B.A. in Journalism: Public Relations

Concentration in Public Relations

The Public Relations concentration of the B.A.J. combines foundational journalism courses with public relations course work focusing on principles, concepts, research and application of best practices in developing and managing effective communication campaigns.

The required three-course specialization in Public Relations and Strategic Communication provides Public Relations students with the opportunity to develop, practice, and launch a public relations campaign. The concentration prepares them for careers with public relations and advertising agencies, corporation communication departments, and nonprofit organizations employing a wide spectrum of media technologies.

Required Courses

Students in the Public Relations concentration of the B.A.J. will complete 36 credit hours comprised of The Media School Core (12 cr.), the Public Relations Concentration (15 cr.), and the Public Relations and Strategic Communications Specialization (9 cr).

1)  The Media School Core (12 cr.):

MSCH-C 101 Media

(3 cr.) CASE S&H

Examines the role media play in our lives-at work, at school, among family members, friends, and lovers-and analyzes pressing issues in media and society today, such as privacy, globalization, and convergence.

Managing Media: 1 course from the approved list
Thinking Media: 1 course from the approved list
Making Media: 1 course from the approved list

See “Choosing Managing/Thinking/Making Courses Based on Degree Sequence.”

2)  The Public Relations Concentration Requirements and Courses—Students must complete the following five courses (15 cr.):

MSCH-C 225* Reporting, Writing and Editing I (formerly JOUR-J 200)

(3 cr.) CASE S&H

P: ENG-W 131 or its equivalent with a grade of C– or higher, and fundamental computer skills. Working seminar stressing the creation of journalistic stories for diverse audiences. Students will learn to develop story ideas, gather information, combine visual and verbal messages, and to write and edit news. Credit given for only one of MSCH-C 225 or JOUR-J 200.

MSCH-C 226* Visual Communication (formerly JOUR-J 210)

(3 cr.) CASE A&H

Theories of visual communication including human perception, psychology of color, and principles of design. Application of those theories to photography, video, and computer graphic design in news communication. Credit given for only one of MSCH-C 226 or JOUR-J 210.

MSCH-J 300 Communications Law

(3 cr.) CASE S&H

P: At least sophomore standing. History and philosophy of laws pertaining to free press and free speech. Censorship, libel, contempt, obscenity, right of privacy, copyright, government regulations, and business law affecting media operations. Stresses responsibilities and freedoms in a democratic communications systems. Credit given for only one of MSCH-J 300, MSCH-H 300, JOUR-J 300, or JOUR-H 300.

MSCH-J 410 The Media as Social Institutions

(3 cr.) CASE A&H

P: One of MSCH-J 300, MSCH-H 300, JOUR-J 300, or JOUR-H 300 with a grade of C- or higher; senior standing. Examination of the functions and impact of the mass media in society with primary focus on the United States. Discussion of the values of media organizations and the professional and ethical values of journalists. Critical analysis of the relationship of the media and society and the effect of political, economic, and cultural factors on the operation of the media. Credit given for only one of MSCH-J 410 or JOUR-J 410.

MSCH-R 321 Principles of Public Relations

(3 cr.)

Survey course about theory and practice of public relations. Examines PR function within organizations, its impact on publics, and role in society. Topics include the evolution of the field, the range of roles and responsibilities that practitioners assume, ethics, and significant issues and trends. Credit given for only one of MSCH-R 321 or JOUR-J 321.

*Students in the Public Relations concentration may count either MSCH-C 225 or MSCH-C 226 toward completion of the Making Media requirement of the core.

3) Specialization
Complete the Public Relations and Strategic Communication specialization.

4) Second Concentration
Complete a second concentration of at least 24 credit hours.

5) Students must also complete the B.A. degree requirements of the College of Arts and Sciences.

See The Media School Bulletin for complete details.

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