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Degree Overview: Master of Professional Studies (M.P.S.) Degree in Strategic Public Relations

Majors Overview May 28, 2015

Get information about Master of Professional Studies (M.P.S.) degree programs in Strategic Public Relations and their education requirements, coursework, and job and wage outlook.

Master of Professional Studies (M.P.S.) Programs in Strategic Public Relations

Students enrolled in a master’s program in strategic public relations gain the tactical and analytical skills necessary for developing and executing publicity plans for government agencies, large corporations, and businesses. Students become adept at conducting market research, branding a product and promoting goods or services; they also learn how the operational and management functions of a business are affected solely through public relations efforts.

Coursework in a strategic public relations degree program often covers new media formats, including social media. Students get training in specialized writing for international public relations, public relations and crisis management.

The program benefits professionals seeking career advancement into upper-level operations and management positions, and graduates are not required to complete extensive research or a thesis. This program is offered online by many schools. The program also includes a capstone project that incorporates principles learned over its entire duration.

Few schools, if any, offer the Master of Professional Studies (M.P.S.) in Strategic Public Relations, which is mainly available through universities located in the Washington, D.C. area. Incoming students are required to hold a bachelor’s degree, preferably in public relations or a field related to it. Students need to complete 33-40 credit hours and can finish most programs in 18-24 months.

Education Requirements

Admission criteria typically require incoming students to hold a bachelor’s degree from an accredited school, preferably in communication, public relations, journalism, or new media. Students must also submit a minimum score on the GRE, an essay and letters of recommendations.


Most coursework is devised to teach enrolled students about the ways in which analytical skills and critical thinking influence public relations strategy. Core coursework may cover topic areas such as:

•Corporate public relations
•Business fundamentals for professionals
•Digital media communications
•Crisis management
•Critical thinking
•Public relations specialized writing
•International public relations

Job and Wage Outlook

In 2012, about 229,100 individuals were employed as public relations managers and specialists in the U.S. (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics). Over the 2012 – 2022 decade, a job growth rate of 12% has been predicted for public relations professionals. In 2012, public relations managers brought in an average annual wage of $54,170 (BLS).

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