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Public Relations Curriculum

The online Master of Arts in Mass Communication with a specialization in Public Relations and Communication Management includes 33 credit hours: 30 hours of coursework plus three final credits in the capstone course. Program curriculum is guided by APCO Worldwide and an advisory council of top industry professionals. All courses are taught by leading faculty of the University of Florida and industry experts.

Students can complete the curriculum in as few as six semesters, preparing for an exciting career in public relations, communications, or consulting. View the full degree plan as a PDF here.

Unique Learning Experience

  • Students generally take 1-2 classes per semester.
  • Each semester is 12 weeks, with three semesters per year (Spring, Summer, Fall).
  • Full-time students can complete the curriculum in 18 months.
  • All classes are online with recorded lectures, allowing students to view classes at their pace during the week.
  • Each week, students must meet weekly objectives and complete assignments.


PUR 6005 Public Relations TheoryThe purpose of the course is to develop an understanding of the theoretical body of knowledge in public relations and its application to professional practice. The overall goal of the course is to help students gain an intellectual foundation in theories of public relations.

MMC 6647 Financial & Business Essentials for Communication Professionals

This course helps students in learning and applying the theoretical and practical concepts related to the business and financial responsibilities of a communication professional. Through interactive projects and assignments students will develop a business acumen related to common financial and business activities required of a communication professional. The course provides an understanding of these responsibilities whether employed at an agency, nonprofit, governmental, multilateral, and activist entity.

PUR 6934 Measurement & Evaluation

The purpose of public relations research for graduate students is to learn about the relationships among public relations processes and public relations research. The course provides an introduction to and experience with research methods in public relations.

PUR 6934 Strategy & Messaging

This course is an intensive workshop in strategic public relations writing that is diverse in style, ranging from brief public service announcements to online news releases and web/social media contents to persuasive speeches and executive presentations. Since most formal organizational communications begin or intersect with the written word, most practitioners see writing as the foundation of professional public relations practice.

MMC 6727 Social Media Metrics & Evaluation

The success or failure of social media strategies are determined by the real-world impact of campaigns. Just as social media managers must tap their creative side to create engaging campaigns, they must also draw on their analytical side in considering meaningful, tangible data. Metrics are not merely important for judging campaign success and failure, they are also crucial for demonstrating to management the ROI of social media efforts. Students will learn by doing through collection and analysis of real social media campaign data. After completing the course students will be able to (1) describe the proper measurement mechanisms to employ, (2) identify the data points that help clarify campaign effectiveness (3) the proper approach for analyzing data, and (4) determine how the outcomes from data analysis should modify overall strategy.

PUR 6616 Corporate Reputation & Communication

This course examines the fundamental roles that communication plays in corporate reputation affairs, including its production, conceptualization, dimensions, topics and attributes, monitoring, measurement, evaluation, management, effects, valorization, and valuation. The course prepares students involved in corporate reputation consulting, as well as those who are in strategic planning, market research, competitive intelligence, and general management. Through interactive projects and assignments students explore the various roles communication plays in reputation building, maintenance, change, repair, defense and evaluation.

MMC6936 Developing Intercultural Competence

This course aims to help build an understanding of intercultural communication competence based on foundational texts in order to reflect on students’ intercultural abilities. Becoming an interculturally-minded professional requires self-reflection, interpersonal skills, cultural knowledge, and an open mind. Students will strengthen competencies to achieve success for themselves and their organizations.

MMC 6949 Professional Internship

There are two components of this course. The first component is participating in an internship, which will allow you to complete projects related to your career goals under the supervision of a web design practitioner in the field. By the end of the internship, you should be aware of trends in the field, the skills necessary to be employable after graduation and the importance of networking. The second component of the course is attending the lecture, where you learn job-search skills specific to the web design field such as writing resumes and cover letters, interviewing, networking and negotiating a salary. By the end of the course, you should also have a fundamental understanding of using career research tools, proposing ideas to non-technical co-workers and creating e-portfolios to showcase your work. Specifically, the course will connect your internship experience to your job search so you feel confident marketing your skills after graduation.

PUR 6403 Crisis/Risk Management

The goal of this course is for students to understand and appreciate how issues and trends impact organizational continuity, how issues are strategically managed and crises averted, and the importance of ethical, effective crisis communications techniques and efforts.

PUR 6608 International Public Relations

Public relations is practiced by all types of private, public, non-for-profit, activist, and non- governmental institutions that progressively engage in building and maintaining relationships with stakeholders in many locations worldwide. This course explores the subjects of global and domestic diversity and multiculturalism that affect the public relations profession, the professional, the specialized practices, and the engagement of stakeholders. Students incorporate social and other interactive media channels in their projects and assignments to analyze the main concerns affecting the management of the public relations function, such as transnational crises; coordination and control mechanisms (i.e., integration and localization efforts); professionalism levels; trends; and the practitioners’ social roles, responsibilities, and competences.

PUR 6934 Digital Social Advocacy

This course is designed to be interactive and produce original content by and among the students. Because digital social advocacy is in a nascent stage, there are no formal lectures. And, since one of the unique advantages of digital media is that they create linked networks, this class builds upon that advantage through interactive discussion and critique among students in the class.

PUR 6206 Ethics & Professional Responsibility

This course aims to study public relations ethics and social responsibility practiced in organizations. It focuses on different ethical and social responsibility models and their effects on the organization and stakeholders. The course has two components: readings and critiques of classic and current research and case studies development.

VIC 6316 Brand Management

This course is organized around the brand management decisions that must be made to build, measure, and manage brand equity. The course will begin with an overview of the content and context of brand management decisions to provide the “big picture” for the course. Next, students will discuss the strategies and tactics for building and measuring brand equity. Specifically, students will address direct and indirect measures of brand equity, brand positioning and its marketing value, as well as approaches in choosing brand elements and developing supporting marketing programs. The last phase will focus on the management of brand equity, including the introduction of new products, corporate perspectives, and brand management over time and geographical boundaries. A variety of journal articles will be presented throughout the semester to broaden students’ understanding of the fundamental theories and important issues in brand management.


Quick Facts

33 credit hours
100% online
Partnership with APCO Worldwide
recorded lectures & live office hours
Fall Semester: August-November
Spring Semester: January-March
Summer Semester: May-August
Download Info Packet


Application Deadlines

Fall Semester
July 1

Spring Semester
November 1

Summer Semester
April 1


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