PR Education Program of the Year 2016

Syracuse University's Job Ready Day One program sets high benchmarks, has strong and creative course offerings, and can offer students placements with world-class companies and agencies.


Syracuse University
S. I. Newhouse School of Public Communications

Judges praised Syracuse University’s Job Ready Day One program for setting high benchmarks, its strong and creative course offering, excellent job placements, and the ability to offer students placements with world-class companies and agencies.

"A creative, innovative program that doesn’t rest on its laurels," said one judge. And rest it does not as Syracuse continually adds to its communications course offerings.

For example, the school developed a new online masters-level PR course in research, management, campaigns, and theory that will begin this year.

New 2015 courses enabled students to obtain Sysomos, Hootsuite, and Google Analytics certifications in a social media analytics course. With social media skills a core requirement for today’s PR pros, the school ramped up its efforts on digital strategy, management, and production skills in PR multimedia storytelling. The university also increased diversity and inclusion content in its PR management course.

Judges were also highly impressed with the investments made in the PR program as the school opened a new $18 million HD studio complex with an innovation center for PR productions.

Students are highly engaged — interning, completing real client-based research and campaigns in two mandatory classes, participating in industry conferences, and volunteering services to local and national nonprofits.

The Newhouse School’s undergraduate job placement rate remains high with 85% of the class of 2014 being employed after six months of completing school. Of the MS in Public Relations 2015 graduating class, about half had positions immediately after they completed their culminating experiences in August 2015. Notable internship placements include Ogilvy in Beijing, through Syracuse’s Study Abroad program, and Bank of America.

Top marks also went to the school’s student-run firm, Hill Communications. It accumulated $16,000 in billings via work it did with clients such as Soulscarf and Be Wise.

Honorable Mention

DePaul University

"Consistently excellent and recognized as one of the best in class," is how one judge described DePaul University’s College of Communication. The PR program draws primarily from Illinois, but it has seen out-of-state enrollment increase an average of 15% a year since 2012, now reaching 28.3% of total enrollment. Ninety percent of graduates from the DePaul MA program landed jobs within six months of graduation with companies including Comcast, Golin, and Weber Shandwick, while approximately 10% launched their own consultancies. Guest speakers in the past year included global agency CEOs and political experts.

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