Public Relations

Bachelor of Arts | Minor


Majoring in public relations can lead to exciting career opportunities for students who like to communicate and share ideas for causes, products, and businesses they support.

Public relations specialists create and maintain a favorable image for the organization they represent. They plan strategies to shape public perception and to increase awareness and brand identity for the organization’s work and goals. The PR field is now comprised of 70% women, working in a range from large, global firms and corporations to striking out on their own as entrepreneurs.


Important Skills Needed to Succeed in PR

Public relations is all about communicating. PR practitioners are skilled writers who are also adept at sharing ideas in oral presentations. Other important skills (all taught at Columbia College!) are social media know-how, planning, knowledge of research principles, understanding the basics of how businesses work and make money, and problem-solving.

Classes and Internships that Lead to Careers

Our PR classes are taught by professionals who have worked in the field and now bring real-world knowledge to the classroom. Students review case studies of past and current public relations programs and learn what worked and what didn’t. They weigh in on what they would do differently. Our interns have worked in television, as social media strategists, for local and global PR firms, for non-profits, and in sports and entertainment. Internships are carefully chosen to match the student’s interest and often lead to full-time jobs. They always lead to mentoring and networking opportunities.

Program Coordinator:  Prof. Emily S. Ward, B.A., M.A.,

B.A. in Public Relations

Major Courses:

  • English 205 Intro to Mass Communication
  • PR 260 Principles of Public Relations
  • Writing 355 Media Ethics and Law
  • PR 360 Writing and Campaigns
  • PR 460 Public Realtions Strategy

One three-credit internship in public relations

Six additional courses (may include an additional internship) from the following:

  • ART 271 Beginning Graphic Design
  • ART 285 Introduction to Photography
  • ART 371 Intermediate Graphic Design
  • ART 385 Intermediate Photography
  • BUS 203 Principles of Marketing
  • CIS 109 Computer Science for the Liberal Art
  • CIS 230 Introduction to Web Development
  • COMM 310 Persuasion
  • ECON 201 Principles of Economics I
  • PR 470P-Internship
  • WRIT 150 Blogging
  • WRIT 200 Intro to Reporting for Print and Digital Media
  • WRIT 202 Introduction to Copy Editing
  • WRIT 330 Writing for Digital Media
  • WRIT 350 Intro to Narrative with Digital Video
  • WRIT 425 Intermediate Narrative with Digital Video

Minor in Public Relations

A public relations minor offers additional value to many majors. PR complements Media Writing, English, Communication, Business, Computer & Information Science, and others.

  • PR 260: Principles of Public Relations
  • PR 360: Writing and Campaigns
  • COMM 310: Persuasion
  • Plus two courses from the major options

Bachelor of Arts | Minor