Public Relations Major
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.
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PROGRAMS IN THE NATION OFFERING PRSA CERTIFICATION
OF STUDENTS PASS THE CERTIFICATE IN PRINCIPLES OF PR EXAM
STUDENTS IN OUR AWARD-WINNING PRSSA CHAPTER
Total Credit Hours: 120
Public Relations Requirements
General Education (45 hours)
Minor and Elective Hours (29 hours)
What You'll Study
Requirements for the public relations major include:
- 120 credit hours for a bachelor of arts degree, including Virginia Tech's Pathways or Curriculum for Liberal Education (CLE)
- 46 credits of public relations courses, including:
- Principles of Public Relations
- Writing and Editing for PR
- Public Relations Case Studies
- Public Relations Campaigns
- Communication Law
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 complete a course of study certified by the Public Relations Society of America.
Beyond the Classroom
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 public relations industry's entry-level certificate. All students take the Certificate in Principles of Public Relations exam. Earning this certificate will set you apart from the crowd of entry-level job applicants.
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 School of Communication.
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.
Every year, the School of Communication 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.
Careers and Further Study
What do I do with a public relations major?
Private companies, government agencies, and nonprofits in every industry need PR professionals to manage their communications and interface with the public.
Some of the jobs our PR graduates earn include:
- PR strategist
- Communication director
- Marketing coordinator
- Digital marketing specialist
- Brand manager
- Special events planner
- Content specialist
- Nonprofit founders