Program Overview

Professionals who can blend creativity with strategic planning and teamwork are essential to every business. The online Bachelor of Arts in Public Relations and Advertising degree from Point Park University offers a diverse curriculum that prepares you for a successful career. With an online bachelor’s in public relations and advertising, you’ll gain the experience and tools you need with hands-on courses, including a capstone project where you’ll work alongside an agency to develop a fully integrated marketing campaign for a corporate or nonprofit client.

Curriculum Overview

All courses in Point Park’s online public relations and advertising degree are created by professionals for professionals, focused on preparing students for a future career. The combination of coursework in both the PR and advertising fields gives you an immediate advantage in the job market. Our online public relations and advertising degree is designed in a fully digital, flexible environment dedicated to your success, offering support from application to graduation.

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  • Next Start Date:January 7, 2018
  • Est. Program Length:2-4 Years
  • Credit Hours:125
  • Course Length:8 Weeks
  • Cost Per Credit:$433
 
Thematic Core Courses (42 credits)
  • COMM 101 – Oral Comm. & Pres.
  • ENGL 101 – College Composition
  • UNIV 101 – City-University Life
  • Explore the World
  • Investigate Science
  • Investigate Mathematics
  • Interpret Creative Works
  • Understand People
  • Succeed in Business
  • Appreciate & Apply the Arts
  • Discover Technology – JOUR 103 – Graphic Design I
  • Senior Capstone
×
Course Description
This course included communication theory, as well as speech preparation, delivery, and communication technology. Student learning focuses on researching, composing, and delivering formal and impromptu speeches and presentations. Topics include research, analyzing and adapting audiences, message construction, outlining, delivery of messages and effective use of visual aids and technology. This course will develop each student’s ability to communicate effectively with respect to audience and purpose. The major emphasis is on the preparation and delivery of presentations ranging from one-on-one pitches, and small group discussion, to large audience speeches.
×
Course Description
Students will write argument-based assignments leading to an independently researched project based on academic and professional goals. Students will be required to 1.) find and integrate a variety of sources, 2.) read and analyze these sources, 3.) develop strong thesis statements that reflect perspectives on topics or issues, and 4.) construct persuasive arguments that engage with the viewpoints of experts and commentators. As the term progresses, students will have the opportunity to re-think or revise the ideas and perspectives they explored in earlier writing assignments by engaging with peer feedback and revising earlier drafts. Placement recommendations will require students to take ENGL 101 as a three credit course OR in conjunction with an additional credit of lab or studio instruction. Students who earn F or NP grades in ENGL 101 will be required to re-take the course in conjunction with a one-credit Writing Studio course.**One Writing Intensive course in addition to ENGL 101 is required for graduation.
×
Course Description
This course introduces students to the kinds of communities that people construct for themselves (e.g. social, political, artistic, etc.) and the values and dynamics that define such communities (e.g. cooperation, civility, tolerance, responsibility, etc.). The notion of what it means to be a responsible member of the “community” will actively be explored and discussed by engagement and analysis of multiple communities: the classroom community, the Point Park University community, and the Pittsburgh community. Students will also examine the responsibilities they have to their personal academic development.
×
Choose two of the following courses:

  • ECON 201 – Principles of Macroeconomics
  • GCS 175 – Intro to Global Cultural Studies
  • GCS/MLNG – 205 Languages of the World
  • HIST 201 – Western Civilization I
  • HIST 202 – Western Civilization II
  • PADM 210/POLS 204 – Public Administration
  • POLS 205 – World Geography
  • POLS 250 – Intro to Study of Gov’t Systems
  • PHIL 215 – World Religions
  • SOC/MLNG 260 – Japanese Culture
  • THEA 225 – History Theatre I
  • THEA 226 – History Theatre II
×
Choose one of the following courses:

  • CHEM 101 – General Chemistry I
  • NSET 110 – Intro to Natural Sciences I
  • NSET 111 – Intro to Natural Sciences II
  • NSET 120 – Environmental Science
  • NSET 122 – The Science of Light
×
Choose one of the following courses:

  • MATH 150 -The Mathematical Experience
  • MATH 175 – Elementary Statistics
  • MATH 180 – College Algebra
  • MATH 190 – Calculus I

*Math course level dependent on results of placement exam.

