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2021 Best Public Relations & Advertising Schools

253 Colleges
$36,512 Avg Salary
$25,130 Avg Student Debt

Finding the Best Public Relations & Advertising School for You

In 2018-2019, 20,156 people earned a degree or certificate in public relations and advertising, making the major the #58 most popular in the United States.

Today's students have lots of options to pick from when considering higher education opportunities. Along with traditional schools that require in-person attendence, you can attend one of many reputable online schools. Some programs even offer a hybrid experience. Alternatively, you may choose a trade school that prepares you to enter the workforce with knowledge in a specific field.

The Best Public Relations & Advertising Schools ranking is one of many tools that Course Advisor has developed to help you make your educational decision. This report analyzed 253 schools in the United States to see which ones offered the best programs for students.

View our full ranking methodology.

2021 Best Public Relations & Advertising Schools in the United States

The following schools top our list of the Best Public Relations & Advertising Colleges.

Top 25 Top Schools in Public Relations

Our analysis found Washington and Lee University to be the best school for public relations and advertising students who want to pursue a degree in the United States. Located in the town of Lexington, Washington and Lee is a private not-for-profit college with a small student population.

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#2

Northwestern University

Evanston, IL

You’ll join some of the best and brightest minds around you if you attend Northwestern University. The school came in at #2 on this year’s Best Public Relations & Advertising Schools list. Located in the city of Evanston, Northwestern U is a private not-for-profit college with a very large student population.

Public Relations majors at Northwestern U take out an average of $49,350 in student loans while working on their egree. The average monthly payment of a loan this size is about $575, assuming that the borrower is on a 10-year repayment plan.

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#3

Georgetown University

Washington, DC

Out of the 253 schools in the United States that were part of this year’s ranking, Georgetown University landed the # 3 spot on the list. Georgetown is a fairly large private not-for-profit school located in the city of Washington.

After completing their degree, public relations graduates from Georgetown carry an average student debtload of $47,240. Assuming that a graduate chooses a 10-year repayment plan, the average monthly loan payment is $550.

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#4

Syracuse University

Syracuse, NY

You’ll join some of the best and brightest minds around you if you attend Syracuse University. The school came in at #4 on this year’s Best Public Relations & Advertising Schools list. Syracuse is a fairly large private not-for-profit school located in the medium-sized city of Syracuse.

On average, public relations graduates from Syracuse take out $42,332 in student loans while working on their degree. When it comes time to repay the loan, graduates who are on a 10-year repayment plan pay an average monthly payment of $476.

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#5

Marquette University

Milwaukee, WI

The excellent programs at Marquette University helped the school earn the #5 place on this year’s ranking of the best public relations and advertising schools in the United States. Located in the city of Milwaukee, Marquette is a private not-for-profit school with a fairly large student population.

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#6

Drake University

Des Moines, IA

Drake University came in at #6 in this year’s edition of the Best Public Relations & Advertising Schools ranking. Located in the city of Des Moines, Drake is a private not-for-profit school with a small student population.

The average amount in student loans that public relations majors at Drake take out is $19,000. For students who choose a 10-year repayment plan, the average monthly student loan payment is $197.

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With a ranking of #7, Pennsylvania State University - World Campus did quite well on this year’s best schools for public relations and advertising students. Located in the rural area of University Park, Penn State World Campus is a public school with a small student population.

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#8

University of Florida

Gainesville, FL

University of Florida landed the #8 spot in the 2021 rankings for the best public relations and advertising programs. U of F is a fairly large public school located in the midsize city of Gainesville.

Public Relations majors at U of F take out an average of $17,870 in student loans while working on their egree. When it comes time to repay the loan, graduates who are on a 10-year repayment plan pay an average monthly payment of $185.

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#9

Texas Christian University

Fort Worth, TX

Texas Christian University ranked #9 on this year’s Best Public Relations & Advertising Schools list. Located in the city of Fort Worth, TCU is a private not-for-profit college with a fairly large student population.

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#10

Assumption University

Worcester, MA

Assumption University landed the #10 spot in the 2021 rankings for the best public relations and advertising programs. Assumption is a small private not-for-profit school located in the midsize city of Worcester.

The average amount in student loans that public relations majors at Assumption take out is $27,000. Assuming that a graduate chooses a 10-year repayment plan, the average monthly loan payment is $280.

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University of St Thomas Minnesota landed the #11 spot in the 2021 rankings for the best public relations and advertising programs. Located in the large city of Saint Paul, UST MN is a private not-for-profit college with a medium-sized student population.

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#12

Villanova University

Villanova, PA

Villanova University landed the #12 spot in the 2021 rankings for the best public relations and advertising programs. Villanova is a large private not-for-profit school located in the large suburb of Villanova.

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#13

Elon University

Elon, NC

With a ranking of #13, Elon University did quite well on this year’s best schools for public relations and advertising students. Located in the midsize suburb of Elon, Elon is a private not-for-profit college with a moderately-sized student population.

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University of Illinois at Urbana - Champaign landed the #14 spot in the 2021 rankings for the best public relations and advertising programs. UIUC is a fairly large public school located in the small city of Champaign.

Public Relations majors at UIUC take out an average of $20,548 in student loans while working on their egree. For students who choose a 10-year repayment plan, the average monthly student loan payment is $213.

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The University of Texas at Austin landed the #15 spot in the 2021 rankings for the best public relations and advertising programs. UT Austin is a fairly large public school located in the city of Austin.

