Skip to main content

Public Relations

The online Public Relations minor prepares students for a variety of careers in the dynamic field of public relations. Typical job areas include media relations, event planning, corporate communications, crises management, publicity and promotion, public affairs, and government relations. A professional PR practitioner uses a variety of communication strategies, tactics, and media to create a favorable image for his or her client. Building and maintaining positive relationships with external audiences is the core of public relations.

A minor in Public Relations can benefit students in a variety of academic disciplines, including business administration, marketing, communications, religion, agriculture, liberal arts, medicine, engineering, education, and social work. Whatever the field, any professional needs to know how to communicate effectively and persuasively to target audiences.

Public Relations Minor Requirements

Students in colleges and units outside of the College of Media may earn a minor in Public Relations by completing the following courses and meeting the requirements as stated below. The Public Relations minor is not available to students in the College of Media unless they are pursuing the College’s Multidisciplinary Studies (MDS) major. The majority of courses for the Public Relations minor are offered exclusively online and some may require summer enrollment. Note that additional online course fees apply. Students should also consult the WVU Undergraduate Catalog for course descriptions and information.

1) MDIA 101 – Media & Society, 3 hours
Can be taken on campus or online. Examines the relationship between media, culture and society, with emphasis on the history, structure, and organization of the mass media.

2) PR 215 – Introduction to Public Relations, 3 hours
Can be taken on campus or online. Introduces the principles of public relations. Examines the definition and historical development, opportunities and challenges and techniques and management of public relations.

3) PR 301 – Writing for Public Relations, 3 hours
Prerequisites: MDIA 101 and PR 215
Must be taken online. Provides an introduction to and experience in writing for a wide range of public relations purposes. Students improve writing skills as they become prepared to effectively communicate with various audiences in multiple formats.

4) PR 401 – Applied Public Relations, 3 hours
Prerequisites: MDIA 101 and PR 215
Must be taken online. Covers in-depth case studies of public relations programs. Primary emphasis is placed on successful campaigns; however, unsuccessful efforts are also examined for causes of failure.

5) PR 410 – IMC for Public Relations, 3 hours
Prerequisites: MDIA 101 and PR 215
Must be taken online. Describes the essential role of public relations in integrated marketing communication. Examines successful IMC campaigns and “the campaign mindset” as it applies to employee relations, government affairs, reputation management, corporate social responsibility and more.


To earn a minor in Public Relations, a student must earn a minimum overall GPA of 2.0 in all courses required for the minor and have 9 distinct credit hours in the minor not shared with other degree requirements. However, College of Media MDS students must earn a C- in every course in the minor and all 15 credit hours must be distinct to the minor and not shared with other degree requirements.

To register for these courses or to pursue a a double-minor, triple-minor or the College’s Multidisciplinary Studies (MDS) major, contact Aaron Hawley at 304-293-3133 or aaron.hawley@mail.wvu.edu.

Online courses are taught completely via eCampus. Students need to plan on logging into eCampus daily during the week but can do so at the time of their own choosing. Students should budget the same amount of time for an online course as they do for on campus courses.