Western Kentucky University

Public Relations


With over 300 majors, both the Advertising and Public Relations programs are attracting smart and creative students who want to excel beyond the norm. We offer a challenging, yet supportive environment.

Our slogan is "Think Out Loud." We encourage our majors to look at problems in fresh and novel ways. Our majors also have the best tools to help them innovate. We are housed in a new $18 million state-of-the-art building with easily accessible technology.

We embrace new media. Real world and hands-on. I mean really hands on! We also have a professionally managed Ad+PR agency called Imagewest. Our majors can cop class credit for doing real projects for real clients. We also participate in student competitions and stage real events to apply classroom material.

Want experience and a degree? This is the place. Look over the site. If you have any questions, please e-mail the Ad+PR Program coordinator, Clif Shaluta, directly at mailto:cliff.shaluta@wku.edu. You can schedule a tour through the Admissions office by clicking here for WKU TOURS.

Major in Public Relations  (reference #763)

Public relations is a planned process to influence public opinion using strategic communications. The public relations program at WKU emphasizes research and measurement; strategic planning; professionally designed, written, and targeted communication tactics; and ethical practice. We prepare students for an exciting career in public relations with skills in critical thinking, writing, technology, research, program planning and management, creative problem solving, and relationship building with key publics. Those publics include media, consumers, employees, government and other regulatory bodies, opinion leaders, and communities.

Virtually all segments of the public and private sectors throughout the world draw employees from public relations graduates. Our graduates work as communications tacticians, strategic planners, and management counselors. They may specialize in employee relations, community relations, crisis communication, public affairs, media relations, or several other disciplines within the professional arena.

Curriculum requirements effective fall 2006


Prospective majors may take no more than 18 hours in the major before admission.  Students must meet the following requirements before admission:

1.  Completion of 48 hours of coursework applicable to the baccalaureate degree with a minimum overall grade point average of 2.5.

2. Required courses include COMM 161, HIST 119 or 120, the university math requirement, and at least a 'C' ENG 100.

3. Completion of the following courses with at least a 'C': JOUR  201, 202, and 232.

 CURRICULUM:  The major in Public Relations requires a minimum of 39 semester hours and leads to a Bachelor of Arts degree. The major requires a broad program of study. Effective fall 2013, students must take a minimum of 72 semester hours in courses outside of the School of Journalism & Broadcasting unit including the University's general education requirements. In addition to meeting institutional requirements for graduation, the public relations major must have a minor or second major outside of the School of Journalism & Broadcasting, the Department of Communication, and Film Studies that is approved by the major faculty advisor. Students may not select a minor in film studies, communication studies, or from those offered within the School, unless taken as a second minor.

A grade of 'D' in any course will not be accepted toward the major. Refer to the University Undergraduate Catalog for additional information.

REQUIRED COURSES (Prerequisites are in parentheses)

For students declaring a PR major in fall 2006 and thereafter.

JOUR 201 Media and Society

JOUR 202 Introduction to Media Writing

JOUR 232 Electronic Technologies for Journalism

JOUR 355 Fndmntls of Public Relations (JOUR 201, 202)

BCOM 325 Survey Writing for TV, Radio (JOUR or BCOM 201)

JOUR 323 News Editing (JOUR 201, 202)

JOUR 358 PR Writing & Production (JOUR 201, 232)

One of the following two law courses

JOUR 301 Press Law & Ethics (JOUR 201, 202, junior standing)

BCOM 301Mass Law & Ethics (PS 110, JOUR/BCOM 201)

JOUR 300 Research in Ad & PR (spring)(MKT 220, stats, JOUR 201,202,232; AND 341 or 355)

JOUR 354 International PR (fall) (Junior Standing)

JOUR 454 PR Strategy & Planning (fall) (JOUR 323,355 and 358)

JOUR 456 Public Relations Management (spring) (Capstone) (JOUR 300, 454)

Restricted Electives

Select one 3-hour restricted elective, with faculty advisor consultation.

JOUR 131 Digital Photography (effective spring 09)

JOUR 231 Introduction to Photojournalism (not available after fall 08)

JOUR 325 Feature Writing (effective fall 09 JOUR 302, 323 or permission)

JOUR 341 Principles of Advertising (JOUR 201, 202)

JOUR 343 Print Design/Production/Typography (JOUR 201, 202, 232)

JOUR 443Advertising Interactive Design (effective fall 09 JOUR 343, 348 or permission)

JOUR 458 PR Internship/Practicum (18 hours in major & permission)

JOUR 481 Problems in Mass Communication

JOUR 495 Collaborative Journalism (JOUR 358)

BCOM 264 Digital Video Production

COMM 346 Persuasion

ENG 306 Business Writing (ENG 100)

MKT 322 Integrated Marketing Communication (MKT 220)

PSY 371 Psychology of Sales Behavior (PSY 100)

Courses required outside the major:

COMM 161 Business and Professional Speaking

ECON 203 Principles of Macroeconomics

GEOG 110 World Regional Geography

PS 110  American National Government

MKT 220 Basic Marketing Concepts (sophomore standing)

One Course in Statistics: ECON 206, SOCL 300, MATH 183*/203, PSY 201/301*, or AMS 271 *number change effective fall 2011

Recommended minors for a major in Public Relations:

International Business    Entrepreneurship    Psychology    Sociology    Foreign Language    Marketing    Economics    Political Science      Health Care Administration    Business Administration    American Humanics    Tourism

Click here to find a printer friendly copy of the Public Relations program and a four-year plan for completion of the program.

All four-year plans require Adobe Acrobat Reader to view. If you do not have Acrobat Reader installed on your browser, simply click the image below for a quick and easy FREE install.

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The Public Relations program is located within the School of Journalism & Broadcasting in Mass Media & Technology Hall, office 216. Faculty may be reached at (270) 745-4144, or by fax at (270) 745-5835.



 Last Modified 7/23/13