Ball State's public relations (PR) program is considered one of the top programs in the country and only one of a small number to be certified by the Public Relations Society of America, the regulating body of the profession. The graduate PR program is the first and only program to be certified.
PR majors study theory, practical skills and ethical foundations. This program is designed to prepare students for not just entry-level positions but for more responsibility in communications leadership positions within agencies, and organizations such as corporations, trade associations, health care, nonprofits, community services, government and education.
Subject matter provides students with a fundamental understanding of public relations principles and covers research and strategic planning techniques, management, marketing applications, ethics and use of the latest in technology such as social media applications. Emphasis is placed on writing skills as well as teamwork, internships and group projects.
Cardinal Communications, the student-led PR and advertising agency, provides students with ample opportunities to apply their knowledge gained from the classroom. Students also may join the Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA) and the American Advertising Federation (AAF) student chapter to gain more insight into the profession. These organizations provide students with practical experience within their majors as well as opportunities to produce portfolio-building examples of skills.
Public relations majors are encouraged to consider minors in such areas as marketing, behavioral sciences, entrepreneurship, telecommunications or communication studies. Students also may pick up a minor in the field where they want to work. Examples include healthcare, sports administration or the arts.
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