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Curriculum

The Bachelor of Arts in Public Relations provides you with a background in the theories, methods, and practical skills of the field so that you can pursue a variety of careers in public relations. The minimum grade of C is required in all major and minor courses.

The public relations curriculum is designed so that you will be able to:

  • Demonstrate an adequate understanding of the basic principles of written organizational communication and the application of these principles to real world situations.
  • Demonstrate an adequate understanding of applying the RACE method (Research, Action Plan, Communication, and Evaluation) to a public relations case study.
  • Demonstrate critical thinking and problem solving skills.

Degree Requirements

PRENUMCOURSE TITLECREDITS
COM201INTRODUCTION TO COMMUNICATION
This course provides an overview of the human communication discipline. Students will be introduced to various topics within Communication, including the rudiments of communication theory and a survey of communication contexts (e.g., interpersonal, small group, organizational, public, mass, and intercultural).
3
COM390PRINCIPLES OF PUBLIC RELATIONS
Basic concepts of public relations; case studies; the tools and media used in communication with the public.
3
COM391PUBLIC RELATIONS CAMPAIGNS
The detailed analysis of the utilization of principles and techniques of public relations in a variety of contemporary situations and the practical application of these principles and techniques to campaigns. Prerequisite: COM 390.
3
COM484PUBLIC RELATIONS/ADVERTISING RESEARCH
Introduction to research methodology for public relations and advertising. Includes planning, measurement, evaluation, and reporting of results. Prerequisites: COM 390 or ADV 301 and MAT 152 or permission from the instructor. Same as ADV 484.
3
COM495COMMUNICATION LAW
Studies in the current laws governing the mass media. Role of the FCC, libel, privacy, and First Amendment issues. Note: for Juniors and Seniors only.
3
OR
COM409ORGANIZATIONAL COMMUNICATION
This course focuses on the nature and functions of communication in organizational settings. The course seeks to provide students with an understanding of the concepts and methods needed to assess and improve the nature of communication processes in organizations. Prerequisites: Junior or Senior standing.
3
ADV301PRINCIPLES OF ADVERTISING
Basic principles of advertising and their role in media and society. Includes advertising environment in the 21st Century, agency and client relationships, consumer behavior, ethics, and the role of research, creative appeals, and media selection in advertising effectiveness. Study of the organization of the advertising profession.
3
ENG 374WRITING FOR THE INTERNET
Study of organizational patterns, navigation systems, and Internet etiquette. Teaches students basic skills for creating hypertext and hypermedia documents. Students in this course distinguish traditional text documents from e-texts (electronic texts) and hypertexts (text including hyperlinks and text encoded with hypertext markup language), examining the stylistic consequences of these formal distinctions from a humanistic perspective. The class emphasizes the sense that traditional notions of authorship and authority are reconstituted by the contemporary writing environment, and students apply their findings via the creation of original hypertext documents both individually and in collaboration with their peers.
3
ENG 344PROFESSIONAL EDITING
Study of editing materials for publication. Students will explore questions of correctness and style, while also addressing the mechanics of proofreading. Students will learn how to create prose that is correct in syntax, usage, and punctuation; how to adapt prose style to fit a variety of audiences and situations; and how to edit manuscripts in preparation for printing. (Formerly ENG 244).
3
OR
ENG 444BUSINESS RESEARCH, WRITING & EDITING
Study and practice of the kinds of internal and external writing used in different organizations—utilities, for-profit corporations, non-profit organizations, and others. Practice in the researching, writing, and editing of letters, memos, reports, market analyses, promotions, product descriptions, grants, proposals, etc. Relevant ethical issues will be included.
3
ENG 417COPYWRITING
In-depth study of the theory and techniques necessary to produce successful advertising copy. Students also learn to integrate the written word with the appropriate visual symbols in order to produce effective messages. Ethical issues within the industry will be emphasized.
3
OR
ADV401ADVERTISING CREATIVE STRATEGY AND EXECUTION
The role of strategy in the creation and design of advertising. Writing effective copy for print and broadcast media. Prerequisites: ADV 301, ENG 111. ART 205 recommended.
3
ENG404PERSUASIVE WRITING
Study of the science and art of using written language to promote information gain, induce attitude change, and affect behavior. Beginning with Aristotelian concepts such as logos, ethos, and pathos, this course will provide students with the necessary knowledge and skills to generate, arrange, and write effective arguments. Psychological and sociological principles of persuasion will be examined and the various uses of argument in contemporary situations explored.
3
OR
COM412PERSUASION
Beginning with Aristotle, this course provides an historical perspective on how persuasion has evolved to modern times. Emphasis on factors such as attention, perception, needs, values, and credibility. Practice in presentation of persuasive oral and written communication. Emphasis given to persuasive campaigns. Prerequisites: COM 201 and either SPE 101 or COM 104.
3
OR
ENG406RHETORICAL ANALYSIS
In-depth analysis of advertisements, speeches, film, and literature as persuasive texts. Students will learn both the nature and scope of persuasion and be introduced to several different methods for analyzing the argumentative strategies of texts. Among these are the traditional, Burkeian, sociological, feminist, and postmodern perspectives. Students will also consider the ethical, aesthetic, and political problems raised by texts designed to persuade an audience.
3
SPE415SPEECH RESEARCH, WRITING AND DELIVERY
Study of speech design and delivery for a variety of public situations. Includes the study of research sources, content, and organization in speeches written for and delivered by others. Prerequisite: SPE 101.
3
OR
SPE401BUSINESS & PROFESSIONAL COMMUNICATION
Application of principles of speech communication in the presentation of informational reports, conference management, and interviewing. Prerequisite: SPE 101.
3
CS325DESKTOP PUBLISHING
Design and production of high quality publications from desktop computers. Text editing and text manipulation. Creating, importing, pasting and cropping graphics. Use of design elements. Printing. Color processing. Building books and booklets. Different types of hardware and software will be discussed. Prerequisite: CS 180 or equivalent.
3
COM499INTERNSHIP
Practical experience in communication in a professional setting. CR/NC grade; unpaid internships only. Prerequisites: Senior standing (90+ credit hours); 2.5 overall G.P.A. with minimum 3.0 G.P.A. in major; approval of Advisor, Department Chair, and Dean.
3
OR
COM399PRACTICUM (OR ADDITIONAL UPPER LEVEL)
Development of skills in public relations settings. Designed to give students hands-on experience in public relations on campus. Prerequisites: COM 390 and either COM 391 or COM 484.
3

