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Public Relations

LEARN FROM GLOBAL LEADERS IN PR

Make your mark as a strategic communications leader, one of the most critical roles of any organization, with the Master of Arts (MA) in Public Relations at Hofstra University. Our program emphasizes critical thinking and problem-solving, exceptional writing skills, and proficiency in digital platforms necessary for your success as a public relations professional.

This is a hybrid program featuring a combination of on-campus and online classes. Concentrations in either reputation and crisis management or marketing are options.

No GRE is required, and scholarships are available for qualified candidates. To find out more, email Program Director Jeff Morosoff at jeffrey.morosoff@hofstra.edu

Public Relations Student

Program Highlights

Program Details

Visit the Hofstra campus or connect with the graduate admission team. We will answer your questions and put you in touch with program faculty or degree candidates to learn more. Contact us at graduateadmission@hofstra.edu, or call 516-463-4723.

To be considered for the MA in Public Relations program, you must have completed an undergraduate degree from an accredited institution.
Start your application online where you can upload the following documents:

  • Transcripts from all previously attended colleges and universities. You may initially submit unofficial copies of your transcripts for your application review, but official transcripts will be required once you are accepted into the program.
  • Résumé that includes your professional experience.
  • Two letters of recommendation.
  • 500-750-word essay detailing personal and educational history; past employment; volunteer work or related experience in the intended field of study; plans for graduate study; and plans for a professional career.
  • Writing samples, such as articles, essays, and public relations materials.
  • Interview with the program director for a skills assessment.

Visit the Public Relations program page to learn more

International students: This program requires an English proficiency level equivalent to a 95 TOEFL. Please review additional admission requirements.

Apply to the MA in Public Relations program at any time with our rolling admissions policy.

The MA in Public Relations requires students successfully complete 36 hours of coursework. With a mix of classroom and online courses, faculty members engage you in core public relations fundamentals, storytelling, media relations, research, media literacy, reputation and crisis management, social media and innovative technology, business essentials, and international relations.

The program is designed to help you achieve specific academic goals that include effective instruction in communication practice; public relations work skills and ethics; an understanding that the convergence of print, broadcast, and online journalism greatly impacts the profession; critical thinking; strategic planning; international understanding; media literacy and content creation; and competent management techniques essential in the practice of public relations.

Watch a sample lecture from an online class in the MA in PR program.

Visit the Public Relations program page to learn more.

WHY AN ONLINE PROGRAM?

Master of Arts in Public Relations with an Concentration in Reputation and Crisis Management

Hofstra University’s online graduate public relations program with an concentration in Reputation and Crisis Management prepares students to address a host of new and heightened challenges such as fake news, Twitter attacks, culture wars, filter bubbles, hackings, the expectation that businesses should articulate political stances, and employee and endorser backlash for such stances.

In this program, students learn about the “golden hour” of crisis response. It is a term borrowed from emergency medicine. As Program Director Dr. Kara Alaimo explained in The New York Times, just as a patient who is having a heart attack is much more likely to survive if he or she gets to the hospital in the first hour, organizations must mount appropriate responses to crises on social media within the first hour of such incidents in order to protect their reputations.

Unfortunately, however, at any given time a remarkable number of organizations are in the news for reputation problems that have largely been self-inflicted because its public relations practitioners did not follow basic principles of crisis communication. Read, for example, Dr. Alaimo’s commentary for Bloomberg Opinion on the worst corporate PR decisions of 2018 and 2019.

One possible challenge for which every public relations practitioner now needs to be prepared is fake news. As Dr. Alaimo explained in this opinion piece for Bloomberg, it is critical to articulate an organization’s values in advance of such an event, be prepared with possible responses in advance, and consider using employees to help correct false narratives.

Another challenge for corporations is the increased expectation that businesses will articulate political stances. In this opinion piece for Bloomberg, Dr. Alaimo explained when it does and doesn’t make sense for chief executives to engage in such activism. Of course, the decisions of many corporations to take political stances has in recent years resulted in an unprecedented level of backlash from their own employees and endorsers. In this piece for Harvard Business Review, Dr. Alaimo explained how to publicly address such critics.

Public relations practitioners are also increasingly engaged in social media controversies. In these opinion pieces for Bloomberg, Dr. Alaimo explained how to be prepared for social media attacks by high-profile individuals and also how to engage in harmless, humorous “Twitter wars” as a positive way of garnering attention.

After an organization experiences a crisis, the way to restore its reputation is to articulate and publicly fulfill promises, as Dr. Alaimo explained in this opinion piece for Bloomberg.

Faculty Profiles

Ivan Cardona

Ivan Cardona, Assistant Professor of Journalism, Media Studies, and Public Relations, is the director of the weeknight graduate program in public relations. His career encompasses over 20 years of C-Suite management support for corporate, government, and non-profit organizations, including as senior assistant advisor to the Governor of Puerto Rico.

Meet Prof. Cardona

Kara S. Alaimo

Kara Alaimo, Associate Professor of Journalism, Media Studies, and Public Relations, is a specialist in international and political/advocacy communication. In 2011, she was appointed by President Obama as Spokesperson for International Affairs in the U.S. Treasury Department.

Meet Dr. Alaimo

Victoria F. Semple

Victoria Semple, Associate Professor of Journalism, Media Studies, and Public Relations, has presented and published research in gender imbalance found within the public relations discipline, and technology’s positive and negative influence on pedagogy.

Meet Prof. Semple
Ivan Cardona
Kara S. Alaimo
Victoria F. Semple

Take the Next Step

How to Apply

Earn the professional recognition and personal achievement you seek with a graduate degree from Hofstra University. Whether you study online or on campus, full or part time, you will benefit from small class settings with nationally recognized faculty and a community of peers all contributing to a transformative learning experience. Questions? Call 516-463-4723 or email our graduate admission team at graduateadmission@hofstra.edu.

No GRE is required for admission to our MA in Public Relations program.

Apply today!