​Public Relations

Central Michigan University's public relations concentration emphasizes the management of an organization's communications. You may study public relations at CMU either as a student in the public relations concentration in journalism or as a student majoring in the Integrative Public Relations program. As you explore career options, consider these key features that distinguish Central Michigan's public relations curriculum:

  • Comprehensive course offerings
  • Faculty with professional experience in a variety of disciplines
  • Professional work experience through undergraduate internships
  • Involvement opportunities through on-campus academic organizations
  • State-of-the-art computer and production facilities

Core Courses I (21 hours) for Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science​

JRN 102 - Introduction to Journalism 3(3-0)
An introduction to journalism as a social, cultural, political, technological, and economic force; a professional field; an academic discipline, unit and program.

JRN 202 - Writing for the Mass Media 3(3-0)
Gathering, processing and writing information and opinion on current matters using professional standards and formats in news, public relations and advertising. May be offered as Writing Intensive. Prerequisites: ENG 101 (C or better).

JRN 203 - Information Gathering for the Mass Media 3(3-0)
Acquiring, comprehending, analyzing, synthesizing, and evaluating information by solving journalistic problems in a variety of cases and from multiple perspectives. Pre/Co-Requisite: JRN 202.

JRN 220 - Basic Media Photography 3(3-0)
Camera operation, producing and processing of photographs for media use.

JRN 302 - Introduction to Graphics and Visual Communication 3(3-0)
Principles and techniques of publication/advertising graphics and visual communication, including typography and the printing process.

JRN 404 - Law of Mass Communication 3(3-0)
Principles and case studies. Prerequisites: JRN 101 or 102; junior standing.

JRN 500 - Current Issues in Mass Communication 3(3-0)
Examination of the role of mass communication in society through the exploration of issues, ethics, trends and decision-making processes. Prerequisite: senior standing.

Core Courses II (3 hours)

Select one of the following:
JRN 372 - International and Cross-cultural Mass Communication 3(3-0)
Analysis of indigenous and international media systems and their relationship to social, economic and political institutions. (University Program Group IV-A).

JRN 380 - Racial Diversity: Mass Media's Role 3(3-0)
Critical, historical examination of African-American, Hispanic, Asian, Native American and gender stereotypes in mass media. Self-portrayals by these groups using mass media. (Group IV-C)

Required Courses (12 hours)

JRN 350 - Public Relations Principles and Practices 3(3-0)
Concepts and theories of public relations as a management function as practiced by corporations, non-profits and other organizations. Role of the practitioner stressed. This course is approved for offering in a distance learning format.

JRN 450 - Public Relations Writing 3(3-0)
Creating and editing written materials for a variety of public relations purposes and a variety of media. Prerequisites: JRN 202, JRN 350.

JRN 551 - Case Studies in Public Relations 3(3-0)
Examination of historic and contemporary public relations problems and programs with emphasis on research, planning and problem-solving skills in public relations practices. Prerequisites: JRN 350.

JRN 556 - Public Relations Seminar 3(3-0)
Emphasis on interaction of public relations with society, with individual case studies. Prerequisites: JRN 350.

Elective (3 hours)
An additional Journalism course, as approved by the advisor.

Total: 39 semester hours

Integrative Public Relations Curriculum

An important feature of Central Michigan's Integrative Public Relations curriculum is its interdisciplinary approach. Central Michigan combines the strengths of its journalism, broadcast and cinematic arts, and interpersonal and public communication programs to provide you with a comprehensive education that will prepare you for a variety of jobs upon graduation.

In the program, you will complete 41 credit hours of required courses. These courses will help you develop general skills in areas such as public relations writing, broadcast and cable promotion, graphics and visual communication. You also will choose 18 hours of elective courses from a variety of areas, including communication, broadcasting, marketing, journalism, computer science, entrepreneurial studies and more.

A required internship gives you hands-on employment experience at the undergraduate level. It also allows you to produce the professional portfolio needed to begin your career. For more information, visit www.ccfa.cmich.edu/ipr​

Unique Opportunities

As an integrative public relations student, you will have a number of opportunities to supplement and enhance your classroom learning.

Your internship provides you with valuable on-site work experience and further enhances your abilities.

Academic Organizations
CMU has more than 200 registered organizations on campus that provide you with the opportunity to enhance your leadership skills and gain practical experience in your field of interest. Two of these organizations--the Public Relations Student Society of America and the Communication Association - are of special interest to public relations students. Through these groups, you can chair committees, implement project ideas, utilize communication skills, organize events, attend seminars and conferences, and more.

Students involved in the Public Relations Student Society of America have the opportunity to join PR Central, a student-run non profit public relations firm that enables students to gain experience through hands-on learning with real clients. Past accounts have included the Michigan Wrestling Association, Art Reach of Mount Pleasant, Isabella County Recycling Center, Michigan Humane Society and United Way of Isabella County.

Career Opportunities

Graduates will find a variety of career options available. Some of these careers may require additional education.

  • Publicist
  • Account Executive
  • Researcher
  • Publications Specialist
  • Recruiter
  • Speaker
  • Writer
  • Audio/Video Production Specialist
  • Marketing Support Personnel
  • Promotions Opinion Strategist
  • Public Relations Specialist
  • Communications Specialist
  • Public Relations Consultant
  • Special Events Planner
  • Media Relations Specialist

About the University

CMU is a comprehensive four-year institution that offers degree programs on the bachelor's, master's, specialist's and doctoral levels. It is accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. Undergraduate students may choose from more than 150 programs of study. Its wealth of resources and its size offer students the academic advantages of a large university with the personal attention provided by smaller private schools.

For More Information

To learn more about undergraduate admission to Central Michigan University, contact:

Admissions Office
Warriner Hall 102
Central Michigan University
Mount Pleasant, Michigan 48859
Telephone: (989) 774-3076

To learn more about Central Michigan's Public Relations concentration in the journalism department contact:

Department of Journalism
Moore 454
Central Michigan University
Mount Pleasant, Michigan 48859
Telephone (989) 774-3196

To learn more about Central Michigan's Integrative Public Relations program, contact:

College of Communications and Fine Arts
Moore Hall 129
Central Michigan University
Mount Pleasant, Michigan 48859
Telephone (989) 774-1885