online public relations degree programsIf you’re interested in studying Public Relations and also want to take classes online, this list of the nine most affordable online public relations degree programs will help you choose a quality program.

Methodology

To construct the list, we first did research about all the schools offering degrees in PR. Note that for the purposes of this list, it is not sufficient for schools to just offer a general Communications degree. They must offer a degree specifically in Public Relations or offer it as a concentration within another degree. The selected schools described below have comprehensive PR programs, offer them 100% online, and are also extremely affordable. In fact, all the colleges you’ll see below have tuition below $14,000 a year. To be specific, we consulted the U.S. Department of Education’s College Navigator database to identify the nine most affordable accredited institutions offering online public relations degree programs. They are presented here in descending order of cost, with the most affordable appearing at #1.

Cheap Online Public Relations Degree Program Ranking

1. University of North Dakota

University-of-North-Dakota-Online-Bachelor-of-Arts-in-Communications-with-a-Public-Relations-Emphasis
Ranked as a Top 10 Online Communications and Public Relations Bachelors Degree Programs, by The Best Colleges, The University of North Dakota offers student an online public relations degree at less than $8,000 per year.

Online Bachelor of Arts in Communications with a Public Relations Emphasis

Website

Tuition: $7,508/yr

The University of North Dakota has a very highly-ranked Communications program, and was ranked by The Best Colleges as one of the “Top 10 Online Communications and Public Relations Bachelor’s Degree Programs.” Although it is a public institution, all students who enroll in an online public relations degree are offered in-state tuition, regardless of residency. You’ll get to interact in a virtual classroom and choose your own area of concentration, such as Print Journalism, Advertising, or Public Relations. The integrated curriculum combines a focus on information processes and communication technologies with a broad, comprehensive liberal arts education.

2. Arkansas Tech University

Arkansas-Tech-University-Online-Bachelor-of-Professional-Studies-with-a-Concentration-in-Public-Relations
Receiving a 5-star rating by Cappex, Arkansas Tech University offers students a degree in public relations at less than $6,000 per year.

Online Bachelor of Professional Studies with a Concentration in Public Relations

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Tuition: $5,598/yr (In-state) $10,374/yr (Out-of-state)

Arkansas Tech University offers an online Bachelor of Professional Studies degree that provides adults with the education they need to enhance their current careers and prepare them for new opportunities in multiple industries. Students can choose one of a multitude of concentrations, including Applied Leadership, Criminal Justice, and Public Relations. The cheap online public relations degree is offered in an accelerated format that is idea for working adults and community college graduates. General coursework includes classes like Business Information Systems, Technical Writing, and Professional Communications, and concentration-specific classes include Microcomputer Applications, Interviewing Principles and Practices, and Public Relations Writing. As reported by Cappex, ATU receives 5-star ratings in the categories of “Am Enjoying Being Here” and “Am Learning a Lot.”

3. Franklin University

Franklin-University-Public-Relations-Degree-Program-Online
Named as one of the Top Military-Friendly Colleges and Universities by military Advanced Education, Franklin University offers students reliable public relations online courses so they can work towards a bachelors in public relations.

Public Relations Degree Program Online

Website

Tuition: $10,681/yr

If you’re interested in studying topics like social media and web development, internal communications, communications coaching, publicity, and promotions and special events, consider pursuing an affordable online public relations degree from Franklin University. Franklin offers flexible scheduling and allows students to choose between 6-week, 12-week, and 15-week classes so individuals can choose the format that best suits their lifestyle. The school also makes transferring credits from previous schools very convenient and gives out nearly $15 million in scholarship money each year. Take classes like Media Research and Writing, Rhetoric and Social Influence, and Relationship Marketing at a school that has been named one of the Top Military-Friendly Colleges and Universities by Military Advanced Education magazine.

4. Montana State University – Billings

Montana-State-University-Billings-Bachelor-of-Science-Public-Relations-Online
For under $6,000 per year, students can work towards an online public relations degree.

Bachelor of Science Public Relations Online

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Tuition: $5,745/yr (In-state) $17,088/yr (Out-of-state)

One of the benefits of attending Montana State University – Billings for your accredited online public relations degree is that you have the most extensive list of options possible for your education. You can earn a Bachelor of Science in Public Relations, or you can get a degree in Applied Science or Liberal Studies and then choose a Public Relations-related concentration, such as Management and Public Relations or Mass Communications and Public Relations. Applied Science (BAS) and Liberal Studies (BSLS) degrees are ideal for students who already have an Associate’s degree and can focus on earning additional credits in their concentration area. The university makes it onto U.S. News and World Report’s list of best Regional Universities (West).

