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Courses | B.A. in Public Relations and Strategic Communication

Below are some of the courses you’ll have an opportunity to take as a student in this program. Take a look at the list below to get an idea of the types of available courses. Also, be sure to review core curriculum requirements and the official program requirements in the Biola University catalog.

Note: This list is intended to give you a quick glimpse into the program’s academic offerings, and should not be used as a guide for course selection or academic advising.

Major Courses

Collection and presentation of business data, central tendency and dispersion measures for business analysis, sampling and inference for confidence intervals and hypothesis testing, business forecasting with simple and multiple regression, index numbers. Notes: Approved for Core Curriculum Math credit. Grade Mode: A.

This survey course explores the role of media ecology in relation to public relations and communication. Building from this, students will examine perceptions of media uses, habits and choices in light of a Christian worldview and perspective technology. Grade Mode: A. 

This course provides an overview of the intent, purpose, and influence of public relations beginning with journalism in the late 1700s, extending into the birth of public relations in the 20th century, and the rise of convergent media in the early 21st century. The course examines the crafting and influence of media messages and understanding and serving of audiences over time. The course examines interplay of journalism and public relations over the decades, exploring also the roots of, and ethical principles underlying, best practices. Students will juxtapose their biblical world-view with ethical decision-making.

A course providing students an introduction to various channels necessary for companies and organizations to resource in communicating messages for the building of relationships with select audiences. Course content introduces basics in writing for social media for organizations and causes and exposes students to digital strategies and tools as students prepare for careers in various areas of public relations. Students begin the development of their professional online presence as they create the scaffolding for their e-portfolio site. The course serves as a prerequisite to PREL 307.

This course provides an introduction to the modern practice of public relations, giving an overview of PR processes, history, ethics, and theory. Students will learn standards and best practices when managing and launching public relations campaigns. Grade Mode: A.

A survey course in which students explore the nature and process of public relations process as well as methods and professional issues. Public Relations is conceived as the 'overall umbrella' under which come advertising, marketing, promotion, publicity, employee and community relations, and public affairs. In addition to exploring public relations generally, the class addresses both corporate and not-for-profit organizations as well as religious and mainstream operations. Grade Mode: A.

Familiarizes students with and challenges them in a variety of forms of public relations writing. Vehicles include internal and external media, print, electronic and audiovisual. Emphases include research, audience analysis, message design, and selection of communication channels. Grade Mode: A.

This course teaches students key principles and standards within public relations writing, covering topics such as new media content, proposal development, executive communications, media relations writing, and corporate communication practices.

A course introducing students to digital approaches to publishing, including basic principles of design and typography, hands-on practice with leading industry software and the ultimate production of publication material. The adobe suite of products (Adobe Illustrator, Photoshop, InDesign, and Dreamweaver) is used. Provides students with the opportunity to develop the use of electronic procedures to produce and edit publications and Web sites. Students create, format, illustrate and design print material and Web products. The course prepares students to produce such materials as newsletters, flyers, brochures, publication spreads and advertising materials. This is an entry-level course, assuming students have little or no previous experience with the Adobe suite of products. Grade Mode: A.

A course introducing students to digital approaches to design principles and techniques for visually communicating ideas. Fundamental principles of design and elements of line, form, color, texture, value, shape will be resourced in hands-on practice. Creating user-focused experiences on the web and in apps will be integral to the student design development. These digital designers will resource electronic procedures and tools to produce and edit websites and elements for online distribution, including landing pages, banners and ads, and email marketing collateral. They may work with Wordpress and in languages such as HTML5, CSS3 JavaScript. Students will understand and consider accessibility as well as functionality of design and systems. Materials they create, format, illustrate and design will be used for creative concept presentation to clients as well. This is an entry-level course, assuming students have little previous experience with coding, UX/UI, or tools for design which may include the Adobe Suite products. Grade Mode: A.

Practical study and experience in successful strategies for making the step from academia to public relations careers. Experiences in developing personal digital branding artifacts and self-presentation will be covered.

