What Is the Curriculum for Degrees in Public Relations?

To be successful in the public relations field you need to develop strong communication skills. Degree programs in public relations focus on coursework that will help you do just that. Public relations curricula usually include courses in writing, speaking and media communications. Interdisciplinary coursework in areas like marketing, advertising and business are also commonly included. Schools offering Public Relations degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Overview of the Core Curriculum

Required public relations coursework varies depending on the level of degree you choose to pursue. Associate degree programs primarily provide introductory level coursework in written and oral communications, marketing fundamentals and digital media. At the bachelor's degree level, you'll become familiar with a broader range of PR studies, including journalism, social media, campaign planning and crisis management. Undergraduate programs also require an array of general education coursework alongside courses within the public relations major.

Master's degree programs are the most common at the graduate level and allow you to focus solely on in-depth professional studies. Coursework incorporates theory and research in addition to advanced PR topics and specialty areas. Programs at both the undergrad and graduate levels often include internship opportunities that can provide you with valuable hands-on experiences in the field.

Even though the level of study can make a difference on the exact courses that comprise a public relations curriculum, common course topics may include some of the following.

Important Facts About Degrees in Public Relations

Prerequisites High school diploma or GED for undergraduate programs
Bachelor's degree for graduate programs
Concentrations May include digital communication, sports communication, public relations management, or corporate and organizational communication
Online Availability Some schools offer fully online programs
Possible Careers Communications Specialist, Event Planner, Copywriter, PR Manager
Median Salary (2018) $60,000
Job Growth (2016-2026) 9%

Source: US Bureau of Labor Statistics

Media Writing

Students develop writing skills for crafting both persuasive and accurate pieces for a variety of mass media outlets. Practice includes drafting press releases, news writing and advertising copywriting. Students will also develop basic skills in information gathering.

Introduction to Public Speaking

Students practice and improve their public speaking skills, in addition to learning how an audience's behavior can affect speakers. They evaluate and critic speeches given by other students. Many jobs in public relations involve press conferences and/or meetings of various types where skills in public speaking are essential.

Consumer Behavior

Students learn about the decision-making processes of consumers and their motivation. This includes areas, such as how consumers are affected by psychology and socio-economic factors.

Project Management

Students learn how to manage effectively complex projects from workflow analysis to project execution.

Principles of Marketing

Students become familiar with the processes companies use to meet the public's demands. In addition, the course covers how marketing decisions are made and how social responsibility and ethics affect these decisions.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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Popular Schools

  • Full Sail University

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  • Southern New Hampshire University

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  • Liberty University

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  • Regent University

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  • Seton Hall University

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  • Independence University

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  • Post University

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  • University of Alabama at Birmingham

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    Popular programs at University of Alabama at Birmingham:

    • Master

    Campus Locations:

    • Alabama: Birmingham
  • Colorado Christian University

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