Does a master’s degree in PR or Comm help?

After graduating undergrad two years ago, I didn’t think I would ever consider going for a master’s degree…but here I am, an acceptance letter away from possibly continuing my education. You see I applied for a MS in Interactive Communication from Quinnipiac University. It’s a program that allows me to enhance and apply my expertise to emerging information and communication technologies. I like the curriculum because it’s different, it will def. expand my expertise. The program is an on-line program, so it just means the hours in my day will become less and less. 

Yes I can wait a few more years and get a master’s in PR, but I’d like to take advantage of this opportunity early in career (if accepted). Some day down the road, an advanced degree could help me teach or possibly motivate me to go for a doctorate (yea right!)…but like I said, that’s down the road. 


Now here’s the question – does a master’s degree in public relations or communication help or make a difference in ones career? There are long term benefits of having a master’s, but what are some of the immediate benefits?



I’m sure I’ll post more about this topic when I hear back from QU.

9 Responses to “Does a master’s degree in PR or Comm help?”

  1. Katalyn - November 3rd, 2008

    I am glad someone else is wrestling with this idea. I am an undergraduate who is currently applying to different graduate programs for communications and I still keep asking these questions. From what I grasped at the PRSSA National Conference, attending graduate school is not necessary right away but is encouraged depending upon who you ask. Attending grad school will influence your career and separate you from your peers since a great number of people are earning undergraduate degrees. The current PRSSA National President is attending graduate school and she has had amazing opportunities with large PR firms (immediate benefits).

    However, I know other individuals who have attended grad school and have not been able to find jobs since they have more education. Employers feel that if you have higher education, they will have to pay more. I don’t think this should stop you from going to grad school. I feel eventually more people will continue their education as the PR and communications fields become more competitive.


  2. Rachel Esterline .:. A Step Ahead - November 6th, 2008

    As an undergraduate PR student, I’ve thought about whether or not I would want to go to graduate school. I would like to get my APR first and see where I want to go from there.

    But, if I were to consider a graduate program, online would work best for me because I would like to get started on my career. Hopefully, in a few years, there will be more online programs like the one you are considering.


  3. Dawn Gilpin - November 16th, 2008

    I know someone who did the Quinnipiac program. (Actually, I think he’s still doing it.) He likes it a lot, but I’m not sure I would consider it to be an alternative to a Master’s in PR. The emphasis seems to be much more on information systems, which is a related but much more technical/computer-based area.

    I did my MA online as well, since I was living in Europe and didn’t have access to grad programs in public relations. So I understand the impulse to get further training. I hope it all works out for you!


  4. admin - November 16th, 2008

    Hi Dawn,

    Because of the technical/comp. based courses I am considering not doing the program. I’m going to be weighing all my options. I might be better off doing a program with a different focus, I’ll keep everyone posted and informed.


  5. Dawn Gilpin - November 16th, 2008

    For what it’s worth, I found that doing my master’s in PR while working full time was incredibly beneficial to my professional development, as well as my work for school: I could go out every day and try out the theories and methods I learned in my classes. It was one of the most stimulating and productive periods of my life.


  6. Alex - December 3rd, 2008

    I’m in a communication MA program at VT now. I didn’t expect much more than a degree and a two year hiatus from the real world when I started, but I’ve been pleasently surprised. I really think that I am much better prepared to jump into the field now than when I started. PR wasn’t my focus when I started, but I’ve become increasingly interested in it after some study. Getting a masters is definitely useful and more so than many say.


  7. Update: Does a master's degree in PR or Comm help? | The PR Practitioner - December 11th, 2008

    […] early November I wrote a post “Does a master’s degree in PR or Comm help?” The dilemma was whether or not this public relations practitioner and blogger should pursue […]

  8. Lisa - August 11th, 2010

    hi, This is great information and thanks a lot a lot for such a wonderful information. I will bookmark and share with my friends



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