Public Relations

BA

Why study Public Relations?

The Public Relations program is a pre-professional major for students interested in community relations, corporate communication, employee/member relations, government relations, integrated marketing communication, strategic communication, and other PR-allied fields. The program offers team-based projects, internships and co-ops, service and experiential learning, and collaboration with community organizations. Students are trained to think analytically, communicate strategically, and lead responsibly. Students learn communication theory and market-current skills, all within the context of cultural sensitivity and ethical responsibility. This program equips students to make a positive contribution to their local community, nation, and world by making connections between theory and practice in the arena of public relations.

Admission Requirements

Freshmen applicants, please visit the Admission Requirements page for more information.
Public Relations majors have excellent critical thinking, writing, and interpersonal skills. They can map the big picture and implement the small details. They are strategic, creative, compassionate, and—above all—ethical. Public Relations is an excellent major for students who are interested in working for organizations or causes in for-profit, non-profit, and government settings.

In our rapidly evolving digital world, success in any organization requires a sophisticated understanding of communication processes. Positions in public relations and allied fields rely even more heavily on strong oral and written communication skills. Graduates with a Public Relations BA from the UC College of Arts and Sciences are equipped with strong analytical, communication, and creative skills. As such, they are well prepared for many different career options. Graduates find jobs such as:

  • Campaign Manager
  • Communication Specialist
  • Event Planner
  • Executive Coach
  • Fundraising Director
  • Human Resources Officer
  • Public Relations Specialist
  • Social Media Manager
  • Technical Writer
  • Training and Development Officer

Public Relations students are also well prepared for advanced study in such areas as advocacy, law, marketing, and public policy.

The Communication Department also offers a Public Relations Certificate. The certificate consists of 21 credit hours for Communication majors and 18 credit hours for non-Communication majors. Required courses emphasize both theory and practice through situation analysis, audience analysis, strategic analysis of options and planning, message design, and program implementation and evaluation. A graduate should be well prepared to work in a variety of PR applications, including agencies, nonprofit organizations, corporations, government, advocacy organizations, healthcare and others. For more details, click here.
For more information about the Public Relations program, please contact the program director listed below or any PR advisor.

Students in the UC College of Arts and Sciences enjoy many benefits afforded through study at a research-intensive institution ranked among the nation's top 25 public research universities. UC's urban, Tristate location offers exciting opportunities for global education, research, and service learning, while its student-centered focus includes an 11:1 student-faculty ratio, a nationally recognized Center for Exploratory Studies, and a highly successful First Year Experience program that teaches critical skills for first-year students and provides connections with important campus resources.

The Department of Communication's Public Relations program is one of fewer than 40 programs that has earned the Certification in Education for Public Relations (CEPR) by the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA). The program’s location in Cincinnati gives students abundant opportunities for internships, co-ops, networking, mentoring, and jobs.

Undergraduate student organizations:

  • UC Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA)
  • UC Influence—Student Public Relations Firm

Internships
Public Relations majors greatly enhance their educational experience while in college by conducting an internship in the public relations field. Multiple internships serve to both strengthen students’ resumes and prepare them for the professional world. Requirements for internship include:

  • Must be a Public Relations major in good standing
  • Completion of the prerequisite course PD 2070: Professionalism & Purpose
  • Registered for COMM 3091: Internship in Communication

Departmental Honors
All graduating Public Relations majors who earn a 3.4/4.0 GPA or above in the major will earn "Honors" status. All graduating Public Relations majors who earn a 3.66/4.0 GPA or above in the major will earn "High Honors" status. Students will be designated with their departmental honors at graduation. Maintaining a high GPA is important to your future success. High grades are necessary for admission into many of the top graduate programs. High grades also demonstrate to potential employers that you are intelligent, hard-working, able to learn, and able to deliver what is asked of you.

However, high grades alone will not be enough to set academically gifted students apart. You need to be able to demonstrate your achievements. For that reason, the department encourages honors students to seek out additional academic challenges.

The Public Relations major is a dynamic and challenging degree. The department is proud of our students who achieve high grades. We encourage you to get to know the faculty. Personal recommendations can be very helpful. Moreover, we welcome you to consider furthering your education with a master’s degree from our department. Contact Dr. John Lynch about applying for the MA program. Of course, the faculty is also happy to talk with you about preparing for additional graduate and career opportunities that are available.

Original research or participation in faculty research is a great way to prepare for graduate school. Original research also shows potential employers that you are able to design and implement a project and to seek out knowledge about an important question. Students interested in research should discuss the possibility of creating a project in public relations with faculty members who share your area of interest.

Enrolling in an advanced course will stretch you academically and give you exposure to the graduate program. Seeking out challenges is a great way to set yourself apart.

Demonstrating leadership is key to translating classroom knowledge into the world. Employers and graduate programs look for potential leaders. Departmental advisors can help you to find public relations-related organizations for students as well as leadership opportunities available in each.

Awards and achievements are another way to help you succeed. The Department of Communication offers a number of scholarships and competitions through which you can distinguish yourself. Talk to your professors and advisors. You’ll be glad you did!

To graduate from the UC College of Arts and Sciences, students must:

  • Earn at least 120 credits. This can include transfer credit, AP credit and free electives, but does not include preparatory coursework. Students who have met all other degree requirements must continue earning credit until the total number of their earned hours comes to at least 120.
  • Attain a 2.0 grade point average for all courses taken at the University of Cincinnati
  • Be in good academic standing, that is, not on academic probation, disciplinary probation, or suspension
  • Complete the residency requirement by earning at least 30 credits after matriculating into the college
  • Complete all of the requirements of the Public Relations major
  • Complete at least one pre-approved minor or certificate
  • Complete the College Core requirements
  • Submit an application for graduation to the registrar's office by the posted deadline.

Admission to A&S is generally available for any off-campus student who was admissible directly from high school and has 2.0 GPA cumulative.

Students who were not admissible directly from high school must have:

  • 24 semester (36 quarter) hours earned
  • at least a 2.0 GPA cumulative

For more information, see Pathways Advising and Student Success.

Admission to A&S is generally available for any on-campus student who was admissible directly from high school and has 2.0 GPA cumulative.

Students who were not admissible directly from high school must have:

  • 24 semester (36 quarter) hours earned
  • at least a 2.0 GPA cumulative
The Office of International Admissions works exclusively with undergraduate students. Click here for more information.

Application Deadlines

While mid-year admission is possible, fall semester is generally the best time to enter the college, since many course sequences begin in that semester. Applicants to the UC College of Arts and Sciences who are enrolled or who were previously enrolled as degree-seeking students in A&S or in other UC colleges should apply for admission directly to A&S (in French West, 2nd Floor). All other applicants who wish to earn an undergraduate degree from A&S should apply through the Office of Admissions (3rd Floor, University Pavilion).
The University of Cincinnati and all regional campuses are accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Contact Information

Dr. Suzanne Boys
137 McMicken
PO Box 210184
Cincinnati, OH 45221-0184
(513) 556-5029
boysse@ucmail.uc.edu

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Program Code: 15BAC-PR-BA