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Courses | B.S. in Public Relations and Digital Media Management

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.

Core Courses

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. 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 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.

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 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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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 integration seminar will focus on ethics and leadership in light of what it means to be called to the industry of public relations. Attention will be given to the way our theological and social ideologies of calling and meaningful work influence habits of the heart and soul, as well as professional implications for practice.

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.


Biblical Studies Courses

Equipping to interpret and apply the Bible in accurate and dynamic ways for spiritual transformation and character formation. Notes: Must be completed during the first year. Grade Mode: A.

Introduction to theology with special emphasis on learning to do theology, understand the doctrine of Scripture, introduce the integration of various fields of knowledge with the Bible, and see the importance and development of a Christian worldview. Grade Mode: A.

An overview of the Old Testament with emphasis on the purpose of the writers; history and culture; literary genre, structure, and themes; persons and events, and practical application for Christian living. Grade Mode: A, C.

An overview of the New Testament with emphasis on the purpose of the writers; history and culture; literary genre, structure, and themes; persons and events; and practical application for Christian living. Grade Mode: A, C.

The Biblical doctrines of God, Christ, man, and sin, with reference to the history and development of Christian theology. Grade Mode: A.
Study of the Book of Acts from a missions perspective, dealing with the activity of the early church and its current expression in evangelism and missions. Grade Mode: A.

The Biblical doctrines of salvation, the Holy Spirit, the church, and last things, with reference to the history and development of Christian theology. Notes: Formerly BBST 254. Grade Mode: A.

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