Why Major in Public Relations?
The role of the communications specialist is rapidly growing and becoming more complex. Belmont’s Bachelor of Science or Bachelor of Arts in Public Relations Management is designed to help you develop as a strong communicator, influencer and storyteller through a balance of academic courses and hands-on practice.
Our courses, taught by faculty who are exceptional teachers and practitioners, emphasize writing, speaking and business skills and will give you the opportunity to build your professional portfolio while you learn.
Enhance Your Knowledge: The communication foundations and skills you’ll learn will help you gather insights, think strategically, communicate persuasively, develop actionable plans, and proactively manage client issues.
Expand Your Portfolio & Network: Belmont’s public relations classes engage you with projects that encourage involvement within the community and leave you with hands-on experience that you can add to your resume. Expand your network in the Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA) with opportunities to network with Nashville’s PRSA members, who are often guest-lecturers in class.
Am I an Adult Student?
What makes Adult Degree Programs special?
Your Success is Personal: Our students are not one-sized fits all, and neither is our commitment to you. Your path to a college degree is unique, and we take your success as personally as you do. Our staff and faculty will be with you from the first point of contact all the way through graduation and beyond, providing personalized guidance and assistance so you don’t have to go it alone.
Education Designed to Elevate Your Career: Whatever adult degree program option you choose, a career-focused curriculum will help you elevate your current career or prepare you for new professional or personal opportunities.
Unique Tuition Discount for Adult Degree Program Students: Belmont is dedicated to offering access to high-quality education for busy adults. Students in Belmont’s Adult Degree Program receive more than a 40% discount off of the tuition cost that traditional Belmont students pay for the very same quality, private school education.
What You'll Learn
Gain Skills & Expertise
Here's a sample of what you'll do in our Public Relations Management Program:
- Write and produce public relations materials, including: news releases, backgrounders and talking points, media kits, advertising copy, fund-raising letters, grant proposals, speeches.
- Explore social media techniques and their application in public relations practices.
- Design, produce and manage various print and digital media in public relations campaigns.
- Utilize informal and formal research skills such as surveys, focus groups, content analysis, sampling methods and measuring public opinion.
- Research, plan, implement and evaluate a public relations campaign on behalf of a real-world client.
- Through a specialization in event-planning, plan and promote events, including: news conferences, fund-raising, concerts and community sponsorships.
A public relations management degree from Belmont can open the door to fulfilling careers in communications, public relations, event planning, writing, advertising, communications, social media management and more.
Here are just a few career paths that you can consider pursuing in the communications industry:
- Corporate Communications Expert
- Media Planner
- Market Researcher
- Graphic Designer
- Advertising Analyst
- Public Relations Account Executive
- Event Planner
- Sports Agent
- Freelance Writer/PR Practitioner
- Speech Writer
- Media Relations Manager
Jessica Morin, Event Experience Manager, Ethisphere
"Belmont's Adult Degree Program offered me the opportunity to study what I am passionate about within a growing and thriving city. The discounted tuition rate made choosing Belmont over a neighboring state school an easier choice. As an adult who spent many years in a corporate environment, I appreciated getting back in the classroom and learning new skills."
The public relations management major leads to either a bachelor of arts or bachelor of science and requires 128 hours of coursework.
- BELL Core requirements: 53 hours
- Public Relations Management technical requirements: count as part of BELL Core
- Public Relations Management major courses: 30 hours
- General electives: 45 hours
Want to Transfer Previous College Credits?
Request a free transfer credit analysis and see how your courses will transfer to Belmont University. (If preferred, I can provide direct link to the form - this was a landing page)
Courses You'll Take
- MDS 1500, Mass Media and Society
This course serves as an introduction to mass media, including radio, television, film, and newspapers. It is designed to lead the student to basic media literacy by exploring the evolution of mass media and their effects on society - politically, economically, and socially.
- PRL 1180, Public Relations Principles
Individuals, groups, organizations and all societal institutions use public relations. This course is designed to introduce the purposes, principles and practices of public relations. Students will gain an awareness and deeper understanding of how public relations shapes society by examining historical and contemporary trends as well as the social scientific theoretical underpinnings of the practice.
- PRL 4015, Strategic Communication Senior Capstone
This course is the culminating experience for public relations and social media management majors and fulfills the university’s senior capstone requirement. Students will reflect on their whole educational experience as they emerge as strategic communication professionals. Following a review of essential knowledge, skills and abilities, students will develop personal strategic plans to guide their transition to life beyond Belmont.
