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Communication Department


Public Relations


In addition to the major classes, prospective public relations practitioners must take the following courses to fulfill the requirements of the concentration (click on the links below to read detailed descriptions):


         For a simplified, printable listing, click here.



Optional or "by invitation only" courses:




Detailed Course Descriptions (as found in the Course Catalog)


COMM 205 - Principles of Public Relations (3 credits)

Introduction to the nature, history, and current practice of public relations, emphasizing appropriate communication strategies for different publics and contexts including corporate, non-profit and government agencies.  The focus will be on the public relations process of research, action planning, communication, implementation, and evaluation. Ethics, media relations, social media and community relations are also discussed.

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COMM 301 - Persuasion: Theory and Practice (3)

Principles and techniques of the art of persuasion as applied to oral discourse.

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COMM 333 - Business and Organizational Communication (3)

This course explains how communication constructs and maintains organizational functioning at a variety of levels. For example, students learn about recruitment and socialization, conflict, communication technologies, coworker and team communication, leadership, and predominant theories of organizational communication.

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COMM 351 - Public Relations Writing (3)

This course focuses on building organization-public relationships with a variety of audiences through organizing, writing, and tailoring public relations materials such as news releases, brochures, newsletters, and web writing. Annual reports, basic graphic design, and the publication/printing process are also briefly introduced. The course culminates in preparation and presentation of a final writing portfolio. [Although not a prerequisite, COMM 205 is strongly recommended prior to taking COMM 351.]

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COMM 353 - Crisis Communication and Media Relations (3)

Analysis of corporate, institutional and governmental conflict and crises. Consideration given to nature of social conflict, negotiation, problem-solving, crisis planning, spokesperson training, news conferences and news releases. [Although not a prerequisite, COMM 205 is strongly recommended prior to taking COMM 353.]

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COMM 359 - Rhetorical Theory (3)

This course surveys the history and major theories of rhetoric from its foundations in ancient Greece to more recent postmodern manifestations. Students will gain a conceptual framework for speaking and writing persuasively as well as evaluating the structure and function of rhetoric in society.

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MRKT 230 - Marketing Principles (3)

Understanding the role of marketing in the economy and within the firm. Learning to assess and meet the needs of consumers in the firm's target market through development of suitable products which are priced and distributed appropriately with the aid of effective communication.

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MRKT 337 - Advertising (3)

Familiarizes students with the nature and scope of advertising and its place in the economic structure, with special emphasis on creative and managerial aspects of advertising, including campaign strategy, the use of mass media, the advertising agency, and social responsibility. Prerequisite: MRKT 230

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COMM 391 - Communication Practicum (1-3)

Work experience under professional supervision in such areas such as broadcasting, organizational communication, Christian communiction, public relations and information, advertising, entertainment, and visual media. Open to junior and senior communication students who have completed at least four communication courses (Pass/Fail grade only).

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INTE 394 - Internship (4-10)

Only third-year and fourth-year students who are academically proficient, and have the approval of their academic department, are eligible. This discipline-related work experience provides for application of classroom theory and development of professional skills. Students observe and participate in the activities of an organization or assist with a special project(s) that promotes professional development. Credit is awarded based upon length and intensity of involvement, the number of individualized learning objectives to be accomplished, as well as prescribed learning activities. Readings, topic papers, learning contract, portfolio, employer evaluations, and participation in a monthly class are some of the components. Available during fall, spring, and summer sessions (Letter grade only).

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COMM 426 - Senior Public Relations Campaign Project (3)

Senior Communication majors will have a "hands-on" capstone opportunity by providing public relations consultation to a non-profit client. This project will be under the direction of a faculty advisor and culminate in a presentation of the group's findings to the client. Participation will be limited to a select group of students chosen via an application process conducted by the instructor.

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COMM 491 - Independent Study (1-3)

Independent study of research in communication under the supervision of an instructor whose approval must precede enrollment.

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COMM 497, 498 - Major Honors (3, 3)

Independent research program for junior- and senior-level students who have strong academic record for a minimum of five previous semesters of college study. Overall G.P.A. of 3.5; G.P.A. of 3.7 in the major; and departmental approval required for enrollment.

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