Public Relations (PR) professionals are responsible for conveying appropriate information about the PR agent's employer or clients to the public, the media and other interested parties. The job requires excellent verbal and written communication skills, discretion, creativity and analytical ability. This article describes what it takes to enroll in and complete a certificate program in Public Relations.

Enrolling in a Public Relations Certificate Program

Enrollment requirements for a Public Relations certificate program depend on the school and the related degree level of the program. In some schools, enrollment requirements for undergraduate certificate programs are the same as those for standard degree program enrollment, while other schools require additional prerequisites, such as completion of courses in freelance writing or journalism, before candidates are officially admitted into the Public Relations program.

Graduate-level certificate programs require students to have a bachelor's degree, although not necessarily in Public Relations. Some admit only those students who have had four or more years of PR experience in the workplace. Still others, at both the undergraduate and graduate levels, require non-native English speakers to demonstrate a specific level of proficiency in speaking and writing in English.

Completing a Public Relations Certificate Program

Requirements for earning a certificate in Public Relations also vary according to the school. Some offer certificates after completion of as few as 15 credit hours, while graduate-level certificate programs may require 24 credits or more. Core courses in Public Relations include PR strategy and techniques, PR writing and editing, research methods and promotion through social media. Specific courses in public speaking and project presentation are often required in addition to the classroom presentations that are a component of many core courses.

Schools that offer a certificate in Public Relations also place a significant degree of emphasis on coursework in legal and ethical issues that pertain to Public Relations. Many schools, particularly those that offer graduate-level certificates in Public Relations, require students to complete coursework in crisis communications, equipping PR professionals with the skills needed to present critical information under pressure.

Featured School Choices:

  • Full Sail University

    Full Sail University responds quickly to information requests through this site.

    Suggested programs:
    • Master of Science - Public Relations
    • Bachelor of Science - Media Communications
    • Master of Science - Entertainment Business
    • Master of Fine Arts - Media Design
    • Master of Science - New Media Journalism
    More information about Full Sail University
  • Ashford University

    Ashford University responds quickly to information requests through this site.

    Suggested programs:
    • Bachelor of Arts - Public Relations and Marketing
    • BA/Public Relations and Marketing - Information Systems
    • BA/Public Relations and Marketing - International Management
    • BA/Public Relations and Marketing - Project Management
    • Bachelor of Arts - Public Administration
    More information about Ashford University
  • Colorado Christian University

    Colorado Christian University responds quickly to information requests through this site.

    Suggested programs:
    • Communication Studies, B.A.
    • Marketing and Sales, B.S.
    • Marketing and Sales, A.S.
    • Communication Studies, A.A.
  • Grand Canyon University

    Grand Canyon University responds quickly to information requests through this site.

    Suggested programs:
    • MBA: Marketing
    • M.A. in Communication with an Emphasis in Education
    More information about Grand Canyon University
  • American University

    American University responds quickly to information requests through this site.

    Suggested programs:
    • Master of Arts in Strategic Communication
    • Master of Arts in Strategic Communication - Advocacy and Social Impact Concentration
    More information about American University
  • Queens University of Charlotte

    Queens University of Charlotte responds quickly to information requests through this site.

    Suggested programs:
    • Master of Arts in Communication - General
    • Master of Arts in Communication - Integrated Digital Strategy Concentration
    • Master of Arts in Communication - Undecided