An introductory course providing students with the media tools and grasp of marketing-related media theory needed for effective digital communications in businesses and organizations. Course content will cover the basic social media platforms and their uses from an organizational standpoint; Search Engine Optimization (SEO) tools and methods; and digital strategy for online advertising, analytics and website user trending. Upon completion, students will be equipped to create digital communication strategies, understanding the platforms and tools available along with methods to measure effectiveness for a variety of audiences. Grade Mode: A.

Public relations is inherently tied to ethics. This course provides a review of common public relations ethical theories, decision making models and applied practices. Students will be challenged to examine ethical dilemmas and situations in order to effectively provide ethical council as a public relations professional. Legacy, or tradition, communication PR ethics as well as digital and social media ethics will be included in this course.Grade Mode: A.

A portfolio-driven, introductive learning experience beyond the university classroom via working in a company, business or media-related organization. This course will allow students to explore their interest, aptitude and stamina for work within their chosen area of public relations or media-related ministry. This course is aimed at providing students with a beginning portfolio of work suitable for applying to an advanced internship in a media career, public relations career or media-related ministry organization Notes: Sixty hours of internship are required for each academic credit. May be taken multiple times for credit for a total of 3 times. Grade Mode: A.

A core component to public relations is the ability to effectively manage and guide organizations throughout a crisis. This course introduces students to key crisis communication theories and applied practices. Students explores effective processes to prepare for, respond to and repair reputations after a crisis is experiences. Particular attention will be given to strategies and tactics to engage crisis communication in a digital and social media environment throughout the course. Grade Mode: A.

Practical study and experience in successful strategies for agencies, organizations, businesses, ministries and mission organizations as they pursue balanced media coverage and respond to requests for interviews, data or other questions aimed at publication or broadcast on various deadlines. Ethics of media relations practice from a Christian world-view are applied to the media marketplace through discussion and project-driven experience. Grade Mode: A.

This course prepares students to understand the principles and best-practices associated with developing paid digital media campaigns. In addition to reviewing leading case studies from organizations using paid digital media, student will also learn to create and manage content designed for paid placement using a variety of digital media (social, search, text, video, etc.). Grade Mode: A.

A course analyzing public relations campaigns, solving/preventing problems, utilizing theories and public relations strategy. Throughout the course students write press releases, learn the research process for PR campaigns, address internal and external audiences, devise strategies for guidance of executive leadership, and learn effective guidance of public opinion with integrity. The course incorporates use of pertinent media tools and role-playing presentations among other approaches to effective instruction. Grade Mode: A.

Campaign management is a critical component to successful public relations initiatives. This course requires students to develop a comprehensive public relations campaign, covering research, programming, implementation and evaluation. In addition, students will learn to critique public relations as a discipline and practice using philosophy, ethics and their worldview as an analysis method.

This course is an examination of the legal and global influences that shape public relations. Students will learn core legal frameworks that guide the practice of public relations related to mass media and business. Building on this framework, students will examine organizational principles that are critical for public relations practitioners to understand in order to effectively leverage leadership influence, focusing particularly on the purpose and role of other organizational disciplines like marketing, finance and management in relation to the purpose and role of PR. Finally, students will evaluate global perceptions and practice of public relations in light of political, legal and cultural influences around the globe. Grade Mode: A. 

A portfolio-driven, rigorous learning experience beyond the university classroom via working in an advanced internship with a company, business or media-related organization. This course will allow students to refine their interest, aptitude and stamina for work within their chosen area of public relations or media-related opportunity. This course is aimed at providing students with an advanced portfolio of work suitable for applying to entry level positions in their field. Note(s): One hundred and twenty hours of internship are required for this course.

Students will learn the ethics and methods of public relations research, learning to use qualitative and quantitative research designs to make decisions and recommendations for organizations.

Methodology for Public Relations, Journalism and related media research, including sampling, questionnaire design and introduction to statistics. Students conduct an audience analysis, focus groups and research project. A major goal is to become adept at reading and evaluating research reports. Grade Mode: A.

