Public Relations, B.A.

Degree Program

Upon completion of the University baccalaureate and major requirements in the Department of Media, Journalism and Public Relations, students earn a Bachelor of Arts degree in Public Relations. The Public Relations major requires the completion of a minimum of 44 credits beyond the general education requirements, 24 of which must be upper-division.

The Department offers four areas of concentration:

  • Agency and Corporate PR
  • Entertainment and Events PR
  • Media Relations
  • Nonprofit and Ministry PR

On Campus Study Opportunities

In addition to the numerous media opportunities available as part of the Department of Media, Journalism and Public Relations, public relations students have the opportunity to immerse themselves in on-campus activities uniquely designed to enhance their expertise.

Public Relations Society of America (PRSSA)

The Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA) is a nationally recognized association. Biola's chapter of PRSSA is designed to enhance pre-professional skills and prepare students in the field of business, communications and public relations for their future careers. Biola PRSSA provides networking opportunities, workshops and events that encompass this goal as well as keeping community within our own chapter and chapters around the nation. With strong connections to the professional chapters of PRSA within Los Angeles and Orange County, our students regularly attend networking events and workshops designed to enhance PR expertise and the personal brands of our students.

6th Street Public Relations

Biola's student-run PR firm, 6th Street PR, is nationally affiliated through the Public Relations Student Society of America. With less than 40 schools having student-run firms that have achieved this status, Biola's PR students have the opportunity to work with real-world clients on strategic public relations initiatives. Building portfolio pieces and leadership experience, 6th Street PR provides experiential learning right on campus for students who want to dive deeper into the world of PR.

Program Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of the Bachelor of Arts in Public Relations, students will be able to:

  1. Apply and analyze key elements within public relations [Key Concepts: Historical context, theoretical framework, principles, and current industry standards] (ULO 1).
  2. Illustrate competency in applied perspectives in diversity and/or cross-cultural relationship building in the context of public relations [Key Concepts: Global issues, conflict resolution, societal trends and leadership principles] (ULO 1).
  3. Illustrate an understanding of faith integration with the profession [Key Concepts: knowledge of ethics and philosophical approaches to the industry] (ULO 2).
  4. Demonstrate creative and analytical expertise in writing and presentations [Key Concepts: Critical thinking and excellence in communicating in multiple forms] (ULO 3).
  5. Create and develop projects that utilize convergence or digital media to strategically reach target audiences [Key Concepts: technological expertise, media savvy, audience understanding] (ULO 3).
  6. Create, analyze and critique the public relations process in PR campaigns [Key Concepts; relationship building, societal trends, diversity and global issues, organizational change and development and management of concepts] (ULO 3).
  7. Analyze trends and audiences using research methodologies to propose strategic solutions and plans for organizations [Key Concepts: Forecasting, issues management, audience segmentation, research methodology and analysis, reporting] (ULO 3).

Each Program Learning Outcome (PLO) listed above references at least one of the University Learning Outcomes (ULO 1, 2, 3), which may be found in the General Information section of this catalog.

Senior Portfolio Review and Summit Presentation

All students in the Department of Media, Journalism and Public Relations are expected to complete a portfolio review as well as a public presentation before graduating.

The portfolio consists of the student's best work, completed during either coursework or internships during the time they have been enrolled in the major. The review will be completed by a committee of full-time faculty (with input from a professional outside of the institution) as well as by the instructor for the Senior Portfolio course during the selected semester.

The student's portfolio will be rated for competency or non-competency. Competent work can also be rated as exemplary. Students whose portfolio does not earn at least a competency rating must re-submit their portfolio to the Review Committee or retake the Senior Portfolio course (if the grade requires such).

Also as part of the graduation requirements as well as the Senior Portfolio course, students will prepare and submit a proposal to be approved for a public presentation (most likely at the department Summit) on a topic of expertise they have developed during their time as a student.

Timing of the portfolio review and public presentation is the semester before graduating (typically Fall semester of the senior year in a normal four-year undergraduate cycle). For December graduates, the review will take place during Spring semester.

Traditional students should schedule a preliminary portfolio review with their academic advisor at the end of five semesters to plan successful completion of the portfolio review and presentation. Transfer students should schedule a preliminary portfolio review after two semesters.

