Public Relations (BA)


2020-2021 (DRAFT) UNDERGRADUATE STUDIES CATALOG

Effective 1 June 2020 through 31 May 2021

Please see the Temporary Adjustments to Policy on Grading for Undergraduate Courses for Spring 2020

Please see the Undergraduate Catalog Archives for PDF versions of past catalogs.


This program is offered by the School of Communications/Communications and Journalism Department and is only available at the St. Louis home campus.

Program Description

The public relations major combines a strong base in academic study with opportunities to test concepts through projects with actual clients. Writing proficiency is a necessary element of the major, as writing and knowledge of target audiences form the basic foundation of good public relations.

Students learn theories and gain hands-on experience in creating strategic information programs, internal communications plans, media relations and special events as they build their professional portfolios using all available formats of media (print, video, radio and television, and social media, digital and electronic applications).

Students learn from practicing professionals who are their professors, lecturers, mentors and clients, bringing real-world substance to the major. Internships augment the experience.

Learning Outcomes

Successful graduates of this program will be able to:

  • Apply research practices and methodologies to gather information that informs public relations target audience analysis and organizational public relations problem solving and decision making.
  • Create public relations plans that use defined goals, measurable objectives, strategies, tactics and evaluations.
  • Create, package and edit public relations message content and distribute it through appropriate media to select target audiences of business and non-profit organizations.
  • Evaluate the effectiveness of public relations plans in meeting their defined goals and objectives.
  • Conduct themselves with professionalism in project management, client relationships, portfolio development, presentations and work relationships.

Degree Requirements

For information on the general requirements for a degree, see Baccalaureate Degree Requirements under the Academic Policies and Information section of this catalog.

  • 33 required hours in the public relations program
  • 18 required hours in the communications and journalism department
  • Applicable University Global Citizenship Program hours
  • Electives
  • Successful passing of portfolio review

Required Courses

  • PBRL 1010 Fundamentals of Strategic Communications and Public Relations (3 hours)
  • ADVT 2350 Introduction to Visual Communications for Advertising and Public Relations (3 hours)
  • PBRL 2400 New Media Messaging (3 hours)
  • PBRL 2800 Organizational Internal Communication (3 hours)
  • PBRL 2920 Writing for Public Relations (3 hours)
  • PBRL 4250 Media Relations (3 hours)
  • PBRL 4300 Crisis Communications and Issues Management (3 hours)
  • PBRL 4920 Public Relations Campaigns* (3 hours)
  • MDST 4950 Internship (3 hours)
    or PBRL 4620 Senior Overview (3 hours)

*Capstone Course

In addition, a minimum of 6 credit hours from the following:

  • ADVT 1940 Introduction to Marketing Communications (3 hours)
  • ADVT 3500 Visual Communication for Advertising and Public Relations (3 hours)
  • MDST 2800 Media, Diversity and Society (3 hours)
  • MDST 3260 Global Media Practice (3 hours)
  • PBRL 3150 Topics (1-3 hours)
  • PBRL 3500 Public Relations Research (3 hours)
  • PBRL 3600 Public Relations Case Studies, U.S. and Global (3 hours)
  • PBRL 4050 Special Events (3 hours)
  • PBRL 4700 Professional Development in Public Relations (3 hours)
  • SPCM 1280 Interpersonal Communication (3 hours)
  • SPCM 3500 Presentations for Media Professionals (3 hours)

Required Courses in the Department of Communications and Journalism

In addition to the 33 credit hours required in the public relations program, the following 18 credit hours are required to provide all students with a solid foundation in communication and journalism theory and applications.

  • JOUR 1020 Introduction to Media Production for Journalists (3 hours)
  • JOUR 1030 Fundamentals of Reporting (3 hours)
  • MDST 1010 Media Foundations (3 hours)
  • MDST 1050 Media Writing (3 hours)
  • MDST 2200 Ethics in the Media (3 hours)
  • MDST 3300 Media Law, Ethics & Policy (3 hours)

Portfolio Review Course Requirements

  • PBRL 1010 Fundamentals of Strategic Communications and Public Relations (3 hours)
  • PBRL 2920 Writing for Public Relations (3 hours)

Minors Encouraged

Public relations students are strongly encouraged to pursue a minor (18 hours). Academic programs of particular relevance to the public relations BA are:

  • Advertising and Marketing Communications
  • Business
  • Journalism
  • Management
  • Political Science
  • Psychology