This capstone course in the public relations curriculum develops critical thinking skills in selecting, creating and applying tools, techniques and principles of public relations to a variety of managerial cases, campaigns and problem situations. Actual case studies (both historical and current) are reviewed and analyzed. Students will also work on developing robust case study presentations on specific organizations and campaigns, illustrating competencies in PR leadership principles such as ethical problem-solving, diversity, conflict management, and organizational structures. Notes: This course is for students close to graduation who have completed necessary courses to prepare them for research, strategic solution-building, and follow-up analysis of current public relations situations. Grade Mode: A. 

This is a capstone experience for students in the program. Learning to ethically manage influence, students will identify the theories and practices associated with effective public relations leadership. This course will explore systems and processes to analyze campaigns, initiatives and ethical situations within public relations, with the goal of providing robust analysis and recommendations to senior executives within organizations.

This course is designed to be taken in the graduating semester for a student. Students will complete their professional portfolio, resourcing work from throughout the program. Additionally, students will take the "Certificate in Principles of Public Relations" exam.


Concentrations

Agency and Corporate PR

Introduction to the basic elements of modern marketing including the study of the marketing environment framework, target market, market segmentation, marketing ethics, and the marketing mix variables of product, promotion, price, public relations, and place/distribution. Notes: This course is intended for students that do not have marketing or marketing management as a concentration. Grade Mode: A.
Presents a conceptual overview of the principles of management. The functions of planning, organizing, leading and controlling are analyzed. The leader's perspective on creating competitive advantage in a global environment is related to the topics of diversity, ethics and social responsibility, human resources, corporate culture and organizational structure. Grade Mode: A.
The dynamics of organizational communication centering in systems, structures and patterns of work/workplace communication; the role of communication in organizational development. Grade Mode: A.

Instruction in writing for media ranging from print to photos, to radio to television, to social media. Lecture, discussion, and writing assignments of varying lengths and deadline ground students in crafting of narratives that inform, explain and illustrate ideas using facts, quotes, data, and background information. Basics of media interviewing and source attribution are introduced. The course emphasizes critical thinking, critical reading, and editing (alone and in groups) to find and eliminate errors in logic and meaning, but also in grammar, spelling and punctuation. The course grounds students in use of Associated Press style, but will also guide them into use of scholarly and non-scholarly source attribution for scholarly writing about journalism and media. Grade Mode: A.

A course in broadcast journalism in which students learn the craft of shooting TV news and informational video. They also study the process of video storytelling and how to create a compelling news package. Course includes shooting stand-ups, interview, b-roll and voice-overs, with an emphasis on editing and production. Grade Mode: A.

This survey course explores the role of media ecology in relation to public relations and communication. Building from this, students will examine perceptions of media uses, habits and choices in light of a Christian worldview and perspective technology. Grade Mode: A. 

A rotating variety of topics and practical experiences often employing special guests from within Public Relations. Possible topics include, but are not limited to: Crisis Public relations, Global Public Relations, PR Fund Raising, Event Planning, and courses related to advanced media studies. Notes: May be taken multiple times for a maximum of 6 credits. Grade Mode: A. 

Entertainment and Events PR

Introduction to the basic elements of modern marketing including the study of the marketing environment framework, target market, market segmentation, marketing ethics, and the marketing mix variables of product, promotion, price, public relations, and place/distribution. Notes: This course is intended for students that do not have marketing or marketing management as a concentration. Grade Mode: A.
A survey of current industry practices and careers in film, television, music and emerging technologies. Students will learn to research and analyze the career and business choices of current professionals in the industry and create long-term strategies for entering into and succeeding in the entertainment business. Special emphasis will be given to the unique ethical questions and biblical applications that arise within the Hollywood context. Grade Mode: A.
This course will involve learning the importance of representation for the writer, how to get representation, and how to develop this relationship to one's best advantage, learning basic contracts that professionals in the industry will need in order to do business in their areas. In addition, this will include packaging and pitching of projects, which students will learn to reduce ideas to basic components enhancing verbal presentation skills. Grade Mode: A.

