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Public Relations

International Public Relations Research Conference

International Public Relations Research Conference

Bobcat Promotions

Bobcat Promotions

PRSSA Regional Conference

PRSSA Regional Conference

No. 1 Best Creative Jobs of 2015

No. 75 in the 100 Best Jobs of 2015

-- U.S. News & World Report

Welcome to the Texas State University School of Journalism and Mass Communication (SJMC) Public Relations sequence. This program is designed to ensure our graduates understand and can thrive in the ever-changing, globalized communication environment. Faculty challenge PR students to understand strategic communication, research, critical thinking, creativity and innovation to solve problems and meet goals.

With the explosion of digital media, the role of Public Relations is ever expanding, requiring organizations to reach diverse publics by communicating across a variety of channels and platforms. Our students understand the need to create connections and engage with stakeholders to build mutually beneficial relationships.

In the end, our graduates research, write, plan, think, build, create, strategize, engage and evaluate. They are inquisitive, innovative, creative, bold, versatile and passionate. They understand the importance of ethical and credible communication. They are ready to be the next generation of public relations professionals of the highest standards.

Explore the degree options, courses, faculty and more on this site to appreciate Texas State offerings for those considering the field of public relations.

Required Courses

The School of Journalism and Mass Communication offers four undergraduate degree options for students interested in public relations. These options are included in a course catalog general overview of all SJMC degrees offered. Students can choose to earn the Bachelor of Science in Public Relations and Mass Communication degree with flexible electives (no concentration) or a concentration in Digital Media, Multimedia Production or Sports Media.

Any degree choice will provide students with a liberal arts foundation, combined with core mass communication courses and a selection of public relations specific courses. Depending on the degree option chosen, elective requirements vary.

All undergraduate students in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication, regardless of their majors, must take MC 1301-Introduction to Mass Communication, MC 1313-Writing for the Mass Media, MC 4301-Media Law and Ethics and MC 4381-Fundamentals of Digital and Online Media.

To earn a BS in Public Relations, students must also earn 15 hours within the sequence by choosing courses from among the following:

  • MC 3343-Introduction to Public Relations
  • MC 3383-Editing for Clear Communication
  • MC 4313-Writing for Public Relations
  • MC 4320-Public Relations Campaigns
  • Either MC 3390-Media Design, MC 4315-Web Design Publishing or MC 4326-Advanced Social Media and Analytics

Students must also take:
12 advanced hours (4 courses) in any area of Mass Communication
1 hour from: MC 2111-Media Practicum, MC 4130-Internship, MC1100A-Careers in Media, MC 1100B-Grammar for Journalists or MC 1100C-Seminar in Sports Broadcasting

Total: 40 hours (12+15+12+1)

Concentrations

Concentrations focus on specific areas and provide skillsets designed to serve today’s evolving public relations profession. Students who elect a concentration apply the 9-hour concentration toward the 12 hours of advanced mass communication electives required of the B.S. degree.

Digital Media concentration (9 hours)
Required course: MC 4315-Web Design and Publishing
Choose two courses from: MC 1100D-Digital Entrepreneurship, MC 1100E-Digital Media Tools and Skills, MC 1100F-Digital Media Innovation Concepts, MC 3390-Media Design, 4323-Multimedia Journalism, 4324-Visual Storytelling, 4325-Coding and Digital Skills for Communicators

Multimedia Production concentration (9 hours)
Required course: MC 3319-Visual Communication
Choose two courses from: MC 3311-Video Production, 3312-Television News, 3390-Media Design, 4312-Photojournalism, 4323-Multimedia Journalism

Sports Media concentration (9 hours)
Required course: MC 4329-Sports Media
Choose two courses from: MC 4312-Photojournalism, MC 4324-Visual Storytelling, MC 4325-Coding and Data Skills for Communicators, MC 4330-Internship, MC 4331-Strategic Sports Communication, MC 4357-Sports as News

Careers in Public Relations

The current job market for public relations professionals is healthy. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates employment of public relations specialists to grow 12 percent by 2022. If all jobs are included that require PR skills but don’t include “public relations” in the title, the growth is much higher.

Below is a list of titles by entry-level, midcareer and senior-level job descriptions. Job seekers should check out the PRSA Jobcenter for more resources: http://www.prsa.org/JobCenter.

Entry level titles: “Intern,” “Specialist,” “Coordinator,” and “Associate,” among others, combined with these terms:

Communications / Public Relations / Digital Marketing / Media / Social Media Marketing Communications / Digital Communications / Community Relations / Integrated Marketing Communications / Writer / Visual Communications / Outreach / Public Information / Public Affairs

Mid-career titles: “Director,” “Manager,” “Strategist,” “Analyst,” “Supervisor,” “Senior…,” and “Assistant Director,” among others, combined with these terms:

Public Relations / Corporate Communications / Strategic Communications / Digital Communications / Public Affairs / Internal Communications / Content Management / Community Relations / Development / Employee Communications / Marketing Communications / Media Relations / Media Affairs / Copywriter / Content Manager / Social Media / Digital Media / Government Relations / Speechwriter / Integrated Marketing Communications / Video Communications / Grants and Communications / Public Information / External Communication / Content Producer and Writer

Senior-level titles: “Vice-President,” “Executive,” “Chief,” among others, combined with these terms:

Communications / Public Relations / Brand Communications / Investor Relations / Speechwriter / Strategic Communications

PR Agency titles: Intern, Assistant Account Executive, Account Executive, Senior Account Executive, Account Supervisor, Account Director, Managing Director, Senior Managing Director, Vice-President, Owner and Founder

Internships & Campus Media

Public Relations majors are encouraged to seek internships but are not required to do so. The school’s internship coordinator maintains relationships with employers offering internships and provides guidance in seeking internships.

Campus media outlets also provide valuable practical experience. Students may work at campus media outlets Bobcat Promotions, The University Star and KTSW 89.9 FM radio on a volunteer basis, for course credit or as a student media employee.


Public Relations Faculty:

Jennifer Scharlach

Jennifer Scharlach
Lecturer of Practice & Sequence Coordinator

Patricia Baldwin

Patricia Baldwin
Part-Time Lecturer

Randi Berkovsky

Randi Berkovsky
Part-Time Lecturer

Emily Ehmer

Emily Ehmer
Assistant Professor

Michel Haigh

Michel Haigh
Professor and Graduate Advisor

Charles Kaufman

Charles Kaufman
Senior Lecturer

Courtney Lyons-Garcia

Courtney Lyons-Garcia
Part-Time Lecturer

Prisca Ngondo

Prisca Ngondo
Assistant Professor

Paul Villagran

Paul Villagran
Lecturer

Shawna White

Shawna White
Lecturer

Olga Wilson

Olga Wilson
Part-Time Lecturer