The Department of Business and Tourism and the Department of Communication Studies have co-operated to develop a revised Masters in Public Relations (MPR) degree. Students who have graduated with a Business or Tourism, Public Relations, or related degree are eligible to apply to this exciting graduate program.

The newly revised MPR program continues to offer students a high standard of education in professional communication, along with courses in strategic management, marketing, and finance.

Students in this program have a variety of backgrounds, work experience and career goals. And our graduates are successfully finding employment and developing their careers in government, corporate and non-profit organizations.

The MPR will be an asset to students regardless of their career choice as enhanced communication, public relations, and business skills are vital to career success today.

Admission Requirements

To be admitted into the Master of Public Relations degree students must provide evidence of:

  • A four year degree in Business Administration, Commerce, Public Relations, Communication or related field.
  • A minimum GPA of 3.0 (B) in the last two years of undergraduate study.
  • Two letters of recommendation (one academic and one professional).

Students who are interested in exploring Prior Learning Assessment (PLA) for admission should refer to the MSVU Graduate Academic Calendar section 2.1.8 for information on that process.

If a student has not been enrolled in a post-secondary institution for at least three years, the applicant may substitute the academic letter of recommendation with a second professional letter of recommendation. Also, if a student has not been engaged in relevant employment, but has been recently attending a post-secondary institution, the applicant can submit a second academic letter of recommendation in lieu of a professional letter of recommendation.

All students will be assigned an academic advisor upon admission who will be responsible for overseeing the student’s program of study.

What is the application deadline?

The deadline varies from year-to-year but is usually around mid-February. Please consult the Graduate Academic Calendar for the year you are applying. You can also find deadline information on the Graduate Online Application page.

While all candidates who apply by the deadline are guaranteed consideration, we continue to review applications until the programs are full.

Program Requirements

Master of Public Relations

This program requires the completion of 5.0 units which includes a 0.5 unit project seminar.
Program Requirements
Required Courses:

GPRL 6101 Quantitative & Qualitative Research in Public Relations 0.5 unit
Prerequisites: admission to the MA(Communication), MPR or permission of the instructor
An examination of the methods, problems and theoretical assumptions in qualitative and quantitative social science research as it applies to Public Relations. Students will consider the relationships between theory and method, and will gain experience by applying research methods.

GPRL 6104 Organizational Theory & Public Relations Leadership 0.5 unit
Prerequisites: admission to the MA(Communication), MPR or permission of the instructor
Advanced study of specific areas of communication theory related to organizational theory and management. Topics may include: historical and contemporary issues in organizational communication scholarship; theories of organizational and management process; the impact of technology on organization and management process; and internal and external corporate rhetoric, and ethics.

GPRL 6301 Ethical Decision Making 0.5 unit
Prerequisite: Admission to the MPR program, or permission of the instructor.
An introduction to ethical theory and practical ethical problems in an organizational setting. The focus of the course will be on using the stakeholder model of business ethics to analyze ethical issues that may arise in the functional areas of business along with the code of ethics for PR professionals.

GPRL 6302 Strategic Management 0.5 unit
Prerequisite: Admission to the MPR program, or permission of the instructor.
An examination of the strategic management of organizations, including the formulation of long-term strategic implementation. This course provides students with an understanding of the approaches and tools for planning and controlling strategy as well as experience in case analysis.

GPRL 6303 Digital Media Communication Management 0.5 unit
Prerequisite: Admission to the MPR program, or permission of the instructor.
An overview of the role of digital media in professional communication. The course aims to develop the critical thinking skills needed by today’s communication managers to create effective digital media programs and projects.

GPRL 6304 Strategic Public Relations 0.5 unit
Prerequisite: Admission to the MPR program, or permission of the instructor.
An introduction to the management function of public relations. This course focuses on the application of strategic management techniques to organizational communication process and stakeholder relations.

