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Advertising/Public Relations

Strategic communicators tell the stories of their clients, companies and organizations to reach and engage various audiences.

They create public health campaigns and promote companies, brands, politicians, sports teams and nonprofits.

As a strategic communicator, you can be a …
  • Social Media Strategist
  • Nonprofit Advocate
  • Brand Champion
  • Community Relations Director
  • Digital Marketing Manager
  • Director of Audience Engagement

What You’ll Learn

Our strategic communications major has two areas of emphasis — Advertising and Public Relations. Throughout the program, you’ll learn to build, plan and execute communications campaigns that help companies thrive and create positive change in society. You’ll plan events, build relationships with key publics and produce media messages that influence others and inspire action.

Strategic communications graduates are highly marketable and can find work in advertising and public relations agencies, corporate communications, the sports industry, nonprofit organizations and government.

As of Fall 2013, Public Relations and Advertising became two areas of emphasis within the new College’s new Strategic Communications major. The program description and requirements below are for students who entered the Strategic Communications major as of Fall 2014 or later. Students who entered the major prior to Fall 2014 must follow a different set of requirements.

What is advertising?

The promotion of products, goods, services and ideas through communication channels with the intent of persuading and influencing audiences.

What is public relations?

The process of creating and communicating strategic messages and campaigns that enhance an organization’s relationship with its publics.

About the Advertising Curriculum

Students who select the Advertising AOE within the Strategic Communications major obtain a solid foundation in creative copywriting and design, media planning, audience insights and analysis, and campaigns. Additional courses in interactive marketing, strategic social media, and account management are available to round out students’ individual interests.

They go on to work at advertising and marketing agencies, in media advertising sales, within corporate communications offices, as media planners, or as consultants and business owners. The advertising curriculum affords a solid foundation for law or other specialized graduate programs.

About the Public Relations Curriculum

Students who select the Public Relations AOE within the Strategic Communications major take courses in strategic writing and social media, media design, audience research and analysis, and campaigns. Other courses that apply to the major include web development, fundraising and foundation management, integrated marketing communications for sports, and blogging and interactive journalism.

Graduates go on to work at communications agencies, in government, health care organizations, nonprofits, corporate communications, and politics. Those students who wish to go on to graduate school have a solid grounding in writing, research, analysis, and communications.

Strategic Communications Major Requirements

Strategic Communications majors earn a Bachelor of Science in Journalism (BSJ), Strategic Communications degree upon successful completion of the program.

To graduate, all College of Media majors must complete a minimum of 120 credit hours.

All students in the WVU Reed College of Media are required to take courses in media writing, media tools and applications, and media law and ethics. In addition to those required core courses, Strategic Communications majors must take Strategic Communications core courses and at least three additional courses specific to Advertising or Public Relations. Students also must take specified courses outside of the College, complete a minor and fulfill the University’s General Education Curriculum (GEC) requirements.

Finally, the College’s accreditation guidelines require that students take a minimum of 72 credit hours outside of the College. Typically, students meet this requirement through GEC, minor and other non-College courses.

Wondering about your course schedule?

Current students should refer to Degree Works to determine their scheduling needs.

Future students can refer to the WVU Undergraduate Catalog for the major requirements and sample schedule.

Contact Our Academic Advisors
emily roush

Emily Roush

phone 304-293-5873

demetrius greer

Demetrius Greer

phone 304-293-8538

kayla poling

Kayla Poling

phone 304-293-5686

Hands-On Learning

All students in the Strategic Communications major plan and produce promotional and educational campaigns and materials for actual clients, which include for- and non-profit organizations. All coursework is done in the College’s modern facilities, giving students access to the latest digital technology and hands-on tools.

The College also boasts an active faculty-advised and student-run integrated communications agency, Martin-Hall Agency, and an active, award-winning Public Relations Student Society of America chapter. These organizations offer students professional networking opportunities and application of advertising and public relations knowledge into campaign experience. Members participate in the national American Advertising Federation Competition and national Bateman campaign competition, among others.

Get Involved

The WVU Reed College of Media hosts a variety of student organizations. These clubs offer students opportunities to engage in University activities and connect with other students and professionals nationwide. Students travel to conferences, visit top news agencies and firms, organize and participate in campus events, and network with alumni and industry leaders.

We Are Accredited

The College of Media’s undergraduate programs are fully accredited by the Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communications. West Virginia University is fully accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.