Post-Graduate Certificate in Public Relations

Post-Graduate Certificate in Public Relations

Communicate effectively, efficiently, and influentially

Next Enrolment

September 8th


$6,599 (Domestic)

$15,199 (International)


Broadcast your brand. The world is waiting.

Why take our Public Relations program?

Managing a brand’s reputation in the public eye is no simple task. Whether you’re responding to a last-minute media inquiry, dealing with negative publicity, or monitoring the web for newsworthy content, the message is clear: to succeed in public relations, you need to be strategic and quick to adapt to new trends and technology. Top public relations executives agree that career success means being an incredible storyteller and trusted strategic business advisor—Someone who can leverage emerging technologies and critical thinking to build lasting relationships with stakeholders. This shift in skill demands is why top companies are struggling to hire and keep the right public relations professionals.

Program Benefits

Created in collaboration with industry leaders, the 8 course full-time Post-Graduate Certificate in Public Relations gives you the expertise to broadcast your brand message to the right audience, at the right time, using both traditional and digital media. Real-world project work will give you the chance to learn and practice effective public relations strategies, business principles and stakeholder relationship management, as well as how to respond to crises and manage brand reputation. All this, while building the core job skills that top employers are looking for when hiring for public relations jobs.

What you will learn

Use the technology you need to get the public opinion you want
Using the right tools at the right time can mean the difference between a media firestorm or the recruitment of countless new brand influencers to support your cause.

You will gain in-depth public relations knowledge, including:

  • Public relations fundamentals & strategy
  • Digital storytelling
  • Marketing principles
  • Internal communications
  • Data analytics
  • Effective writing
  • Presentation skills
  • Reputation & crisis management
  • Media relations
  • Stakeholder engagement

In public relations, it’s all about the story. Make sure the story of your career is a success.

Format: Full-time
Delivery: In-class
Term Starts: Fall and Winter
Program Length: 8 months

Career Potential

Begin an in-demand role in Public Relations

30 percent recent growth in public relations jobs in the Greater Toronto AreaTop 2 challenges facing PR executives are recruiting and retaining top talent.Number 1 skill critical for success is digital expertise

Optional Work Placement

After your courses are complete, apply what you’ve learned with an optional 8-week work placement at a local organization!

Statistics Canada has released a series of studies reporting that gaining work experience during student years is linked to securing full-time employment immediately after graduation. “Specifically, among those who had a job related to their field of study during their postsecondary education, 75% were employed full time three months after graduation. This compared with 48% among those who did not have any work experience during their postsecondary education, and 61% among those who did work, but not in their field of study.”

John Crean photo

"This program uniquely provides students with theoretical foundations for success in communications, reputation and corporate affairs, combined with practical knowledge, real-world insights and best practices. Graduates will have the right blend of skills required to excel as a public relations professional in an evolving industry."

John Crean – Managing Director, Teneo Holdings (Advisory Council Member)

Get hired for jobs like:

Public Relations Specialist
PR Agency Account Coordinator
Communications Manager

Gain these skills:

Written Communication
Analytical and Critical Thinking
Ethics and Decision Making

Delivery Format

Courses are conducted in-person at York University main campus at a regularly scheduled day and time. Courses are typically scheduled four days per week, 3 hours per day. An instructor will facilitate your learning each step of the way. In addition to the live instruction, students should budget approximately 8-10 hours per course each week for readings, discussions boards, practice opportunities, assignments, etc.

In the event the university restricts on-campus attendance due to COVID-19, courses will continue, as scheduled, Live Online via Zoom.

Who should take this program?

The Post-Graduate Certificate in Public Relations is ideal for recent degree graduates and international students who want a comprehensive foundation in public relations.

This program can enhance the careers of people with educational background or experience in:

  • Business
  • Communications, journalism, and media
  • Liberal arts
  • Political science
  • English
  • Marketing and related fields
Admission Requirements

To be admitted to Post-Graduate Certificate in Public Relations, applicants must have:

  • Minimum of a baccalaureate degree with a minimum of a 60% average (C) or a 3-year Canadian College Diplomas with minimum ‘B’ or 70% average
  • Official transcripts (International students: please provide original English translated copy of University degree and transcripts.)
  • Online application form
  • Statement of Interest video
  • Resume
  • Proof of language proficiency (international students only)

Review the minimum language scores for this program.

Applicants will be notified directly if additional information or documentation is required.

Admission into the full-time Post-Graduate Certificate in Public Relations program is highly competitive. Please note that meeting the minimum entry requirement does not guarantee admission.

