Courses in the public relations major seek to develop Christian perspectives on the media, on the ways media serve and might serve their communities, and on the roles our graduates will play within media organizations. These courses are complemented by the leadership and production experience students gain as members of Crosswalk Media, a departmental production group serving the broader community, and the Beacon, the college newspaper. The public relations major requires an internship—and excellent internship opportunities are available in Los Angeles, Washington D.C., and Chicago.
COM 101x -
Mass Media and Society
Examines the historical development, organization and structure of the mass media in contemporary society, as well as related issues and problems. Suggests Christian perspectives on use of and participation in the mass media.(4 credits)
COM 185WI -
(4 credits) (Writing intensive) Students learn genres of writing for print and broadcast journalism and
video, as well as for public relations and advertising. They learn these
genres in relation to each other and in relation to their organizational
contexts and audiences. Included are reporting, organizing and writing, as
well as basic legal and ethical guidelines for reporters and writers in
journalism and PR.
COM 215 -
Practicum in Public Relations *
Practical experience in public relations related projects such as publicity,
promotions, employee and customer relations, special events, advertising,
Web design, corporate research, grant writing, and human resources
development and training. Project sites and sponsors may be campus
departments and organizations, community businesses, and non-profit
Note: Graded on a pass/no pass basis. Course may be repeated.
Prerequisites: completion of, or enrollment in, any of the following
courses: COM230, 261, 263, 315, 332, 355, and ENG288, or permission of
COM 225 -
Media Law and Ethics
(2 credits) This class explores the ethical and legal judgments of media professionals
both past and present in an attempt to reveal the process by which important
communications decisions are made. By exploring the successes and failures
of others, students will learn to hone their own decision-making skills.
They will also learn how the law affects their field and ultimately the
decision-making processes of members of the media. Finally, this course will
show students there is no such thing as a universal ethic and that their own
principles will not always agree with the principles of others. Students
will come to understand the differences between secular ethical
considerations and their own Christian values. Prerequisite: COM101.
COM 230 -
Principles of Public Relations
Introduction to the field of public relations. Its focus is on public relations theory and practice with an emphasis on emerging trends. This course is offered as an overview covering public relations history, theories, strategies and tactics.(3 credits; alternate years, consult department)
COM 415SR -
Advanced Public Relations: Strategy and Implementation
This course is designed to further define the ethical practice of public
relations, to reflect on the student's study of communications and the
NWCore, to examine the student's role in the vocation of public relations,
to provide experience in the research, design, presentation, and evaluation
of a communications campaign for a client, and to examine individual and
corporate responsibility to the greater world. There is considerable
emphasis on writing and speaking.
Prerequisites: COM 185WI and COM 230, COM 236 or permission of instructor.
COM 332 -
(3 credits, alternate years, consult department) The primary objectives
of this course are knowledge integration and skills application. By
conceiving, researching, creating, executing, and evaluating a
comprehensive advertising communication plan that incorporates research,
creative, media, and promotions, students will understand how various
components work together to provide a client with a cohesive campaign
that communicates their message. Students will give a formal oral
presentation to their client that includes a usable campaign and all the
creative materials needed to execute the campaign.
COM 355 -
Examination of the role of communication within and between organizations. Attention to communication tasks within an organization such as news releases, memo writing, conducting meetings, and communicating to an organization's constituencies.(4 credits; alternate years)
COM 417 -
Experience in an approved internship.(4 credits may apply toward the major)
Choose eleven credits:
Choose at least one course:
COM 261 -
Study of interviewing practices, research methods, organization, and interest-gathering techniques necessary for writing longer articles, profiles, columns and consumer affairs writing.Prerequisite: COM185 or permission of instructor.(2 credits; alternate years, consult department)
COM 310 -
Advanced Topics in Communications *
This course is designed to be an upper- level course providing in-depth and additional knowledge and/or skill in specific discipline areas that are not well covered in the current curriculum. Topics will vary according to students' interests and needs, changes and developments in the communication discipline and practice, and faculty skills and interest. Potential topics may include additional instruction in advertising, public relations, magazine writing, advanced news writing and editing, advanced video editing, digital video directing, and international and intercultural communication.Prerequisites: to be determined by department.(2-4 credits; alternate years, consult department)
COM 340 -
News Writing and Editing
ENG 235 -
Introduction to Rhetorical Studies
This course functions primarily as an introduction to rhetoric and rhetorical analysis. It is designed to introduce students to the major and the minor in writing and rhetoric. Topics include the rhetoric of ancient Greece, definitions of rhetoric, past and present, rhetorical analysis of texts, and analysis of the rhetor's purpose, situation, genre and audience.
