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Complete Your Certificate in Public Relations Online

The noncredit online Public Relations Certificate provides a solid foundation in the fundamental functions of the field, including up-to-date public relations practices, techniques and trends in media communications, and legal and ethical concerns. If you’re starting a career in public relations, working as a public relations practitioner, or a small business owner yourself, you will develop skills and abilities critical to PR success.

Increase your public relations expertise, advance your career, and join the UVA family for life.

Start DatesAugust, January, June
Estimated Cost$3,960 (same in-state and out-of-state)
Duration8 noncredit courses / 12 months on average
FormatPart-time: online
Next Application DeadlineWe are no longer accepting applications as of April 2, 2019

These 7-week classes are offered online. 

Required Courses (5)

NCBM 107  Introduction to Public Relations 
Addresses the history of public relations (PR) and examines how PR is practiced today. Reviews key elements of the PR process and introduces ethical/legal issues. Introduces a four-step process to create an effective PR planning model that includes goals, objectives, strategies, and tactics. Provides guidelines for working with the media, doing effective interviews, and responding to inquiries.

NCBM 108  Writing for Public Relations 
Introduces the elements of writing for public relations. Addresses PR writing for broadcast and print media including news releases, style elements, media advisories, pitch letters, public service announcements, press conferences, brochure planning and writing, and feature article writing. Covers photography and photo captions, as well as press conferences, speechwriting, and press kits.

NCBM 109  Media Relations 
Reviews the latest techniques and trends in effective communications with the news media. Covers timely media relations; the difference between "media" and "press"; new vs. old media relations; credibility; and competitive positioning. Examines how to create news, how to create news hooks, and elements of an effective news release.

NCBM 110  Public Relations, Ethics & the Law 
Introduces the ethical issues that arise in the practice of public relations and the ethical standards that govern the practice. Reviews the Public Relations Society of America's Code of Ethics. Examines communications, employment, and business law issues that arise in the litigation setting.

NCBM 111  Strategic Planning & Public Relations Campaigns 
Examines how to effectively develop a strategic public relations (PR) plan while developing a comprehensive PR campaign. Reviews the use of strategic plans as essential components for achieving tangible results and success. Introduces issues and concepts that guide an effective and influential PR plan. Explores how to assess situations, define objectives, identify audiences, and create metrics.

Elective Courses (Select 3)

NCBM 112  Crisis Communications 
Covers the identification and use of appropriate measures to meet immediate needs, find communications opportunities, and prevent or limit damages caused by a crisis situation.

NCBM 115  Image Management 
Examines image management as a tool used by public relations professionals to build or strengthen a company's image in the eyes of the public. Learn about the power of public relations and corporate image using the latest practices and techniques to create favorable public impressions, establish a recognizable image, and develop an effective imaging plan.

NCBM 118  Political Public Relations 
Examines political public relations, including election campaign tactics; constituent relations; damage control and crisis communications; issue management; lobbying support; and public affairs.

NCBM 123  Branding Through Public Relations 
Examines the role of public relations in defining, advancing, and defending the institutional brand. Reviews the brand imperative as a driver of effective PR within the organization. Examines two basic components of brand and their implications for PR strategy and direction. Explores the PR role in institutionalizing the brand, and three operational elements of brand that define PR practice.

NCBM 218  Getting Social: How Social Media is Revolutionizing PR 
Examines how the strategic combination of social media and traditional public relations tactics can be used to promote an organization's image, share its messages and build its brand. Explores the latest technology, best practices, and social media's role in the marketing mix through a case study approach.  
NCBM 238 Internal Communications 
Provides a comprehensive view of the role, scope, and importance of powerful internal communications. Students develop skills to deliver highly effective communications.

Online - 8 Noncredit Courses
On average, students take two courses per term, including the summer, to complete the certificate in 12 months.
admission requirements
We are no longer accepting applications as of April 2, 2019
Admission Details
$3,960 (same in-state and out-of-state)
  • This program is not eligible for financial aid
Tuition Details
* Additional fees may apply, including course materials. Tuition rates adjusted annually.
our value
  • Develop skills needed for public relations roles through a flexible online certificate

* The information contained on this website is for informational purposes only. The Undergraduate Record and Graduate Record represent the official repository for academic program requirements.