Course Requirements

In addition to the three core College of Communication courses, students take five required classes, three Public Relations and Advertising electives, and two additional electives from the College of Communication.  All Public Relations and Advertising  majors must complete a total of 13 classes, or 52 credit hours.

PRAD Capstone

Beginning in Winter 2013, there will be a new Capstone course for PRAD majors: PRAD 396.  During the transition period from Winter 2013 up through and including Fall 2014, all PRAD majors will have the option to take PRAD 396 or CMN 396 to fulfill their Liberal Studies Capstone requirement. Beginning Winter 2014, all PRAD majors will be required to take PRAD 396 to fulfill graduation requirements.

PRAD 396 is open only to PRAD majors with senior standing (132 credit hours).  Double majors who are completing the PRAD major may select either PRAD 396 or CMN 396, but not both.

Internship Credit

Students in the major may take CMN 394 or CMN 395 (when placement relates to the major) for credit. In order to take CMN 394 or CMN 395, students must have completed the three communication core courses (CMN 101, CMN 102, and CMN 103) and have fulfilled internship program eligibility requirements.

Open Electives

Open elective credit also is required to meet the minimum graduation requirement of 192 hours.

PRAD 244

PRINCIPLES OF ADVERTISING

Examines the construction and implementation of an advertising campaign from the assessment of client needs through completion of the finished project. Analysis of successful advertisements and exposure to contemporary theory complements practical experience gained through completion of course projects.

PRAD 255

PUBLIC RELATIONS

The foundational course in the public relations/advertising track traces the development of public relations/advertising industries and practices. Students are introduced to theories and principles in public relations/advertising, along with the roles and responsibilities of professionals working in public relations, advertising and related disciplines. Students examine industry regulations, societal implications, and strategic planning processes associated with public relations/advertising campaign and programs.

PRAD 256

WRITING FOR PUBLIC RELATIONS AND ADVERTISING

This class provides students the opportunity to apply Public Relations/Advertising theories and principles to the development of media materials. The course familiarizes students with various forms of persuasive writing and requires them to develop a writing portfolio that demonstrates their ability to write for diverse audiences. Assignments include campaign plans, news media kits, speeches, video scripts and more.
Prerequisites:
PRAD 244 or PRAD 255 is a prerequisite for this class.

PRAD 291

RESEARCH METHODS FOR THE PRAD PROFESSIONAL

Research is critical to any advertising or public relations campaign. This course introduces students to the uses and applications of research in the fields of public relations and advertising. The goal is to provide future practitioners with information needed to commission and apply research to their work problems in the industry. Students will learn to recognize valid and reliable research and to utilize this data in decision making for their agencies or clients. Students will learn to form appropriate questions, select and develop appropriate methods (qualitative and quantitative), and analyze the data for unique consumer insights. Students learn to develop research that ensures messages are able to meet the strategic needs of their clients and agencies.
Prerequisites:
PRAD 244 or PRAD 255 is a prerequisite for this class.

PRAD 334

ADVERTISING AND PUBLIC RELATIONS ETHICS

This class explores issues of Public Relations/Advertising from both theoretical and practical perspectives. A focus is on the professional and social responsibilities of Public Relations/Advertising professionals and prevailing norms in public relations, advertising and related disciplines. Students also address issues related to institutional ethical practices. Ethical standards and practices associated with the use of persuasive communication are also addressed.
Prerequisites:
PRAD 244 or PRAD 255 is a prerequisite for this class.

PRAD 335

ADVERTISING AND SOCIETY

This course challenges students to think critically about the societal effect of public relations and advertising with regard to their roles in the production and maintenance of consumer culture and the formation of public opinion. Students read widely from a body of social criticism that may diminish democracy and endanger our collective public life. This course asks future practitioners to confront the uses and abuses of public relations and advertising, and to understand the negative social consequences that can result.
Prerequisites:
PRAD 244 or PRAD 255 is a prerequisite for this class.

PRAD 336

ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS

This course is designed to help students develop a thorough understanding of the entire advertising campaign planning process. Working in teams, students will approach a communication problem for a real-world client just as an advertising agency would when working on new business. Students will bring together knowledge from past courses as they gather and analyze primary and secondary data to assess the client's situation then develop a comprehensive campaign plan. This includes the development of a creative message strategy and advertising campaign as well as a strategic media plan.
Prerequisites:
PRAD 244, PRAD 256 and (CMNS 291 or PRAD 291) are a prerequisite for this class.