×
Choose one of the following courses:

  • EDUC 252 – Children’s Literature
  • ENGL 120 – Introduction to Literary Studies
  • ENGL 251 – World Lit: Novels
  • ENGL 252 – The Art of Creative Nonfiction
  • ENGL 253 – The Art of Poetry
  • ENGL 254 – The Art of Short Story
  • ENGL 255 – Theoretical Approaches to the Study of Literature
  • JOUR 225 – Deconstructing the Story
×
Choose two of the following courses:

  • EDUC 220 – Family and Community Diversity
  • EDUC 228 – Educational Psychology
  • HIST 206 – Foundations in Feminism: Women’s History in Western World
  • PSYC 150 – Psychological Foundations
  • PSYC 203 – Theories of Personality
  • PSYC 214 – Psychology of Emotion
  • PSYC 230 – Characterological and Psychotic in Film and Fiction
  • SOC 150 – Sociological Foundations
×
Choose one of the following courses:

  • BMGT 271 – The Money Thing: Life and Finances During and After College
  • BUS 404 – Business Ethics
  • CMPS 330 – Electronic Commerce
  • ECON 202 – Principles of Microeconomics
×
Choose one of the following courses:

  • ART 100 – Intro to Visual Arts
  • CINE 170 – Intro to Screenwriting for Non-Majors
  • COMM 290 – Seminar in Media Studies
  • COPA 250 – Exploring the Arts
  • EDUC 251 – Art and Music in Teaching
  • ENGL 200 – Creative Writing
  • ENGL 252 – The Art of Creative Nonfiction
  • ENGL 253 – The Art of Poetry
  • ENGL 254 – The Art of Short Story
  • MLNG 220 – French Literature in Translation
  • PHOT 101 – Photography for Non-Majors
  • THEA 230 – Introduction to Theatre
×
Course Description
This course serves as an introduction to the theory and practice of visual communication design for print and screen-based media. Emphasis is placed on visual communication of ideas, information and messages. Students learn the fundamentals of digital imaging, page layout and web design. Upon completion of this course, students will produce a series of visual communication artifacts to add to their portfolios.
×
Choose one of the following courses:JOUR 433 – Advertising Competition
Students prepare an IMC campaign and present it at the National Student Advertising Competition of the American Advertising Federation. Campaigns have been for a car, credit card company, airline and a magazine publisher, all of which sponsored the annual competition. Students assume job titles and descriptions and produce a comprehensive IMC plan, involving research and all forms of the Integrated Marketing Communications process, including media. Prerequisites: Completion of all School of Communication and PRAD required core courses.ORJOUR 497 – IMC Capstone
Students will work in a student-run agency model to plan, research and construct integrated communications campaigns for local nonprofit, business or civic organizations utilizing advertising, public relations, direct communications and promotions. Students will assume agency job titles and descriptions and will demonstrate mastery of communications theory/practice, processes and techniques, and agency management. The course will also serve as a valuable portfolio for employment. The major goal of the course is to put to work learned advertising, public relations and marketing principles and theories with an emphasis on researching, writing and producing solid integrated marketing communications plans and tactics. Prerequisites: Completion of all School of Communication and PRAD required core courses.

×*Math course level dependent on results of placement exam.

