Wayne State University


Major in Public Relations

About the major:  Public relations is an exciting and challenging field that demands individuals with excellent communication skills and training. The practical applications of ethics are carefully considered. Special attention is given to effective written and oral communication as well as fundamental understanding of human communication and research methods.

Career opportunities:  Students selecting this major typically seek employment in one of the many career opportunities in public relations: business and industry; non-profit organizations; trade associations; government service; education; or account executive positions in an agency. Some students later pursue graduate-level study in fields such as organizational communication.

Requirements: Four core courses are required:

COM 3170 - Fundamentals of Public Relations (3 credits)
COM 4170 – (WI) Public Relations Writing (3 credits) This course is the designated writing intensive (WI) course for majors.
COM 4210 - Intro. to Research Methods in Comm. & PR (3 credits)
COM 5160 - Public Relations Campaigns (3 credits) Senior level capstone course. To be taken in last 21 hours of study.

The additional requirements are:

COM 1010 - Oral Communication: Basic Speech (3 credits)
COM 1500 - Survey of Mass Communication (3 credits)
COM 2030 - Journalistic Grammar and Style (3 credits)
COM 2100 - News Reporting (3 credits)
COM 2170 - Persuasive Speaking (3 credits)
       or COM 3300 - Business & Professional Speaking (3 credits)
COM 3210 – News Editing (3 credits)
COM 3250 - Introduction to Organizational Comm. (3 credits)
COM 3400 - Theories of Communication (3 credits)
COM 5130 – Communication and Social Marketing (3 credits)
COM 5140 – Public Relations and Social Media (3 credits)
       or COM 5300 – Desktop Publishing (3 credits)
       or COM 5500 Web Design for News Content (3 credits)

If a student needs additional credit for their degree, electives may be chosen from the following recommended courses:

COM 2200 - Interpersonal Communication (3 credits)
COM 2280 - Photojournalism (3 credits)
COM 4270 - Group Communication & Human Interaction (3 credits)
COM 4100 - Feature Writing (3 credits)
COM 5460 - Magazine Writing (3 credits)
COM 6190 - Internship (3 credits, max. 6)

Important reminders:  Every course required to complete an undergraduate major in the College of Fine, Performing and Communication Arts must be completed with a grade of "C" (2.0) or better. This includes all transfer credit that may be applicable to the major programs. All students pursuing this major must complete the university's general education and competency requirements as well as the college's group requirements, which include completion of a foreign language through the third semester. All students are expected to follow the published curriculum for their major and to consult regularly with an advisor.

Special activities:  Course work is only one part of your undergraduate education. Employers pay close attention to the types of activities in which applicants participated as students. There are many valuable activities in which to participate on campus. The Department of Communication sponsors nationally acclaimed debate and individual events forensics teams as well as the Wayne State University chapter of the Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA). In addition, you are encouraged to participate in such activities as student government and the student newspaper (The South End). Some outstanding majors will be nominated for membership in the National Honorary Society, Lambda Pi Eta.