Public Relations Major

Courses in the public relations major seek to develop Christian perspectives on the media, on the ways media serve and might serve their communities, and on the roles our graduates will play within media organizations. These courses are complemented by the leadership and production experience students gain as members of Crosswalk Media, a departmental production group serving the broader community, and the Beacon, the college newspaper. The public relations major requires an internship—and excellent internship opportunities are available in Los Angeles, Washington D.C., and Chicago.

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COM 101x - Mass Media and Society
Examines the historical development, organization and structure of the mass media in contemporary society, as well as related issues and problems. Suggests Christian perspectives on use of and participation in the mass media.(4 credits)
COM 185 - Media Writing
Students learn genres of writing for print and broadcast journalism and video, as well as for public relations and advertising. They learn these genres in relation to each other and in relation to their organizational contexts and audiences. Included are reporting, organizing and writing, as well as basic legal and ethical guidelines for reporters and writers in journalism and PR.Prerequisite or co-requisite: the college writing requirement.(4 credits)
COM 215 - Practicum in Public Relations *
Practical experience in public relations related projects such as publicity, promotions, employee and customer relations, special events, advertising, Web design, corporate research, grant writing, and human resources development and training. Project sites and sponsors may be campus departments and organizations, community businesses, and non-profit organizations. Prerequisites: completion of, or enrollment in, any of the following courses: COM230, 261, 263, 315, 332, 355, and ENG288, or permission of instructor. (1 credit)
COM 225 - Media Law and Ethics
COM 230 - Principles of Public Relations
Introduction to the field of public relations. Its focus is on public relations theory and practice with an emphasis on emerging trends. This course is offered as an overview covering public relations history, theories, strategies and tactics.(3 credits; alternate years, consult department)
COM 312 - Advanced Public Relations: Strategy & Implementation
COM 332 - Social Foundations of Advertising
(3 credits, alternate years, consult department) The primary objectives of this course are knowledge integration and skills application. By conceiving, researching, creating, executing, and evaluating a comprehensive advertising communication plan that incorporates research, creative, media, and promotions, students will understand how various components work together to provide a client with a cohesive campaign that communicates their message. Students will give a formal oral presentation to their client that includes a usable campaign and all the creative materials needed to execute the campaign.
COM 355 - Organizational Communication
Examination of the role of communication within and between organizations. Attention to communication tasks within an organization such as news releases, memo writing, conducting meetings, and communicating to an organization's constituencies.(4 credits; alternate years)
COM 417 - Internship
Experience in an approved internship.(4 credits may apply toward the major)
Choose eleven credits:
Choose at least one course:
COM 261 - Feature Writing
Study of interviewing practices, research methods, organization, and interest-gathering techniques necessary for writing longer articles, profiles, columns and consumer affairs writing.Prerequisite: COM185 or permission of instructor.(2 credits; alternate years, consult department)
COM 310 - Advanced Topics in Communications
This course is designed to be an upper- level course providing in-depth and additional knowledge and/or skill in specific discipline areas that are not well covered in the current curriculum. Topics will vary according to students' interests and needs, changes and developments in the communication discipline and practice, and faculty skills and interest. Potential topics may include additional instruction in advertising, public relations, magazine writing, advanced news writing and editing, advanced video editing, digital video directing, and international and intercultural communication.Prerequisites: to be determined by department.(2-4 credits; alternate years, consult department)
COM 330 - Multiplatform Communications
COM 340 - News Writing and Editing
COM 400 - Advanced Journalism
Theory and practice of writing and reporting for, as well as leading, community newspapers--weeklies and smaller dailies. Topics include investigating local government, reporting on meetings, reporting on religion, developing local sources of information, understanding the roles of the newspaper within the community, forming relationships of trust with sources and readers, and dealing with common ethical issues. (3 credits; alternate years, consult department)
ENG 235 - Introduction to Rhetorical Studies
This course functions primarily as an introduction to rhetoric and rhetorical analysis. It is designed to introduce students to the major and the minor in writing and rhetoric. Topics include the rhetoric of ancient Greece, definitions of rhetoric, past and present, rhetorical analysis of texts, and analysis of the rhetor's purpose, situation, genre and audience.(2 credits)
ENG 288 - Writing in the Professions
A study of professional writing. In a writing workshop setting, students will learn to adjust style, tone and content to accomplish a definite purpose with an identified audience. They will also learn strategies for creating texts that are clear, concise and accurate. The course is especially useful for those whose career goals require facility in written communication, such as those studying marketing, public relations, advertising, management or law. All students will choose a professional to be their mentor on a writing project related to the career they are interested in. Students will also build a small portfolio of professional writing that includes letters, a memo, a resume and a research report.Prerequisites: sophomore class standing and ENG184 or ACT English score of 30 or above (SAT 680 or higher).(2 credits)
ENG 297 - The Rhetoric of Persuasion
A study of the methods of persuasion: logical and emotional appeals and trustworthiness, ways of structuring arguments, and persuasive style. Students will learn to create and critique arguments on a variety of subjects. Prerequisites: sophomore class standing and ENG184 or ACT English score of 30 or above (SAT 680 or higher), or permission of instructor. (4 credits)
Choose at least one course:
ART 164 - Photography I
(2 credits) Taught as a medium of creative expression or as an art form and as a journalistic tool. Film processing and printing are taught as well as camera techniques, darkroom procedures and presentation of work for exhibitions. A fee is associated with this course (
ART 220 - Graphic Design I
ART 320 - Graphic Design II
COM 263 - Layout and Design
Covers basic principles of design as they apply to a wide variety of publications. Emphasis on selecting type, art and graphics appropriate to subject matter, purpose and audience.(3 credits)
COM 315 - Writing and Design for the Web
Study of writing and design for a Web environment. Students will analyze Internet sites and design sites of their own, using a standard program for Web design.Prerequisites: ENG184 or equivalent and any of the following: COM263, ART220, ART230, or permission of instructor.(3 credits; alternate years, consult department)

Cognate Requirements

BUS 200 - Principles of Marketing
This course introduces students to marketing terminology; defines the elements necessary in moving a product, service or idea from concept to market sales; and enables students to understand and replicate the marketing process at an entry level.(3 credits)
BUS 201 - Principles of Management
(2 credits) This course introduces the student to the basic principles of management. It includes the understanding of manager's actions in the work place, on the organization and employees. It includes the study of basic management tools and techniques.
Choose one course:
BUS 309 - Human Resource Management
Students study the development of human resources management, including history, policies, practices and applications. Specific attention is paid to the study of the processes involving the management of human resources and its legal environment. Prerequisites: BUS201 and BUS305 or permission of instructor. (3 credits)
BUS 401 - Consumer Behavior
This course explores the cultural, social, personal and psychological factors influencing buyer behavior; buying-decision processes and stages; and learning theory integrated with consumer beliefs and attitudes. Prerequisite: BUS200. (3 credits)
ECO 101 - Survey of Economics
This is an introductory course in economics which will cover both microeconomics and macroeconomics topics. The course will explore economic institutions, how they came to be, how they have changed over time, and how the government modifies them.(4 credits)

Total credits required: 52


*COM215 is a 1 credit course to be taken twice.

**COM310 must be a topic in Public Relations.

Internships range from 2-12 credits. The maximum credits applied to the major are noted under the 417 course designation.