Very few colleges and universities offer master’s degrees in public relations. But if all goes according to plan, Hofstra will launch its PR graduate program in 18 months. I’ve been honored with the responsibility of leading the process.
You might ask, “Why a master’s degree in PR?” Conventional wisdom (and statistics) tell us that a master’s of any kind tends to bring higher salaries and more employment opportunities. And we’ve repeatedly seen expert predictions that public relations is one of the largest growth areas among career paths. The body of knowledge about public relations, its place and function in the world continues to grow, too, as does respect for the profession.
So the next question might be, “Who would want or need this degree?” I believe that in addition to those with a bachelor’s in PR or other communications degrees, it will appeal to recent grads with degrees in journalism and business, and professionals who’d like to further their careers with an advanced degree in public relations. We’ll be doing more research on this.
“Who’s responsible for making this happen?” you ask. I’ve assembled a superb advisory committee of fellow administrators, students and public relations professionals to help guide me through this process. We’re working on ideas for curriculum and how best to market the program. This group will be invaluable to me in the coming weeks and months.
And finally, you’re wondering, “How will this degree be taught?” My initial approach is to shape this as an online hybrid, meaning that much of the coursework would be taught online, but would include strategically placed face-to-face interactions with faculty and fellow students. This way, you won’t have to be local to enroll; you’ll be able to earn a Hofstra PR master’s from anywhere.
Now you’re thinking, “How can I help?” I need your input on everything from the online concept to the syllabi. Feel free to comment here and/or email more detailed ideas to firstname.lastname@example.org. Now, more that ever, I’ll end my blog with this request: Your thoughts?