Application Deadline: November 29, 2023

Priority Deadline: November 22, 2023

Term Start Date: January 17, 2024

Rise Above the Noise with Digital Public Relations

Today’s modern digital public relations employs traditional public relations, content marketing, SEO, and social media tactics. It’s used by brands to build an online presence to raise awareness, establish trust, and enhance reputation. The lifespan of digital PR is far greater than that of traditional press releases—digital PR is the easiest and fastest way to earn thousands of views of your content.

Emerson College’s Social Media & Digital Public Relations online certificate program equips you with the skills you need to break through the cacophony of messages that bombard us every minute of every day. With this certificate, you’ll learn two-way engagement strategies that go beyond the standard press release.

You’ll combine a brand's message with powerful storytelling, social media, and SEO using blogs, podcasts, emails, and much more to reach an intended audience. You’ll learn digital marketing best practices and amplify your resume with certifications in Hubspot and Hootsuite, which are built into the program.

The courses in this program are developed by industry professionals and align with the tools, technologies, and trends of today’s modern digital marketing landscape. You’ll gain relevant, real-time knowledge and experience that you can apply to your current or future career. This flexible program is 100% online so you can learn at a pace that suits your schedule.

In a world driven and energized by storytelling and molded by media, Emerson College combines intellectual exploration with professional preparation to help ambitious, independent-minded artists and communicators of every background become a creative force in fields that shape our society, culture and future.

How will you rise above the noise?

4 courses / 16 credit hours

4 courses
16 credit hours

100% online coursework

100% online

No GMAT or GRE required


Program Themes

By earning the Social Media & Digital PR Certificate, you’ll gain the skills and tools you need to build a strong brand presence in a fast-paced, online environment. You will also:

  • Learn how to set message goals, evaluate various storytelling techniques, and produce stories relevant to different platforms.
  • Evaluate specific challenges and advantages of social networks in marketing and engagement strategies.
  • Develop expertise in social and mobile marketing with an emphasis on maintaining brand consistency in multichannel campaigns to engage specific target groups.

Strategically Designed and Flexible Format

Strategically Designed
and Flexible Format

Earn your certificate in a uniquely designed, 100% online program that meets your needs and goals.

High-Demand Skills and Specializations

High-Demand Skills
and Specializations

Courses aligned with the tools, technologies, and trends driving innovation in social media and digital PR.

Progressive and Engaged Community

and Engaged Community

A leading media and communications school with an inclusive student community and forward-thinking worldview.

Admissions Requirements
  • Official transcripts from all colleges and universities previously attended
    • Degree evaluations are required for all applicants who completed their degree outside of the U.S.
  • Essay Prompt (1500 words maximum): Emerson College's graduate programs form a vibrant community of artists, professionals and clinicians who all believe in the power of language and communication to transform society. Your careful responses to the following prompt will help us determine if the program to which you are applying is the right fit for you. Please respond to all three (3) parts of the prompt.
    • How does the focus and curriculum of the Emerson Online Marketing program align with your experience and goals? (suggested word limit 500 words)
    • Please share an example of a time that you overcame an individual or collective challenge and the approach you took to address that challenge. (suggested word limit 500 words)
    • The mission of Emerson College is the betterment of society through communication and the arts. With this in mind, what impact do you want your work to have? (suggested word limit 500 words)
  • Resume

In addition to an essay and resume, international applicants must also furnish:

  • Course-by-course evaluation, GPA equivalency performed by
    • World Education Services
    • Educational Credential Evaluators
    • National Association of Credential Evaluation Services
  • English language proficiency test results are required for applicants whose native language is not English.
    • TOEFL: 95-115
    • IELTS: 6.5-7.5
    • Duolingo: 115-135
    • Pearson: 65-80
Fast Facts
  • 16 credit hours
  • $1,402 per credit hour
  • 3 intakes per year
  • 4 courses/14 weeks each
  • No GRE or GMAT required
Social Media & Digital PR Curriculum

Specializations will include two required courses and then one additional elective courses from the remaining three elective courses 

