Public Relations engages students in courses that build knowledge and skills in today's multicultural domestic and global public relations industry. Students learn the importance of and processes behind building and maintaining mutually beneficial relationships between organizations and target publics through effective interactive communication. Students also gain hands-on experience in media relations, community relations, and employee relations through bluestone-Public Relations Firm and experiential and service learning projects for private, nonprofit, corporate, and public sector clients.

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Learn more about our Bachelor of Science in Mass Communications

For more information, please see the Academic Catalog. A program map, which provides a guide for students to plan their course of study, is available for download in the Courses tab below.

  • Overview
  • Cost
  • Courses
  • Faculty
  • Admissions
  • Dates
  • Objectives
  • Overview

    Public relations students, building upon a foundation in mass communications and ethics, progress through a robust curriculum that helps them master the essential skills necessary to be successful in a technologically connected and global communications environment.

    Through experiential learning, students are engaged in courses that enhance communication and mutually-beneficial relationship building, writing and presentation skills, understanding of public relations and media in business practice, and use technological advances that aid in effective communication in today's multicultural domestic and global public relations industry. Students learn the importance of processes behind public relations planning and situation analysis, strategy development, and the application of interactive communication. Students also gain hands-on experience in media relations, community relations, crisis planning and management, employee relations and public relations campaign development and key message strategy through classroom instruction and bluestone-Public Relations Firm. bluestone provides opportunity for engaging students in service learning projects for private, nonprofit, corporate, and public sector clients.

    For specific public relations sequence courses and requirements visit: http://www.westga.edu/assets/docs/catalogs/UG-full-current/5495.htm

    Accreditation

    The University of West Georgia is accredited by The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

    Credit and transfer

    Total semester hours required: 120

  • Cost

    This program may be earned entirely face-to-face. However, depending on the courses chosen, a student may choose to take some partially or fully online courses.

    Save money

    UWG is often ranked as one of the most affordable accredited universities of its kind, regardless of the method of delivery chosen.

    Details

    • Total tuition costs and fees may vary, depending on the instructional method of the courses in which the student chooses to enroll.
    • The more courses a student takes in a single term, the more they will typically save in fees and total cost.
    • Face-to-face or partially online courses are charged at the general tuition rate and all mandatory campus fees, based on the student's residency (non-residents are charged at a higher rate).
    • Fully or entirely online courses are charged at the general tuition rate plus an eTuition rate BUT with fewer fees and no extra charges to non-Residents.
    • Together this means that GA residents pay about the same if they take all face-to-face or partially online courses as they do if they take only fully online courses exclusively; while non-residents save money by taking fully online courses.
    • One word of caution: If a student takes a combination of face-to-face and online courses in a single term, he/she will pay both all mandatory campus fees and the higher eTuition rate.
    • For cost information, as well as payment deadlines, see the Bursar's Office website

    There are a variety of financial assistance options for students, including scholarships and work study programs. Visit the Office of Financial Aid for more information.

  • Courses

    Coursework

    Coursework for majors with a concentration in Public Relations are listed below. More information may also be found at Bachelor of Science in Mass Communications or your Undergraduate Catalog.

    Downloads

    General

    These courses are required for all Mass Communications majors. In addition to the General courses below, 6 hours of Foreign Language (1000 or 2000 level) and 3 hours of a Humanities or a Social Science elective must be completed (18 total hours):

    • COMM-1110 - Public Speaking

      A study of the principles and practice of public speaking with an emphasis on the organization of material and the vocal and physical aspects of delivery in various public speaking situations.

      View Instructors, Syllabi and Other Details

    • COMM-1154 - Introduction to Mass Communications

      An introductory, yet critical examination of the historical development, and paramount economic, legal/policy, ethical, political, and social effects issues concerned with mass media, i.e., books, newspapers, magazines, recordings, radio, movies, television, the internet, public relations, and advertising. Particular attention given to competition, convergence, and mass media's impact on society, as well as society's impact on mass media.

