Welcome to the fast paced and exciting world of Public Relations. In Appalachian State University’s Communication, Public Relations (BS) degree program, you develop strong research and writing fundamentals that will carry you through your career as a public relations professional. In this role, you will create the strategic communications between an organization and its consumers and other constituents with the goal of building mutually beneficial relationships.
Housed in the Department of Communication, the public relations program has writing classes that are limited in size, which allows professors to work more closely with students to develop their writing skills. You will graduate with a senior portfolio that includes writing samples, graphic design samples and strategic plans that you have completed throughout the program.
Appalachian is home to one of 350 Public Relations Student Society of America chapters. This means that Appalachian offers PRSSA-required classes including: research methods, public relations campaigns, and a for-credit internship. While internships are not required, they are highly encouraged.
Employment: Public relations students are career-ready upon graduation. Alumni of the degree program have worked at major PR firms including: Hunter Public Relations, Yahoo! Inc., Burson-Marsteller, FleishmanHillard and Edelman.
Graduate schools: Some public relations students decide to continue their education with a graduate degree, although it is not a career standard. Graduates have attended Clemson University and UNC Greensboro.
Students must complete core communications courses, plus two writing courses, Introduction to Media Publishing, Media Graphics, Communication Research Methods, Public Relations Principles, Professional Ethics in PR, Public Relations Campaigns and capstone-level Public Relations Seminar.
A minor is required. Students should choose a relevant minor in consultation with their academic advisor. Suggested minors include:
- General Business
- Non-Profit Management
- Political Science
Engagement Outside the Classroom
- Public Relations Student Society of America provides an opportunity for students to become involved in the professional association of their field. PRSSA offers leadership and networking opportunities such as the national PRSA-PRSSA conference, where students meet other public relations students and professionals from across the nation.
- Carolinas Communication Association - sponsors the Jarrard undergraduate paper competition.
- Southern States Communication Association - sponsors the Clevenger Undergraduate Honors Conference.
Appalachian is committed to introducing students to different cultures and teaching them how to live and interact in a global society.
There are no admission requirements beyond admission to Appalachian State University.
- Appalachian has a PRSSA chapter, which gives students the opportunity to attend annual conferences and build leadership skills by holding executive positions. Appalachian’s PRSSA chapter takes trips to public relations locations in New York City each year.
- In the Public Relations Campaign class, students develop a PR campaign for a real client and have the option of entering their campaign in the Arthur W. Page Society’s Case Study Competition in Corporate Communications.
- The Department of Communication has an internship coordinator to help students find internship host sites and receive class credit for their work.
- The department has a strong alumni network that keeps alumni, faculty and current students connected.
- Students can participate in a dual degree program and earn two undergraduate degrees in communication, one from Appalachian and the other from a partner university in Mexico, the Universidad de las Américas Puebla (UDLAP). Watch video >>
Number of Students
Method of Delivery
On campus only
- Campaign Manager
- Communications Director
- Corporate Communications Specialist
- Creative Director
- Events Planner
- Grant Writer
- Human Resources Manager
- Labor Relations Manager
- Market Researcher
- Marketing Analyst
- Media Analyst
- Media Relations Coordinator
- Program Coordinator, Nonprofit
- Public Information Officer
- Public Relations Manager
Dr. Jean DeHart