Note: Students should attempt to take at least one other course that
includes significant writing assignments during the same semester. (2
ENG 288 -
Writing in the Professions
A study of professional writing. In a writing workshop setting, students will learn to adjust style, tone and content to accomplish a definite purpose with an identified audience. They will also learn strategies for creating texts that are clear, concise and accurate. The course is especially useful for those whose career goals require facility in written communication, such as those studying marketing, public relations, advertising, management or law. All students will choose a professional to be their mentor on a writing project related to the career they are interested in. Students will also build a small portfolio of professional writing that includes letters, a memo, a resume and a research report. Prerequisites: sophomore class standing
or ACT English score of 30 or above (SAT 680 or higher). (2 credits)
ENG 297 -
The Rhetoric of Persuasion
A study of the methods of persuasion: logical and emotional appeals and trustworthiness, ways of structuring arguments, and persuasive style. Students will learn to create and critique arguments on a variety of subjects. Prerequisites: sophomore class standing or permission of instructor. (4
credits; alternate years, consult department)
Choose at least one course:
ART 164 -
(2 credits) Taught as a medium of creative expression or as an art form and as a
tool. Film processing and printing are taught as well as camera techniques, darkroom
procedures and presentation of work for exhibitions. A fee is associated with this
ART 220 -
Graphic Design I
ART 320 -
Graphic Design II
Graphic Design II is a course for students to gain the understanding of what
good design is and how to clearly communicate with it. Students will produce
finished examples of graphic design with a specific use in mind such as
advertising, public information, business communication, etc.
COM 263 -
Layout and Design
Covers basic principles of design as they apply to a wide variety of publications. Emphasis on selecting type, art and graphics appropriate to subject matter, purpose and audience.(3 credits)
COM 315 -
Writing and Design for the Web
Study of writing and design for a Web environment. Students will analyze
Internet sites and design sites of their own, using a standard program for
Prerequisites: any of the following: COM263, ART220, ART230, or permission
(3 credits; non-yearly, consult department)
BUS 200 -
Principles of Marketing
This course introduces students to marketing terminology; defines the elements necessary in moving a product, service or idea from concept to market sales; and enables students to understand and replicate the marketing process at an entry level.
BUS 201 -
Principles of Management
(2 credits) This course introduces the student to the basic principles of
management. It includes the understanding of manager's actions in the
work place, on the organization and employees. It includes the study of
basic management tools and techniques.
Choose one course:
BUS 309 -
Human Resource Management
Students study the development of human resources management, including
history, policies, practices and applications. Specific attention is paid to
the study of the processes involving the management of human resources and
its legal environment. Prerequisite: BUS201 or permission of instructor. (4
BUS 401 -
This course explores the cultural, social, personal and psychological factors influencing buyer behavior; buying-decision processes and stages; and learning theory integrated with consumer beliefs and attitudes. Prerequisite: BUS200.
ECO 101SS -
What is the economy? What drives the boom and bust of the market? Why do
people choose what they choose? How should I think about money? What is the
role of our government? How do I view inequality? Every decision we make and
everything we see in the modern society has something to do with economics.
In this course, we will cover the ABC's of micro and macroeconomics that are
most relevant to our everyday life. We will also learn a brief history of
economic thought, and build our foundation on the Christian principles. (4
credits) (NWCore option under Self and Society)
Note: This course is not intended for business or economics majors.
Total credits required: 52
*COM310 must be a topic in Public Relations. COM215 is a 1 credit course to be taken twice.
Internships range from 2-12 credits. The maximum credits applied to the major are noted under the 417 course designation.