PRAD 337

PUBLIC RELATIONS CAMPAIGNS

This class is designed to expose students to the use of public relations and advertising strategies and techniques in a variety of functions, including community relations, employee relations, government relations, and media relations. Through case studies, students examine contemporary examples of successful public relations programs and campaigns and discover how practitioners function as intermediaries between organizations and their publics.
Prerequisites:
PRAD 255, PRAD 256 and (CMNS 291 or PRAD 291) are a prerequisite for this class.

PRAD 339

INTEGRATED COMMUNICATION CAMPAIGNS

Integrated Communication Campaigns
Prerequisites:
(PRAD 244 or PRAD 255) PRAD 256 and (CMNS 291 or PRAD 291) is a prerequisite for this class.

CMN 394

ADVANCED COMMUNICATION INTERNSHIP

This course is for communication majors and minors who meet eligibility requirements. Students will learn career planning skills, explore the organizations in which they work, gain an understanding of how they contributed to their organizations, and discuss societal and world issues, as they affect their workplaces. Students are required to work 10 hours per week while enrolled in the course. Students must cmplete the Communication Internship orientation workshop. Students registering for a hybrid section must also attend five 2-hour class meetings.

CMN 395

COMMUNICATION INTERNSHIP SPECIAL TOPICS

This course is for students who wish to receive academic credit for a second or third internship. Must be a Communication major or minor who has completed CMN 394 or ISP250 and meets eligibility requirements. Must be taken concurrently with an internship. Topics include building and managing a communication career, effective networking, and leadership development.

INTC 220

PUBLIC SPEAKING

Introduction to the skills required in a variety of public speaking settings. Includes units on delivery, language, defining speech purposes and content, finding supporting material, organization, and audience analysis. Students will be required to present speeches. Background in basic writing and library skills is necessary. (Formerly CMNS 220)

INTC 395

DEBATE PRACTICUM (Formerly CMNS 395)

This practicum centers on developing students' skills in debate and public discourse. Participation in forensic activities outside of the class (tournaments, public debates, etc.) is an expectation.

PRAD 290

PUBLIC RELATIONS AND ADVERTISING WORKSHOP (VARIABLE TOPICS)

This course allows students to sample a range of hands on, practical offerings in public relations and advertising that can enhance their knowledge and expertise. Workshop topics can include SEO/SEM, media sales and buying, focus group moderating, and Adobe Creative Suite (InDesign, Photoshop, Illustrator), among others. Students may take a maximum of 4 courses of PRAD 290 in the major, and a total of 8 credit hours.

PRAD 320

EVENT PLANNING

This course aims to provide students with the occupational, technical and interpersonal skills necessary to "survive and thrive" in the special event industry. In addition to specific content knowledge, students will develop cross-cultural awareness, global understanding and communication skills as they relate to the event industry as a whole. The course will prepare students for a variety of options: pursuit of employment in the special events industry, professional development for those already employed in the field and general knowledge for those interested in the special events field. The purpose of this course is to acquire an in-depth knowledge about the specialized field of event planning, and to become familiar with management techniques and strategies required for successful planning, promotion, implementation and evaluation of special events.

PRAD 338

HEALTH AND PUBLIC RELATIONS

This course will familiarize students with the major issues/problems in the United States health care system. Students will explore current issues in health policy such as the problem of the uninsured, the rising cost of health care, and the politics of health from a public relations perspective. Each student will be responsible for assuming the role of a public relations director for a health organization in the public or private sector.
Prerequisites:
PRAD 255 or a Health Sciences major is a prerequisite for this class.

PRAD 350

ACCOUNT PLANNING

The account planner represents the voice of the consumer in the advertising process. This course will examine the history of account planning and its relationship within advertising agencies to creative development. Special emphasis will be placed on the qualitative and ethnographic research techniques used by planners, and the role that curiosity and empathy play in understanding different consumer audiences.

PRAD 351

COPYWRITING

This course examines the various ways and styles of writing effective and persuasive advertising copy. Through in class and outside work, students will have the opportunity to develop a variety of advertising/communication pieces, from television and radio scripts, to print and alternative/new media. Emphasis is placed on defining an overriding strategy, and then translating that strategy into effective pieces of communication.

