Public Relations and Reputation Management, M.A. (Strategic Communication)
The Master of Arts in Public Relations and Reputation Management develops competitive communication leaders who are positioned to influence culture through a biblically-centered public relations education focused on cultivating ethical courage, strategic creativity and digital media leadership.
In an age of disinformation, there is a growing need for trustworthy voices — ethical counselors who can advise stakeholders and craft messaging that inspires trust. Biola's Master of Arts in Public Relations and Reputation Management is designed to equip students to lead the way in building strategic, mutually beneficial relationships between organizations and the public.
The Master of Arts in Public Relations and Reputation Management matches academic rigor with practical application — forming the way you develop strategies, communicate and understand your work.
- Leadership Development. Practical, professionally oriented coursework equips you to enhance your leadership capabilities. Your studies culminate in a capstone project centered on applying your learning within public relations-specific positions.
- Ethics Emphasis. Go beyond considering how to ethically engage to ask why. As you integrate Christian perspective on human identity and work, you'll see public relations as an opportunity to serve — a perspective that drives decision-making.
- Relational Investment. Small class sizes and community intentionality promote meaningful connections between faculty and students, creating relationships that will challenge you to excel professionally and academically.
- Established Reputation. Learn from award-winning faculty in a respected public relations program. Biola's Public Relations program has been nationally recognized for its student publications and initiatives and has created a legacy of motivated, high-achieving alumni.
- Online Flexibility. Biola's Master of Arts in Public Relations is offered entirely online, empowering you to complete an advanced executive education from anywhere in the world in as few as 12 months.
Program Learning Outcomes
Upon completion of the Master of Arts in Public Relations and Reputation Management, students will be able to:
- Critique public relations leadership practices derived from ethical obligation within the profession (ULO 1).
- Compare and contrast public relations practices from a Judeo-Christian perspective (ULO 2).
- Create public relations initiatives based on industry best-practices using principles expected of management within their specialization (ULO 3).
Each Program Learning Outcome (PLO) listed above references at least one of the University Learning Outcomes (ULO 1, 2, 3), which may be found in the General Information section of this catalog.
Admission into the M.A. in Public Relations and Reputation Management is competitive and based upon a committee review of each applicant’s fulfillment of the following requirements. Students with non-traditional educational journeys and robust work experience are encouraged to apply.
- Must be a committed follower of the Lord Jesus Christ.
- Must have an undergraduate degree from an accredited institution, holding at least a 3.0 GPA.
- Preferably have professional experience when admitted to the program.
- A GRE score is not required for admission but will be considered if submitted.
Accelerated Program (B.A. or B.S. to M.A.)
The accelerated Public Relations program allows students to earn both a B.A. in Public Relations and Strategic Communication or B.S. in Public Relations and Digital Media Management and an M.A. in Public Relations and Reputation Management in as little as four years.
Students interested in the accelerated program should apply one year prior to the expected graduation date in the B.A. or B.S. program in the Department of Public Relations & Strategic Communication.
All accelerated program applicants must:
- Apply and be accepted into the M.A. in Public Relations and Reputation Management, meeting all the requirements and standards of other graduate applicants.
- Submit an advanced portfolio within their final undergraduate semester to be assessed by two reviewers separately. Students with qualifying scores will receive up to 6 credits of Prior Learning Assessment (PLA) which can be applied to PBRL 500 and PBRL 560. PLA should be confirmed prior to the start of the M.A. program.
- Maintain a 3.8 GPA in the B.A. in Public Relations and Strategic Communication or the B.S. in Public Relations and Digital Media Management program.
- Enroll and earn an “A” in PBRL 660 (cross-listed with PREL 465 and BBST 465). Continued enrollment in the accelerated Public Relations program is contingent on meeting this requirement as it demonstrates high competency in advanced coursework.
The Public Relations & Reputation Management M.A. has the following requirements:
- A common core of graduate courses (18 credits)
- Two courses within a particular concentration (6 credits)
- Two faith/discipline integration courses (6 credits)
- A capstone experience (3 credits)
- A student must maintain a minimum 3.0 cumulative GPA, and no single grade lower than a "C" to graduate and progress to any courses with a prerequisite.
Students who have questions about the degree requirements should contact the department.
The program utilizes three 15-week trimesters (Fall, Spring, and Summer). Each trimester is divided into two 7-week terms (for example, Fall Session A and Fall Session B). Students typically take one or two courses at a time in each 7-week session.
|Academic Strategy and Success module in the first 5 weeks of students' first semester.|
|PBRL 500||Principles of Public Relations 1,2||3|
|PBRL 510||PR Theory & Management||3|
|PBRL 520||PR Leadership & Campaign Strategy||3|
|PBRL 560||Strategic Digital Communication 3||3|
|PBRL 620||Public Relations Research||3|
|PBRL 640||PR Ethics: Social Good & Moral Obligation||3|
|PBRL 660||Rhythm & Calling in Public Relations||3|
|TTTH 630||Theology of Work||3|
|Select 6 credits from the following:||6|
|Crisis & Reputation Management|
|Media Relations & Ethical Influence|
or PBRL 570
|Leading Trends & Issues Seminar|
PBRL 500 may be waived for applicants in any of the following categories. If a waiver is granted, the degree requirement will be reduced from 33 to 30 credits.
1) Applicants who have received their Accreditation in Public Relations (APR), as PBRL 500 is a foundation course which addresses the competencies required to receive the APR. Applicants must submit official confirmation of their APR from the Universal Accreditation Board (UAB) with their application. When official documentation is verified, students will be able to complete the remaining credits in order to earn their degree.
2) Applicants who received a B.A. in Public Relations or a B.A. in Journalism & Integrated Media, with a concentration in Public Relations who:
3) Applicants who have graduated after Spring 2020, with either a B.A. in Public Relations, a B.A. in Public Relations & Strategic Communication, or a B.S. in Public Relations & Reputation Management who:
For more information or to discover your eligibility, consult your admissions counselor.
Accelerated program students with qualifying advanced portfolio scores are eligible to receive Prior Learning Assessment credit for PBRL 500.