How can you benefit from an online public relations degree?

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 will gain the experience and tools you need with hands-on courses, including a capstone project where you will 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.

Transform Your Experience into College Credit

Point Park University offers robust Prior Learning Assessment and Advanced Standing/Experiential Learning Credit opportunities. Students can transfer credits from qualifying experiences including College Level Examination Program (CLEP), DANTES Subject Standardized Tests (DSST exams) or UEXCEL exams, Advanced Placement (AP) credit and experiential learning assessment portfolio submissions from prior work experience. Experiential learning credits are not considered current coursework for financial aid and do not fulfill any of the minimum 30 credits that must be completed at Point Park University to graduate. In addition, experiential learning credits through portfolio submissions are capped at 18 credits.  Kindly note that experiential learning credits can be used to meet the minimum transfer credits for degree completion programs.

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  • Next Start Date: October 24, 2021

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Ranked As One of the Most Affordable Online Communications Degrees

Ranked As One of the Best Online Bachelor’s Degrees in Advertising and Public Relations

Ranked As One of the Most Affordable Colleges for Online Degrees in Public Relations

Learn more about the PR & Advertising Degree

Today’s workplace demands professionals who can think critically, write clearly and work effectively as part of a team. With a Bachelor of Arts in public relations and advertising from Point Park, you’ll be ready to contribute as soon as you graduate.

Course Offerings

Admission Requirements

Course Description
This course introduces students to the different 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.

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.

Choose two of the following courses:

  • ECON 201 – Principles of Macroeconomics
  • GCS 175 – Intro to Global Cultural Studies
  • HIST 201 – Western Civilization I
  • HIST 202 – Western Civilization II
  • PADM 210 – Public Administration
  • POLS 205 – World Geography
  • POLS 250 – Intro to Study of Gov’t Systems
  • PHIL 215 – World Religions

Choose one of the following courses:

  • NSET 110 – Intro to Natural Sciences I
  • NSET 111 – Intro to Natural Sciences II

Choose one of the following courses:

  • MATH 150 -The Mathematical Experience
  • MATH 175 – Elementary Statistics
  • MATH 180 – College Algebra
  • *Math course level dependent on results of placement exam.

Choose one of the following courses:

  • ENGL 250 – World Lit: Drama, Poetry, Epic
  • ENGL 251 – World Lit: Novels

Choose two of the following courses:

  • PSYC 150 – Psychological Foundations
  • PSYC 214 – Psychology of Emotion
  • SOC 150 – Sociological Foundations

Choose one of the following courses:

  • BMGT 271 – The Money Thing: Life and Finances During and After College
  • BMGT 234 – Ethical Leadership
  • CMPS 330 – Electronic Commerce
  • ECON 202 – Principles of Microeconomics

Choose one of the following courses:

  • ART 100 – Intro to Visual Arts
  • COMM 290 – Seminar in Media Studies
  • COPA 250 – Exploring the Arts

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:
PRAD433 – 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.
PRAD 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.

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 writing for video, camera operation, aesthetic composition, sound, lighting and editing to create and produce short-form video productions. Prerequisites: COMM 105

Course Description
This course is a study of basic communication principles and the emergence of the concept of mass communication. It explores the responsibilities and influence of newspapers, magazines, radio, television, public relations, advertising and Internet sources in the modern social system.

This course will help students develop an informed and critical understanding of the structures, functions, and impacts of mass media, traditional and new, with particular attention to news messages. This is a vital skill set, as media messages dramatically influence personal identity, cultural norms, and representations of peoples on a global scale. It is an essential tool for both creators and consumers of mass media-in other words, everyone.

Course Description
Introduction to the basic skills needed to tell stories effectively through various forms of mass media, including story development; fundamental writing techniques for print journalism, web journalism, broadcast journalism, and public relations; journalistic writing style; proper grammar; story construction methods; and media literacy.

Course Description
Introduction to visual storytelling for print and non-video digital platforms. Students will learn to use
and apply the basic principles and elements of visual design to create non-video media products used by
advertising, public relations and journalism professionals. Projects will include magazine page design,
newsletters, brochures, infographics, specialty photos for social media distribution, and photo essays for
print and digital publication.

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
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
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: COMM 110, JOUR 150 and 75+ credits. Dual listed with COMM 518

Course Description

Questions of difference play a fundamental role in the functioning of society. In this class, students will
view social groupings through the lens of the mass media, examining the ways in which media creates,
resists, and/or reflects these differences.

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.

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
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
This is a practical course that will cover the techniques of message-based writing strategies used by public relations practitioners in various communication functions. The course will involve a variety of intensive public relations writing assignments based on strategies spanning major functional