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Best Colleges and Schools for a Public Relations Degree

Public relations (PR) students learn marketable print, visual and multimedia communications skills and ways to use them for interaction with the media and the general public on behalf of a company or organization. Degrees in PR are available at the undergraduate and graduate levels.

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Best Colleges for Public Relations

1. University of Southern California in Los Angeles

Located in the heart of Los Angeles, the University of Southern California (USC) was ranked the 23rd best national university by U.S. News & World Report in 2012. USC offers Bachelor of Arts in Public Relations and Master of Arts in Strategic Public Relations programs. Students take classes at the Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism and gain hands-on experience working with the on-campus public relations firm, TriSight Communications. Students also can join the USC chapter of the Public Relations Society of America. USC is home to the research-focused Strategic Communication and Public Relations Center, which has earned recognition for its work in identifying best practices, new ideas and standards in public relations.

2. University of Texas at Austin

The University of Texas at Austin (UT) has more than 38,000 undergraduate students, but still boasts an 18-to-1 student-to-teacher ratio. In 2012, U.S. News & World Report honored UT, which was founded in 1883, as the 13th best public school in the U.S. UT's advertising and public relations program is one of a only a few programs in the U.S. that's housed within its own department. Since 1999, the Department of Advertising and Public Relations has offered an undergraduate major in public relations. UT is home to one of the nation's nine initial chapters of the Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA), which helps nurture relationships between students and professionals in the PR field. It also hosts its own student-run public relations agency, Texas Tower; students gain experience working on PR projects for nonprofit organizations.

3. Syracuse University in Syracuse, NY

Syracuse University was named 62nd on U.S. News & World Report's list of top national universities in 2012. Bachelor of Science and Master of Science in Public Relations programs are offered through the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications. Students gain skills in handling communications for government, corporate, consumer, economic and media entities. Those looking for career opportunities and professional advice can take advantage of the Newhouse Alumni Career Advisory Network. This group consists of nearly 4,000 alumni who have volunteered to assist up-and-coming communication and public relations professionals.

List of 10 Good Public Relations Schools in the U.S.

School Name Distinction Location
Auburn University Members of student-run Auburn University Public Relations Council of Alabama (AUPRCA) get to work on client PR projects Auburn, AL
Boston University The College of Communication's PRLab is an in-house public relations agency operated by students Boston, MA
DePaul University Internships with Chicago-area PR firms possible Chicago, IL
Michigan State University Offers Master of Arts in Public Relations East Lansing, MI
Syracuse University Bachelor's degree program requires capstone experience in public relations management Syracuse, NY
University of Alabama PR program was one of five finalists for PRWeek magazine's 2012 PR Education Program of the Year Tuscaloosa, AL
University of Georgia The Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communications, founded in 1915, offers public relations majors to students in the B.A. in Journalism program Athens, GA
University of Southern California Bachelor's and master's degree programs in public relations stress hands-on experience Los Angeles, CA
University of Tennessee Offers B.S. in Public Relations and M.S. and Ph.D. programs in communication and information with a concentration in public relations Knoxville, TN
University of Texas at Austin One of the first schools to offer a public relations major Austin, TX
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