      View Instructors, Syllabi and Other Details

    • COMM-2254 - Media Ethics

      Examination of the major classical and contemporary ethical philosophies. Application of ethical decision-making models to media issues, particularly freedom of speech, economic pressure, invasion of privacy, and the public's rights.

      View Instructors, Syllabi and Other Details

    Major Required

    These courses are required for Mass Communication majors with a concentration in Public Relations (24 total hours):

    • COMM-3301 - Writing & Reporting for Newspapers

      Basic procedures and techniques for writing and reporting for newspapers. Emphasis on news style and judgment as well as ethical and legal issues.

      View Instructors, Syllabi and Other Details

    • COMM-3313 - Public Relations Principles

      A survey of the role, responsibilities, and potential of modern public relations. Includes developement of basic techniques needed for effective public relations programs.

      View Instructors, Syllabi and Other Details

    • COMM-4413 - Public Relations Cases

      Analysis of public relations cases and situations. Includes analysis of application of principles, processes, and theories of public relations to case management.

      View Instructors, Syllabi and Other Details

    • COMM-4414 - Public Relations Management

      Public Relations Management provides students insights regarding key concepts, theoretical perspectives, essential skills and abilities, and critical thinking and problem solving skills necessary for effective communication within an organization and with its stakeholders. Topics include issues management, risk management, relationship management, crisis planning and preparation, case studies, and developing communication plans.

      View Instructors, Syllabi and Other Details

    • COMM-4421P - Practicum: Bluestone Public Relations Firm

      Practical experience with the student-managed public relations firm that primarily includes hands-on experience through service learning and experiential learning projects for private, nonprofit, and public sector clients. Emphasis is placed on strategic planning, research, data analysis, campaign development, copywriting, promotional design, and use of social media across traditional and digital media platforms. Repeatable; Maximum of 3.0 credit hours may be applied to the Mass Communications major.

      View Instructors, Syllabi and Other Details

    • COMM-4444 - Public Relations Campaigns

      This public relations capstone course applies knowledge and skills learned in previous public relations courses in the planning, execution, and evaluation of a client campaign. Provides students the opportunity to gain a positive client evaluation and a quality product to use in their portfolios.

      View Instructors, Syllabi and Other Details

    • COMM-4451 - Public Relations Writing

      A study and application of principles and techniques for writing across traditional and emerging digital media platforms. Emphasis on informational and persuasive writing for public relations.

      View Instructors, Syllabi and Other Details

    • COMM-4454 - Media Law

      Examination of the legal context regulating print, telecommunication and electronic media as well as advertising and public relations industries. Emphasis on libel, slander, privacy, copyright, free press/fair trial and obscenity law. This course is restricted to Seniors.

      View Instructors, Syllabi and Other Details

    • COMM-4484 - Mass Communications Research Methods

      A survey of qualitative and quantitative research methods, data analysis and reporting procedures, including opportunities to conduct, analyze, evaluate, interpret, and communicate research.

      View Instructors, Syllabi and Other Details

    Major Selects

    In addition to the above, Mass Communication majors with a concentration in Public Relations should select among the following recommended COMM electives (12 total hours):

    • COMM-3303 - Layout and Design

      Basic editing and makeup procedures for newspapers and other print publications. Includes copy editing, headline writing, page makeup, and basic graphic principles.

      View Instructors, Syllabi and Other Details

    • COMM-3351 - Radio Program Production

      Instruction in the operation of radio technology and introduction to the production of radio programs. Opportunity for practical experience with the university radio station.

      View Instructors, Syllabi and Other Details

    • COMM-3352 - Fundamentals of Television Production

      Instruction in the operation of television studio and digital video technology and introduction to the production of television and digital video messages. Emphasis on electronic newsgathering, television studio production, and digital video editing techniques.

      View Instructors, Syllabi and Other Details

    • COMM-3354 - Digital Social Media and Society

      An introduction to the foundations, applications, and techniques of digital social media. Opportunities for practical experience developing blogs and other social media content, and exploring the relation of these emerging technologies to traditional mass communication media within society.

