The public relations major balances theory and practical application to teach you to skillfully manage public relations strategies for all types of organizations, including corporate, non-profit, government, and political.

What Is a Degree in Public Relations?

Public relations professionals communicate their company's brand messages and foster relationships with the media and the public. They generate publicity through communications campaigns, write speeches and prepare press conferences, arrange interviews with reporters, act as spokespeople, and write news releases, feature stories, web pages, and social media content. They're concerned not only with what their organization wants to communicate, but also what target audiences need and want to know.

Why Study Public Relations Here?

Virginia Tech's public relations program teaches through real-world experience. You'll have class projects that design public relations campaigns for real clients, find internships where you can manage PR communications and strategies, and learn from professors who've had successful careers as public relations practitioners. You can also take a course certified by the Public Relations Society of America to prepare you for the APR accreditation exam.

Beyond the Classroom

PRSA Certification

We're one of only a few programs in the nation whose curriculum is certified by the Public Relations Society of America. That means your public relations courses will be great preparation for the PRSA public relations accreditation exam, and you can earn a professional certification that will set you apart from the crowd.


Real-World Clients

As a public relations major, you'll perform work for real clients — writing press releases and public service announcements, creating media packets and campaigns, and doing social media and online work for businesses that partner with the Communication Department.

Public Relations

Faculty Mentors

Our faculty has a very good mix of experienced industry professionals and academic teaching and research scholars, meaning that, whether your interests are in a career as a public relations practitioner or going on to get a graduate degree, there's a mentor for you here.

Study Abroad

Every year, the Communication Department sponsors a faculty-led study abroad experience at Virginia Tech's Center for International Scholarship in Riva San Vitale, Switzerland. The program includes a one-credit course in Blacksburg during the spring semester and two weeks of study in Switzerland, with online course components during the first summer session after you return the trip.

Riva San Vitale VT
What Our Students Are Saying

"The public relations professors at Virginia Tech don't make school just about tests and memorizing material. They focus on what matters: making sure you enjoy your education, engage, ask questions, and get so engrossed in what you're learning that you forgot you're there for a grade."

- Cat Forgione, '14

"Virginia Tech's public relations program bridges the gap between academia and real-world, hands-on experience. The faculty is dedicated to the success of students, the curriculum is relevant (and PRSA-certified), and the overall environment is challenging yet supportive. The strong writing and strategic thinking skills I honed during my time in Blacksburg have been the cornerstones of my success since graduating. I'm a proud alumna of the program, and couldn't be more grateful for the way Tech prepared me for a career in public relations."

- Alyssa Bedrosian, '13

"Being a PR major, you gain experience developing campaigns for real clients who need your help. Our professors taught us every step of the campaign process and gave us the opportunity to get creative. Those projects were not only fun, but they were also a major selling point for me when it came to job searching."

- Cat Goergen, '14

Public Relations was a very versatile and practical major that helped to prepare me not only for law school but also for the real world. The coursework of the major allowed me to hone my writing skills and become a fearless public speaker, both of which will be of endless value in and out of the courtroom.

- Dayna Kendrick, '13

"Upon arriving at Virginia Tech, I quickly became a reporter for the Collegiate Times and edited footage for Virginia Tech Television. I had the opportunity to interview Tim Kaine on Capitol HIll. These experiences confirmed my decision to major in public relations."

- Lindsey Grooms, anticipated '19

Careers and Future Study