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Public Relations Leadership Graduate Certificate

Aug. 21, 2024

Next Start Date


Courses Required


Cost Per Credit Hour


Total Credit Hours

Online Asynchronous

Learning Format

The Reed College of Media and College of Creative Arts will merge to form the new WVU College of Creative Arts and Media as of July 1, 2024. Get details.

Work At The Highest Level Of An Organization

The Public Relations Leadership Graduate Certificate, offered by the Reed College of Media, gives you the unique skills you need to enter the world of executive communication and leadership. Learn how to analyze an organization, develop favorable messages for internal and external audiences, and provide messaging via digital, social and traditional media. You will develop comprehensive public relations plans for organizations, utilizing market research and data analysis. The curriculum also covers effective crisis communication and how to incorporate crisis planning into an IMC campaign strategy. This program will prepare you for a career at the highest level of an organization, working with other members of executive teams.

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Program Details

The Public Relations Leadership Graduate Certificate offered by the WVU Reed College of Media is delivered exclusively online. The graduate certificate provides students with the practical skills they need to manage internal and external brand communications, react to crises and hone the PR skills they need to lead in a media-hungry world that is driven by powerful messaging. The learn-it-today, use-it-tomorrow focus is built into the curriculum and teaches students the importance of applying the best strategies and tactics to reach key audiences. The program is taught by diverse faculty—from marketing directors to academics to entrepreneurs—who are recognized leaders in their fields.

In addition to this graduate certificate, WVU offers an online master’s degree in Integrated Marketing Communication.

Attend a Virtual Information Session

Thank you for your interest in the Public Relations Leadership Graduate Certificate program at West Virginia University! Attend a Virtual Information Session and learn more about the Public Relations Leadership Graduate Certificate program.


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Public Relations Leadership Graduate Certificate Admission Requirements

Admission to the program is based on a holistic, case-by-case analysis of the applicant’s academic record (undergraduate transcript), years of relevant professional experience (resume), and writing ability and intent (personal statement).

  • Designate your Admission Type as Graduate Certificate. Under Intended Program, select Public Relations Leadership (CG53). The primary delivery method is online.
  • Pay the $60 non-refundable graduate application fee.
  • Submit 300-500 word personal statement about your interest in the IMC program and how it will meet your career objectives.
  • Submit resume that illustrates relevant and professional experience. Please convert your resume to PDF to ensure that no formatting is altered.
  • Letters of Recommendation (optional). Input the name and contact information of each recommendation provider in the “Recommendations – Recommendation Providers list” section.
  • GRE or GMAT scores (optional). The destination code for the GRE is 5904 and the GMAT is C2S-FB-24.
  • TOEFL or IELTS Scores for International Students. WVU requires international students to submit their TOEFL or IELTS scores directly to the central WVU Office of Admissions. Use the destination code 5904 to have TOEFL scores sent. Generally, applicants whose first language is not English must submit adequate TOEFL or IELTS results before an application can be considered for admission: TOEFL (Internet-Based) = 79; TOEFL (Computer-Based = 213; TOEFL (Paper-Based) = 550; IELTS = 6.5.
  • Request official transcripts from all institutions attended (other than WVU) and
    1. Mail to:
      WVU Office of Graduate Admissions
      One Waterfront Place
      PO Box 6510
      Morgantown, WV 26506-6510
    2. or Email to:

NOTE: For the most up-to-date admissions requirements, please visit

Questions? Contact our Enrollment Specialist at or (304) 293-6278.

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Tuition, Fees, and Financial Aid

Students enrolled in certificate programs are not eligible for financial aid. Visit Student Financial Support & Services for additional information.

Public Relations Leadership Graduate Certificate total degree cost: $9,000 – Residents and Non-Residents

Tuition and fees are usually not the only educational expenses you may have while pursuing a degree. You may have other costs such as books, supplies and living expenses. Please see the Estimate Costs and Aid webpage for how to estimate and plan for other potential expenses.

Your Future in Public Relations Leadership

The four-course Public Relations Leadership graduate certificate prepares you to lead a company's public relations department or run your own PR firm. Students are exposed to coursework that provides practical knowledge, data-minded analysis and hands-on experience in both client- and agency-related public relations.

The Benefits of Choosing Our Program

The Public Relations Leadership Graduate Certificate includes four completely online courses at a rate of $2,460 per course. You may transition into the full online Integrated Marketing Communications master's degree program at any time during your graduate certificate enrollment. Credits you have earned will count toward the 10-course master's program.

Career Outlook for Public Relations Leadership

Students who graduate from WVU Online with the Public Relations Leadership Graduate Certificate may be prepared for the following careers. These are only a few examples of some of the many opportunities that will be open to you with this degree. Advanced degrees or certifications may be required for some positions.

  • Marketing Research Analyst and Marketing Specialist Projected Growth: 11% or higher *Bright Outlook
  • Marketing Strategist Projected Growth: 7-10% *Bright Outlook
  • Public Relations Specialist Projected Growth: 4-6%
  • Marketing Manager Projected Growth: 7-10% *Bright Outlook

Information about careers on this list comes from the Occupational Information Network (O*NET) of the U.S. Department of Labor/Employment and Training Administration (USDOL/ETA)

Certificate Code - CG53

The Public Relations Leadership Certificate is offered exclusively online with no on-campus classroom attendance required.

The Public Relations Leadership Certificate intends to prepare professional students for careers leading the public relations department for a company or running their own PR firm. Students will be exposed to course work focused in applied public relations, crisis communication, internal communications and C-suite leadership.

The program is taught by a diverse faculty who are recognized leaders in their fields.

Course Title Credit Hours
IMC 528 Applied Public Relations 3
IMC 531 Crisis Communication 3
IMC 537 Internal Brand Communication 3
IMC 548 Executive Communication & Leadership 3

Total Hours: 12

Frequently Asked Questions

Does PR require a degree?

While a specific degree in public relations is not always required, having a relevant degree can be advantageous in pursuing a career in the field. Many employers in the public relations industry prefer candidates with a bachelor's degree in public relations, communications, journalism, marketing, or a related field.

Will employers value my Public Relations Leadership Certificate?

A public relations leadership certificate typically signifies that you have completed a focused program of study that covers advanced concepts and skills related to public relations leadership, strategic communication, crisis management, or other relevant areas. It shows that you have invested time and effort in honing your expertise in specific aspects of the field. While a certificate alone may not be a substitute for a degree or extensive experience, it can enhance your qualifications and make you a more competitive candidate.

Related Programs

Creative Strategy Graduate Certificate Digital and Social Media Graduate Certificate Integrated Marketing Communications Graduate Certificate

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