Everything You need To Know About The New PR Major

The University of Cincinnati has a brand new major starting fall 2020…and it’s Public Relations! Here’s a breakdown of answered frequently asked questions so you can decide if the new PR major is right for you.  

The public relations program is one of 35 in the nation to earn the Certification Education for Public Relations (CEPR) accreditation from the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA). The program is recertified every 6 years to ensure it’s up to industry standards. 

Unfortunately, you cannot double major in Communication and Public Relations and if you have a junior or senior status, it is not recommended to switch your major to PR as it might tack on extra time (and money) to graduate. 

It would take about two years to earn the PR certificate, whereas the PR major would take about four years. The certificate is recommended for students who are dedicated to their major but want a taste of PR. The major is for those who want to take a deep dive into the PR industry and its related fields, like corporate and crisis communications, employee relations, social media management, and digital marketing. 

The major is 42 credits plus an additional minor or certificate. A quick overview of credits you will need to take if you want to major in PR goes as follows: a research methods course, a communication elective, a mediated communication elective, a diversity & inclusion or ethics course, all communication core classes (Intro to Interpersonal Communication, Business Communication, and Intro to Rhetorical Theory) and all of the public relations core courses. These seven PR core courses include: Intro to Public Relations, Intro to Organizational Communication, Internship in Communication, PR Campaigns, Org Identity, Image, & Issue Management, and Professionalism & Purpose.  

You can choose from the following minors or certificates to compliment the PR major: Copyediting & Publishing, Critical Visions, Digital Broadcast News, Journalism, Org Leadership, Professional Writing, Spanish, Digital Engagement, Sport Media & Promotion, Electronic Media, Information Technology, Marketing, or any other certificate or minor that is approved by the PR Director.  

UC’s PR Director is Dr. Suzanne Boys. Contact her if you have any questions about the new PR major at boysse@ucmail.uc.edu.  

Your degree always looks better when you are involved with a student organization. There are a few that are related to public relations, like UC’s chapter of the Public Relations Student Society of America (UC PRSSA) and the chapter’s student-run PR firm, UC Influence. UCommunicate also has public relations specialist positions; apply by November 18th to join! 

Audrey Springman 

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