Select Page

Public Relations Major

UW Oshkosh became the first university in the UW System to offer a Public Relations major beginning in Fall 2015. Prior to the approval of this major, public relations was offered as an emphasis within the journalism program.

All new students should enroll in the major, not the emphasis.

Students interested in working in the public relations field should enroll in the public relations major offered by the journalism department. The major focuses on areas of internal and external as well as corporate communication for the student interested in public relations and related professions.

Please view the curriculum worksheet for information on courses by emphasis.

Students enrolled between Fall 2011 through Spring 2015, see this worksheet.

Public Relations program at UWO with CEPR designation

The UW Oshkosh department of Journalism’s public relations program was informed Sept. 9, 2011, that its application for Certification in Public Relations was approved. UW Oshkosh became the first university in Wisconsin and only one of 28 universities in the world with this designation.

The work toward certification began in the summer of 2010 when Professor Julie Henderson submitted a preliminary report. Once a determination was made that the program was eligible for review, the CEPR review teem spent four intensive day in April 2011 meeting with faculty, staff and alumni. In addition, the reviewers spoke with employers, intern supervisors and local PRSSA and PRSA chapter members and other professionals about the UW Oshkosh program, both during the site visit and in separate conversation. In all, reviewers conducted more than 45 interviews.

Next, three levels of voting took place to approve the certification. The site team reviewers, the Educational Affairs Committee and the Public Relations Society of America Board of Directors all voted for the CEPR designation at UW Oshkosh.

The reviewers included high praise for public relations students, noting:

“Professionals and professors interviewed think highly of UW Oshkosh students. They shared that students are well-educated, well-rounded, hard-working, want to make a difference, choose projects that make an impact, think big, are devoted to public service and honor their professors and the local public relations community. They are also described by local professionals as being ‘quietly confident, with no arrogance.'”

Degree Requirements

Core Courses

Required: 15 credits by completing these courses

  • 141 – Intro to Media: News, Public Relations and Advertising
  • 221 – Writing for the Media
  • 239 – Media Photography I OR 251 – Foundations of Multimedia Production
  • 324 – Editing
  • 412 – Law of Mass Communication
Public Relations Core

Required: 9 credits by completing three courses listed–a course taken as a requirement does NOT count again toward the 9 credits

  • 211 – Principles of Public Relations
  • 315 – Public Relations Techniques
  • 319 – Case Studies in Public Relations
Public Relations Electives

Required: 9 credits by completing three courses from this list — at least 3 credits must be a 400-level course, unless a 400-level course is taken in the PR core

  • 239 – Media Photography I OR 331 – Visual Media Design
  • 250 – Principles of Advertising
  • 340 – New & Emerging Media
  • 440 – Application of New & Emerging Media OR 457 – Media Organization & Management
  • 455 – Public Relations Campaigns
  • 472 – Research
General Electives

Required: 6 credits from this list — classes already taken do NOT count again as general electives

211 - Principles of Public Relations340 - New & Emerging Media428 - Advanced Reporting
239 - Media Photography I 341 - Media & Society430 - Media Photography II
250 - Principles of Advertising343 - Travel & Documentary Photography431 - Reporting of Public Affairs
251 - Foundations of Multimedia Production347 - The Journalist in Literature and Film440 - Application of New & Emerging Media
312 - Media Ethics351 - Advertising Copy, Layout & Production441 - Interpretive and Persuasive Writing
315 - Public Relations Techniques353 - Advertising Media451 - Online Publishing
319 - Case Studies in Public Relations371 - History of Journalism in the United States454 - Selected Topics
325 - Magazine Editing & Production380 - International Press/Comparative Mass Communications Systems455 - Public Relations Campaigns
327 - Reporting413 - Feature Writing457 - Media Organization & Management
331 - Visual Media Design424 - Strategic Campaigns in Advertising472 - Research in Strategic Communication
Non-Public Relations Required Courses

All Public Relations majors must take:

  • Computer Science 125 – Worldwide Website Development
  • History 202 – Modern United States History Since 1877
  • Political Science 105 – American Government and Policies
  • Add ONE from the list below:
    1. 67-189 PBIS Statistics
    2. 67-201 Applied Statistics
    3. 86-203 Elementary Psychological Statistics
    4. 92-281 Social Statistics

The Internship (427) course will NOT count toward the 39 credits for the public relations major.