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Virtual Chat Highlights School of Communication Graduate Programs

Earn a Master of Arts in Public Relations, Advertising & Social Media

Public relations. Integrated marketing. Branding and identity design. Social media. Research. Managing creative people. This is the realm of a content strategy specialist in public relations, advertising and social media.

Our M.A. in Public Relations, Advertising and Social Media is designed for both students right out of college, as well as the working professional looking to expand their knowledge or take the next step in their career. 

Students in the 36-credit program will learn the latest theory and practices in creating persuasive messages that influence the public on behalf of corporations, government, education and non-profit organizations.


Pictured is Stacey Simon. Photo | Nick Koehler

"Having experienced a range of industries and roles in the communications field, I can genuinely say that I’m still thankful for my Point Park education. There will be a learning curve and unique challenges with every career move, but understanding the core principles of PR, advertising and social media can always be put to good use." - Stacey Simon, M.A., VP of social media, Spectrum Science

Choose a Concentration as a Course of Study

New for Fall 2022, students will select a concentration in PR and advertising or social media:

PR and Advertising Concentration

Students are provided with hands-on, real-world PR and advertising assignments beginning their first semester, which enables high-quality portfolio building.

Students can take courses in advertising/PR research, principles of PR/advertising, integrated marketing, social media and social media crisis and strategic communication. 

Social Media Concentration

Students are provided an in-depth study of social media theories and practices in PR, advertising and marketing communication. This concentration provides students the opportunity to study, design and manage social media content as an extension of what they are learning as part of the PR/advertising curriculum.

Students can take courses in social media, social media crisis and strategic communication, social media analytics, social media campaigns and principles of PR/advertising. 

Learn from Faculty with Real-World Experience, Create a Professional Portfolio

Expert faculty who teach in the program include current and former advertising and PR practitioners and managers, graphic designers and social media gurus, as well as experienced researchers and theorists.

Students will create real-world examples for their portfolio by working with Wood Street Communications - Point Park's integrated marketing communication initiative - serving nonprofits throughout the region.

Faculty bring industry experience to the classroom

School of Communication faculty members are proven professionals with connections to top media and communication organizations.

Meet the faculty
Pictured is Camille Downing.
  • Lecturer, PR, Advertising & Social Media
  • President of Downing Communications, a communications consultancy specializing in non-profit PR and marketing
  • Board member and leader for PRSA and IABC
  • Adviser, PRSSA
Pictured is Jenna Lo Castro. Photo | Nick Koehler
  • Assistant Professor, PR, Advertising & Social Media and graduate program director
  • Professional experience in advertising, newspaper and magazine industries
  • Director of Communications and Strategy, Oyster Creative Collective
  • Adviser, AdFed

Course Offerings

Students in the program will thrive in a supportive environment of challenging courses, experienced faculty and small class sizes. Our evening classes to accommodate busy students include:

  • Writing for PR and Advertising
  • Social Media
  • Social Media Crisis & Strategic Communications
  • Social Media Analytics
  • Social Media Campaigns
  • Advertising/PR Research
  • Principles of PR/Advertising
  • Integrated Marketing
  • Communication Theory
  • Communication Law & Regulation
  • Media Ethics & Responsibilities
  • Applied Mass Communication Research Methods

M.A. Program Structure

Students may choose to select electives from a wide range of courses or pursue one of two specific tracks.

Professional Track

Students who choose the PR, advertising and social media professional track undertake independent study under the guidance of one or more faculty mentors. Students may select directed readings, directed research, or they may choose to develop a project that demonstrates their skills in public relations and advertising.

Thesis Track

The PR, advertising and social media thesis track option provides the opportunity for students to take additional courses to prepare for admission to a Ph.D. program.