**One Writing Intensive course in addition to ENGL 101 is required for graduation.

Departmental General Requirements (21 credits)
  • Humanities
  • English Literature
  • Language Sequence
  • ECON 201, ECON 202 OR ECON 421
  • HIST 203 OR 204
  • POLS 102, 202, 205, 209, 250, 308, 372, OR 402
×
Course Description
Three credit hours from Humanities.
×
Course Description
Three credit hours in English Literature, not writing at the 300+ level.
×
Course Description
A two course sequence in the same foreign language (courses in translation excluded).
×
Choose one of the following courses:ECON 201 – Principles of Macroeconomics
An introductory analysis of economic theory as applied to fiscal and monetary policy affairs.ECON 202 – Principles of Microeconomics
An introduction to the pricing and allocation mechanism of the classical market economy.ECON 421 – International Economics
A study of international trade covering topics such as absolute and comparative costs, factor movements, balance of payments, barriers of trade, the impact of exchange rate fluctuations on trade and multinational corporate issues. Prerequisite: ECON 201 or ECON 202.
×
Choose one of the following courses:HIST 203 – History of the United States I
The historical, political and social movements of the United States and Pennsylvania from the Colonial period through 1865. The identification of individual rights and responsibilities as citizens is an integral part of this course. Prerequisite: History 150 or permission of the instructor.HIST 204 – History of the United States II
A continuation of HIST 203. The developments in the United States and Pennsylvania from 1865 to the present. Prerequisite: History 150 or permission of the instructor.
×
Choose one of the following courses:POLS 102 – American National Government
Examines basic principles, institutions and functions of American national government and the operation of the American political system and government. Identifies individual rights and responsibilities as citizens of local, state and national communities.POLS 202 – State and Local Government
Basic principles, institutions and functions of American government at the state and local levels. Emphasis on Pennsylvania.POLS 205 – World Geography
World Geography is the study of the geographic nature of the world’s major social, political, and economic processes and problems. A central component of this class will be an analysis of the ways in which power has unevenly spread across the regions of the globe. This course starts and ends with an analysis of commodity chains as a means to understand the connections between colonialism, post-colonial imperialism, and the geographies of capitalism; environmental geographies of exploitation and destruction; the ways in which the global economy is governed; the relationships between race and geography; the production of gendered geographies; the production of specifically sexualized spaces; and conflicts that arise over and in various spaces, places, territories, and borders. By the end of the semester, students should have a firm grasp of geography’s principal concepts and a solid orientation to the geographic nature of the world’s major power inequalities and processes.POLS 209 – Law and Society
A study of the problems of law in society and an introduction to criminal justice.POLS 250 – Intro to the Study of Government Systems
An introduction to significant issues of politics that have been identified by noted political scientists of the past and present. Designed as an overview of the discipline of political science for students who would otherwise have limited exposure to these issuesPOLS 308 – Principles of Criminal Justice
An examination of the doctrine and principles involved in criminal law through analysis of cases and statutes. Prerequisite: POLS 209.POLS 372 – International Relations
An examination of the major elements and persistent problems in the world community of states. Prerequisites: POLS 250 or HIST 202 or permission.POLS 402 – Constitutional Law
The interpretation and application of the Constitution of the United States. Emphasis on constitutional law. Writing-in-disciplines class. Prerequisites: POLS 102 or POLS 250 or permission.
Departmental Major Requirements (32 credits)
  • JOUR 101 – Survey of Mass Communication
  • JOUR 150 – Journalistic Writing and Editing
  • JOUR 206 – Intro to Advertising and PR
  • JOUR 239 – IMC Research for Ad/PR
  • JOUR 255 – PR Writing
  • JOUR 300 – Career Prep Seminar
  • JOUR 301 – Ad Copy and Layout
  • JOUR 306 – Social Media Practices
  • JOUR 311 – Practicum
  • JOUR 326 – IMC Planning
  • JOUR 412 – Media Ethics and Responsibilities
  • JOUR 418 – Comm. Law and Regulation
×
Course Description
A study of basic communications principles and the emergence of the concept of mass communication. Explores responsibilities of newspapers, magazines, radio, television, public relations, advertising and Internet sources in the modern social system. This survey course aids students in deciding upon their major area of concentration.
×
Course Description
This course will introduce students to professional-level writing and editing skills and information, and then write in a variety of formats, including news, feature and narrative, opinion and news feature, all of which are applicable to information provided in the traditional mass media, advertising and public relations, and multimedia applications. Students will learn how to edit and prepare copy for publication and dissemination in those formats. Students must pass with a C- or better to progress in the major.
×
Course Description
Students explore the background and fundamentals of how organizations use persuasive communication to reach target audiences. A study of successful case studies and exercises in program writing will build the foundation and basic understanding of how advertising and public relations can advance the mission and growth of organizations in our contemporary society.
×
Course Description
Course will explore various secondary research techniques using available government and organizational databases, media coverage/analysis, library resources and other tools. Course will also cover primary research methods, including surveys (planning, methods and analysis), observation, experimentation and focus groups. Students will develop capabilities in planning and designing research objectives, tools and evaluation systems, including survey construction, tabulation and interpretation, as well as focus group management. Prerequisite: JOUR 206.
