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Undergraduate, Adult Degree | In-Person

Social Media Management, BA/BS | Adult Degree

Learn the strategic thinking skills it takes to lead organizations to optimize their social media.

Why Major in Social Media Management? 

Belmont is one of the first universities in the nation to offer a traditional undergraduate degree in social media management. Expand your knowledge of social media, hone your content creation skills and develop your abilities to manage strategically. With a Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science in Social Media Management, you will show future employers that you know how to help them maximize their use of social media for strategic communication.

Like print and broadcast media, the rapid adoption of social media has changed the ways we communicate. However, unlike traditional media of the past, the power of social media is now in the hands of the many individual users instead of a few media giants. Organizations of all types—in every industry—are navigating the ever-changing landscape of web-based and mobile media. Those organizations need strategists who can guide them.

The Social Media Management program, offered by the Department of Public Relations, will prepare you to become a strategic communication professional who specializes in social media. Our curriculum has been designed to help you think strategically, solve problems creatively and communicate purposefully.

Five key areas are at the core of the program:

  • Relationship Building & Strategic Planning
  • Research & Analytics
  • Content Creation
  • Engagement & Community Management
  • Leadership, Ethics & Law

Through a well-development curriculum and co-curricular opportunities such as internships and work with Tower Creative Communications, Belmont’s student-run agency, you will be able to confidently:

  • Develop strategic plans for social media to support communication goals and objectives for relationship building and maintenance.
  • Design and conduct research to make strategic decisions about social media management and to evaluate the effectiveness of social media activities.
  • Create engaging content using words, images, audio and video to achieve strategic communication goals on a variety of platforms and devices.
  • Identify and respond to emerging issues, risks or crises in online communities.
  • Practice responsible, ethical and legal social media management.

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 

  • Develop strategic plans for social media to support communication goals and objectives for relationship building and maintenance.
  • Design and conduct research to make strategic decisions about social media management and to evaluate the effectiveness of social media activities.
  • Create engaging content using words, images, audio, and video to achieve strategic communication goals on a variety of platforms and devices.
  • Identify and respond to emerging issues, risks or crises in online communities.
  • Practice responsible, ethical and legal social media management.

Career Possibilities

  • Social Media Specialist
  • Brand Manager
  • Content Strategist
  • Social Media Consultant
  • Digital Advertiser
  • Social Media Director
  • Social Media Analyst
  • Social Media Marketing Manager
  • Public Relations Specialist

Program Details


The social media management major leads to either a bachelor of arts or a bachelor of science. It requires 128 hours of coursework:

  • BELL core requirements: 53 hours
  • Major requirements (including 12 hours of electives): 36 hours
  • Minor requirements: 18 hours
  • General electives: 21 hours

See All Program Requirements

Courses You'll Take

Social Media Management majors are required to take core courses in:

  • PRL 2710 Social Media and Public Relations
    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 2880 Social Media Content Development
    This course explores storytelling for strategic communications and introduces students to essential social media platforms through which purposeful stories can be produced and disseminated. Students will gain first-hand experience creating strategic content for web-based and mobile platforms using text, images, audio and video.
  • 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 3380 Social Media Measurement & Analytics
    This course emphasizes the identification of key performance indicators for strategic communications, determination of relevant and trackable metrics, measurement of communication outcomes and analysis of data for strategic decision-making. Students will learn how to gather, assess and analyze data than can be used for trend-spotting, policy recommendations and forward-looking communication strategy.
  • PRL 3680 Risk and Crisis Management for Social Media
    This course introduces students to the key elements of risk and crisis management on social media. The course will consider the variety and life cycles of online crises as well as their benefits and limitations of traditional crisis responses. Finally, students will learn to develop and apply a multi-faceted and multi-channel strategy that protects and enhances online community management.
  • 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 4380 Social Media Planning and Management
    This course is designed to amalgamate the principles and practice of social media management, particularly in the process of campaign planning and management. Students will engage in formative research, define objectives, develop strategies and tactics and determine appropriate measures for effectiveness.
  • PRL 4910 Public Relations Internship
    Students gain on-the-job experience with public relations in a professional context. Internships will be consistent with the student’s professional objectives.

In addition, students choose 12 credit hours from elective courses such as:

  • PRL 2010 Tower Creative Practicum
    This course provides students with practical experiences in public relations. Using actual, campus-based and off-campus clients, students will apply their knowledge and skills to real-­world public relations problems and opportunities. Students research, plan, write, coordinate, produce, implement and evaluate various communication strategies and tactics. This course is designed for associates of Tower Creative Communications, Belmont University’s student-run public relations firm.
  • 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 2820 Public Relations Design & Production
    This course equips students with the knowledge and technical skills to conceptualize, design, produce and manage various print and digital media that are commonly used in public relations programs and campaigns.
  • 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 3800 Media Relations
    This course equips students to practice the media relations function of public relations by applying theories and skills needed to work effectively with traditional and new media gatekeepers. Emphasis is placed on researching media outlets, managing contacts, pitching, media training and interviewing.

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.

Learn more about Adult Degree Admissions & Financial Aid

  • 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.

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Application Deadlines

Apply by August 1

Start on August 23

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Tuition & Aid Info

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Adult Degree Program

Madeleine Fossler
Admissions Coordinator
Email Madeleine