- PRL 2130, Public Relations Writing I
This course introduces students to the basic concept, style and techniques of public relations writing for journalistic (i.e., uncontrolled or earned) media. It will familiarize students with the principles of strategic and ethical public relations writing for a converged media market. Students will develop and edit strategic messages and determine the optimal time and method for distributing these messages. Particular attention will be placed on the development of news releases, fact sheets, pitches and news advisories for print, broadcast and digital communication. Emphasis will also include industry-standard conventions, such as Associated Press (AP) style.
- PRL 2180, Public Relations Writing II
This course introduces students to the basic concept, style and techniques of public relations writing for organizational (i.e., owned and paid) media. It will familiarize students with the principles of strategic and ethical public relations writing for diverse publics. Students will develop and edit strategic messages for the organizational channels through which those messages are distributed. Particular attention will be placed on the development of fliers, brochures, newsletters, reports, appeals, advertisements and speeches for print, digital and oral communication.
- PRL 2810, Public Relations Cases
This course promotes an in-depth investigation of public relations principles and practices through classic and contemporary case studies. Emphasis is placed on developing the student’s strategic communication management skills, ethics, critical thinking and problem solving abilities through oral and written case presentations and discussions.
- PRL 3180, Public Relations Research
This course examines the roles and techniques of research for effective public relations theory building, decision making and accountability/reporting. Among the topics explored are the research process, background/secondary research, identification of publics, environmental scanning/monitoring, qualitative and quantitative methods, content analysis, in-depth and focus group interviews, surveys and experiments.
- PRL 3810, Public Relations Ethical Leadership
This course considers the ethical and legal responsibilities of a public relations leader in a complex and diverse society. Using a critical public relations lens, the course assesses the intersection of legal standards, ethical philosophies, and the role of public relations in civic dialogue, helping students evaluate the personal and professional standards that guide ethical decision making and explore the implications of diverse global perspectives in public relations ethical leadership.
- PRL 4190, Public Relations Campaigns
This course involves extensive team-based research, planning, implementation and evaluation of a public relations campaign, with service learning applications, for a community partner, a real-world client.
- PRL Electives: Four classes chosen from any PRL classes, which might include:
- PRL 2510, Sport and Public Relations
This course familiarizes students with the principles and basic techniques of sport public relations for collegiate and professional sports. Particular attention will be placed on the role of media and sport, the creation and dissemination of messages and their distribution systems, the management of crisis situations and the demonstration of social responsibility through sport.
- PRL 2650, Nonprofit Public Relations & Development
This course explores the role of strategic communication management in advancing the mission and causes of nonprofit organizations. Emphasis will also include the operations of a development program, including how to find donors, manage the fundraising process, write grant applications, and secure other financial support.
- PRL 2710: Social Media and Strategic Communication
This course examines current and emerging web-based and mobile technologies and associated trends that are affecting public relations. Emphasis is placed on the use of social media to discover and interact with connected publics by curating, creating and sharing content, monitoring and measuring engagement and analyzing and applying insights to integrated communication strategies.
- PRL 3710, Event Planning
This course focuses on planning, promotion, implementation and evaluation of events as a communication tactic. Emphasis is placed on creating events that are aligned with public relations strategies and support communication objectives.
- PRL 2510, Sport and Public Relations
The admission decision process for the Adult Degree Program is different from what someone might experience right out of high school. To be eligible for an Adult Degree program, applicants must be 24 years or older or provide evidence of two years or more of military service, marriage or having a family of your own.
Even if you struggled academically when you first attended college, the Belmont Admissions Committee looks at more than just your academic history. We also consider your professional experience and personal accomplishments as we review your application materials.
- Public Relations Student Society of America: PRSSA is a nationally affiliated organization for students interested in public relations to develop themselves pre-professionally outside the classroom through networking, internship opportunities and professional education.
- Tower Creative Communications: Tower Creative Communications is the nationally affiliated, student-run strategic communication agency at Belmont University. Established in 2006 as a professional development initiative of Belmont’s chapter of the Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA), Tower Creative strives to deliver excellent communication strategies and tactics to meet actual needs, solve real problems and, ultimately, advance their clients’ missions. The agency welcomes a diverse group of student associates—from any major or minor—with knowledge and skills in public relations, marketing, management, audio/video production, graphic design, photography, social media management, web design and writing. Working together, associates sharpen their skills, build their portfolios and bolster their confidence while serving the communication needs of on- and off-campus clients.