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Public Relations and Strategic Communications

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Every business needs strong communicators: employment within public relations and strategic communications is expected to increase by nearly 10 percent through 2026.

The Cronkite School prepares the next generation of PR and communications leaders to excel across any organization, within any industry.

Students who choose a public relations path graduate with a journalism degree. In addition to building the necessary foundation to succeed within organizational communications, students foster a holistic approach to legal and ethical practices of communications that apply to any organization.

Students apply these skills and concepts in the PR Lab, where they gain real-world, real-time experiences creating and executing strategic communications campaigns to improve an organization. These published communications, internship and PR Lab experiences help graduates become career-ready and marketable to prospective employers.

Both undergraduate and graduate students have opportunities to further collaborate and broaden their skills through the Digital Audiences Lab, New Media Innovation and Entrepreneurship Lab and Cronkite News’ Digital Production desk

Undergraduate Courses

Cronkite students pursuing a public relations and strategic communications path learn the fundamentals of communications, journalism and writing for a variety of platforms and audiences within necessary legal and ethical contexts.

Courses for undergraduate students pursuing a strategic communications path include:

  • JMC 101 Grammar for Journalists
  • JMC 102 Coding for Journalists
  • JMC 110 Principles and History of Journalism
  • JMC 201 News Reporting & Writing
  • JMC 305 Multimedia Journalism
  • JMC 301 Intermediate Reporting & Writing
  • JMC 310 Publish Relations
  • JMC 313 Editing OR JMC 448 Non-narrative Video Storytelling
  • JMC 366 Ethics and Diversity
  • JMC 402 Mass Communication Law
  • JMC 415 Writing for PR
  • JMC 436 Public Relations Research
  • JMC 476 Public Relations Lab
  • JMC 484 Internship
  • MCO 420 Strategic Communications
  • Advanced skills course
  • Major elective

Jenni Gordon
In the lab we are the professionals. The clients that we are working with rely on us to get their messages out to the world. Practice is key when working in the public relations field, and before the Lab I did not have real experience. Now, I feel confident and able to go into a job interview and say what I can bring to the job because of the experience I had in the PR Lab.

—Jenni Gordon (’19)

Graduate Courses

Graduate students interested in an MMC degree (Master of Mass Communication) with a strategic communications path enter the MMC program from a wide variety of professional experiences and educational backgrounds. This 12-18 month program builds a foundation in journalism and writing that are then applied within public relations, leadership and legal contexts.

Semester 1

  • MCO 502 “Boot Camp”
  • MCO 598 Journalism Skills Lab
  • MCO 536 Public Relations Research
  • Optional Elective

Semester 2

  • MCO 598 Strategic Communications Leadership
  • MCO 517 Public Relations Campaigns
  • MCO 598 Writing for Public Relations
  • Advanced Skills Course

Semester 3

  • MCO 503 Media Law
  • MCO 570 Public Relations Lab

Mikala Morris
The interactions that I've had and the relationships that I have built with professors and faculty have made the biggest difference in preparing for my future career in public relations. They have all gone out of their way to teach me skills that I'll be able to apply once I leave Cronkite, such as using social media measurement tools, conducting audience research and building a professional network.

—Mikala Morris (’19)