Scheduling of the Senior Portfolio review and public presentation will be completed as part of the Senior Portfolio course requirements. Any exception to this plan must be approved by the full-time faculty.

Internship

Internship, comprising a total of 3 credits, is required for graduation in the Journalism and Integrated Media major. Students will complete the 1-credit course, JOUR 344 Media and PR Internship, as well as the 2-credit course, JOUR 444 Advanced Internship & Career Preparation. Students may take JOUR 344 multiple times to complete more internships for credit. Students, guided by their academic advisor, are encouraged to pursue other (non-credit) internships to gain as much hands-on experience as possible before their senior year. Students must take the internship courses as ordered by prerequisites, but internships (for credit or for non-credit) may be completed any semester or during the Summer under supervision of department faculty, guided by stipulations of the Journalism Internship packet.

No more than 6 credits of Internship may be applied towards major requirements. Total directed research and special topic workshop credits may not exceed 9 credits.

General Requirements

All Public Relations majors must achieve a minimum grade of "C" in all major courses taken at Biola. Anyone receiving a lower grade must repeat the course and earn a "C" or better. The total number of credits for major area credit from practicum, internship and directed research may not exceed 9 credits. All Public Relations majors are required to take a Biblical Studies Integration Seminar for Bible credit.

Curriculum Requirements

Program-Specific Core Curriculum (GE) Courses
Business Statistics
Program Courses
JOUR 105Foundations of Journalism and Public Relations3
JOUR 107Introduction to Convergence3
JOUR 111Introduction to Public Relations3
JOUR 220Introduction to Visual Media3
or JOUR 249 Media Design Essentials
JOUR 230Writing for Public Relations3
JOUR 267Media and Public Relations Career Readiness1
JOUR 307Social Media, SEO and Digital Strategy3
JOUR 344Media and Public Relations Internship1
JOUR 355Media Relations3
JOUR 388Public Relations Management, Philosophy and Ethics3
JOUR 433Media Law3
JOUR 444Advanced Internship and Career Preparation2
JOUR 458Public Relations and Journalism Research3
JOUR 460Public Relations Leadership and Advanced Campaign Analysis3
JOUR 495Senior Portfolio1
Concentration Courses
Select one of the concentrations below6
Total Credits44

Concentrations

The department offers four areas of concentration: Agency and Corporate PR, Entertainment and Events PR, Media Relations, Nonprofit and Ministry PR.

Agency and Corporate PR

Concentration Courses
Select one of the following:3
Introduction to Marketing
Principles of Management
Writing Across Media
Videography
Select one of the following:3
Persuasive Communication
Organizational Communication
Principles of Advertising
Journalism Seminar
Total Credits6

Entertainment and Events PR

Concentration Courses
Select one of the following:3
Introduction to Marketing
The Entertainment Business
Writing Across Media
Introduction to Visual Media
Media Design Essentials
Videography
Introduction to Broadcast Journalism
Select one of the following:3
Understanding Representation
Convergent Production
Principles of Advertising
Journalism Seminar
Total Credits6

Media Relations

Concentration Courses
Select one of the following:3
Writing Across Media
Introduction to Visual Media
Public Affairs Reporting
Videography
Introduction to Broadcast Journalism
Media Design Essentials
Select one of the following:3
Persuasive Communication
Sports Journalism
Convergent Production
Publication Editing and Management
Producing and Writing for Broadcast News
Magazine and Free-Lance Writing
Visual Meaning
Photojournalism I
Publication, Web and Media Design
Cross-Cultural Storytelling Project
Broadcast Anchoring and Announcing
Journalism Seminar
Media Narrative Project
Total Credits6

Nonprofit and Ministry PR

Concentration Courses
Select one of the following:3
Introduction to Marketing
Principles of Management
Small Group Communication
Interpersonal Communication
Writing Across Media
Introduction to Visual Media
Videography
Media Design Essentials
Select one of the following:3
Persuasive Communication
Organizational Communication
Convergent Production
Publication, Web and Media Design
Cross-Cultural Storytelling Project
Principles of Advertising
Journalism Seminar
Media Narrative Project
Total Credits6