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Mass Communications, Bachelor of Science (B.S.) with a concentration in public relations

Special requirements

Students must earn at least 72 credits in courses outside mass communications. In addition, students must earn a total of 45 credits in classes at the 300-level and above, including upper-level mass communications course work. To graduate from the mass communications program, students must have a cumulative and major GPA of 2.5 and must earn a minimum grade of C in their senior-level capstone courses. The mass communications curriculum includes the foundation and specific sequences.

Foundation course work for public relations students
MASC 101; MASC 203 with a minimum grade of C; MASC 210; and completion of UNIV 111, UNIV 112, POLI 103, ECON 203 and the College of Humanities and Sciences’ math and statistics (must choose STAT 208 OR 210), science and technology and diverse and global communities requirements. Completion of both ECON 210 and ECON 211 may substitute for ECON 203.

To enroll in MASC 203, students must receive departmental permission.

Admittance to a concentration in the School of Mass Communications is contingent on meeting the following requirements: an overall minimum GPA of 2.5 in all courses and completion of the required mass communications foundation courses. Transfer students will be evaluated on an individual basis but generally will be required to meet the prerequisites for admission to the major concentration during the second semester they are enrolled at VCU.

Certification of these requirements must accompany a formal petition for admission to a concentration. At this time, the student must select one of the school’s concentrations: advertising, journalism or public relations.

To enroll in a mass communications course, majors must have earned a minimum grade of C in all courses prerequisite for that course.

The School of Mass Communications offers a Bachelor of Science in Mass Communications with concentrations in one of three areas: advertising, journalism or public relations. The public relations concentration is designed to prepare students for employment in industry, government, nonprofit associations and public relations agencies.

Degree requirements for Mass Communications, Bachelor of Science (B.S.) with a concentration in public relations

Learning outcomes

Upon completing this program, students will know and know how to do the following:

  • Write correctly and clearly in forms and styles appropriate for the communication professions, audiences and purposes they serve.
  • Conduct research and evaluate information by methods appropriate to the communication professions in which they work.
  • Critically evaluate their own work and that of others for accuracy and fairness, clarity, appropriate style and grammatical correctness.
  • Apply tools and technologies appropriate for the communication professions in which they work.
  • Apply basic numerical and statistical concepts.
  • Think critically, creatively and independently.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the history and role of professionals and institutions in shaping communications.
  • Understand and apply the principles and laws appropriate to the communication professions in which they work, including copyright and trademark law.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the diversity of groups in a global society in relationship to communications.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of professional ethical principles and work ethically.
  • Understand concepts and apply theories in the use and presentation of images and information.
General Education requirements (32-46 credits) Credits
University Core Education Curriculum (minimum 21 credits)
UNIV 111 Focused Inquiry I 3
UNIV 112 Focused Inquiry II 3
UNIV 200 Inquiry and the Craft of Argument 3
Approved humanities/fine arts 3
Approved natural/physical sciences 3-4
Approved quantitative literacy 3-4
Approved social/behavioral sciences 3-4
Additional College of Humanities and Sciences requirements (11-23 credits)  
HUMS 202 Choices in a Consumer Society 1
Approved H&S diverse and global communities 3
Approved H&S general education electives 6-8
Approved H&S human, social and political behavior (fulfills University Core social/behavioral sciences)  
Approved H&S literature and civilization (fulfills University Core humanities/fine arts)  
Approved H&S science and technology (fulfills University Core natural/physical sciences)  
Experiential fine arts (course offered by the School of the Arts) 1-3
Foreign language through the 102 level (by course or placement) 0-8
Collateral requirements (30 credits)  
ACCT 202 Accounting for Non-business Majors 3
ECON 203 Introduction to Economics (completion of both ECON 210 and ECON 211 Economic Principles satisfies this requirement) 3
HIST 103 and HIST 104 Survey of American History 6
MGMT 319 Organizational Behavior 3
MKTG 301 Marketing Principles 3
POLI 103 U.S. Government (fulfills approved human, social and political behavior) 3
STAT 208 Statistical Thinking or STAT 210 Basic Practice of Statistics (fulfills University Core quantitative literacy) 3
POLI or URSP course (300-level or above) 3
Literature course (300-level or above) except ENGL/TEDU 386 Children’s Literature I or ENGL 387 Literature for Adolescents 3
Major requirements (48 credits)  
MASC 101 Mass Communications 3
MASC 203 Journalism Writing 3
MASC 210 Public Relations 3
MASC 333 Public Relations Writing and Media Relations 3
MASC 334 Public Relations Graphics and Productions I 3
MASC 335 Public Relations Graphics and Production II 3
MASC 336 Social Media in Public Relations 3
MASC 337 Public Relations Management and Case Studies 3
MASC 338 Professionalism in Public Relations 3
MASC 408 Communications Ethics and Law 3
MASC 425 Public Relations Research 3
MASC 435 Crisis Communications 3
MASC 439 Public Relations Campaigns (capstone) 3
MASC 493 Fieldwork/Internship 3
Public relations electives (6 credits): Choose from the approved list below or any additional MASC course. 6
Open electives (0-10 credits)  
Open electives 8-24
Total minimum requirement 120

Public relations electives
MASC 423 Tourism and Hospitality Public Relations
MASC 424 Sports and Entertainment Public Relations
MASC 433 Special Events
MASC 438 Organizational Communications
MASC 488 Strategic Communication of Health and Medical Issues

Click here to download a sample outline. [PDF]



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