BA in Public Relations

The Public Relations degree, developed from the Commission on Public Relations Education recommendations, is designed to prepare students to assume professional entry level roles in the practice of public relations; to help students understand the integration of public relations and marketing; prepare students to compose, develop, and analyze print and broadcast messages; to help students to develop demonstrable competencies in writing, analyzing, problem-solving, and critical thinking; to provide opportunities for testing public relations theory and practice, not only in the classroom, but in the field as well; and to develop relationships with local public relations professionals as well as with community organizations.

The PR degree at Sacramento State emphasizes research, writing and editing focused on the theories and methods for managing the media image of a business, organization, or individual. The program builds understanding of the communication process with stakeholders, constituencies, audiences, and the general public to prepare individuals to function as public relations assistants, technicians, and managers. Upon completion of the program, graduates are prepared to enter a variety of public relations careers in media relations; promotion and advertising; marketing; message/image design; image management and crisis communication; special event management; community relations; public affairs/government relations; and internal communications.

Students gain extra-curricular experiences via a robust internship program involving dozens of public and private companies and organizations across California and the nation, as well as via involvement in a large, active and award-winning Public Relations Student Society of American (PRSSA) chapter.

Prior to acceptance as a Communication Studies major, students must complete a pre-major consisting of all required lower division courses plus the upper division survey course (COMS 100A) and upper division research methodology course (COMS 100C). Students must successfully complete each pre-major course with a grade of "C-" or better. Students with a Sacramento State grade point average of 2.3 or better may request early admission to the major.

  • Majors must complete each core course and each option core course with a grade of "C-" or better.
  • Not more than 6 units of debate, internship and/or individual study (see the following) can be applied to the major requirements.
  • Majors are urged to take COMS 2, Argumentation (or transfer equivalent) to fulfill their critical thinking requirement.
  • Communication Studies courses may only be repeated once for a grade change. Students who fail to achieve at least a "C-" in two attempts in a core course will be disqualified in majoring in Communication Studies.
  • One project or paper from each capstone course will be reviewed by selected faculty for the purpose of departmental assessment.
Required Lower Division Core Courses (13 Units)
COMS 2Argumentation3
COMS 8Interpersonal Communication Skills3
COMS 55Media Communication and Society3
Style For Media Writers
News Writing
Required Upper Division Core Courses (9 Units)
COMS 100ASurvey of Communication Studies3
COMS 100BRhetoric and Social Influence 3
COMS 100CIntroduction to Scientific Methods in Communication Research3
Major Courses (21 Units)
COMS 106Digital Media Creation - An Introduction3
COMS 118Survey of Public Relations3
COMS 123Writing for Public Relations3
COMS 158Public Relations Planning and Management3
COMS 170Data Analysis in Communication Research3
or COMS 171 Survey Methods in Communication Research
COMS 187Issue Management and Case Studies in Public Relations3
MKTG 101Principles Of Marketing3
Electives (5 Units)
Any upper division (100 or above) Communication Studies courses totaling at least five units. 5

General Education Requirements1

Area A: Basic Subjects (6 Units)
A1 - Oral Communication3
A2 - Written Communication3
A3 - Critical Thinking 20
Area B: Physical Universe and Its Life Forms (13 Units)
B1 - Physical Science3
B2 - Life Forms3
B3 - Lab (Note: Lab experience to be taken with one of the following: B1, B2 or B5)1
B4 - Math Concepts3
B5 - Additional Course (Any B to reach 12 units) - Take upper-division course to complete Area & upper division requirements.3
Area C: Arts and Humanities (12 Units)
C1 - Arts3
C2 - Humanities3
C1/C2 - Area C Course3
C1/C2 - Area C Course - Take upper-division course to complete Area & upper division requirements.3
Area D: The Individual and Society (9 Units)
Area D Course3
Area D Course3
Area D Course - Take upper-division course to complete Area & upper division requirements.3
Area E: Understanding Personal Development (3 Units)
Area E Course3
Area F: Ethnic Studies (3 Units)
Area F Course3
Total Units46

Graduation Requirements1

Graduation Requirements (required by CSU) (6 Units)
American Institutions: U.S. History3
American Institutions: U.S. Constitution & CA Government3
Writing Intensive (WI) 20
Graduation Requirements (required by Sacramento State) (12 Units)
English Composition II3
Race and Ethnicity in American Society (RE)3
Foreign Language Proficiency Requirement 36