Program Overview

The minor in public relations gives students the opportunity to develop competence in oral, written and visual communication as well as the critical thinking skills necessary to make strategic choices while developing communications campaigns. Students are introduced to a core set of skills and theories, best practices in communication, and professional standards relevant to the practice of public relations.

Note: This minor may be combined with the Professional Communication-Organization Track, but not with the Professional Communication-Public Relations Track.

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Requirements

Courses required for your specific program are listed in the right column on this page. They include prerequisite, foundation, core and elective courses. Contact your advisor with questions concerning your degree plan.

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Course List

Prerequisites

Requirements ( 20 total credits)

Public Relations Minor Required Courses (16 credits)

  • COMM 380 Public Relations Writing
    4 credits

    This class provides practical experiences in public relations writing. Focusing on written communications in major Public Relation genres. This class will incorporate a workshop approach, with emphasis on weekly assignments that are critiqued and discussed as a class. We will focus on producing clear, concise writing that is accurate, organized and targeted to specific audiences.

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  • COMM 381 Public Relations Principles
    4 credits

    This course is for people who want to understand how public relations establishes relationships with various stakeholders through communication. It outlines elements of the public relations process: research and planning, setting objectives, developing strategies, implementing programs and evaluating results. Overlap: COMM 381T Public Relations Theory Seminar.

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  • COMM 385 Media Relations
    4 credits

    One strategic approach for public relations practitioners is to establish relationships with key stakeholders using mass communication media. Through course projects, students explore, as well as, building partnerships with members of these media organizations with the range of media outlets available. Students also explore preparing members of these organizations to serve as media spokespersons.

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  • COMM 481 Advanced Public Relations
    4 credits

    This course explores research methods used in effective program planning and assessment, persuasive theories and techniques used to develop campaign strategy and tactics and the legal and the ethical issues that accompany public relations both historically and in emerging issues in the field.

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Public Relations Minor Electives (4 credits)

  • COMM 320 Individual Rights and Public Discourse
    4 credits

    This course is designed to introduce students to their First Amendment rights to freedom of religion, freedom of expression, freedom of the press, freedom of assembly and freedom to petition. It will also explore citizens' corresponding responsibilities and our frequent disagreements over these rights and responsibilities. Through course assignments students will develop a greater capacity to engage in civic activities by understanding the First Amendment, being able to more fully articulate their personal view of their First Amendment rights and responsibilities, refining their research and analysis skills, and developing their expertise in oral argumentation. Note: Communication 320 is required for all public relations majors.

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  • COMM 351 Communication in Work Groups
    4 credits

    This course covers theory and practice of communication in small task-oriented groups. Communication topics include team management, models of group problem solving and decision making, leadership, building cohesiveness, resolving conflict, managing diverse views, negotiating roles, and norms. Students learn to interact productively in small task groups as members and leaders. Numerous group activities, group assignments and laboratory work require an extended class time and group meetings outside of class. Overlap: COMM 351T Communication in Work Groups Theory Seminar.

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  • INFS 315 Searching for Information
    4 credits

    A student completing this course understands the process of finding, synthesizing, evaluating, and documenting sufficient and reliable information appropriate to a variety of purposes including upper division coursework, senior capstone papers or professional writing, and communication tasks. Students also explore a number of the contemporary issues surrounding information in society, have opportunities to use and/or visit primary resource collections and learn a variety of research techniques. Specific sections of the course will structure assignments around a course theme identified in the class schedule. Prior themes have included Civil Rights, Holocaust and Genocide, Crime and Punishment, Food, Immigration, and Health Care. Both themed and non-themed sections are offered every semester as are online and in-class sections.

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  • MDST 361 Visual Communication
    4 credits

    Designed as an introduction to visual literacy, this course surveys many of the media formats that define today's image-dominant culture. Various examples of print advertising, photography, film, television and multimedia are explored; the focus is equally on principles and concepts from both the fine and applied arts, and draws from history as well as the present day.

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