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Southern Methodist University did quite well in this year’s ranking of the best schools for public relations and advertising students. It came in at #16 on the list. SMU is a large private not-for-profit school located in the suburb of Dallas.

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#17

Gonzaga University

Spokane, WA

Gonzaga University landed the #17 spot in the 2021 rankings for the best public relations and advertising programs. Located in the midsize city of Spokane, Gonzaga is a private not-for-profit college with a medium-sized student population.

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#18

Fairfield University

Fairfield, CT

Fairfield University landed the #18 spot in the 2021 rankings for the best public relations and advertising programs. Fairfield U is a medium-sized private not-for-profit school located in the large suburb of Fairfield.

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University of Minnesota - Twin Cities did quite well in this year’s ranking of the best schools for public relations and advertising students. It came in at #19 on the list. Located in the city of Minneapolis, UMN Twin Cities is a public college with a very large student population.

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#20

Michigan State University

East Lansing, MI

Michigan State University landed the #20 spot in the 2021 rankings for the best public relations and advertising programs. Located in the small city of East Lansing, Michigan State is a public school with a fairly large student population.

On average, public relations graduates from Michigan State take out $25,375 in student loans while working on their degree. This translates to an average monthly loan payment of $263, based on a 10-year repayment plan.

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#21

Ithaca College

Ithaca, NY

Ithaca College landed the #21 spot in the 2021 rankings for the best public relations and advertising programs. Located in the suburb of Ithaca, Ithaca is a private not-for-profit college with a medium-sized student population.

On average, public relations graduates from Ithaca take out $21,250 in student loans while working on their degree. When it comes time to repay the loan, graduates who are on a 10-year repayment plan pay an average monthly payment of $221.

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#22

George Washington University

Washington, DC

George Washington University came in at #22 in this year’s edition of the Best Public Relations & Advertising Schools ranking. Located in the city of Washington, GWU is a private not-for-profit school with a fairly large student population.

On average, public relations graduates from GWU take out $35,675 in student loans while working on their degree. The average monthly payment of a loan this size is about $402, assuming that the borrower is on a 10-year repayment plan.

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#23

Quinnipiac University

Hamden, CT

Quinnipiac University came in at #23 in this year’s edition of the Best Public Relations & Advertising Schools ranking. Located in the large suburb of Hamden, Quinnipiac is a private not-for-profit college with a moderately-sized student population.

After completing their degree, public relations graduates from Quinnipiac carry an average student debtload of $27,000. Assuming that a graduate chooses a 10-year repayment plan, the average monthly loan payment is $280.

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#24

University of Georgia

Athens, GA

University of Georgia came in at #24 in this year’s edition of the Best Public Relations & Advertising Schools ranking. Located in the midsize city of Athens, UGA is a public college with a fairly large student population.

Public Relations majors at UGA take out an average of $21,033 in student loans while working on their egree. When it comes time to repay the loan, graduates who are on a 10-year repayment plan pay an average monthly payment of $218.

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Pennsylvania State University - University Park did quite well in this year’s ranking of the best schools for public relations and advertising students. It came in at #25 on the list. Located in the small city of University Park, Penn State University Park is a public school with a very large student population.

On average, public relations graduates from Penn State University Park take out $24,438 in student loans while working on their degree. This translates to an average monthly loan payment of $254, based on a 10-year repayment plan.

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Rest of the Top Best Public Relations & Advertising Schools

#26

University of Dayton

Dayton, OH
#27

North Central College

Naperville, IL
#28

Metropolitan State University

Saint Paul, MN
#29

Pepperdine University

Malibu, CA
#30

Marist College

Poughkeepsie, NY
#35

University of Miami

Coral Gables, FL

Honorable Mentions

These are some additional schools worth mentioning that are also great but just didn't quite make the cut to earn our top Best Public Relations & Advertising Schools award.

Rank College Location
38 American University Washington, DC
39 Iowa State University Ames, IA
40 University of Northern Iowa Cedar Falls, IA
41 Boston University Boston, MA
42 Texas A&M University - College Station College Station, TX
43 Drexel University Philadelphia, PA
44 University of Colorado Boulder Boulder, CO
45 University of Florida-Online Gainesville, FL
46 North Dakota State University - Main Campus Fargo, ND
47 University of South Carolina - Columbia Columbia, SC
48 Chapman University Orange, CA
49 Brigham Young University - Provo Provo, UT
50 Appalachian State University Boone, NC

Public Relations & Advertising by Region

View the Best Public Relations & Advertising Schools for a specific region near you.

Region
Southeast
New England
Rocky Mountains
Plains States
Middle Atlantic
Far Western US
Southwest
Great Lakes

One of 5 majors within the area of study, public relations and advertising has other similar majors worth exploring.

Related Major Annual Graduates
Communication & Media Studies 68,301
Radio, Television & Digital Communication 16,150
Journalism 15,466
Communication & Journalism (Other) 1,784
Publishing 297

Notes and References

*These averages are for the top 25 schools only.

  • Read more about our ranking methodology.
  • The Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) from the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), a branch of the U.S. Department of Education (DOE) serves as the core of the rest of our data about colleges.
  • Some other college data, including much of the graduate earnings data, comes from the U.S. Department of Education’s (College Scorecard).
  • Credit for the banner image above goes to Bill Koplitz.

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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