March 30, 2017 — Northeastern University College of Professional Studies is offering students who have successfully completed the Accreditation in Public Relations (APR) professional certification the equivalent of three courses of academic credit (nine quarter hours) toward a Master of Science in Corporate and Organizational Communication. This recognizes the rigorous program of study required to earn the APR, which is the industry credential for public relations professionals who demonstrate their understanding of and commitment to strategic communications principles through a multi-step review process based on established industry competencies.

“As a program for working professionals in the communications field, we recognize the powerful combination of skills earned in the workplace and knowledge acquired through professional credentialing programs such as the APR,” said Carl Zangerl, Ph.D., faculty director, graduate communication and human resource management programs.  “The APR aligns with the Northeastern master’s program because it emphasizes the application of theory to practice and recognizes the importance of lifelong learning in a rapidly changing field.”

“I’m thrilled to see the strong collaboration established with Northeastern University, College of Professional Studies and the APR credential ,” said PRSA 2017 National Chair Jane Dvorak, APR, Fellow PRSA.  “This additional academic recognition provides an opportunity for practitioners acquiring their APR to save time and tuition in the pursuit of their Masters of Science in Corporate and Organizational Communication.  This a great example of how APR and academia can partner together to further industry knowledge and leadership.”

The communications competencies recognized in the APR align to the learning outcomes in three master’s level courses.

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 with more than 25,000 public relations professionals as members. The Accreditation in Public Relations  program is administered by the Public Relations Society of America. 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 that assesses understanding of a comprehensive set of industry knowledge, skills and abilities.

“We are excited that Northeastern University understands the rigorous nature of the Accreditation process and is recognizing that value in a meaningful way as part of meeting its master’s course requirements,” said Judy Katzel, APR, UAB 2017 chair. “This is a real testament to the importance of ongoing learning.”

Applying to Northeastern

Successful applicants to the master’s program in Corporate and Organizational Communication who hold an APR or an APR+M will enter the degree program with “advanced standing” and will only need to complete 12 courses, instead of the 15 courses required of students without the APR. This advanced standing transfer credit enables public relations professionals with an APR to complete an advanced degree in a shorter timeframe and approximately 20 percent savings in tuition.

Northeastern University College of Professional Studies offers the Master of Science in Corporate and Organizational Communications 100 percent online or on campus in Boston. This provides flexibility for working professionals in a practice-oriented curriculum, taught by professionals in the field.

About Northeastern University College of Professional Studies

The College of Professional Studies is one of nine colleges of Northeastern University, a nationally ranked private research university in Boston. Founded in 1960, the College teaches undergraduate, master’s and doctoral students on campus and online in more than 65 degree programs, and is part of The Professional Advancement Network, a pioneering new model of education for working professionals who recognize the value of lifelong learning as a strategy for career development. More than 225,000 graduates make up the Northeastern Husky alumni network in all 50 U.S. states and in nearly 150 countries.

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

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 professional members comprised of communications professionals spanning every industry sector nationwide and college and university students who encompass the Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA).


Annmarie Gioia


Director, Integrated Communications