MURRAY, Ky. (June 25, 2018) — Murray State University will offer a master’s degree in public relations beginning in October 2018. Faculty from Murray State’s journalism and mass communications department and the Arthur J. Bauernfeind College of Business will present the courses over an 18-month period at the University’s regional campus in Paducah.
“This inaugural program will refresh seasoned public relations professionals and provide an edge for those who have just found themselves in a public relations or communications job,” said Dr. Bellarmine Ezumah, program director. “We are proud of the experience and scholarship our faculty will bring to the area in social media, analytics and communication strategy.”
Students will attend “hybrid” classes with each class held for five weekends. Three weekends will feature face-to-face meetings on the Paducah campus and two weekends will be set aside for online instruction and the completion of projects and written work. Students will graduate together in 18 months.
“The program is especially tailored to meet the needs of individuals who are interested in gaining an advanced degree in public relations within an accelerated time frame,” said Dr. Debbie Owens, interim chair of journalism and mass communications.
The program’s schedule and content is intended to help working professionals attain the credentials they require to advance their careers without leaving a job for two or more years of traditional study.
“Paducah is a perfect choice for this first accelerated program because of all of the television and radio professionals in the area — not to mention public relations professionals in all Paducah-area hospitals, businesses of varying sizes and many more entities,” said Dr. Joy Humphreys, assistant dean for the Arthur J. Bauernfeind College of Business.
It is not necessary for a student to have an undergraduate degree in public relations, journalism or mass media in order to be enrolled, according to Ezumah. The first class will be an introduction to media history and culture that will help orient students who have not studied public relations or media before in addition to bringing media professionals up to date in the latest theory and practice.