GPRL 6310 Capstone Project Seminar 0.5 unit
Prerequisites: GPRL 6101 and 6104. This course must be taken in a student’s final term prior to graduation.
A capstone exploration of applied theory, research and practice in communication management and leadership. The course focus is on application of learning and perspectives acquired throughout the degree to a client case, context or management problem. Projects will be designed by the individual student in consultation with the faculty member. Note: This course may not count for credit towards the MA(Communication).
1.5 unit of electives chosen from the following:

GPRL 6305 Financial Management for PR Managers 0.5 unit
Prerequisite: Admission to the MPR program, or permission of the instructor.
An introduction to the use of financial statements and reports for strategic decision-making for the non-finance manager. Prior knowledge of finance and accounting are not required as the courses focuses on understanding and examining financial statements and their impact on organizational communication and strategy.

GPRL 6306 Integrated Marketing Communications 0.5 unit
Prerequisite: Admission to the MPR program, or permission of the instructor.
An in-depth analysis of the integrated nature of professional communication within a multi-platform context. Organizations must consider how media messages combine to deliver the desired communication to targeted audiences. This course provides learners with an advanced understanding of how to plan, organize and execute an integrated plan for marketing purposes.

GPRL 6307 Crisis Communication 0.5 unit
Prerequisite: Admission to the MPR program, or permission of the instructor.
An examination of theories of crisis communication management and the challenges of implementing that theory in practice. Equal emphasis will be given to exploring the current scholarly discourse and to applying the lessons of that research to current and unfolding crises in the news.

GPRL 6308 Organizational Behaviour for Public Relations Managers 0.5 unit
Prerequisite: Admission to the MPR program, or permission of the instructor.
A multidisciplinary approach to the study of human behavior in organizations from the individual, group, and organizational levels. This course provides an exploration of the ways in which psychological and social processes as well as organizational characteristics influence organizational behaviour.

GPRL 6511 Health Communication: Theory & Practice 0.5 unit
Prerequisites: PBRL 3014 or COMM 4500 or admission to the MPR or MA(Communication) program or permission of the instructor
An examination of health communication theory and practice at the level of public communication. Topics include an examination of health in Canadian society, health communication models, health communication campaign planning, evaluation of outcomes of social marketing and other approaches to behaviour change, and relevant ethical considerations.

Students may take up to 0.5 units of elective outside of the MPR program upon approval of their faculty advisor. The approval of electives from another institution will align with the Letter of Permission (Section 2.2.6 of the Graduate Academic Calendar) process.

Please check the academic calendar for the most up-to-date program requirements.

How long does the program take to complete?

Completion times vary. Depending on course availability, and whether you want to study full- or part-time, you can finish the MPR in as little as 12 months (September-August). Students must complete all program requirements towards masters degrees within five calendar years from the time of initial registration exclusive of approved leaves of absence.

What is the expected workload?

You should come prepared to do a greater amount of reading and independent study, compared to undergraduate students. Classes normally meet once a week in a two to three-hour seminar format where students analyze and discuss assigned readings. You will be expected to go beyond the assigned readings to broaden your knowledge.

Do you offer flexible and distance learning options?


The Mount offers courses using a variety of course delivery modes. Online resources enhance the different delivery modes to make learning accessible to everyone. Below are general descriptions of
some delivery modes:

Multi-Access On Campus
Students in a multi-access on campus section attend a live class at an assigned time and in an assigned location. Their classes are recorded using virtual meeting software. They may or may not interact with online students during the in-class time.

Multi-Access Synchronous
Students in a multi-access synchronous section attend a live class virtually at an assigned time. Their classes may be recorded using virtual meeting software. They will be expected to interact with the instructor and on campus students as a part of the in-class time.

A synchronous course is delivered entirely online using a variety of online tools. The instructor and students are required to meet online as a group at assigned times using a virtual meeting software. Synchronous learning means students can work on their classes from wherever they are located.

An asynchronous course is delivered entirely online using an array of online tools. It is a self-guided and self-paced course. Students are not required to attend any on-campus events and can choose when they watch class lectures and when they work on their learning tasks. Most of the time, asynchronous learning requires students to complete tasks according to an assigned schedule. Asynchronous learning means students can work on their classes wherever and whenever suits their situation.

Contact Information

Dr. Susan Trenholm
Dean of Graduate Studies

Dr. Peter Mombourquette, Professor
Business Administration and Tourism and Hospitality Management
McCain Centre 405D

Dr. Amy Thurlow, Professor
Chair, Public Relations and Communication Studies
McCain Centre 305E

Cathy Lantos
Administrative Assistant to the Dean of Graduate Studies