Advertising and Public Relations
Advertising and public relations professionals tell the stories of their clients, companies and organizations to reach and engage various audiences. They create public health campaigns and promote companies, brands, politicians, sports teams and nonprofits.
As an advertising or public relations professional, you can be a:
- Social Media Strategist
- Nonprofit Advocate
- Brand Champion
- Community Relations Director
- Digital Marketing Manager
- Director of Audience Engagement
What You’ll Learn
Our major has two areas of emphasis — Advertising or Public Relations. Throughout the program, you’ll learn to build, plan and execute communications campaigns that help companies thrive and create positive change in society. You’ll plan events, build relationships with key publics and produce media messages that influence others and inspire action.
Our graduates are highly marketable and can find work in advertising and public relations agencies, corporate communications, the sports industry, nonprofit organizations and government.
What is advertising?
The promotion of products, goods, services and ideas through communication channels with the intent of persuading and influencing audiences.
What is public relations?
The process of creating and communicating strategic messages and campaigns that enhance an organization’s relationship with its publics.
About the Advertising Curriculum
Students who select the Advertising AOE obtain a solid foundation in creative copywriting and design, media planning, audience insights and analysis, and campaigns. Additional courses in interactive marketing, strategic social media, and account management are available to round out students’ individual interests.
They go on to work at advertising and marketing agencies, in media advertising sales, within corporate communications offices, as media planners, or as consultants and business owners. The advertising curriculum affords a solid foundation for law or other specialized graduate programs.
About the Public Relations Curriculum
Students who select the Public Relations AOE take courses in strategic writing and social media, media design, audience research and analysis, and campaigns. Other courses that apply to the major include web development, fundraising and foundation management, integrated marketing communications for sports, and blogging and interactive journalism.
Graduates go on to work at communications agencies, in government, health care organizations, nonprofits, corporate communications, and politics. Those students who wish to go on to graduate school have a solid grounding in writing, research, analysis, and communications.
Coursework and Major Requirements
Advertising / Public Relations majors earn a Bachelor of Science in Journalism (BSJ) degree upon successful completion of the program.
To graduate, all College of Media majors must complete a minimum of 120 credit hours. Advertising and Public Relations students complete:
- 2 credit hours in Orientation
- 22 credit hours of General Education Foundations (English, Math, Science, etc.) Courses
- 27 credit hours of Non-Journalism / Media Requirements
- 24 credit hours in Strategic Communications Courses
- 9 credit hours in your chosen Area of Emphasis (Advertising or Public Relations)
- 15 credit hours in a Required Minor outside of the College of Media
- 21 credit hours in Electives
All students in the
Reed College of Media are required to take courses in media writing, media tools
and applications, and media law and ethics. In addition to those required core
courses, Public Relations and Advertising majors must take Public Relations
or Advertising core courses and at least three additional courses. Students also
must take specified courses outside of the College, complete a minor and fulfill
the University’s General Education Curriculum (GEC) requirements.
Finally, the College’s accreditation guidelines require that students take a minimum of 72 credit hours outside of the College. Typically, students meet this requirement through GEC, minor and other non-College courses.
Wondering about your course schedule?
Current students should refer to Degree Works to determine their scheduling needs.
Future students can refer to the WVU Undergraduate Catalog for the major requirements and sample schedule.
All Advertising and Public Relations students plan and produce promotional and educational campaigns and materials for actual clients, which include for- and non-profit organizations. All coursework is done in the College’s modern facilities, giving students access to the latest digital technology and hands-on tools.
The College also boasts an active faculty-advised and student-run integrated communications agency, Martin-Hall Agency, and an active, award-winning Public Relations Student Society of America chapter. These organizations offer students professional networking opportunities and application of advertising and public relations knowledge into campaign experience. Members participate in the national American Advertising Federation Competition and national Bateman campaign competition, among others.
The WVU Reed College of Media hosts a variety of student organizations. These clubs offer students opportunities to engage in University activities and connect with other students and professionals nationwide. Students travel to conferences, visit top news agencies and firms, organize and participate in campus events, and network with alumni and industry leaders.
We Are Accredited
The College of Media’s undergraduate programs are fully accredited by the Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communications. West Virginia University is fully accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. WVU is one of only 39 programs internationally to receive the Certification for Education in Public Relations.