Public Relations and Advertising B.A.

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Communicate effectively and strategically with diverse audiences and stakeholders by combining strong writing, speaking, and visual presentation skills with the proven tactics and research techniques to back them up.

The B.A. in Public Relations and Advertising prepares students for professional practice in public relations and advertising with a theoretical foundation applied through experiential learning, professional development, and leadership opportunities in PR and advertising in technological and global environments. 

  • Hands-on Experience: Students develop strategic integrated media campaigns and create cross-platform campaign strategies by researching, planning, analyzing, executing, and evaluating campaigns through project-based learning experiences. 
  • Specializations: Elective course options support students in planning specialization in public relations and advertising that aligns with their interests and career goals, such as event planning, media effects, social media, technology and content creation, environmental communication, health communication, political communication, sports communication, risk and crisis communication, reputation management, or fashion PR.  
  • Scholar and Practitioner Faculty: Students study with professors who have strong professional and research backgrounds in public relations and advertising, and who are active presenting research or projects at local, state, and national conferences. 
  • Career Preparation: Graduates of the B.A. in Public Relations and Advertising program will be prepared to become logical, competent, strategic, and creative thinkers to pursue successful careers in public relations, advertising, and digital media management across both for-profit and non-profit sectors. 
Degree Requirements and Courses

Printable Course Sheet View Guided Course Plan


  • CSEN1010; or  CSCM2050    Reading & Writing Strategies; or Intercultural Communications (Honors section: CSHR2050)    3
  • CSEN1020    Argument & Research (Honors section: CSHR1020)    3
  • CSCM1030    Public Speaking & Persuasion (Honors section: CSHR1030)    3
  • CSCM2040    Professional Communication in Workplace (Honors section: CSHR2040)    3
  • ECON1010    Survey of Economics (Honors section: 1015)    3
  • HUMA1010    Humanities: Art and Music (Honors section: 1015)    3
  • INFS1020    Fundamentals of Information Technology (Honors section: 1025)    3
  • MATH1050; or STAT;2110    Math Reasoning/Applications: or Statistics    3
  • PSYC1010    General Psychology    3
  • SOCI1010; or SOCI1020 Principles of Sociology: or Contemporary American Social Problems (Honors section: 1025)    3
  • HIST; or   POLS1020
  • History Elective    Choose from:  1100 (Honors section: 1105), 1200, 1500, 1600, 1700, or 1800; or American National Government    3
  • ENGL    ____    Literature Elective     Choose from 1040, 1050, 1060, 2030, 2040, 2055 (Honors section: 2065), or 2080    3
  • ____    ____    Natural Science Elective    Choose from BIOL1040, BIOL1050, BIOL1060, BIOL1250, BIOL1320, CHEM1220, ENVS1140, ENVS1160, ENVS1170, GEOL1090 (HNRS: GEOL1095), GEOL1100, GEOL1130, PHYS1060, or SCIE1020    3

PUBLIC RELATIONS AND ADVERTISING MAJOR - 48 CREDITS REQUIRED – Minimum grade of “C” must be earned for each course

Core Courses - 9 Credits Required

  • COMM1500    Ethics, Technology and Culture    3
  • COMM2030    Communication Theory    3
  • COMM2900    Research Methods in Communication    3

Required Major Courses - 18 Credits Required

  • COMM2000    Foundations in Public Relations    3
  • COMM2015    Fundamentals of Advertising    3
  • COMM3301    Writing for Advertising and PR    3
  • PRAD2800    Creative Thinking & Strategy    3
  • PRAD3800    Research in Public Relations and Advertising    3
  • PRAD4800    Integrated Media Campaigns    3

Restricted Elective Courses – 18 Credits Required – Select six (6) from the listed courses – Minimum grade of “C” required

  •  COMM3050    Advertising and Comm Strategies    3      
  •  COMM3110    Persuasion for Advertising and Public Relations    3    
  •  COMM3120    Environmental Communication    3    
  •  COMM3140    Health Communication Campaign    3    
  •  COMM3150    Reputation Management    3    
  •  COMM3180    Risk and Crisis Communication    3    
  •  COMM4030    Public Relations Practices in Global Societies    3    
  •  COMM4040    Social Media and Public Relations    3
  •  COMM4050     Interactive Advertising Campaigns   3
  •  PRAD 4903-09     Internship 3-9
  •  MARK, SPMG or ORGL 2000 or 4410 or ______ Other courses approved by the department   3

Interdisciplinary Course - 3 Credits Required

  • ARTM    ____    One ARTM (Media Arts) course – Minimum grade of “C” must be earned    3


Open Electives (33): Recommended a minor/double major

Program Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of the B.A. in Public Relations & Advertising program, students should be able to:

  • Demonstrate knowledge of the historical development of public relations and advertising.
  • Explain key concepts, issues, and theories in public relations and advertising.
  • Apply theory to practice of public relations and advertising.
  • Evaluate the impact of technology on the practice of public relations and advertising.
  • Reflect upon the plurality of audience perspective in the creation and execution of public relations and advertising messages.
Demand for Public Relations and Advertising Professionals

Public Relations Specialists

Public relations specialists typically need a bachelor’s degree in areas such as public relations, journalism, communications, or English. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects a 7% growth in U.S. employment for public relations specialists from 2019 to 2029, faster than the average for all occupations.

The May 2020 median annual wages 

  • For public relations specialists $62,810
    • In the top industries for public relations specialists, including such as
      • professional, labor, political, and similar organizations  $68,610
      • government  $67,590
      • advertising, public relations, and related services $64,880
      • educational services: state, local, and private $59,360

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Public Relations Specialists, at… (visited April 19, 2021).

Admissions and Tuition Information
Scholarships, Professional Opportunities & Student Organizations
Contact Us

The School of Informatics, Humanities and Social Sciences faculty is a team of dedicated teacher-scholars, award-winning artists, practitioners, and academics who are committed to your long-term success.

Meet the Faculty

Park, Sun-A Sun-A Park, Ph.D.

Associate Professor of Communication

Communication and Organizational Leadership


MorettiAnthony J. Moretti, Ph.D.    

Interim Department Head


Our Students Intern and Graduates Work at

Our students pursue internships throughout the Pittsburgh region with PR firms, advertising agencies, corporations, non-profit organizations, hospitals, and sports teams. Our graduates go on to work in PR firms, advertising agencies, corporations, non-profit organizations, hospitals, and sports teams.

Our recent graduates have careers in 

  • retail and corporate advertising
  • advertising
  • public relations
  • brand management
  • account management
  • social media management
  • media sales
  • media planning
  • special event planning
  • digital media communications. 

Sample Courses:

These are some of the classes for students in this academic program:

Major Credits
Core Credits
Elective Credits

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