PRAD 352

DIGITAL ADVERTISING

This course is designed to provide students with an introduction to the dynamic field of digital advertising. The emergence of new media technologies has dramatically changed the ways and strategies for communicating with and engaging consumers. This course provides conceptual basis of digital advertising that separates digital advertising from traditional advertising. This course helps students understand how the digital advertising industry is evolving with the new media technologies and addresses a wide variety of digital advertising through a practical and theoretical framework. Issues will include social media, user-generated content, online community, mobile advertising, and permission marketing, among others.

PRAD 357

ADVERTISING PORTFOLIO I

This advanced-level course is designed to provide students with hands-on knowledge of what it takes to succeed as a copywriter or art director in today's advertising industry. This course really focuses on the process of generating great ideas that translate into strategic and memorable advertising campaigns. Students learn about the importance of a strong selling proposition, about theories of the creative process, and about idea generation techniques. The course places particular emphasis on the finished campaign execution, as students gain practical knowledge in creative advertising. It all culminates in portfolio critique, where industry creatives come in to evaluate students' work.

PRAD 361

ACCOUNT PLANNING AND CONSUMER INSIGHTS FOR LATINO MARKETS

This course encompasses both the similarities and differences of Latino consumers in the U.S. and explores the differences among the unique Latino cultures, their media habits and the effectiveness of using various promotional tools to affect their consumer behavior. The account planner represents the voice of the consumer in the advertising process. This course will examine the role of account planning and its relationship within advertising agencies to creative development. Special emphasis will be placed on the qualitative and ethnographic research techniques used by planners, and the role that curiosity and empathy play in understanding different Latino consumer audiences to gain insight about these groups' motivations and behaviors.

PRAD 362

LATINO INTEGRATED MARKETING COMMUNICATION

Focuses on how to effectively target messages to Latino populations in ways that move beyond stereotypic and simplistic models of Latino audiences. Emphasis on developing culturally relevant integrated campaigns that incorporate appreciation of the diversity of Latino audiences. Students learn creative strategies for dialoguing with Latino consumers, customers, stakeholders, and influencers to develop public relations and advertising messaging in both the commercial and non-profit sector. Distinctive characteristics of the Latino population are considered, along with the rich diversity of these communities. Consideration given to effective use of new media and strategic decisions about communicating in English versus Spanish.
Prerequisites:
(PRAD 244 or PRAD 255) PRAD 256 and (CMNS 291 or PRAD 291) is a prerequisite for this class.

PRAD 375

COMMUNICATION LAW

This course is designed to provide students with an introduction to the portions of U.S. Law that define the scope of First Amendment protection for communication activities. The goal of the course is to help students understand legal issues important to professionals in the media-related fields of advertising, journalism, public relations and other communication specialties. The course helps students understand both their rights to communicate in political and commercial environments and the restrictions permitted on certain communication activities.
Prerequisites:
PRAD 244 or PRAD 255 is a prerequisite for this class.

PRAD 376

CRISIS COMMUNICATION MANAGEMENT

This course focuses on crisis communication and management, emphasizing practical application of theories, strategies, and tactics from a public relations perspective. Additionally, there is a focus on issues relevant to planning, development and execution of crisis communications programs for businesses and organizations and strategic public relations techniques for communication with stakeholders during a crisis.
Prerequisites:
PRAD 255 is a prerequisite for this class.

PRAD 377

MARKETING PUBLIC RELATIONS

This course explores the strategic use of public relations to attain marketing objectives. Marketing Public Relations (MPR) is an important part of a reputation building or product branding effort for a corporation, and it can also be a valuable strategy for government agencies and non-profit organizations. Lectures and projects will demonstrate ways to use public relations strategically to add value to integrated marketing programs. By the end of the course, teams will prepare and present key aspects of a marketing public relations plan to a client.
Prerequisites:
PRAD 255 is a prerequisite for this class.

PRAD 378

CREATIVITY IN ADVERTISING

This course focuses on creative processes critical to advertising planning, program implementation and organizational leadership. Overall, the course is designed to help students think more creatively, no matter what their specific goals may be. Readings include case studies and guides to creative processes in advertising, as well as more personal essays by people working in other creative venues. Class assignments direct students in different ways to strengthen their creative abilities.
Prerequisites:
PRAD 244 is a prerequisite for this class.

