Regents Approve Master of Arts in Public Relations for Middle Georgia State University

Author: News Bureau
Posted: Tuesday, May 11, 2021 12:00 AM
Category: Pressroom

Macon, GA


Middle Georgia State University (MGA) plans to launch a fully online Master of Arts in Public Relations next year.

The Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia approved the program at its Tuesday, May 11, meeting. MGA’s goal is to offer the program beginning in spring 2022, pending approval by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).  

The new degree, to be housed in MGA’s School of Arts & Letters, is designed to prepare students to begin or enhance careers as public relations professionals, market research analysts, or marketing specialists and managers – all jobs that appear on the Georgia Department of Labor’s “Georgia’s Hot Careers to 2028” list. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts “faster than average” job growth for public relations specialists over the next few years. Additional federal data points to a “bright outlook” for other  jobs related to public relations, including convention and event planners, media and communication workers, and managers of artists, performers, and athletes.

Broadly defined, a public relations professional uses strategic communication to build mutually beneficial relationships between organizations and their public audiences.

“The new master’s degree is perfectly aligned with our mission,” said Dr. Mary Wearn, dean of the School of Arts & Letters. “We built an undergraduate liberal arts curriculum that fosters creativity and connects students to career pathways. Our graduate programs, including this upcoming master’s in public relations, prepare students from an array of undergraduate backgrounds to deploy their creative skills in professional roles.”     

Middle Georgia State’s new program will be the only free-standing master’s degree in public relations in the state. The University of Georgia offers an optional public relations track in its Master of Arts in Journalism and Mass Communication. In a recent survey of 1,000 MGA undergraduates, nearly 60 percent said they would be interested in enrolling in public relations master’s degree.

 MGA faculty designed the program in consultation with regional companies that hire public relations professionals and have committed to providing internship opportunities for students. The 30-credit hour program includes coursework in writing and research, crisis communications, campaign planning and practice, web development, and production and design, among other topics.

If approved by SACSCOC, the M.A. in Public Relations will become the sixth master’s degree MGA has launched since early 2016. The others are in information technology, management, nursing, teacher education, and technical and professional writing. Coursework in the University’s first doctorate, the Doctor of Science in Information Technology, begins this summer.