Public Relations prepares students for successful careers and leadership in various areas of this rapidly expanding field: media relations, politics, public diplomacy, crisis communication, social media, community relations, advocacy, special events, public affairs, investor relations and corporate communication. 

When you study PR at Emerson, you are part of a tradition of the Father of Public Relations, Edward Bernays, and  political icon Tony Schwartz, distinguished professors of our past who inspired future practitioners to excel in storytelling - locally and around the globe.

The program’s core curriculum balances theory into practice by providing the skills necessary for effective communication in an ever changing and complex global environment. Students have the opportunity to partake in local, national and global campaigns and PR projects, including the Globe Com Project, in which Emerson represents the United States and works with 15 universities worldwide on an annual case.

Students must complete 44 credits in the Public Relations major, including all five of the core courses and six electives.

Program Requirements

Required Courses

Students in Public Relations complete 44 credits in the major, six core courses and five related elective courses, including at least one at the 400 level.

PR Core:

Number Course Credits
CC 250 Introduction to Public Relations 4
CC 305 Communication Research Methods 4
CC 347 Tactical Writing for the Public Relations Professional 4
CC 474 Public Relations Campaigns (Capstone) 4

Communication Studies Core:

Pick 2 of the following 3 options with the advice of your academic advisor.

Number Course Credits
CC 266 Conflict and Negotiation 4

CC 304
CC 308

Strategic Digital Communication

Online Content & Strategy

CC 356 Crisis Communication 4

Select 20 credits from the following:

Number Course Credits
CC 203 Intercultural Communication 4
CC 236 Sports PR 4
CC 242 Introduction to Podcasting 4
CC 243 Introduction to Graphic Design 4
CC 263 Argument & Advocacy 4
CC 303 Survey Research Methods 4
CC 318 International PR and Global Communication Management 4
CC 319 Special Events 4
CC 330 Management and Communication 4
CC 331 Digital Storytelling 4
CC 345 Public Affairs Matrix: Media, Politics and Advocacy 4
CC 348 Media Relations 4
CC 357 Leadership 4
CC 361 Public Diplomacy and Grassroots Activism 4
CC 373 Topics in Public Relations 4
CC 473 Advanced Topics in Public Relations 4
CC 499 Internship in Communication (4-12 credits) 4

Student Learning Objectives in Public Relations Major

  • Students will be able to demonstrate an understanding of the history and significance of public relations.
  • Students will be able to demonstrate an understanding of the influence professionals and institutions have in shaping public relations.
  • Students will be able to understand the role of gender, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation and other forms of diversity in public relations.
  • Students will learn to communicate effectively and develop messages targeted to specific publics.
  • Students will be able to develop public relations strategies and tactics to target specific publics and compete in the marketplace.
  • Students will be able to conduct research and evaluate information in order to develop effective public relations plans.
  • Students will be able to understand and leverage various technologies in executing public relations plans.
  • Students will be able to think critically, creatively and independently.