×
Course Description
This course will cover devices used in persuasive writing, internal communication and media relations, including both paid and unpaid messages to reach target audiences and stakeholders (or publics). Students will use creative skills and learn the many writing styles and techniques an organization uses to communicate with its varied audiences (or publics). This course is equivalent to IMC 330.
×
Course Description
A combination lecture, discussion and critique of student work. The goal is to enable students to make educational and professional choices early in their college years. Surveys entry requirements, duties and job-satisfaction in professions of the J&MC concentrations. Topics include recommended electives, internships, networking, resumes, interviewing, portfolios and research sources. Required of majors and planned for the sophomore level.
×
Course Description
Provides students with basic planning, writing, design and production techniques for creating and enhancing persuasive communications. Students will use copywriting skills, desktop publishing and design programs, combined with solid theory in targeting and reaching audiences to complete advertising campaigns that include print ads, broadcast ads, direct mail pieces, Web advertising and a variety of other vehicles. The use of typography, color, graphics and other design tools will be used to target these creative messages. Upon completion of this class, each student will have an advertising campaign to add to his or her portfolio. Prerequisite: JOUR 206.
×
Course Description
This course will provide students the conceptual and technical understanding of the power and philosophy of social media. The course will specifically focus on how social media is changing media, business, journalism and government in fundamental ways. Upon completion of this course, students will have practical knowledge in the use of social media tools and building and maintaining an online community as well as a solid foundation in writing and reporting for social media. Prerequisite: 30+ credits.
×
Course Description
School of Communication majors complete a practicum in a concentration of their choice. The goal is that students gain practical, hands-on experience through working as apprentices for various University media and applicable offices. Faculty supervise all students who complete an agreed-upon list of assignments at sites such as the campus newspaper, broadcast studios, tasks in appropriate school offices and endeavors involving advertising, marketing, sports information, public relations, alumni affairs, or admissions and recruitment. A site supervisor will evaluate the student’s minimum 70 hours effort for the semester. The site list is approved by the faculty, and will be expanded or reduced as needed. The practicum should be completed by the junior year to prepare students for internships at outside media, advertising and public relations agencies or appropriate corporate, governmental or community organizations. The practicum is pass/fail only and may be repeated one time.
×
Course Description
This course will explore methods of planning integrated communications programs to meet business/organizational strategic objectives. Students will gain the skills of the advertising (communications) planner and media planner by learning about target public and market behavior patterns; loyalty rationales of customers, employees and other key stakeholders; message effectiveness media management and other planning areas. Students will develop an understanding of interpreting and applying research data and strategic objectives to construct creative platforms. The course includes advanced communication research, interview techniques, ethnography, and virtual focus groups by using blogs and other social media. Prerequisite: JOUR 239.
×
Course Description
Examines the ethical issues presented in the modern media, including their historical context and practical ramifications. The course compares and contrasts ethical standards and systems with professional processes and practices and legal principles. Students will write a position paper in which they defend an ethical choice they make and a longer term paper. Prerequisite: 75+ credits.
×
Course Description
Study of contemporary and classic cases related to state and federal law of freedom of the press and freedom of speech. Problems caused by efforts by government to control mass media and freedom of government/public information are also addressed. Students will write a term paper. Prerequisites: JOUR 101, JOUR 150 and 75+ credits. Dual listed with JOUR 518.
Major Electives (12 credits)
Choose four of the following courses:
  • IMC 472 – Media Planning and Buying
  • JOUR 215 – Video Production and Editing
  • JOUR 280 – Introduction to Multimedia
  • JOUR 307 – Graphic Design II
  • JOUR 313 – Mass Media Internship I
  • JOUR 327 – Public Relations Issues and Practices
  • JOUR 336 – Branding and Corporate Identity
  • JOUR 390 – International Media
  • JOUR 413 – Mass Media Internship II
  • JOUR 416 – Special Events Planning
  • JOUR 433 – Advertising Competition
  • JOUR 436 – Advertising Campaigns
  • JOUR 465 – Mass Media History
  • JOUR 497 – IMC Agency
  • PHOT 205 – Intro to Digital Photography
×
Course Description
An introduction to media planning, including the problems, techniques and strategy of choosing media as advertising space and time in all types of media as well as targeting media for publicity. Emphasis on the planning of the media schedule and its relationship to the creative strategy, paying particular attention to non-traditional and new media.
×
Course Description
This course provides an introduction to the terminology, technical and creative principles of single-camera video for electronic field production (EFP) and electronic news gathering (ENG). Students learn and apply the basic video production techniques of camera operation, aesthetic composition, sound, lighting and editing to create and produce short-form video productions. Prerequisite: JOUR 101.
×
Course Description