Co-Requisites (9 Credits)

PRENUMCOURSE TITLECREDITS
MKT306MARKETING CONCEPTS AND APPLICATION
Elements of the marketing functions in bringing the organization’s goods and services from the producers to the consumer.
3
MKT385CONSUMER BEHAVIOR
An analysis of the actions and decision processes of individuals and organizations involved in discovering evaluating, acquiring, consuming and disposing of products and services. The disciplines of Marketing, Psychology, and Sociology will be used to understand how consumer behavior is the basis for management decision making. Prerequisite: MKT 306.
3
MKT386SALES PROMOTION, ADVERTISING AND PERSONAL SELLING
Examines the process of planning executing, and evaluating promotional programs utilizing personal selling, advertising, and sales promotion techniques to achieve company objectives. Prerequisite: MKT 306.
3
GENERAL ELECTIVES
(Students are encouraged to take electives from among ADV, COM, CS, ENG, JOU, MKT, PHO, and SPE courses depending upon their areas of interest)
21
DEGREE TOTAL:120

Minor in Public Relations (21 Credits)

PRENUMCOURSE TITLECREDITS
COM200INTRODUCTION TO MASS MEDIA    
Processes, systems, and effects of the printed and electronic media; the role of newspapers, magazines, movies, radio, and television.
3
OR
COM204WRITING FOR THE MEDIA
Writing basic media copy. Emphasis on script preparation and techniques used professionally in the electronic media.
3
COM390PRINCIPLES OF PUBLIC RELATIONS    
Basic concepts of public relations; case studies; the tools and media used in communication with the public.
3
COM 391PUBLIC RELATIONS CAMPAIGNS
The detailed analysis of the utilization of principles and techniques of public relations in a variety of contemporary situations and the practical application of these principles and techniques to campaigns. Prerequisite: COM 390.
3
COM409ORGANIZATIONAL COMMUNICATION    
This course focuses on the nature and functions of communication in organizational settings. The course seeks to provide students with an understanding of the concepts and methods needed to assess and improve the nature of communication processes in organizations. Prerequisites: Junior or Senior standing.
3
SPE415SPEECH RESEARCH, WRITING AND DELIVERY
Study of speech design and delivery for a variety of public situations. Includes the study of research sources, content, and organization in speeches written for and delivered by others. Prerequisite: SPE 101.
3
OR
SPE401BUSINESS & PROFESSIONAL COMMUNICATION
Application of principles of speech communication in the presentation of informational reports, conference management, and interviewing. Prerequisite: SPE 101.
3
COM484PUBLIC RELATIONS/ ADVERTISING RESEARCH
Introduction to research methodology for public relations and advertising. Includes planning, measurement, evaluation, and reporting of results. Prerequisites: COM 390 or ADV 301 and MAT 152 or permission from the instructor. Same as ADV 484.
3
ADV301PRINCIPLES OF ADVERTISING
Basic principles of advertising and their role in media and society. Includes advertising environment in the 21st Century, agency and client relationships, consumer behavior, ethics, and the role of research, creative appeals, and media selection in advertising effectiveness. Study of the organization of the advertising profession.
3
COM495COMMUNICATION LAW
Studies in the current laws governing the mass media. Role of the FCC, libel, privacy, and First Amendment issues.
3
ENG404PERSUASIVE WRITING
Study of the science and art of using written language to promote information gain, induce attitude change, and affect behavior. Beginning with Aristotelian concepts such as logos, ethos, and pathos, this course will provide students with the necessary knowledge and skills to generate, arrange, and write effective arguments. Psychological and sociological principles of persuasion will be examined and the various uses of argument in contemporary situations explored.
3

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