Skip navigation

UCO Strategic Communications Program Earns Distinguished PRSA Certification

UCO Department of Mass Communication logo

July 17, 2023

Media Contact: Kyla Carter, Communications and Marketing Coordinator, UCO University Communications, 405-974-2127, 

UCO Strategic Communications Program Earns Distinguished PRSA Certification

The University of Central Oklahoma’s Bachelor of Arts in strategic communications program recently received the Certification in Education for Public Relations (CEPR), a distinction from the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) earned by institutions meeting top public relations education standards. This is Central’s first time receiving this certification and is the only institution in the state to hold this designation.

“This certification provides evidence to future students and employers of the excellence of our program,” said Mary Carver, Ph.D., associate professor and chairperson for the UCO Department of Mass Communication.

“It shows that we fully prepare students for their careers in public relations, based on standards set forth by the industry. As the only certified program in education of public relations in the state, it is particularly important for the Department of Mass Communication and for UCO.”

The CEPR evaluates academic programs based on eight criteria, including curriculum, faculty, students, resources and facilities, assessment, diversity and global perspectives, professional affiliation and the relationship with the department and university. The review process is administered by two PRSA members, a full-time educator and an accredited public relations professional who facilitate a two-to-three-day site visit.

“This is a very detailed application,” said Chad Perry, Ph.D., associate professor in the UCO Department of Mass Communication. 

“There aren’t many credentialed programs surrounding Oklahoma. We are in prestigious company with this certification, including Brigham Young University, California State University and Loyola University, among others.”

Strategic communications is one of the five degree programs offered within the UCO Department of Mass Communication, including interpersonal communication, organizational communication, photographic arts and professional media. In the UCO program, students learn to strategically develop messaging, public relations principles including media law and ethics, market research, as well as videos and social media campaigns that connect with audiences and build organizational brands. Additionally, Central offers an online Master of Arts in strategic communication – leadership in communications, which emphasizes the strong leadership skills necessary for career advancement in the communications industry. 

For more information about CEPR PRSA, visit

For more information about the UCO Department of Mass Communication, visit