Overview & Career Outcomes
The Master of Science in Communication with a concentration in Public Relations prepares students with the experience necessary to develop targeted messages, identify key audiences, and work with stakeholders and the media to effectively communicate a brand. You’ll engage with emerging topics such as data analytics – a key capability in a competitive job market – and develop essential skills and knowledge in media and government relations, crisis communication, and legal and ethical issues.
Accelerate your success
Join Lasell’s vibrant community of working professionals and gain access to a wide range of resources to develop your expertise and expand your network. As a Lasell graduate student, you will:
- Benefit from the experience of your faculty and peers, who bring deep expertise and a unique point of view to every class discussion and group project
- Expand your network and learn to position yourself as a leader in your field
- Engage with an active alumni community
- Participate in career services programs that include webinars on salary negotiations and developing a career plan
The MS in Communications with a concentration in Public Relations is a flexible curriculum that advances students' professional interests and goals through hybrid and online formats.
The curriculum includes a capstone in which you can choose 1 out of 4 options: professional internship, comprehensive exam, thesis, or special study project.
The program is structured as followed:
- 36 credits are required, of which up to 6 may be waived based on prior academic work.
- 21 credits (7 courses) comprise the core offerings.
- 9 required concentration credits (3 courses)
- 6 related elective credits (2 courses) Students may take any courses offered at the graduate level to fulfill their elective credits.
Get information on our Course Schedules.
Public relations writing focuses on multiple aspects of communication such as client needs, target audiences, and various formats. In this course, students learn how to craft effective written and visual messages for press releases, speeches, brochures, newsletters, broadcast outlets, web pages etc., and they develop strategies for soliciting and evaluating feedback from designated target audiences.
This course is in-depth study of the profession of public relations with a focus on contemporary issues, problems, and challenges using guided discussion and analysis of case studies. The course examines public relations and its role in mass media and in society and the challenges facing public relations professionals today. Upon completing this course, each student should: 1) understand what the field of public relations is and how to recognize best practices for public relations professionals; 2) be able to evaluate the effectiveness of public relations strategies; 3) be familiar with issues and concerns public relations professionals face in today’s increasingly global society; and 4) understand the importance of ethical behavior in public relations.
This course prepares students for anticipating the seven major types of crises faced by communication managers in organizations (skewed values and ethics, deception, management misconduct, natural disasters, technological crises, confrontations and boycotts, malevolence, and disinformation) and how to make preparations to deal with them effectively and competently. The course examines appropriate leadership styles, management actions, and communications strategies before, during, and after a crisis. Students review issues such as leadership initiatives, management monitoring, crisis analysis, action strategy and determination, and implementation of communication strategies.
This course is designed to present students with a graduate-level overview of contemporary mass communication. We focus on the relationship between mass media and society and the ethical issues inherent in that relationship; in the process, we identify current trends, particularly in technology, that are changing the nature and function of traditional mass communication. Students gain insight into the influences of mass communication on business, government, politics, education, the home environment, and non-profit institutions, as well as related ethical issues.
This course focuses on both theoretical understanding and practical knowledge of the context and applications for organizational communication. Topics include: leadership, new technologies and their impact on organizations, organizational climate and culture, ethics, formal and informal channels of communication within organizations, management of diversity and conflict, relational communication (with interpersonal and group work), and issues of power and politics within the context of organizational settings
This course provides students with an understanding of the concepts, roles, processes, techniques, and strategies of communication research. The course examines research conducted in both the professional and academic settings, and includes quantitative (surveys, experiments, content analyses) and qualitative (focus groups, etc.) methods. The main goal of this course is to help students become intelligent "consumers" of research -- to provide the tools needed to evaluate and interpret research, as well as the ability to make knowledgeable decisions about the uses and benefits of research.
Managing media relations for organizations is the focus of this course. The course is intended to increase knowledge of the principles and methods of generating publicity as well as the basics of planning and writing media relations campaigns. The rapidly changing nature of global companies and the convergence of new information technologies are influencing the ways that communication professionals achieve their goals. Students work individually or in teams to plan a comprehensive media relations program, to communicate a clear message, and to evaluate the effectiveness of public relations strategies for a chosen client. Lectures, readings, group work, guest speakers, and class discussions focus on techniques useful in such areas as local & national publicity, special events, and in community and government relations for organizations.
This is a communication skills course designed to better understand the nature of conflict and its resolution through persuasion, collaboration, and negotiation. Students learn theories of interpersonal and organizational conflict and its resolution as applied to personal, corporate, historical, and political contexts. Students assess their own styles, skills, and values, and develop techniques to better resolve disputes, achieve objectives, and exert influence.
This course introduces students to the dynamics of social influence. Students learn the theories, strategies, and techniques of persuasion as a means of shaping public opinion and attitudes. The course examines how individuals, business, government, and institutions craft messages and communicate through the press, entertainment media, advertising, and public relations. Primarily through public opinion research, students can ascertain and understand the beliefs, attitudes, and values of groups and society. Students learn how to craft persuasive messages, how to evaluate the attempts of others to persuade audiences, and how to recognize and avoid unethical attempts at persuasion.
The comprehensive examination provides evidence of student knowledge of key concepts, skills, and other important materials related to the communication field. Preparation throughout the semester includes reading and analyzing case studies related to the major with the completion of two Mock Exams for which students review previous course materials in order to analyze relevant issues and concepts in various case studies. The timed half day Final Comprehensive Exam requires the student to analyze case studies in the major and/ or in the area of concentration, by developing written responses that integrate skills, concepts and an understanding of course materials, coursework and other educational experiences in the degree program.
Students completing a master’s thesis design, conduct, and report original research related to their concentration, working closely with a faculty advisor in the department and following detailed guidelines provided by the department. Prerequisites: COM795, COM701, COM703
The project can be a document, a video, or a multi-media presentation developed under the guidance of a Lasell College faculty member to applying communication skills and professional expertise derived from the student's program of graduate study. Such projects are designed to solve some problem in communication that is relevant to the student's area of concentration in public relations or integrated marketing communications.Prerequsite: COM703
The internship is a hands-on working experience in the student’s field of concentration requiring a minimum of 150 hours of placement under the supervision of both an employer and a faculty member. Beginning in the semester preceding the internship placement, the student identifies what type of organization they desire for their internship. The student holds primary responsibility for obtaining a field experience site and is responsible for setting up interviews with prospective internship sites. Students may not perform internships at their current place of employment without prior consent of the Dean of Graduate and Professional Studies. This course is taken during the student’s final graduate semester.
Candidates seeking admission to Lasell University's Communication graduate degree or certificate programs must hold a bachelor's degree from an accredited institution and demonstrate through academic background and/or work experience the ability to succeed in graduate studies.
No GMAT/GRE scores are required for admission.
International Students need to submit English equivalency from one of the following: TOEFL scores: minimum required score is 80 (iBT) or IELTS, minimum required score is 6.0; or Pearson PTE Academic minimum score is 53; or Duolingo minimum required score is 105. The English equivalency scores may be waived for international applicants who have earned a bachelor's degree at an accredited college/university in the United States, United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, or Canada.
Admission Requirements Checklist:
- Online application
- Official transcripts of all college-level coursework*
- A one-page personal statement describing your goals, strengths, and potential for achievement in graduate school
Materials can be provided through MyPortal or emailed to email@example.com.