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WVU College of Media makes PRNEWS Education A-List

IMC Student in the Media Innovation Center

West Virginia University was one of 35 institutions named to the 2022 PRNEWS Education A-List, which recognizes the best institutions of higher education for career advancement in public relations and marketing communications.

The WVU Reed College of Media offers a bachelor’s degree in Advertising and Public Relations, a fully online bachelor’s degree in Integrated Marketing Communications (IMC) and online master’s degrees in IMC, Data Marketing Communications and Digital Marketing Communications. The College launched the nation’s first fully online IMC master’s degree program in 2003 and has since developed myriad new programs and courses.

The IMC master’s degree program now includes more than 25 electives and seven specializations including Creative Strategy, Data Marketing Communications, Digital and Social Media, Healthcare Communications, Higher Education Marketing, Management, and Public Relations Leadership. Recently, the IMC program launched industry specific cohorts where groups of students with similar interests move through the program together to allow for more support and camaraderie. A cohort of Defense Information School students began in summer 2021, a healthcare cohort begins in spring 2022 and a higher education cohort will start in fall 2022.

“We have our finger on the pulse of the marketing communications industry,” said Chad Mezera, assistant dean of online programs for the WVU Reed College of Media. “Our master’s degree faculty is comprised of industry leaders who help develop the curriculum, so we know what kinds of skills are in demand and are constantly evolving to meet that demand.”

This is the second year PRNEWS has published the Education A-List. To compile the list, members of the editorial staff examine factors including curricula, diversity, faculty composition, academic awards and capstone courses. They also review how a school’s courses reflect the changing nature of communication. The list includes public and private institutions that offer certificates, bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degree programs that are delivered online, on-campus and in a hybrid format.

“We’re incredibly proud to be included alongside the nation’s most prestigious institutions that offer public relations and communications programs. While this recognition does not come as a surprise, it is validation that the coursework and preparation we provide for students is top-notch.”Diana Martinelli, Dean

The WVU Reed College of Media is currently one of 115 journalism/communication programs accredited worldwide by the Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communications (ACEJMC). The College is also one of only 39 programs internationally to earn the Certification in Public Relations from the Public Relations Society of America.

The College’s Marketing Communications programs are accredited by The Higher Learning Commission and the IMC program was named the “Outstanding Online Program” for 2015 by the Online Learning Consortium, the leading professional organization devoted to advancing the quality of online learning worldwide. The program was also named a finalist in the PRWeek US Awards 2016 “Education Program of the Year” category and was named a "Program of Excellence" by the WVU Board of Governors in 2020.

To next application deadline for online master’s degree programs in Integrated, Data or Digital Marketing is Dec. 30. To learn more and apply, visit