Courses for students interested in PR

Posted: October 27, 2008 in Useful advice for students
Tags: , ,

As we head into advising and registration for Spring 2009, I promised my Clemson students I would put together a list of courses useful for those interested in public relations.

This list will evolve as I discover courses,

so please feel free to suggest additional ones in the comments section.

As far as COMM courses go, the 3 PR courses are:

  • COMM 355 Principles of Public Relations – covers basic principles & theories
  • COMM 356 Stakeholder Communication – covers techniques for communicating with various stakeholder groups
  • COMM 456 Strategic Communication for Social Change – covers strategic campaigns

Many other courses in COMM are relevant and useful to PR, but since your academic advisors can help you with those, I won’t list them here, except to urge you to learn your research methods! Surveys, statistics, focus groups, interviews, case studies, ethnographic observation and rhetorical criticism (so you know how to critique outputs of PR) are VERY useful. In our department, the methods courses are COMM 310, 311, and 306.

I’ll group other useful courses by topic:

journalism writing, feature writing, business writing, technical writing, editing:

The following ENGL courses look interesting: ENGL 231, 265, 304, 314, 316, 332, 333, 334, 335

marketing, advertising, graphic design & graphic communication courses

MKTG 301, 302, 423, 426, 427, 429, 434, 443

AP EC 351

courses to help you understand how business works, how managers think.

MGT 201, 400, 411*, 415, 423

any courses that help you understand globalization, international and intercultural issues in business, culture and/or society

any courses that help you understand the collective mindsets (cultures) of one ore more societies, as influenced by art, history, media, popular culture, etc. These can be courses in Art History, History, Women’s Studies, Communication Studies, etc.

any courses that help you understand attitude change, decision making, and social pressure (social psychology)

PSYCH 201, 320, 330*, 333, 352, 355, 368, 369, 370, 454, 459, 462, 482

SOC 201, 350, 351

[update Oct. 29] If you’re going to take LS (Leisure Skills) classes, consider golf. Why? Because if you want to be in the “boys’ club,” hang out with top executives and increase your opportunities to network with them… you should be able to play golf with them! No, this is not a joke…

  1. Cara Mitchell says:

    Thanks for this on time post Dr. V!

  2. drgilpin says:

    I have had several students tell me they found anthropology courses useful, for understanding cultural issues as well as research methods like ethnography/participant observation (which I used to use back when I was doing internal comm.).