      View Instructors, Syllabi and Other Details

    • COMM-3357 - Diversity and Mass Media

      Survey and critical analysis of scholarship concerned with the relationship between mass media, public relations, and selected populaces who have been given peripheral attention, i.e., minorities, women, lower socioeconomic class, and those who are aging or have physical disabilities. Emphasis on the cultural impact of media and public relations in terms of representations, audience effects, and industry demographics, as well as media literacy and advocacy.

      View Instructors, Syllabi and Other Details

    • COMM-4421P - Practicum: Bluestone Public Relations Firm

      Practical experience with the student-managed public relations firm that primarily includes hands-on experience through service learning and experiential learning projects for private, nonprofit, and public sector clients. Emphasis is placed on strategic planning, research, data analysis, campaign development, copywriting, promotional design, and use of social media across traditional and digital media platforms. Repeatable; Maximum of 3.0 credit hours may be applied to the Mass Communications major.

      View Instructors, Syllabi and Other Details

    • COMM-4486 - Internship

      A hands-on, supervised, media field experience to apply and test knowledge and skills, and to network with professionals. Internship must be approved by internship coordinator. To be approved, internship must offer experiential learning in Convergence Journalism, Digital Media & Telecommunication, Film & Video Production, and/or Public Relations; require majors to intern 45 hours for each credit hour enrolled or 135 hours if enrolled 3 credit hours; assign interns an immediate supervisor who has academic credentials and/or professional experience in the discipline. Prerequisites: Major; Junior or Senior; ENGL 1102 Minimum Grade: C; COMM 1154 Minimum Grade: C; Nine credit hours of COMM 3000-4000 level courses; and Major GPA of 2.5 or above.

      View Instructors, Syllabi and Other Details

  • Faculty
  • Admissions

    Guidelines for Admittance

    Each UWG degree program has specific requirements that you must meet in order to enroll.

    Admission Process Checklist

    1. Review Admission Requirements for the different programs and guides for specific populations (non-traditional, transfer, transient, home school, joint enrollment students, etc).
    2. Review important deadlines:
      • Fall semester: June 1 (undergrads)
      • Spring semester: November 15 (undergrads)
      • Summer semester: May 15 (undergrads)
        See program specific calendars here
    3. Complete online application
      Undergraduate Admissions Guide

      Undergraduate Application

      Undergraduate International Application

    4. Submit $40 non-refundable application fee
    5. Submit official documents

      Request all official transcripts and test scores be sent directly to UWG from all colleges or universities attended. If a transcript is mailed to you, it cannot be treated as official if it has been opened. Save time by requesting transcripts be sent electronically.

      Undergraduate & Graduate Applicants should send all official transcripts to:
      Office of Undergraduate Admissions, Murphy Building
      University of West Georgia
      1601 Maple Street
      Carrollton, GA 30118-4160
    6. Submit a Certificate of Immunization, if required. If you will not ever be traveling to a UWG campus or site, you may apply for an Immunization Exemption. Contact the Immunization Clerk with your request.
    7. Check the status of your application

  • Dates

    Specific dates for Admissions (Undergraduate Only), Financial Aid, Fee Payment, Registration, Start/End of Term Dates, Final Exams, etc. are available in THE SCOOP.

  • Objectives
    • Students will be able to understand critically the origin, development and paramount economic, legal/policy, social and effects issues of mass media.
    • Students will be able to understand critically structure and process of mass media industries within economic, legal, and ethical considerations.
    • Students will develop the ability to write mass media messages with accuracy, clarity, and brevity on deadline and within varying style, ethical, and legal considerations.
    • Students will develop proficient use of technology to produce visual and audio messages for mass media within varying aesthetic, style, technical, ethical, and legal considerations.
    • Students will be able to gain practical experiences to apply and test knowledge and skills, and to network with professionals.
    • Students will be encouraged to engage in interdisciplinary scholarship.
    • Students will be provided a foundation for graduate study in communication.