The First University to Offer a Public Relations Degree, BU is Now the First to Waive Credits for PR Pros Seeking Advanced Credentials in the Health Communication Field.

Boston University Metropolitan College announced today that professionals who have earned the Accreditation in Public Relations (APR) are now able to waive two courses upon acceptance to the school’s Master of Science in Health Communication (MSHC) program. Equivalent to 8 academic credit hours, the two-course waiver recognizes the mastery of strategic communication practice, competencies and ethical standards achieved by those holding the APR, internationally recognized for more than 50 years as the industry standard in credentials for public relations professionals.

Admission to Boston University’s MSHC program is on a rolling basis throughout the year. In lieu of the required essays, applicants with the APR submit a professional statement. Upon acceptance to the program, students with the APR can:

“We’re extremely pleased to be the first health communication master’s program to partner with the Public Relations Society of America and offer this opportunity to accredited professionals,” said Leigh Curtin-Wilding, MSc, program director for graduate health communication studies at Boston University. “At this pivotal time of transformation and uncertainty in health care, the standards of quality and trust that both an APR and a Master of Science bring to the field of professional health communication are highly valued by stakeholders at every level.”

“We welcome Boston University Metropolitan College to the growing list of educational institutions that recognize the importance and integrity of the APR credential as professionals continue to further their educational and career opportunities,” said Anthony D’Angelo, APR, Fellow PRSA, Chair, Public Relations Society of America.

The first fully online degree of its kind, the MSHC is offered by Boston University’s Metropolitan College (MET) in collaboration with BU’s College of Communication—which introduced the world’s first degree in public relations in 1947.

Launched in 2008, the MSHC was co-founded and developed by Dr. Domenic Screnci, senior advisor for academic and emerging technologies at MET, and Associate Professor Steve Quigley, APR—a former delegate to the National PRSA Assembly, recipient of its 2011 Outstanding Educator Award, and former president of the PRSA Boston Chapter. To date, more than 300 students have graduated from the program, which has received global and national recognition for its innovative and outstanding work. In 2017, the team behind the Visual Communication in the Digital Health Age course received the Blackboard Catalyst Award for Teaching & Learning—an international honor recognizing educators and institutions that have adopted flexible, distance and online delivery to positively impact the educational experience.

Applying to Boston University’s Metropolitan College

In recognition of the rigorous program of study required to earn the APR or APR+M, applicants accepted into the Health Communication master’s program need only complete eight of the ten required courses. Applicants will be expected to provide proof of their accreditation.

Accreditation in Public Relations

Developed in 1964, the APR is governed and continually updated by the Universal Accreditation Board (UAB), which represents nine public relations organizations that count more than 25,000 public relations professionals as members. The Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) administers the Accreditation in Public Relations program. To earn the APR, candidates present a comprehensive public relations plan to a panel of their peers, followed by a computer-based Examination for Accreditation in Public Relations, which assesses understanding of a comprehensive set of industry knowledge, skills, and abilities.

About Boston University

Founded in 1839, Boston University is internationally recognized as a top institution of higher learning and research. With more than 33,000 students from all 50 states and 130 countries, it is the fourth-largest independent university in the United States. BU consists of 17 schools and colleges, offering more than 250 undergraduate, graduate, doctoral, and special degree programs. Collectively, the BU network has more than 340,000 alumni worldwide. The University is ranked #6 globally and #5 in the U.S. for graduate employability by Times Higher Education

About Metropolitan College & the College of Communication

As one of Boston University’s 17 degree-granting bodies, Metropolitan College (MET) has helped broaden the reach of BU for more than half a century, with part-time study during the evening and through innovative online and blended programs. Today, the College hosts more than 70 undergraduate and graduate degree and certificate programs, along with hundreds of individual courses, that support the academic, professional and intellectual needs of working adults. For more information visit bu.edu/met.

BU’s College of Communication (COM) is dedicated to the proposition that the free flow of ideas and accurate information is vital to the development and improvement of democratic societies. Recently recognized as a destination for “new influencers” in media by PR Week, the College has long been committed to educating professional communicators, offering the world’s first degree in public relations in 1947 and the first master’s and PhD degrees in emerging media studies in 2015. Learn more at bu.edu/com.

About Boston University’s Distance Education Programs

The Distance Education office works with Boston University schools and colleges to develop rigorous, industry-relevant graduate programs that are fully online. Flexible and affordable, BU’s acclaimed online degree and certificate programs are team-developed by full-time faculty, instructional designers, and expert multimedia professionals, providing a state-of-the-art, accessible learning environment distinguished by individualized support for each student.

In 2017, TheBestSchools.org ranked Boston University #4 among the Top Ten Best Online Colleges. U.S. News & World Report ranks many of Metropolitan College’s online graduate degree programs among the top ten. For information about online programs at Boston University, visit bu.edu/online.

About the Universal Accreditation Board

The Universal Accreditation Board coordinates all activities related to the Accredited in Public Relations certification. The UAB was established in 1998 by a coalition of public relations professional organizations, which includes: Asociación de Relacionistas Profesionales de Puerto Rico, California Association of Public Information Officials, Florida Public Relations Association, Maine Public Relations Council, National Association of Government Communicators, National School Public Relations Association, Public Relations Society of America, Religion Communicators Council, and the Southern Public Relations Federation. For more information about the APR designation and UAB, visit praccreditation.org.

About the Public Relations Society of America

PRSA is the nation’s largest professional organization serving the communications community. The organization’s mission is to make communications professionals smarter, better prepared and more connected through all stages of their career. PRSA achieves this by offering its members thought leadership, innovative lifelong learning opportunities to help them develop new skills, enhance their credibility and connect with a strong network of professionals. The organization sets the standards of professional excellence and ethical conduct for the public relations industry. PRSA collectively represents more than 30,000 members consisting of communications professionals spanning every industry sector nationwide and college and university students who encompass the Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA). Learn more about PRSA at www.prsa.org.