Courses | Public Relations, B.A.

Summary

Below are some of the courses you’ll have an opportunity to take as a student in this program. 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. For official program requirements see catalog for details.

Major Courses

Overview of recent history and current changes within American Journalism, basic principles of journalistic fact-finding and writing for print and Web formats. The course also examines connections of journalistic writing to photojournalism and visual media, and the ways news journalism and public relations complement each other in day-to-day practice. Through readings, discussion and projects, students explore their Christian world-view juxtaposed with perspectives evident in national and international media.

A course introducing students to fact-based storytelling that combines print and visuals in a Web format that meets the needs of students aiming at careers in the convergent media of journalism and public relations. Students learn convergence through readings, discussion, observation and project work. The course serves as a prerequisite to Convergent Media Production.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Practical study and experience in successful strategies for making the step from academia to journalism and public relations careers. Students interact with working professionals through guest lectures, media tours and mock job interviews, examining the maturity of their gifts and skills and whether they have the readiness needed for effective participation in journalism, public relations, or other media environments—whether as an intern or a new employee. The course also helps students examine steps needed to prepare for graduate school, law school, and church or missions-related ministry as options naturally following their journalism preparation.

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.

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.

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.

Study of theoretical approaches to the First Amendment as well as specific areas of concern to professional journalists such as defamation, privacy, fair trial, obscenity, copyright, shield laws, sunshine laws, etc. Exploration of applied professional ethics and contemporary professional issues of ethics for journalists.

A portfolio-driven, guided learning experience beyond the university classroom via working in a media-related organization. This course will test students' interest, aptitude and stamina for work within their chosen area of journalism, public relations or media-related ministry. This course is aimed at providing students with a finished portfolio of work suitable for entry to a media career or media-related ministry. Includes on-campus sessions designed to strengthen and expand professional skills.

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.

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 work in some facet of the creation of a public relations plan for a client.

A "capstone" class for journalism majors organized in a seminar style in which students review the philosophies of formative thinkers behind American journalism (print, broadcast and Internet), and examine the philosophy of a journalist whom they'll shadow. The course culminates in each student's examination of his or her own philosophy of journalism and sense of calling as a believer practicing journalism or public relations or as an influence in the marketplace of public opinion.

A course guiding students in preparation, management and presentation/defense of three-fold competency in the senior portfolio required for graduation in the major. The portfolio measures learning in pre-professional, leadership-based, and biblical integration outcomes. Students are advised to take this course in the semester prior to their intended semester of graduation.

Elective Courses

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.

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.

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.

This course focuses on developing communication skills in the dyadic setting including emphasis on essential preconditions, conflict management, interpersonal relationships, nonverbal behavior and creative supportive climates.

Techniques of persuasive speaking and communication persuasion theories. Experience in the preparation and delivery of speeches.

The dynamics of organizational communication centering in systems, structures and patterns of work/workplace communication; the role of communication in organizational development.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Practical study and experience in successful strategies for covering youth, varsity and professional sports for deadline news media (print, broadcast and Web). The course will emphasize techniques for interviewing, reporting and writing about sports for print and online media, but will include elements applicable to video and audio components of a convergent approach to sports journalism. Ethics of sports journalism practice from a Christian world-view are applied to the media marketplace through discussion and project-driven experience.

Exploration of aesthetics and design with emphasis on copy editing and marking skills necessary for quality presentation of material in newspapers, magazines, newsletters and other journalistic venues. Extensive practice of copy editing with attention to style, grammar, punctuation, writing headlines, cutlines, selection of type, use of color and art.

Students learn the nuts and bolts for writing and producing a television newscast. The course observes life behind-the-scenes in a television newsroom. Students study the format for writing for television news, as well as how to stack a show, assign packages and stories, and how to produce in breaking news situations. Students also study the writing format for television news, as well as how to properly write a television news package.

Principles of writing for targeted audiences that win readers and editors at niche and mainstream magazines. Students move articles from inception to querying through the revision processes of medium and long-form features and in-depth article writing. Course includes elements of business self-management, budgeting and copyright guidelines.

Explores reporting and documentation through the visual medium of still images. Students photograph assignments under working press conditions and advance their skills using the SLR camera.

Examines the trends in design as they impact newspapers, magazines, broadcast and promotional material in applicable print, online and mobile form. It is expected that students have a basic ability with the Adobe Suite of products. Emphasis is on the design of cohesive multi-page (print or digital) publications, sites and/or apps. Examines editorial operations, production procedures, and the role of the art/design director. In the class' workshop setting, students are familiarized not only with theoretical ideas but also with practical considerations of design.

A travel course taking students to an area outside Southern California where they will investigate a problem or trend, illustrate and explain the political or socio-cultural background, current struggles or challenges and possible solutions for change. Involves use of writing and/or visuals adaptable to the Web in a final project that demonstrates students' grasp of other cultures and the deeper issues behind trends or events. The course will periodically involve an international media project partnered with a missions organization or media outlet in another country.

Students acquire the basic skills necessary to work as a television news anchor and reporter. Study of delivery topics including: breathing techniques, voice pitch, how to read the teleprompter, on-air appearance and one of the most important skills necessary as a broadcast journalist—how to deliver a live report. Class projects include mandatory appearances on Biola's EagleVision newscasts, as both an anchor and reporter. May include a visit to a local television news studio.

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.

Students in this course explore in-depth a topic using a team approach that moves their inquiry from a core idea into a multi-part exploration that, by the end of the semester, becomes a finished book published by the department through on-demand technology. Book topics will vary, but urban and cross-cultural themes will be emphasized, pointing up the needs and solutions being sought to help the marginalized and alienated within and around the American evangelical church. Projects will occasionally involve photo and/or video storytelling that enhances audience understanding of the book's topic, and public relations/marketing components to give students experience in the publication and launch of a book-length approach to a relevant topic.

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

Examination of strategies and practice of reviewing the creative arts such as photography, dance, music, videos, film, books, architecture and drama with limited attention to major modern reviewers and critics. Required participation in field trips to various artistic presentations and shows serves as a basis for class discussions.

A rotating variety of topics and production experiences often employing special guests from within Journalism or Public Relations. Possible topics include, but are not limited to, Documentary Reporting, Political Journalism, PR Fund Raising, Event Planning, Cross-cultural journalism, advanced multimedia, or advanced photojournalism.

Individual research in an area of Journalism or Public Relations determined in consultation with the instructor.


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.

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.

Techniques of persuasive speaking and communication persuasion theories. Experience in the preparation and delivery of speeches.

The dynamics of organizational communication centering in systems, structures and patterns of work/workplace communication; the role of communication in organizational development.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Media Relations

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

This course focuses on developing communication skills in the dyadic setting including emphasis on essential preconditions, conflict management, interpersonal relationships, nonverbal behavior and creative supportive climates.

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.

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.

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.