5. University of Minnesota – Crookston

University-of-Minnesota-Crookston-Communication-BS-Online-With-a-Concentration-in-Organizational-Communication-Public-Relations
Listed as a Best Online Program university by the U.S. News and World Report, the University of Minnesota – Crookston offers students a public relations degree online.

Communication, BS Online With a Concentration in Organizational Communication/Public Relations

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Tuition: $11,448/yr

The University of Minnesota – Crookston degree in Communication offers three optional concentrations: Communication Studies, Writing, or Organizational Communication/Public Relations. Students can develop a broad understanding of the field through general classes in Communication Theory, Human Relationships and Leadership, and Writing in Your Profession, as well as others. You’ll also get a chance to take seminars, complete final projects, and build a portfolio as you study conflict management, group and team dynamics, and leadership. Graduates find very successful careers in media relations, corporate communication, and public relations. You can also complement your degree with a minor in Marketing or Business Management. UMC online has received numerous awards, including a “Best Online Program” ranking by U.S. News and World Report a “Best College in the Midwest” ranking by Princeton Review.

7. North Dakota State University

North-Dakota-State-University-Public-Relations-and-Advertising-Online
Recognized by Forbes Magazine, North Dakota State University helps students work towards a new career by offering them a degree in public relations at an affordable rate.

Public Relations and Advertising Online

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Tuition: $7,660/yr (In-state) $18,242 (Out-of-state)

Interestingly, the University of North Dakota isn’t the only institution in the state to make this list. North Dakota State University also offers an attractive program in Public Relations and Advertising that can be administered entirely in an online format. Students take 36 credits toward their major and can choose to concentrate in either PR or Advertising. In order to best prepare students for life after graduation, NDSU requires students to earn a B or better in all of their pre-communications classes before allowing them to declare a concentration in either area. Although all credits can be earned for this public relations degree online, the university does encourage students to pursue an internship, which of course requires face-to-face interaction. NDSU is the only university in the state to make the Carnegie Commission on Higher Education’s list of research-intensive universities and Forbes has ranked the town (Fargo) as one of the “Top College Tows for Jobs.”

8. West Virginia University

West-Virginia-University-Public-Relations-Area-of-Emphasis-Online
Take public relations online courses at West Virginia University at an affordable rate. WVU was listed on the U.S. News and World Report as one of the Best national Universities too.

Public Relations Area of Emphasis Online

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Tuition: $6,456/yr (In-state) $19,632/yr (Out-of-state)

West Virginia University offers a comprehensive public relations degree online that is geared toward adult learners. Much of the degree is oriented around teaching students how to build and maintain relationships with various audiences while utilizing their communication strategies and skills to craft positive images for clients. Online public relations degree students can also choose an area of emphasis, such as Business Administration, Marketing, Health Promotion, or Political Science so you can design the degree that will get you exactly where you want to go. WVU is on U.S. News and World Report’s list of Best National Universities and also has a higher-than-average freshman retention rate.

9. Penn State World Campus

Penn-State-World-Campus-Online-Bachelor-of-Arts-in-Advertising-Public-Relations-Strategic-Communications-Option
Recognized by the U.S. new and World Report as a Best Online Bachelors Program, Penn State World Campus offers students an online public relations degree at around $13,000 per year.

Online Bachelor of Arts in Advertising/Public Relations – Strategic Communications Option

Website

Tuition: $13,202/yr

Go beyond a typical Communications major with a degree from Penn State. By choosing to study Strategic Communications you’ll learn about advertising, marketing, communications, technology, public relations, law, social media, research, and still more. This means you’ll get a diverse education that will prepare you for any number of careers. By the time you graduate you’ll have had practice writing press releases, conducting communications campaigns, and analyzing marketing and advertising efforts, among other projects. Penn State’s World Campus has been nationally recognized by U.S. News and World Report as a “Best Online Bachelor’s Program.” Earning an online public relations degree from Penn State World Campus will provide a great foundation for a rewarding career.

Related articles:

Sources:

College Navigator

Cappex – Arkansas Tech University

Military Friendly – Franklin University

U.S. News and World Report – Montana State University Billings

U.S. News and World Report – Walden University

Carnegie Foundation

Forbes – Top College Towns for Jobs

U.S. News and World Report – West Virginia University

About the Author:

Iris Stone got her start in writing when she began working as a freelance writer and researcher in 2011. Her freelance business soon took off and she now owns and operates a writing and editing firm that works with clients all across the country. Despite the time it takes to run a business she still does much of the writing herself, and her work has included a variety of content related to education policy, colleges and universities, academic programs, and graduates’ careers. Check out her Google+ Profile.