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The Certificate in Principles of Public Relations is an entry-level certificate designed to demonstrate a fundamental level of knowledge for graduates entering the public relations profession and related fields. The Universal Accreditation Board (UAB) administers the Certificate in Principles of Public Relations. Earning the Certificate in Principles of Public Relations gives new graduates an advantage in a competitive job market. It also helps university public relations programs with their internal assessment efforts.

It is easy for universities to participate in the Certificate in Principles of Public Relations program. A faculty coordinator designated by the university for the Certificate program is responsible for:

  1. Certifying the candidates are majors in public relations or a related field.
  2. Certifying that candidates are dues-paid members of the Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA) or another UAB participating organization, such as the Florida Public Relations Association.
  3. Organizing the University’s preparatory course (students may also opt for the Certificate Online Course).
  4. Collecting candidate applications and payments to send to Kathy Mulvihill at PRSA office.

If an in-person preparatory class is offered, the UAB has no specific requirement as to how the preparatory course is administered. Some schools offer the Certificate program course for academic credit (S/U), while some rely on Accredited members of the local Chapter to conduct the study sessions.

The Certificate in Principles of Public Relations Study Guide is available from which to build a prep course on basic knowledge of public relations principles with particular emphasis on the four‐step process of public relations and on ethics.

The Certificate in Principles of Public Relations: Faculty 411 webinar
This 10-minute webinar covers everything you need to you know about eligibility and how your students can participate.

Best Practices for Professors webinar for the Certificate in Principles of Public Relations
Listen to the Top 3 Tips from a professor with a 100% pass rate.




The Certificate in Principles of Public Relations is one way for students to differentiate themselves from the crowd. As programs grow and change, students are looking for additional ways to stand out.  I'm excited that the Universal Accreditation Board developed this credential to help elevate the profession.

Dr. John E. Forde, Ph.D., APR, Fellow PRSA
Prof and Head, Dept. of Communication
Mississippi State University