Majors & Programs

Undergraduate Public Relations (BS)

Learn how to effectively communicate in a complex world with a degree that has unlimited applicability.

About the Undergraduate Public Relations Major

We live in a world of clashing interests, competing organizations, and super-charged media. Organizations need to cut through the noise to be heard and understood. Emerson College’s Public Relations BS program equips you with the strategic, tactical, and organizational skills to practice the art and science of persuasion—and thus become a future shaper of public understanding.

Housed in the Department of Communication Studies in the School of Communication, the program’s faculty will guide you in honing the softer, human approach of telling powerful stories as well as the hard skills of quantitative research and machine-driven marketing. You will learn to plan strategically to realize an objective prized by your clients—and to remain adaptable enough to reframe arguments and mobilize advocates as circumstances change.

I have enjoyed studying Public Relations at Emerson because of the many ‘real life’ experiences I've had...I ran the Rosarito Film Festival in Rosarito, Mexico, and I completed my final capstone, where I helped build an entire PR campaign for a nonprofit over the course of a semester.

Real-World Experience as a Public Relations Professional

Public Relations majors have ample opportunity to gain real-world learning experience. Here are a few examples:

  • Students interested in polling can participate in Emerson Polling, a co-curricular organization that has been recognized by Bloomberg and FiveThirtyEight for its accuracy and reliability.
  • Students can participate in the Civic Engagement Semester, which focuses on politics, public relations, public diplomacy, civic engagement, and community building on the local, national, and global levels. Students register for 8 credits of internship and choose two 4-credit courses from the department’s civic engagement and social advocacy options.
  • Globally, our students engage in award-winning diplomacy and civic engagement work through programs such as the Rosarito Mexico Immigration and Border Workshop and the Sydney Global PR and Politics Program.

Careers for Public Relations Majors

Public Relations graduates can apply their skills in numerous fields, including media relations, governmental affairs, public diplomacy, and public affairs. Examples of careers include:

  • Account Executive
  • Company Spokesperson
  • Events Manager
  • Media Relations Specialist

Notable Public Relations Alumni

  • Sean Horrigan, Director of Communications, the Rappaport Foundation; Principal, PR Guy
  • Colette Phillips, President and CEO, Colette Phillips Communications; Founder, Get Konnected
  • Carolyn Snell, Manager, Red Light Management
  • Shannon Felton Spence, Director of Global Communications and Strategy, Belfer Center, Harvard University

PR classes at Emerson provided me with the skills and knowledge necessary to excel in the field of public relations. The program offered hands-on experience working with real clients, allowing me to develop my skills in campaign building and tactical material creation...

Meet Our Faculty

Communication Studies faculty are engaged and globally renowned scholars and practitioners who bring a wealth of theory and immersive case study experiences to the classroom. They reside in the School of Communication.