Public Relations and Organizational Communication

The Master of Arts in Communication with a Concentration in Public Relations & Organizational Communication program is a professional degree that emphasizes the theory and application of communication in a variety of contexts. These include working in public relations, employee relations, media relations, public affairs, issue and crisis management, technical and employee communication, and related activities in business, industry, non-profit, and governmental settings. The degree requires a minimum of 30 credit hours.

Why pursue a Masters in Public Relations and Organizational Communication?

There are three primary reasons to pursue a MA in Public Relations & Organizational Communication to:

  • Change careers
  • Seek management and senior positions
  • Seek a future PhD in PR, Organizational Communication, or Communication

A recent study by the National Student Clearinghouse shows that earning an MA in Communication boosts average earnings up 47% over those with a just a bachelors degree.

Concentration requirements

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Six required courses:

  • COM 7000: Introduction to M.A. Studies in Communication (3 cr)
  • COM 6250: Organizational Communication (3 cr)
  • COM 6140: Public Relations Theory (3 cr)
  • COM 7140: Public Relations Campaigns (3 cr)
  • COM 6190: Internship (3 cr)
    • Option 1: Traditional Internship: student works for a specified number of hours at an approved internship site where students can acquire and build upon skills that will serve their career goals. The student is required to have a site supervisor.
    • Option 2: Service Learning Internship Project: student completes a service-learning project in conjunction with the graduate internship coordinator. Each project requires a site supervisor at the hosting organization.
    • Option 3: Worksite Internship Project: student takes on a project at their current organization, provided that it significantly extends the scope of their current responsibilities or introduces them to a new domain of practice within the organization. The graduate internship coordinator must approve the project. Students must have a designated site supervisor other than their current supervisor.
  • COM 7220: Professional Issues in Applied Communication (3 cr) (capstone)

At least one of the following Research Methods Courses:

  • COM 6530: Audience Measurement and Survey Techniques (online) (3 cr)
  • COM 7250: Rhetorical Criticism (3 cr)
  • COM 7260: Quantitative Research Methods in Communication (3 cr)
  • COM 7360: Qualitative Research Methods in Communication (3 cr)

At least two of the following Public Relations & Organizational Communication content area elective courses:

  • COM 5710: Law and Ethics in Journalism and Mass Media (3 cr)
  • COM 6050: New Media Practices (online) (3 cr)
  • COM 6100: Speech Writing (3 cr)
  • COM 6270: New Media Theory (online) (3 cr)
  • COM 7150: Micro-Level Organizational Communication (3 cr)
  • COM 7160: Crisis Communication (we rotate as a face-to-face and online course; see course rotation linked below for the online rotation) (3 cr)
  • COM 7162: Risk Communication: Theoretical and Practical Approaches (online) (3 cr)
  • COM 7170: Health and Risk Communication (online) (3 cr)
  • COM 7172: Risk Communication: Disasters, Hazards, and the Media (online) (3 cr)
  • COM 7240: Communication Consulting and Training (3 cr)
  • COM 7410: Communication Theory (3 cr)
  • COM 7210: New Media and Strategic Communication (3 cr)

One additional course, chosen in consultation with adviser (3 cr)

Online Public Relations & Organizational Communication concentration

The online program has the same concentration requirements as those listed above. A rotation of courses guarantees that all of the six required PR/Organizational Com courses, the research method, and elective requirements will be offered online to complete a degree within two or two and half years.

To see which research method and elective courses are offered online, see the online course rotation document. As an online MA program, all students receive in-state tutition rates, regardless of residency. Make sure to select the online PR & Org Com option under Major when you apply.


WSU Graduate Bulletin description

Online Course Rotation 2022-2026

Example plans of work to complete the degree online

Apply now

Why an online MA concentration in Public Relations & Organizational Public Relations from Wayne State?

  • Nationally-recognized faculty who teach our graduate courses.
  • Finish the program in 2, 2.5, or 3 years, depending on your available time.
  • Program has strong connections to PR firms and for-profit and non-profit organizations throughout the city of Detroit.
  • Capstone course with applied communciation projects with real clients.
  • A required internship, service learning project, or current job project that applies course concepts to applied situations. These internships are with some of the best for-profit and non-profit organizations in the Metro-Detroit area.
  • For out-of-state students: Take the online program with in-state tuition rates!

What if I want to take both online and in-person courses?

Students can take courses entirely online, in-person, or a combination of the two. The MA concentration requirements remain the same regardless of the mode of instruction.

Have questions?

Contact our graduate advisor, Dr. Cleo Moody at