Skip to main content
Department of Communication

Certificate in Public Relations

The certificate enables students to gain classroom based experience designed to assist in professional advancement and future graduate degree academic work.

Earn A Certificate in Public Relations

Develop the tools needed to manage crises and effectively communicate messaging in the public sphere

An 18-credit-hour certificate program in Public Relations is available to students who have earned the baccalaureate degree. All 18 hours must be completed at Mississippi College. Credit earned in the Public Relations certificate program may later be applied to a graduate degree program in the department. However, completion of the certificate program does not guarantee admission to a graduate degree program.

Requirements Class Name Hours
Choose six of the following courses   18 
COM 5401

Team-Based Communication

COM 5443 Public Relations 3
COM 5444 Practices in Public Relations 3
COM 5449 Intercultural Communication 3
COM 5457 Strategic Crisis Communication 3
COM 5474 Media Analytics 3
COM 6520 Communication Ethics & Persuasion 3
Total    18

Admission Requirements for Communication Graduate Programs


Students may begin a Communication graduate program in the fall, spring, or summer terms. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis. However, the following deadlines have been set to give department faculty sufficient time to review applications prior to the start of each academic term:

  • Application deadline to start coursework in the fall term: August 1
  • Application deadline to start coursework in the spring term: January 1
  • Application deadline to start coursework in the summer term: May 1

All required materials (see below) must be received by the application deadline or applications will not be considered. Applicants should allow for 10 business days between submission of all required items (see below) and a decision regarding their admission. Incomplete applications will not be evaluated.

Application Process

Applicants must submit the following items to the Mississippi College Graduate School. Applicants may begin the admissions process to

  • $35.00 non-refundable application fee. This fee must accompany the application.
  • An official application for admission to the Mississippi College Graduate School.
  • One copy of official transcripts of all prior college-level academic work, including associate’s, bachelor’s, master’s, and doctorate. Applicants must also submit any course syllabi for any graduate-level work for which they wish to be considered for transfer credit. Official transcripts are those mailed from the college or university directly to the Dean of the Graduate School. Transcripts submitted by the applicant or other individuals or that are marked “issued to student” are not considered official and will not be accepted.
  • Digital copies of a personal essay and two letters of recommendation as noted below. These items should be submitted at the same time as the official application. Applications not accompanied by these two items will not be considered.

Regular Admission

Grade Point Average

Applicants seeking regular admission to a Communication graduate program must show a grade point average (GPA) of at least a cumulative 2.50 of a possible 4.00 scale on all prior college-level academic work. Applicants with a GPA of 2.25 to 2.50 may be considered for provisional admission (see below).

Personal Essay

Applicants must submit an essay of 600-750 words expressing the applicant’s purpose in seeking a graduate degree and explaining how their chosen graduate degree program will help the applicant further personal and/or professional goals. This essay will be evaluated by department faculty based on its content to ensure that an applicant is a good match for the desired program. Because command of the written English language is essential to success in graduate school, this essay will also serve as a sample of the applicant’s writing ability.

Letters of Recommendation

Applicants must submit two letters of recommendation on organizational letterhead. The first letter must be from a faculty member from the applicant’s undergraduate (or prior graduate) education who can attest to the applicant’s readiness for graduate school. (In the case that significant time has passed between the completion of the applicant’s undergraduate degree and the applicant’s application to a Communication graduate program, a letter from a working professional who can attest to the applicant’s suitability for graduate level work may be substituted. However, the department reserves the right to refuse such a substitute as insufficient evidence.) The second letter must be from a professional supervisor or colleague. Letters from family members, immediate or otherwise, or personal friends who do not fit one of the two descriptions above will not be accepted.

International Students

International students are expected to fulfill all regular admissions criteria. International students who are granted provisional admission must complete the designated undergraduate prerequisites at Mississippi College as noted below.

Provisional Admission

Provisional admission, though not guaranteed, may be granted if applicants meet one or more of the following criteria:

  1. The applicant’s grade point average (GPA) on all work completed at the undergraduate level is below 2.50 but above 2.25. In such cases, the department reserves the right to require applicants to submit an explanatory essay (in addition to the required essay of all applicants) of no fewer than 300 words describing the steps the applicant will take to ensure their academic success at the graduate level.
  2. The applicant’s undergraduate GPA is below 2.25 but the applicant has demonstrated success in an appropriate career for at least ten years since completing the undergraduate degree. In such cases, the department reserves the right to require applicants to submit a professional resume and additional letters of references (from a professional supervisor or colleague) to document career success).
  3. The applicant lacks grades of C or higher in relevant undergraduate prerequisites. In such cases, the department reserves the right to require applicants, prior to beginning graduate-level work, to pass with a grade of A or B any relevant undergraduate courses deemed necessary by the faculty. Applicants must take these prerequisite courses at Mississippi College.
  4. The applicant received an undergraduate degree from a non-regionally accredited institution. In such cases, applicants must submit acceptable GRE test scores and achieve good academic standing (a cumulative GPA or 3.00 or higher) after completing 12 hours of graduate work.

All students provisionally admitted must take and make a grade of at least a C in each of the following undergraduate courses prior to the start of graduate-level coursework:

  • COM 102 Communication Writing & Research (3)
  • COM 202 Interpersonal Communication (3)
  • COM 338 Media in Society (3)

Each of these three courses is offered on campus and online in the fall and spring semesters. Students who are provisionally admitted must take these three courses in the fall in order to begin graduate courses in the subsequent sprint term, or take these three courses in the spring in order to begin graduate courses in the subsequent fall term. Hours earned by taking these courses do not apply to the total number of hours required by the graduate program.

Students who do not make a grade of at least a C in each of the three courses will not be allowed to register for graduate courses. Each of these three courses may be repeated once in an effort to achieve a grade of at least a C. Students who are unable to make a grade of at least a C in these courses after two attempts (of each course) will not be admitted to the graduate program. Grades earned in these courses do not factor in the student’s graduate program GPA.

Provisional admission status must be removed before students will be allowed to register for graduate courses beyond 12 graduate hours. For advancement from provisional to regular admission, the student must have obtained a grade average of 3.00 or higher on the first 12 or more hours of graduate-level courses, and must clear any other deficiencies. Students who are provisionally admitted but do not achieve regular admission status after completing 12 hours will be placed on academic suspension with the right to appeal

Student Appeals for Reinstatement

Student appeals for reinstatement for academic suspension will be fairly considered. Students should understand that the potential for future success in graduate school will be a primary consideration by department faculty in evaluating all appeals. Because sub-standard grades in past courses remain on suspended students’ records for purposes of calculating grade point average, department faculty will consider in the reinstatement evaluation process each student’s likelihood of evaluating the grade point average to the required 3.00 for graduation within the time frame needed to complete the coursework.

All department graduate faculty will have input regarding the appeals to readmission for academically suspended students. Therefore, students should expect that the note and observations by faculty of student performance and participation in courses previously taken at Mississippi College will be heavily considered in the reinstatement process.