The Fall 2024 application deadline for all credit programs for Canadians/Permanent Residents has been extended to June 15, 2024.

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McGill SCS Graduate Certificate in Public Relations and Communication Management Practice

The online 15-credit Graduate Certificate in Public Relations and Communication Management Practice will help you discover the exciting possibilities that await you in every industry as a public relations and communications professional.  

This program will enable you to gain the competencies needed to conceptualize and implement strategic communications actions through traditional and digital platforms. The certificate covers theoretical knowledge and practical skills in public relations and behavioural theory, written and visual content creation, internal communications and employee engagement, media and influencer relations, digital communications, and ethics.  

Your newly acquired skill set will be an indispensable asset in communications campaigns in various settings including public relations agencies, corporate environments, non-profit sector, or government. 

You may also be interested in McGill SCS Graduate Certificate in Strategic Public Relations and Communication Management


Type:   Graduate Certificate
Courses:   5
Credits:   15
Schedule:   Full time or Part Time
Time:   Evenings, Saturdays
Delivery:  Online
Unit:   Global and Strategic Communication

info.conted [at]



Message From the Academic Program Coordinator

I look forward to welcoming you to our Graduate Certificate in Public Relations and Communications Management Practice. The program is consistently updated to give you the emerging, evolving knowledge and skills needed to work as a public relations and communications practitioner in any industry or as a freelancer. This gives you the opportunity to follow your career passion.

Our lecturers and students are a community passionate about public relations and communications. We have created an online environment that makes learning fun, hands-on, engaging, and fulfilling. All our lecturers are experts and professionals working in the public relations and communication industry. Our students come from a variety of backgrounds, both those employed in PR and those who are not, from Canada and other parts of the world.

The Graduate Certificate sets you up nicely for a career in media relations, internal communications, corporate communication, or community or social media management. Specific activities might include writing copy, speeches, presentations, media releases, or other media material; being a spokesperson; organizing an event; fundraising; or reputation management. These are just a handful of activities that make up a public relations practitioner’s day.

Nicolette Papastefanou, PhD
Academic Program Coordinator

Dr. Nicolette Papastefanou

Key Features
  • The program covers the evolving knowledge and skills needed to become a vital asset in the public relations and communications field with a skill set in media relations, internal communications, social media management, and content creation for traditional and digital channels. 
  • All courses focus on honing practical skills (alongside a solid theoretical background) through hands-on workshops, exercises, assessments, cases, and real-world clients. 
  • Those enrolled in this program can register as student members of the following professional associations: the International Association of Business Communicators (IABC), the Canadian Public Relations Society (CPRS) and the Société Quebecoise des Professionnels en Relations Publiques (SQPRP)
  • Networking opportunities are embedded in all courses through our many guest lecturers from various industries, settings (agency, corporate, non-profit, entertainment, tech, etc.), and work backgrounds. 

Who Should Apply

This program is a good fit for you if you are:

  • An entry-level and early-career professional who is interested in a career as a public relations practitioner, wants to move to a higher-level communications-related position, or envisions freelancing in the field of public relations and communications. 
  • A business or a start-up owner who would like to promote products or services without having to rely on public relations agencies or consultants.  

Learning Outcomes

The program is designed to enable you to:

  • Apply foundational public relations (PR), communications, and behavioural science theories, and models in various contexts
  • Design PR and communications strategies
  • Plan PR and communications campaigns
  • Create written, verbal, and visual materials
  • Conceptualize and design an internal communications strategy and foster employee engagement
  • Identify the most appropriate media distribution channels, build media relationships, and create and pitch media material aligned to a media strategy
  • Conceptualize, design, measure, and report the results of social media campaigns

Delivery Format and Schedule

This program is offered in an online format as a blend of synchronous and asynchronous (self-directed) components.

The live virtual classes give you the opportunity to have lively discussions, practical workshops, and to meet guest lecturers. Classes are generally scheduled during weekdays from 6 to 9 p.m. ET.


Graduate Certificate (Gr. Cert.) Public Relations & Communication Management Practice (15 Credits)

Admission Requirements
  1. Applicants must hold a bachelor’s degree from an approved university with a minimum CGPA of 3.0/4.0 or 3.2/4.0 in the last two years of full-time academic studies.

    * If your CGPA is lower than the above requirement, please submit the following for consideration with your application and official transcript.

    a) Letter of Intent: A letter, one to two pages in length, single-spaced, written in English or French, which addresses the following:

    • basis for interest in the program;
    • your knowledge that would be pertinent to the program;
    • your interest in the field of study and the reasons for applying to our program;
    • plans for integrating the training into your current or future career;
    • a description of your professional experience and its relevance, if applicable, to the program;
    • awards received or other contributions;
    • any additional information relevant to your application.

    b) Curriculum Vitae

    c) Two Letters of Reference: At least one should be from a current or former employer.

  2. Applicants must provide proof of English Language proficiency.

Career Spotlight

Every organization must connect with key stakeholders. This requires professional communicators to be active in every industry, from banking, pharma, education, and the performing arts, to lifestyle and entertainment. These organizations look to someone educated in public relations and communications best practices to build these essential relationships, communicate with their publics, establish a media presence, manage their reputation, and enhance their credibility.

Nationally, employment demand for public relations and communications professionals grew 4.51% per month on average, from December 2017 to November 2020. However, it is projected that employment for these professionals with graduate-level credentials will increase 4x faster nationally and 8x faster regionally (in Quebec) than the average occupational growth. This bodes well for future demand in the field.

A solid communications skill set is vital to any public relations undertaking regardless of the organization. These include conducting media outreach, drafting pitches, media releases or other written content as well as organizing and hosting events, driving strategic campaigns and measuring the outcomes, conceptualizing behavioural change interventions, designing social media content, managing crises, financial communications, and many other activities.

Online Tuition

Students who have been admitted to online programs will be subject to deregulated fees if they are studying with a residence address outside the province, as the government does not fund the University for credit activities that are followed outside Quebec. All students will have to self-declare their location of study each term in Minerva. Consult the student accounts website – Online Programs page for more information.

International Students

This program is an Online (Distance Learning) program.

Since by definition distance learning does not require one to be in Canada, a study permit cannot be issued for this type of program, nor can one’s immigration status be changed (or renewed). For more information, please visit Immigration Quebec and Immigration Canada.

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 ChecklistReady to take the next step?

Be sure to review all the necessary instructions and guidelines to help make your application process smooth and easy.

How to Apply

Application Deadlines

Language Requirements

Financial Aid

Tuition and Fees

International Students

Return to Areas of Study

Need help applying?

Contact us at info.conted [at]
or call 514-398-6200

Questions about your admission?

Contact us at admissions.scs [at]
or call 514-398-6200

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