This course will provide an introduction to multimedia production, writing and theory. Students will learn the industry from a historical perspective, as well as learn the basics of blogging and promoting content, video and audio for the Web, slide shows, podcasting, RSS feeds, creating interactive quizzes and timelines, mobile publishing, and other relevant topics. Upon completion of this course students will have a comprehensive technical knowledge of the many opportunities for multimedia production. Prerequisite: JOUR 103.
×
Course Description
This course serves as a comprehensive study of theory, principles, strategies and tools of desktop publishing in the digital age. In this course students learn to apply layout and design concepts to produce a variety of editorial, informational, and business materials for desktop printing and electronic distribution. Industry standard electronic publishing software provides a platform for these projects. Upon completion of this course students will have a variety of professional-level design pieces to add to their portfolios. Prerequisite: JOUR 103. Dual listed with JOUR 507.
×
Course Description
An on-the-job internship of about 200 hours of paid or unpaid work at a newspaper or other publication, a radio or TV station, photography studio or production company, public relations or advertising agency position. Departmental handout (available from the secretary or chair), advisers and bulletin board postings should be consulted for positions and procedures on locating and registering for an internship. Prerequisites: Completion of sophomore-level core courses, basic courses relating to the specific field of the internship and permission of appropriate faculty supervisor and department chair. (Note: course numbers for internships determined by number of internships completed, not class standing.)
×
Course Description
Students explore the background and fundamentals of how organizations use persuasive communication to reach target audiences. A study of successful case studies and exercises in program writing will build the foundation and basic understanding of how advertising and public relations can advance the mission and growth of organizations in our contemporary society.
×
Course Description
This course provides students with advanced planning, design and production techniques for creating and enhancing persuasive communications. Students will use industry standard software, combined with solid theory in targeting and reaching audiences through creative and persuasive messages. Students will conceive and create and apply designs including logos, stationary systems and graphic standards for a variety of organizations. Prerequisites: JOUR 307. Dual listed with JOUR 536.
×
Course Description
This course combines classroom preparation and study in an international setting of the media for a designated country. Students will compare and contrast the designated country and U.S. media models, regulations, production, and content. Prerequisites: JOUR 101 plus one JOUR 200 level in the student’s major area of concentration and Sophomore Standing.
×
Course Description
An on-the-job internship of about 200 hours of paid or unpaid work at a newspaper or other publication, a radio or TV station, photography studio or production company, public relations or advertising agency position. Departmental handout (available from the secretary or chair), advisers and bulletin board postings should be consulted for positions and procedures on locating and registering for an internship. Prerequisites: Completion of sophomore-level core courses, basic courses relating to the specific field of the internship and permission of appropriate faculty supervisor and department chair. (Note: course numbers for internships determined by number of internships completed, not class standing.)
×
Course Description
Students learn the fundamentals of special event planning from a strategic and tactical viewpoint and the role integrated communication plays in the success of any special event. Emphasis will be placed on researching, developing and successfully planning all aspects of a full special event program for a local client.
×
Course Description
Students prepare an IMC campaign and present it at the National Student Advertising Competition of the American Advertising Federation. Campaigns have been for a car, credit card company, airline and a magazine publisher, all of which sponsored the annual competition. Students assume job titles and descriptions and produce a comprehensive IMC plan, involving research and all forms of the Integrated Marketing Communications process, including media. Prerequisites: Completion of all School of Communication and PRAD required core courses.
×
Course Description
Basic advertising skills are utilized and refined. Students are required to create and present a full campaign for a new product, including marketing concept, objectives, product positioning, goals, layouts, media and commercial presentation. Prerequisite: JOUR 206. Dual listed as JOUR 534.
×
Course Description
Mass Media History surveys the development of mass communication in print and electronic media and seeks to interpret their sociopolitical causes and effects.
×
Course Description
Students will work in a student-run agency model to plan, research and construct integrated communications campaigns for local nonprofit, business or civic organizations utilizing advertising, public relations, direct communications and promotions. Students will assume agency job titles and descriptions and will demonstrate mastery of communications theory/practice, processes and techniques, and agency management. The course will also serve as a valuable portfolio for employment. The major goal of the course is to put to work learned advertising, public relations and marketing principles and theories with an emphasis on researching, writing and producing solid integrated marketing communications plans and tactics. Prerequisites: Completion of all School of Communication and PRAD required core courses.
×
Course Description
A basic digital photography course designed to give photography and photojournalism students proficiency in digital image making and processing. It stresses the importance and uses of digital photography in the current media environment, including terminology, practical exercise, and presentation. Students utilize Adobe Lightroom for editing, and are encouraged to purchase the program and their own digital SLR cameras.
General Elective Requirements (15 credits)
  • Students may use general electives to complete or partially complete a double major or one or more minors.