Instruction in writing for media ranging from print to photos, to radio to television, to social media. Lecture, discussion, and writing assignments of varying lengths and deadline ground students in crafting of narratives that inform, explain and illustrate ideas using facts, quotes, data, and background information. Basics of media interviewing and source attribution are introduced. The course emphasizes critical thinking, critical reading, and editing (alone and in groups) to find and eliminate errors in logic and meaning, but also in grammar, spelling and punctuation. The course grounds students in use of Associated Press style, but will also guide them into use of scholarly and non-scholarly source attribution for scholarly writing about journalism and media. Grade Mode: A.

An examination of the basics of photography-editorial, graphic and technical. This introduction presumes no previous knowledge of photography. Students learn to capture images based on the above criteria with standard digital photographic equipment (SLR based). Students also learn basic skills to edit still photographs with the 'digital darkroom' and prepare them for publications and Web media. Grade Mode: A.
A course in broadcast journalism in which students learn the craft of shooting TV news and informational video. They also study the process of video storytelling and how to create a compelling news package. Course includes shooting stand-ups, interview, b-roll and voice-overs, with an emphasis on editing and production. Grade Mode: A.
Students learn basic techniques of broadcast news-writing, video shooting, editing and production. Classes consist of lecture/discussion and guidance in project work for telling visual and/or audio stories adapted to traditional broadcast settings as well as Web audiences. Grade Mode: A.

This survey course explores the role of media ecology in relation to public relations and communication. Building from this, students will examine perceptions of media uses, habits and choices in light of a Christian worldview and perspective technology. Grade Mode: A. 

A rotating variety of topics and practical experiences often employing special guests from within Public Relations. Possible topics include, but are not limited to: Crisis Public relations, Global Public Relations, PR Fund Raising, Event Planning, and courses related to advanced media studies. Notes: May be taken multiple times for a maximum of 6 credits. Grade Mode: A. 

Media Relations

Techniques of persuasive speaking and communication persuasion theories. Experience in the preparation and delivery of speeches. Grade Mode: A.

Instruction in writing for media ranging from print to photos, to radio to television, to social media. Lecture, discussion, and writing assignments of varying lengths and deadline ground students in crafting of narratives that inform, explain and illustrate ideas using facts, quotes, data, and background information. Basics of media interviewing and source attribution are introduced. The course emphasizes critical thinking, critical reading, and editing (alone and in groups) to find and eliminate errors in logic and meaning, but also in grammar, spelling and punctuation. The course grounds students in use of Associated Press style, but will also guide them into use of scholarly and non-scholarly source attribution for scholarly writing about journalism and media. Grade Mode: A.

An examination of the basics of photography-editorial, graphic and technical. This introduction presumes no previous knowledge of photography. Students learn to capture images based on the above criteria with standard digital photographic equipment (SLR based). Students also learn basic skills to edit still photographs with the 'digital darkroom' and prepare them for publications and Web media. Grade Mode: A.
A laboratory-oriented course in public affairs reporting that puts emphasis on back-grounding, interviewing, topic newsgathering and basic familiarity with use of public records and the paper trail for deadlines, stories in print visual and/or broadcast news. Grade Mode: A.
A course in broadcast journalism in which students learn the craft of shooting TV news and informational video. They also study the process of video storytelling and how to create a compelling news package. Course includes shooting stand-ups, interview, b-roll and voice-overs, with an emphasis on editing and production. Grade Mode: A.
Students learn basic techniques of broadcast news-writing, video shooting, editing and production. Classes consist of lecture/discussion and guidance in project work for telling visual and/or audio stories adapted to traditional broadcast settings as well as Web audiences. Grade Mode: A.

This survey course explores the role of media ecology in relation to public relations and communication. Building from this, students will examine perceptions of media uses, habits and choices in light of a Christian worldview and perspective technology. Grade Mode: A. 