Learning Outcomes

By the end of this program, successful students will be able to:

  • Perform as a public relations/ communications practitioner
  • Plan, initiate and complete a Communications Plan
  • Think strategically and digitally to succeed in today’s marketplace
  • Determine what is newsworthy, coupled with strong writing skills
  • Create content across different channels (print, video, digital, visual, etc.) to engage targeted audiences
  • Handle and respond to incidents, issues, and crises that can threaten an organization’s reputation
  • Make data-driven decisions by using analytics and measurement
  • Apply ethics and industry codes of professional standards to Public Relations
  • Build a portfolio of work to demonstrate their knowledge and skills
  • Practice cross-functional “soft skills” to be more employable and successful in the workplace



Christine Bernard photo

“This program is perfect for recent graduates who want to enhance their current skills and desire the opportunity to learn directly from instructors who are currently professionals working in the field.”

Christine Bernard – Employee Relations Manager, Air Canada (Instructor)


CSPR1010 Fundamentals of Public Relations

Develop a foundational understanding of how communication strategies, tactics, and writing apply to public relations management. A real-world approach will be used to showcase the depth and breadth of the profession across a variety of sectors including: corporate, non-profit, agency and government.

12 Classes

36 Hours

CSPR1020 Content Creation, Strategic Messaging and Storytelling

Public Relations storytelling goes beyond pretty words and pictures, skilled PR professionals must clearly communicate a strong message. Develop strategic key messages as the foundation for creating engaging content for an array of public relations channels including print, online, broadcast, video, and social media. Apply real-world public relations content development techniques to sharpen your written, verbal, visual, and digital communication skills.

12 Classes

36 Hours

CSPR1060 Stakeholder Relations and Community Engagement

Gain an understanding of the key relationship-building tactics needed to be an effective public relations practitioner. Learn how to effectively perform as a spokesperson for an organization (the art of media relations), leveraging concepts of corporate social responsibility, marketing, stakeholder relations, government relations, and more. The primary objective of this course is to understand the role that a public relations professional must play when supporting their organization and how their role influences their organization’s credibility in the eyes of the public.

12 Classes

36 Hours

CSPR1040 Internal Communications and Change Management

Be introduced to key internal communications concepts, channels, theories, best practices, trends, and skills to be an effective public relations practitioner. Gain insight into how internal communicators support the organization’s goals -while engaging with internal audiences.

12 Classes

36 Hours

CSPR1050 Strategic Planning, Research & Measurement

Description coming soon

12 Classes

36 Hours

CSPR1030 Integrated Marketing Strategies

Integrated marketing combines public relations, advertising, sales promotion, direct marketing, and social media to sustain a consistent message with a given target audience. Analyze how integrated marketing strategies are developed and used to plan, execute, and measure across various traditional, digital and social media channels.

12 Classes

36 Hours

CSPR1070 Reputation Management and Crisis Communication

Learn the steps necessary to address and overcome crisis communication and reputation management issues. Identify issues that may pose a threat to an organization's reputation (both proactively and reactively), assess the best communications options for drafting a crisis response, select tools for monitoring a business issue in real-time and examine the importance of social media and owned content channels during a time of crisis.

12 Classes

36 Hours

CSPR1080 Public Relations in Practice: Real World Perspectives and Possibilities

Apply the fundamental skills learned in the previous courses to current, relevant and challenging scenarios. Develop and execute public relations campaign strategies from the vantage point of agency or client in a fast paced, real-world learning environment. Gain first-hand knowledge and experience into the career opportunities that await you upon graduation.

12 Classes

36 Hours


Heath Applebaum

Heath Applebaum

President and Chief Reputation Officer, Echo Communications Inc

Christine Bernard photo

Christine Bernard

Manager, Employee Communications - Cooperations, Air Canada

Cathy Cowan photo

Cathy Cowan

Marketing Communications Consultant, C&C Consulting

Headshot of Lyndon Johnson

Lyndon Johnson


Lonny Kates photo

Lonny Kates

Manager, Public Relations, Government of Canada

Headshot of Doris Montanera

Doris Montanera

Instructor, York University

Advisory Council

Shari Balga photo

Shari Balga

Account Director, Edelman

Priya Bates

President, Inner Strength Communications

Amy Cairncross

SVP Communications, RBC

John Crean photo

John Crean

Managing Director, Teneo Holdings

Nikki Laoutaris

Communications Manager, Lift & Co.

Anne MacLennan

Chair and Associate Professor, Department of Communication Studies, York University

Rhonda McMichael

Executive Lead, Strategic Engagement, Government Relations Office, University of Toronto

Joanne Rider

Owner, Rider Communications (Former Chief Spokesperson and Director, Media Relations, York University)

Candice So

Senior Communications Manager, Rate Hub

Post-Graduate Certificate in Public Relations

Fall 2022

On Campus Classes

Course Details +

$6,599.00 (Domestic)

Fall 2022

On Campus Classes

Course Details +

$15,199.00 (International)

Policies & More Information

Technology Requirements for Remote/Online Courses

Please review the technology and software requirements you will need to access our courses remotely.

Contact Us

Ask us anything about this program and we’ll get back to you within 2 business days.