The online public relations area of emphasis prepares adult learners for a variety of careers in the dynamic field of public relations. Typical job areas include media relations, event planning, corporate communications, community relations, crisis management, publicity and promotion, public affairs, and government relations. Building and maintaining positive relationships with external audiences is the core of public relations. A professional PR practitioner uses a variety of communication strategies, tactics, and media to create a favorable image for his/her client.


An area of emphasis in public relations can benefit adult learners from a variety of academic disciplines including: business administration, marketing, communications, sport management, health promotion, political science, religion, education, and social work. Whatever the field, any professional needs to know how to communicate credibly and convincingly with its audiences.


The public relations area of emphasis consists of two prerequisite courses (6 credit hours) and four 300-level courses (12 credit hours). To earn an emphasis in public relations a student must earn a grade of C or better in each of the five courses.

Prerequisites (6 credit hours):

JRL 101. Media & Society

Examines the relationship between media, culture and society, with emphasis on the history, structure, and organization of the mass media.


PR 215. Introduction to Public Relations

Introduces the principles of public relations. Examines the definition and historical development, opportunities and challenges, and techniques and management of public relations.


This course is offered every term.


Required Courses (12 credit hours):

PR 301. Writing for Public Relations

Provides an introduction to writing for a wide range of public relations purposes. Students improve writing skills as they become prepared to effectively communicate with various audiences in multiple formats.


Prerequisites: JRL 101 and PR 215 and Public Relations Minor Candidate.

PR 401. Applied Public Relations

Covers in-depth case studies of public relations programs. Primary emphasis is placed on successful campaigns; however, unsuccessful efforts are also examined for causes of failure.


Prerequisites: JRL 101 and PR 215 and Public Relations Minor Candidate.

PR 410. IMC for Public Relations

Describes the essential role of public relations in integrated marketing communication. Examines successful IMC campaigns and "the campaign mindset" as it applies to employee relations, government affairs, reputation management, corporate social responsibility, and more.


Prerequisites: JRL 101 and PR 215

JRL 428. Media Ethics and Law

How ethics and law work together to help create and maintain the media environment. Examines ethical paradigms within a legal framework, with special emphasis on morality.


Prerequisites: PR 215


The online Regents Bachelor of Arts Areas of Emphasis is not available to students enrolled in the Reed College of Media.


For additional information contact To register for online courses, contact WVU Online at (800) 253-2762 or email