About Public Relations
Are you strong writer, oral communicator, and strategic thinker? Are you seeking a satisfying career in public relations? Whether you are a mid-career professional thinking about entering the PR field or a new college graduate, you can achieve career success through Buffalo State’s online master of science in public relations.
As a graduate of our master’s program, you’ll have many career choices. You might work at a public relations agency, marketing agency, or advertising firm. You could work at nonprofit organization where you wear several different public relations “hats” as you serve the community. Or you could opt for a position with a multinational corporation, college, school district, hospital, sports team, celebrity, law firm, or government agency. You could also work independently as a consultant. The possibilities are seemingly endless.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, jobs for public relations managers are expected to grow by 8 percent between 2018 and 2028, with the median annual salary being $116,800.
Graduates of a master’s program in public relations are well-prepared for a variety of careers that involve representing large corporations and small business, hospitals and other healthcare organizations, schools and college, sports teams, political campaigns, and celebrities. Some PR professionals join a team in PR/integrated marketing agencies. Other become a spokesperson for a government agency or nonprofit organizations. Other focus primarily on handling press inquiries and media requests for a business, school, hospital, or sports team, while others are charged with strategic planning for an organization, managing all web messaging, branding, and social media.
Other jobs you can find with a master’s degree in public relations include:
- Advertising account executive
- Campaign manager
- Client relations manager
- Corporate communication specialist
- Crisis communication manager
- Financial PR specialist
- Fundraising manager
- Major gifts officer
- Marketing director
- Press secretary
- Public information officer
- Public relations director
- Social media manager
- Web content manager
Specifically, our graduates have found employment in the following companies and organizations:
- Afterbuzz TV (Los Angeles)
- American Red Cross
- Catholic Health System
- Child & Family Services
- Cricket Wireless
- Erie Canal Harbor Development Corporation
- Evans Bank
- The Martin Group (Martin Davison Public Relations),
- Medaille College
- Perry’s Ice Cream
- University at Buffalo
Our program emphasizes “experiential learning” opportunities such as internships and service-learning. Graduate students conduct research, in teams, for an actual public relations client in one of the last courses in the graduate PR sequence. This formative research is the foundation for the public relations campaign proposal that the student team creates for the client. In addition, students conduct research on a public relations topic of their choice, working independently with a professor in the program.
In our three-credit Internship in Public Relations course, students intern with an organization of their choice. Past students have interned with public relations agencies, nonprofits, businesses, and political organizations; all interns are required to work 150 hours for the organization during the 15-week semester.
In addition to the internship, students gain additional “real world” field experiences through Public Relations Management, a service-learning course in which teams of students research and create a public relations campaign for an actual client; and the capstone master’s project course, where students work individually to conduct research and develop a campaign for a business or nonprofit organization.
With this mix of research and internships, our students graduate with valuable experience in public relations, giving them an edge in today’s competitive job market.
The public relations master's degree is part of the college’s renowned Communication Department, which was founded in the late 1970 and has earned accreditation from the Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communications (ACEJMC).
Buffalo State’s master of science degree in public relations is unique in that it’s a part-time, completely online program (six credits per semester) that provides a solid foundation in the principles and practice of public relations. It’s perfect for working professions, most of whom take two courses per semester, so that the program can be completed in two to two-and-a-half years.
Classes are offered asynchronously, meaning you can access the course material at times that are most convenient for you.
“After working abroad, I wanted to brush up my skills while learning the latest trends. While pursuing my degree, I was recruited as a campaigns and marketing manager in London. I’m currently a brand manager at Evans Bank’s corporate office and credit my master’s degree to opening doors to new opportunities.”
"Our master's degree in public relations is based on national standards set by the Commission on Public Relations Education, including research, theory, writing, and real-life experiences with actual public relations clients and an internship as part of the program.”