A rotating variety of topics and practical experiences often employing special guests from within Public Relations. Possible topics include, but are not limited to: Crisis Public relations, Global Public Relations, PR Fund Raising, Event Planning, and courses related to advanced media studies. Notes: May be taken multiple times for a maximum of 6 credits. Grade Mode: A. 

Nonprofit and Ministry PR

Introduction to the basic elements of modern marketing including the study of the marketing environment framework, target market, market segmentation, marketing ethics, and the marketing mix variables of product, promotion, price, public relations, and place/distribution. Notes: This course is intended for students that do not have marketing or marketing management as a concentration. Grade Mode: A.
Presents a conceptual overview of the principles of management. The functions of planning, organizing, leading and controlling are analyzed. The leader's perspective on creating competitive advantage in a global environment is related to the topics of diversity, ethics and social responsibility, human resources, corporate culture and organizational structure. Grade Mode: A.
This course focuses on the individual's communication in a group setting: leadership in groups; group communication norms and processes with emphasis on problem solving and conflict management techniques. Notes: Approved for Core Curriculum Communication credit. Grade Mode: A.
The dynamics of organizational communication centering in systems, structures and patterns of work/workplace communication; the role of communication in organizational development. Grade Mode: A.

Instruction in writing for media ranging from print to photos, to radio to television, to social media. Lecture, discussion, and writing assignments of varying lengths and deadline ground students in crafting of narratives that inform, explain and illustrate ideas using facts, quotes, data, and background information. Basics of media interviewing and source attribution are introduced. The course emphasizes critical thinking, critical reading, and editing (alone and in groups) to find and eliminate errors in logic and meaning, but also in grammar, spelling and punctuation. The course grounds students in use of Associated Press style, but will also guide them into use of scholarly and non-scholarly source attribution for scholarly writing about journalism and media. Grade Mode: A.

An examination of the basics of photography-editorial, graphic and technical. This introduction presumes no previous knowledge of photography. Students learn to capture images based on the above criteria with standard digital photographic equipment (SLR based). Students also learn basic skills to edit still photographs with the 'digital darkroom' and prepare them for publications and Web media. Grade Mode: A.
A course in broadcast journalism in which students learn the craft of shooting TV news and informational video. They also study the process of video storytelling and how to create a compelling news package. Course includes shooting stand-ups, interview, b-roll and voice-overs, with an emphasis on editing and production. Grade Mode: A.

This survey course explores the role of media ecology in relation to public relations and communication. Building from this, students will examine perceptions of media uses, habits and choices in light of a Christian worldview and perspective technology. Grade Mode: A. 

A rotating variety of topics and practical experiences often employing special guests from within Public Relations. Possible topics include, but are not limited to: Crisis Public relations, Global Public Relations, PR Fund Raising, Event Planning, and courses related to advanced media studies. Notes: May be taken multiple times for a maximum of 6 credits. Grade Mode: A. 

Advertising

Advertising principles and techniques. The study of effective and ineffective forms of advertising. Applications linked to public relations, media events, marketing, and communication encounters. Grade Mode: A. 

Digital and native advertising has revolutionized communication. Spanning social media to search engine advertising to paid website content, this sector has dynamic potential to enhance an organization's brand, reputation, and influence. This course is designed to explore the latest trends, best practices and industry standards for digital and native advertising. In addition, it will examine the relationship of advertising to the industry of public relations as well as ethical obligations for paid placement communication pieces. Grade Mode: A.

Digital Management and Social Media

This course prepares students to understand the principles and best-practices associated with developing paid digital media campaigns. In addition to reviewing leading case studies from organizations using paid digital media, student will also learn to create and manage content designed for paid placement using a variety of digital media (social, search, text, video, etc.). Grade Mode: A.

Digital and native advertising has revolutionized communication. Spanning social media to search engine advertising to paid website content, this sector has dynamic potential to enhance an organization's brand, reputation, and influence. This course is designed to explore the latest trends, best practices and industry standards for digital and native advertising. In addition, it will examine the relationship of advertising to the industry of public relations as well as ethical obligations for paid placement communication pieces. Grade Mode: A.

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