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October 15, 2012

Commission on Public Relations Education Defines Standards for Public Relations Master’s Degree Education

NEW YORK (Oct. 15, 2012) – Public relations students and their future employers will gain a competitive edge in the intense public relations profession by enrolling in master’s degree programs that meet standards in the Commission on Public Relations Education’s latest report. “Standards for a Master’s Degree in Public Relations: Educating for Complexity,” funded by the PRSA Foundation and the Plank Center for Leadership in Public Relations, recommends a core curriculum focused on five areas.­
The core curriculum of a master’s degree program should develop knowledge and skills in these areas:
  • Strategic public relations management
  • Basic business principles and processes
  • Communication/public relations theory and research methods
  • Global influences on the practice of public relations
  • Ethics
“These standards are based on extensive contemporary research that included an online audit of existing programs in public relations master’s degree programs, a survey of public relations practitioners and educators and interviews with industry employers”, said Commission Co-Chair Frank Ovaitt, APR.)
Given the growth of master’s-level public relations education in recent years, the Commission saw the need for more consistent and comprehensive curricula, said Dean Kruckeberg, APR, Fellow PRSA, academic co-chair of the Commission.  “The report hopes to serve students and professionals who aspire for a master’s degree in public relations. The report also expects to serve those organizations that confer the degrees and employ the graduates as practitioners or professors.”

With recommendations for those planning careers in academia or as public relations practitioners, CPRE wants to bring credibility and value to public relations graduate education, he said.
The report may be found in its entirety on the Commission on Public Relations Education website at

About the Commission on Public Relations Education
For several decades, the Commission has presented standards on public relations curricula and education programs. Its work has been adopted by colleges and universities throughout the United States and has become a point of reference in other parts of the world. The Commission is composed of public relations educators and practitioners who represent 14 professional societies in public relations and related fields of communications. The Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) is one of those organizations and serves as the Commission's administrative arm.

Educating for Complexity: Standards for Master's Degree Education in Public Relations

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