B.A. in Public Relations and Strategic Communication
Organizations are increasingly relying on public relations experts to provide strategic communications to their audiences — whether through social media, websites, publications, community outreach or the news media. In Biola’s public relations and strategic communication major, you’ll develop valuable skills in market research, writing and visual design, and gain hands-on experience needed to enter one of the fastest-growing fields for college graduates.
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Public Relations Concentrations
- AdvertisingThe field of public relations is centered on building trust and credibility — but awareness is an important part of the process. In Advertising, students learn how to maximize paid placement through courses such as Paid Digital Media, Principles of Advertising and Advanced Digital Advertising Management.
- Agency and Corporate PROrganizations across all industries are deeply invested in connecting with their communities, employees and other key stakeholders. In the Agency and Corporate PR concentration, students develop expertise in practicing public relations in organizational settings through courses such as Organizational Communication and Crisis Communication & Reputation Management.
- Digital Management and Social MediaIn an increasingly digital world, social media management has become a core part of organizational public relations. In the Digital Management and Social Media concentration, students will expand their understanding of social media platforms, algorithms and best practices through courses such as Paid Digital Media and Advanced Digital Advertising Management.
- Entertainment and Events PRSome industries are centered around important events — from sports games and weddings to group retreats and donor dinners. In the Entertainment and Events PR concentration, students learn the unique rhythms and requirements they can expect in courses such as Understanding Representation and Convergent Production.
- Media RelationsWorking directly with media outlets is an important part of influencing the image of a brand in the eyes of the public. In the Media Relations concentration, students become familiar with the needs and processes of journalists through courses such as Publication Editing and Management, Sports Journalism, and Magazine and Free-Lance Writing.
- Nonprofit and Ministry PRIn nonprofits, the ability and flexibility to perform diverse roles is highly valuable. In the Nonprofit and Ministry PR concentration, students supplement public relations training with interdisciplinary courses that expand professional skillsets, choosing from electives such as Persuasive Communication, Cross-Cultural Storytelling, and Publication, Web and Media Design.
Why Choose Public Relations and Strategic Communication at Biola?
In addition to its strong curriculum, expert faculty members and biblical integration, Biola’s public relations and strategic communication program offers several key advantages:
- In 2021, the department was awarded a Certificate of Education for Public Relations (CEPR) by the nation's leading public relations professional organization, the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA). Biola is one of less than 50 universities nationwide to receive this certificate, which distinguishes our department as providing an academic program with faculty, curriculum, and resources needed to prepare students for professional public relations positions and career growth.
- Since 2013, Biola’s Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA) chapter has consistently been recognized as a “Star Chapter” by PRSSA National, a distinction given to less than 10 percent of PRSSA chapters.
- 6th Street PR, Biola’s student-run PR agency, is nationally affiliated through PRSSA, meaning it is considered one of the “most accomplished and successful student-run firms.”
- Public relations students have the opportunity to work on real-world campaigns with clients and build professional portfolios.
- Biola’s studio facilities offer a conference room for brainstorming and pitching to clients, technology for creating pieces for clients and an equipment room with more than 1,000 items for rent, including cameras, microphones and other equipment.
- Biola’s location on the border of Los Angeles and Orange counties is rich with opportunities to launch into the world of public relations. Internationally known organizations and nonprofits are just a short drive away.
- Biola offers the Torrey Honors College, which can enhance your public relations education. This unique honors program immerses you in discussion-based courses that will ignite thought-provoking conversations and prepare you to serve organizations and people well through ethical counseling and communication strategies.
What Will I Study?
Public Relations is all about relationships. As a student in Biola's program, you will learn how to create, build and maintain relationships with people on behalf of organizations. You'll learn everything from how to create a strategic PR campaign, to the logistics of developing competitive digital strategies, to the realities of working with local, national and global media organizations. This is all done through the lens of a biblical worldview, informing our perspectives of the value of communication, relationships and people. We believe working in public relations is a sacred calling. Course topics and highlights include:
- The nature and process of public relations
- How to capture photos with digital photographic equipment
- Writing for public relations using media, print and electronics
- Digital approaches to publishing
- Student created print material and web products
- Theoretical approaches to the First Amendment
- Creating a public relations plan for a client
- Analyzing public relations case studies
- Examining your personal philosophy of PR
Learning from passionate professors who have remained relevant in the rapidly growing industry, the public relations program teaches students fundamental knowledge and equips us professionally and spiritually to impact the world for Christ.
... I feel empowered to ask good questions and seek community as I follow Jesus.
Public Relations, B.A. '15
The PR program at Biola challenged and developed my character, which is far greater than any hard or soft skill I learned in the classroom.
Public Relations and Strategic Communication, B.A. '19
Many career possibilities in areas like international affairs, government, advertising and non-profit organizations await future graduates of Biola's public relations and strategic communication program. You can expect to transform the world for Jesus Christ through your life and calling in professions such as:
- Political campaign manager
- Director of marketing
- Social media manager
- Public relations specialist
- Human resource director
- Director of fundraising
- Production communication professional
- Corporate event planner
- Financial public relations expert