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If a challenging career consulting with professional businesses, community organizations, or government agencies sounds appealing, then public relations may be for you.

As a public relations practitioner, you will work with a variety of leaders and other professionals to:

  • protect organizational reputation
  • manage issues and crises
  • conduct media relations
  • develop internal and external communication programs
  • develop and manage communication budgets
  • resolve issues and challenges related to crisis communication and ethics
  • write supporting communication materials such as plans, reports, news releases, business presentations, newsletters, website content, and much more

Recognized by the International Association of Business Communicators (IABC), our fully online Certificate in Public Relations provides a curriculum that will hone your practical, analytical, and theoretical skills to prepare you for a career in public relations.

Online learning during the COVID-19 pandemic

We offer a full range of online courses for the Certificate in Public Relations, which provide high-quality, professional-level training. Our courses are developed and taught by industry professionals with the support of online learning specialists at The Chang School. (Note: Our online courses are not “virtualized” classroom courses.)

This program offers the following benefits: 

  • Enrol right away – open admissions with no application required
  • Complete from wherever you are through a fully online format
  • Take Ryerson degree-credit courses
  • Prepare for recognition by leading professional associations
  • Finish your certificate faster through our intensive schedule option
  • Apply for merit-based awards

What Will You Learn?

Hone the practical, analytical, and theoretical skills needed for a management career in public relations.

Through a wide range of courses offered on campus or online, you will gain experience and instruction in how to:

  • apply strategic PR management concepts and principles in a number of organizational settings
  • establish and build relationships with senior management and other program sponsors
  • research and evaluate PR programs
  • critically analyze PR issues
  • design, implement, and manage internal and external PR programs
  • write for a wide range of internal and external audiences
  • make effective public and business presentations
  • manage an organization’s relations with a wide variety of stakeholder groups

The Certificate in Public Relations can also help you prepare to write the Canadian Public Relations Society (CPRS) and International Association of Business Communicators (IABC) accreditation examinations (eligible after five years of professional experience).

Who Should Take This Certificate?

You may be interested if you are a university and college graduate with an interest in public relations (PR) and corporate communications.

Many of our students are junior and mid-career PR professionals who want to further their careers.

Who Teaches the Courses?

Learn directly from practising senior PR practitioners.

You’ll benefit from their professional experience in areas including:

  • PR management and strategy
  • working with and influencing executives and decision makers
  • effective writing and speaking techniques
  • applied research and program evaluation methods
  • integrated communications management
  • media relations
  • contemporary communications dynamics
  • political and socioeconomic trend analysis

Industry and Careers

The Certificate in Public Relations is a career-focused program for individuals with previous post-secondary education or professional PR experience.

According to the Canadian Job Bank, the demand for Public Relations professionals is currently rated as very high (3 out of 3 stars).1

According to Canadian Business, “There were 49 per cent more people working as marketing and public relations managers in 2017 than there were in 2012.2

1 Job Bank: NOC 1123

2 Canada’s Best Jobs 2018: The Top 25 Jobs in Canada

Recommended Course Sequence

We recommend you take courses in the following order:

  1. CDPR 100 - Public Relations Principles
  2. CDPR 111 - Writing for Public Relations
  3. Electives – Three 39-hour courses (or equivalent combination of electives totalling 117 hours)
  4. CDPR 104 - Planning Programming and Budgeting
  5. CDPR 105 - Research and Program Evaluation
  6. CDPR 107 - Public Relations Project

Certificate Requirements

  • Five required courses
  • Three 39-hour electives
    • Two 19.5-hour courses are considered equivalent to one 39-hour course
  • Cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 1.67+

Admission Criteria


  • An undergraduate degree


  • A 3-year community college diploma


  • Mature student status with a high school diploma and 4 years of progressive work experience in public relations practice, or in a business, professional, or technical field

Professional Development

Professional Development Award: The Course Series in Social Media Practices and Reputation Management requires the completion of CDPR 100, CDPR 108, and CDPR 110.

Awards and Financial Aid


Contact Us


Email: ce@ryerson.ca

Additional Details