The M.A. in Strategic Public Relations degree requires the completion of 40 units and is typically finished in less than two years (4 semesters). If you enroll in more courses each semester or enroll in summer session, you may easily complete the degree program in as little as 16-18 months.
During the first year, you will complete six compulsory courses including:
Fall term, 1st year:
- JOUR 508 - Introduction to Strategic Public Relations (3 units)
- JOUR 510 - Legal, Ethical and Social Foundations of Public Relations (3 units)
- JOUR 535 - Writing for Strategic Public Relations (3 units)
Spring term, 1st year:
- JOUR 504 - Public Relations Research, Evaluation and Insights (3 units)
- JOUR 527 - Multimedia Content Creation for Strategic Public Relations (3 units)
- JOUR 599 - Business and Economic Foundations of Public Diplomacy (3 units)
In the summer after your first year, you have the option to participate in a unique international program through which you will live, intern and study in cities such as London, Shanghai, and Hong Kong.
Fall/Spring terms, 2nd year
You may choose from two distinct curricular paths:
- A wide range of elective courses within Annenberg or elsewhere at USC designed to give you agility as a PR generalists; OR
- A specific emphasis in either a PR practice area, such as sports/entertainment, civic engagement or lifestyle OR a particular skill area, such as data analytics or digital/interactive media.
In the spring term of the 2nd year, select students that have earned a 3.5 or better GPA in the degree program will compete for a spot in a Graduate Honors Seminar on Leadership Skills taught by Professor Fred Cook, CEO of Golin, one of the world's leading public relations agencies.
Finally, you will choose to complete either a thesis or comprehensive examination as capstone to your degree program.
- If you choose to write a thesis, you must complete 18 units of approved elective course work.
- If you choose the comprehensive examination, you must complete 22 units of approved elective coursework.