Human-Centric Marketing and Social Responsibility

Explore how society’s relationships with and expectations of brands are shaped by sociocultural, technological, and other factors. Leverage insights to develop and support holistic market strategies that are infused with diverse, human-centric, purpose-driven, and socially responsible innovation. (4 credits)

Customer Segmentation & Descriptive Analytics

This course presents a variety of customer segmentation techniques that provide the framework to design and deploy highly targeted, insight-driven marketing campaigns. Students use cutting-edge analytics software to develop segmentation solutions that support many facets of today’s marketing and sales operations. Students also learn how to perform and interpret the results of other commonly used descriptive analytic approaches, such as exploratory data analysis and market basket analysis. (4 credits)


Choose one of the following: Predictive Analytics, Fundamentals in Content Strategy, or Creative Writing and Story Creation.

Predictive Analytics

Introduces students to predictive analytics and the broad set of business applications these predictive tools support. Students use data mining platforms to build predictive models that address a variety of sales and marketing needs, such as identifying the best targets for campaigns, highlighting customers most at risk of churning, and optimizing the allocation of marketing spend across media and channels. Several different modeling techniques are covered in the course including linear regression, logistic regression, and decision tree analysis. (4 credits)

Fundamentals in Content Strategy

Content strategy is about developing content as a business asset and using it to achieve specific business goals. This course is designed to help you plan and execute an effective content strategy to build an audience. It will be conducted as a dynamic live project, where you will work alone and in groups to get experience in all the facets of content strategy. You’ll devise a strategy, set goals, create a project plan, and conduct basic research to test your assumptions. You will create, publish, and propagate regular content to meet the needs of the audience you define. You will learn how to organize and optimize your content for maximum impact and how to set metrics, measure your results, and iterate. (4 credits)

Creative Writing and Story Creation

Learn to use story to increase the impact of your communication and ability to engage, influence, persuade, and inspire others. This course explores the art and science of a compelling story, how stories convey a vision and motivate actions, create meaning and build culture, inspire buy-in, trust and belief, construct brand identity, attract investors and customers, and contribute to advancing one’s career. Through case studies and structured learning activities, students develop capacity to communicate appropriately in varied situational and cultural contexts. (4 credits)

Social Media & Digital PR Career Path

Digital PR and Social Media Work Together.

Digital PR today is not about blasting out press releases. Modern PR professionals combine traditional PR tactics with SEO, social media, and content marketing to build brand awareness, brand trust and enhance reputation. Digital PR is about quality over quantity.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that this profession will grow 13% through 2030, which is faster than the average 8% for all occupations. Last year, the average salary for digital public relations professionals was $86,505.*

Digital PR and social media marketers are employed across all commercial and nonprofit enterprises. These are some of the job titles you might find on this career path:

  • Social Media Specialist/Manager
  • Public Relations Specialist/Manager
  • Corporate Communications Specialist/Manager
  • Fundraising/Growth Specialist/Manager
  • Online Community Manager

* Glassdoor, 2021

What Our Students Say About Emerson

We believe in the power of storytelling. These students share their stories about Emerson College—including ease of enrollment, career impact, and newfound confidence to thrive in their roles. What will be your story?

The enrollment was all completely online, I definitely had some questions; One was: “How do I make sure financing is in order?” Emerson was able to guide me through that process. Everything went so smoothly and that was really great.

Now over a year and a half later, I've received an incredible opportunity as the digital operations manager for an e-commerce skincare company. The knowledge I have gained and the connections I have made in the program are truly priceless.

When I looked at Emerson's classes, each one showed me that I would learn something new that I could use in my career.

I’m learning things that I use in my career daily. The way that I've thought about marketing has evolved through this program.

I truly believe that what I learned in  this program will help me make a very large impact  at the company, I work for and beyond and in my future endeavors as a small business owner.

It has also given me a newly found confidence, inspiration and excitement... It has allowed me to expand the way that I think and contribute to my teams.

Thanks to my admissions counselor and student success advisor, the enrollment experience was simple and informative. I was really nervous to begin because I haven't been in school in a really long time.