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WVU College of Media makes PRNEWS Education A-List

PRNEWS Education A-List Seal

The West Virginia University Reed College of Media was named to the PRNEWS Education A-List for the second year in a row. The list recognizes the best institutions of higher education for career advancement in public relations and marketing communications.

The College offers fully online master’s degrees in Integrated Marketing Communications (IMC), Data Marketing Communications and Digital Marketing Communications. In a recent survey of these alumni, more than half said they have received pay increases of 25% or more since earning their degrees. Additionally, 96% believed their degree made them more competitive when applying for jobs, led to a better position or prompted a promotion.

“We conduct the alumni survey every two years and consistently receive positive feedback in terms of post-graduation career progression,” said Chad Mezera, assistant dean of online programs for the College. “Since our curriculum is developed in part by industry leaders, we’re constantly adapting coursework so that it relates directly to in-demand knowledge and skills. Our graduates stand out because of this.”

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, including two master’s degree programs in Data and Digital and more than 25 IMC electives and seven specializations in Creative Strategy, Data Marketing Communications, Digital and Social Media, Healthcare Communications, Higher Education Marketing, Communication Management, and Public Relations Leadership. Additionally, in the summer of 2021, WVU welcomed the first cohort of Defense Information School IMC students, which has created a robust pipeline of military-affiliated students.

The Reed College of Media also offers a fully online IMC bachelor’s degree  and an on-ground   Advertising and Public Relations undergraduate major.

This is the third 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 are one of 50 institutions that made this year’s list and we’re in good company, as they are some of the most widely recognized communications programs in the country,” said Diana Martinelli, dean of the Reed College of Media. “I’m so proud of our faculty and staff, who work diligently to ensure our students have not only a fulfilling college experience, but also a fulfilling career once they leave us.”

The WVU Reed College of Media is currently one of 119 journalism/communication programs accredited worldwide by the Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communications (ACEJMC). The College is also one of only 45 programs internationally to earn the Certification in Public Relations from the Public Relations Society of America. 

The College’s Marketing Communications graduate 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.

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