Students applying for entry into Point Park University’s B.A. in Public Relations and Advertising program must meet the following requirements:

  1. Degree admission requires a satisfactory transcript from either a high school or postsecondary institution. Transcripts from postsecondary institutions must include a minimum of 12 earned credits or six months of training. A cumulative minimum GPA of 2.0 is required. Students with a lower GPA may be considered for admission by the program director based on additional information in support of the application.
  2. The university reserves the right to require an interview or supplementary materials for any applicant (degree or non-degree) and use these as a means for making an admission decision.

Career Outcomes

The need for public relations and advertising specialists is projected to grow 12 percent through 2022, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Possible careers for graduates of this degree program include:
Media Buyer

Media buyers are responsible for purchasing media space in print, radio, television, film and internet outlets. They are responsible for researching effective channels, targeting appropriate customer demographics, working within budgets, maintaining relationships with media sales agencies and more. Media buyers must possess excellent analytical skills and be effective in interpersonal communication as well as negotiating.

Copywriter

Copywriters are responsible for generating written content for marketing materials such as articles, advertisements, television commercials, websites, fliers, publications and more. They must be excellent at working within strict deadlines, collaborating with other marketing professionals and discerning the appeal of the products they sell, and they must respond flexibly to feedback. Copywriters must possess excellent written communication skills.

Public Relations Coordinator

Public relations coordinators work to ensure that their clients gain and retain a positive reputation with the public. They may develop and implement PR strategies; analyze media coverage; serve as a client liaison to various partners, media outlets and the public; and manage PR during crises, among other responsibilities. Public relations managers must possess flexibility and solid communication skills and must be able to work well under pressure.

Special Events Planner

Special events planners are responsible for coordinating and running large events such as expos, trade shows, parties and more. Depending on the event, they may put together and adhere to budgets, book talent, choose menus, design promotional materials, coordinate logistics, publicize and perform other related tasks. Special events planners must have excellent skills in time management, interacting with others and remaining flexible in their work.

Account Manager

Account managers serve as the main point of contact with clients in a marketing setting. They may work to develop and maintain client relationships, provide timely delivery of products, prepare reports, communicate project updates, negotiate contracts and address challenging requests as needed. Account managers must be excellent communicators and have solid experience in negotiating, presenting and working with computers.

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