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Program Overview

Program Overview

In our media-saturated world, public relations professionals must have the ability to manage the many strategies, tactics, tools and channels available for messaging to their various audiences. However, the chief aim of public relations remains strategic communication that builds mutually beneficial relationships between clients and/or organizations and their various “publics” or constituents. In Lipscomb’s graduate programs in Public Relations, we focus on building and maintaining these relationships while exploring current best practices in professional communication.

With the convenience of a hybrid program structure combining on-campus meetings with online coursework, you’ll engage in experiential learning and practical application of communication skills based on theory, research and professional best practices. Gain insight into how public relations fits in the contemporary communication setting, ethical frameworks, international communication in a globalized economy and cross-culturally diverse world, and explore key components shaping the current models and practices of public relations. You’ll graduate from our innovative program prepared to meet the market demand for professional public relations practitioners and researchers with advanced knowledge, skills and abilities.

Admissions Requirements

Admissions Requirements

Ready to apply? Let’s get started. We’re here to help at every step. Applicants to the program must hold a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution and submit the following for admission review and enrollment:

  • Completed and submitted online application
  • $50 non-refundable application fee
  • Official college transcripts from all previously attended colleges and universities (including graduate, if applicable)
  • Two letters of reference
  • Résumé
  • Goals statement describing career aspirations
  • Interview with faculty (on campus, virtually or by phone)

For transcripts, electronic copies can be emailed directly from your undergraduate institution to gradadmissions@lipscomb.edu.

If you are having a hard copy mailed, have it sent to:
Lipscomb University
Graduate Admissions
One University Park Drive
Nashville, TN 37204

Prior coursework and experience in communication, including advertising, public relations, mass communication or communication social sciences are desirable but not required.

Application Deadlines

Priority deadline for Fall 2020: June 1 with decisions released on June 10
Final deadline for Fall 2020: August 1

Please note: You may submit your application and required materials prior to the priority deadline, and interviews are conducted on a rolling basis.

Courses

Courses

Core Courses (9 hours)
CO 6113 - Pro Seminar in Communication and Communication Theory
MC 6003 - Mass Communication Messages and Effects
MC 6013 - Persuasion in Mass Communication

Concentration Requirements (12 hours)
PR 6003 - Public Relations Campaigns
PR 6013 - PR Effectiveness: Measurements and Assessment
PR 6123 - Social Media and New Media Channels
PR 6313 - Seminar in Public Relations

Electives Requirements (9 hours)
Select three courses (9 credit hours) from the following list, or complete additional experiential learning units with the consent of your graduate advisor. Some of these elective courses may only be offered infrequently or based upon sufficient student demand.

PR 6023 - The PR Spokesperson and Executive Speechwriter
PR 6133 - Fundraising and Philanthropy Communication
PR 6213 - Communicating Public Health: Epidemiology and Risk Communication
PR 6243 - Crisis and Emergency Communication
PR 6Xn3 - Special Topics in Public Relations (may be repeated with different topic)
PR 6813 - Independent Study (may be repeated)
CO 6203 - Corporate and Organizational Communication
CO 6313 - Seminar in Health Communication
CO 6323 - Seminar in Intercultural Communication
CO 6593 - Thesis: Communication Research Methods

Required Experiential (3 hours)
Complete 3 credit hours of applied and experiential learning selected with the consent of your graduate advisor. Any of these courses may be repeated for 3 additional hours toward the electives requirement.

PR 6233 - Applied Communication Research in Public Relations
PR 6903 - Graduate Project in Public Relations
PR 6913 - Graduate Internship in Public Relations
PR 6923 - Graduate Externship in Public Relations

Required Matriculation (3 hours)
Choose one option below with the consent of your graduate advisor.

MA Thesis and Oral Defense Option
CO 6593 - Thesis: Communication Research Methods

Non-Thesis Option
Select one additional course (3 credit hour units) from the above electives list.

Graduate Certificate in Public Relations

Required Courses (12 hours)
PR 6003 - Public Relations Campaigns
PR 6013 - PR Effectiveness: Measurements and Assessment
PR 6243 - Crisis and Emergency Communication
PR 6313 - Seminar in Public Relations

Select one additional course (3 credit hours) from the following list:
PR 6023 - The PR Spokesperson and Executive Speechwriter
PR 6123 - Social Media and New Media Channels
PR 6133 - Fundraising and Philanthropy Communication

Tuition & Aid

Tuition & Aid

Program tuition is $1,030 per credit hour.

Types of Aid

Practical Applied Experiential Curriculum

With an immersive course of study emphasizing experiential learning, you will build skills and experience while expanding your knowledge of professional best practices in our relevant, cutting-edge curriculum.

World-Class Subject Matter Expert Faculty

You’ll be taught by public relations experts with impressive credentials and professional experience to equip you with the necessary preparation to advance your career as a professional communicator.

Professional Contacts and Career Networking

Build a network among your peers and with connected faculty who will provide support and encouragement during your time in the program and beyond. These connections can help you advance your career and open doors to a variety of career paths.

Global Perspective

Through coursework focused on international communication, you’ll gain a global perspective that will help you deliver positive image messaging for clients across cultural boundaries.

Our Faculty

  • Bob Chandler

    Bob Chandler

    Visiting Professor of Communication

    Dr. Chandler provides leadership with the graduate and professional programs in communication as well as serving as teaching faculty graduate student mentor. He serves as the coordinator of graduate studies...

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  • Aerial Ellis

    Aerial Ellis

    Instructor

    Aerial Ellis is a gifted speaker and strategist who launched her first public relations firm at the age of 22. Since, she has become sought-after for her ability to help...

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Career Paths

Agency

Work with multiple clients as a professional in a PR or communication agency. Help clients earn positive image coverage with local and national media, manage multi-channel communication messaging and build relationships with key stakeholders and constituents.

Corporate

Build relationships and promote the reputation of your company as part of an “in-house” team that provides a full range of public relations services. Help your organization earn positive image coverage with local and national media, manage multi-channel communication messaging and build relationships with key stakeholders and constituents.

Not-for-profit

Help your charitable, service, religious, educational, professional association, political or social issue organization earn positive image coverage with local and national media, manage multi-channel communication messaging to constituents and the public, effectively fundraise and build lasting relationships with donors as well as with key stakeholders and constituents using 21st century communication channels and methods.

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