PRAD 379

ADVERTISING MEDIA PLANNING

This course examines the diverse capabilities of various media available to advertisers and the process by which advertising media plans are constructed to help meet marketing communication objectives for a product or service. The course provides fundamentals on the language, tools, research methods and concepts employed in the media planning process and helps students build media plans using appropriate objectives, strategies and tactics. The course will help students develop a heightened appreciation for the roles of logic, analysis, and insight in the media planning and buying process.
Prerequisites:
PRAD 244 is a prerequisite for this class.

PRAD 380

POLITICAL COMMUNICATION

This course examines how various U.S. government agencies, jurisdictions, and politicians communicate with the public and how the public influences the government through communication. Topics covered include: theory, strategies, and tactics behind effective government and political communication; how to critically evaluate government and political communication; and how individuals and groups influence the government and politicians through communication.
Prerequisites:
PRAD 244 or PRAD 255 is a prerequisite for this class.

PRAD 381

ADVERTISING AND CHILDREN

This course examines the social and behavioral effects of advertising directed to children, and addresses such topics as what children know and think about advertising, how children respond emotionally to advertising, how advertising can affect behavioral patterns, the changing regulatory environment and related social and psychological issues including materialism and self-esteem. Students will have the opportunity to assess the existing environment and to design creative interventions.

PRAD 382

NON-PROFIT PUBLIC RELATIONS

This course examines the philosophical and theoretical foundations of public relations and volunteerism. Strategic communication strategies relating to both internal and external publics will be explored including the unique legal and ethical issues that impact non-profit organizations. Students will gain hands-on experience, using a variety of theoretical foundations to guide development of strategic communication materials for local non-profit organizations.
Prerequisites:
PRAD 255 is a prerequisite for this class.

PRAD 391

SPECIAL TOPICS IN PUBLIC RELATIONS

This course allows students to sample a range of topical offerings in public relations that have included International Communication and PR, Event Planning, and Study Abroad. In addition to these topics, new topics for this concentration might include Media Relations in Latin America, The Use of Social Media Among Latinos, Marketing PR Strategies for Latino Markets, and other Latino relevant topics.
Prerequisites:
PRAD 255 is a prerequisite for this class.

PRAD 392

SPECIAL TOPICS IN ADVERTISING

This course allows students to sample a range of topical offerings in advertising that have included Media Planning, Advertising in the Digital Age, Ad Copywriting, Advanced Advertising Campaigns, Consumer Promotions, and Psychology of Advertising. Topics for this concentration might include: Media Planning for Latino Markets, Ad Copywriting for Latino Markets, The Advertising Industry in Latin America.

PRAD 393

SPECIAL TOPICS IN PUBLIC RELATIONS AND ADVERTISING

Prerequisites:
PRAD 244 or PRAD 255 is a prerequisite for this class.

PRAD 396

CAPSTONE SEMINAR IN PUBLIC RELATIONS AND ADVERTISING

This culminating experience for PRAD majors integrates the knowledge learned during their undergraduate years with a forward-thinking professional curriculum designed to prepare students for the competitive 21st century workplace. The course will cover such essential career-building topics as social media management; creating and leveraging a professional network; understanding effective teamwork strategies; time management and work-life balance skills; and creating a plan and fine-tuning the skills needed to secure a full-time position in the public relations and advertising industries.

CMN 101

INTRODUCTION TO HUMAN COMMUNICATION

This course provides an introduction to the field of relational, group and organizational communication. Students become acquainted with the basic terms, concepts and theoretical perspectives used to examine communication in dyadic, group and organizational contexts.

CMN 102

INTRODUCTION TO MASS COMMUNICATION

This course offers students a broad overview of the mass media (print, film, video, recorded music, radio, television and the internet) with a particular focus on how these media impact our everyday lives. Students will develop critical frameworks for understanding how power operates across the media spheres of production, circulation, representation and reception. Attention is placed on how the social categories of race, class, gender, sexuality, ethnicity, age and nationality inform each of these media spheres. The course also considers how recent developments in digital technologies, media convergence and globalization have transformed our media culture.

CMN 103

INTERCULTURAL COMMUNICATION

Examines the role culture plays in interethnic and international communication. Explores differences and similarities in cultural values and communication behaviors between and among diverse cultures and develops intercultural competence. Critiques stereotypes and increases cultural sensitivity.

CMN 396

CAPSTONE IN COMMUNICATION

Making a difference: Communication Senior Capstone. Exploration of student skills, knowledge and interests, as well as how these might have a concrete contribution to contemporary society.
Prerequisites:
Senior Standing is a prerequisite for this class.
​​​​​