Public Relations and Strategic Communication, B.A.

Degree Program

Upon completion of the University baccalaureate and major requirements in the Department of Public Relations and Strategic Communication, students earn a Bachelor of Arts degree in Public Relations and Strategic Communication. This major requires the completion of a minimum of 47 credits beyond the general education requirements, 24 of which must be upper-division.

The Department offers six areas of concentration:

  • Advertising
  • Agency and Corporate PR
  • Digital Management and Social Media
  • Entertainment and Events PR
  • Media Relations
  • Nonprofit and Ministry PR

Pre-Professional Study Opportunities

In addition to the numerous media opportunities available as part of the Department of Public Relations and Strategic Communication, public relations students have the opportunity to immerse themselves in 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 about 40 schools having student-run firms that have achieved this status, Biola's 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. Identify and discuss elements of leadership with the aptitude expected of entry level professionals in the public relations industry (ULO 1).
  2. Design a definition of public relations that is reflective of their worldview and ethical framework (ULO 2).
  3. Create public relations initiatives based on industry best-practices and principles (ULO 3).
  4. Develop personal brand expected of entry level professionals (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 Certificate

All students in the Department of Public Relations and Strategic Communication are expected to complete a portfolio review as well as the Certificate in Principles of Public Relations examination prior to graduation .

The portfolio consists of the student's best work, completed through 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 and Certificate 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 and Certificate course (if the grade requires such).

Also as part of the graduation requirements as well as the Senior Portfolio and Certificate course, students will prepare and complete the Certificate in Principles of Public Relations examination.

Public Relations Symposium

Students in the Department of Public Relations and Strategic Communication are required to attend the PR Symposium each semester. During this event, students will complete their academic advising, as well as participate in valuable conversations to their curricular and co-curricular experience within the program.

When a student is unable to attend the PR Symposium, they must complete a formal proposal for the absence, to the department, at least one month prior to the event. The student is responsible to obtain the required form from the department. It is also the responsibility of the student to complete and submit the form by the deadline.

Students who have an accepted proposal for absence are required to individually make up the missing information through additional meetings with one of more faculty, as well as other resource partners who share at particular symposiums. A written report is required from students, two weeks before class registration, in order to complete their requirement for missing the symposium.

Internship

Internship, comprising a total of 3 credits, is required for graduation in the Public Relations and Strategic Communication major. Students will complete the 1-credit course, PREL 344 Media and PR Internship, as well as the 2-credit course, PREL 444 Advanced Internship & Career Preparation. Students may take PREL 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 internship packet.

No more than 6 credits of Internship may be applied toward 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 (BBST 465). Contact the department for advising on the specific BBST 465 section required.

Curriculum Requirements

Program-Specific Core Curriculum Courses
Business Statistics
Program Courses
The following courses are required for Advertising, Agency and Corporate, Digital Management and Social Media, Entertainment and Events, Media Relations, and Nonprofit and Ministry Concentrations
PREL 105Public Relations: History & Foundations 13
or PREL 104 Media Ecology and Christian Perspective
PREL 107Multimedia Channels3
PREL 111Introduction to Public Relations3
or PREL 110 Public Relations Foundations
PREL 230Writing for Public Relations3
or PREL 231 Strategic Writing for Public Relations
PREL 249Media Design Essentials 13
or PREL 250 Digital Design Essentials
PREL 267Public Relations Career Readiness1
PREL 307Soc Media, SEO, and Digital Strategy3
PREL 320PR Ethics3
PREL 344Public Relations Internship1
PREL 355Media Relations 1,23
or PREL 350 Crisis Communication & Reputation Management
or PREL 360 Paid Digital Media
PREL 388Public Relations Management, Philosophy and Ethics3
or PREL 389 Campaign Management & Public Relations Philosophy
PREL 410PR Principles, Law, & Global Influence3
PREL 444Advanced Internship and Career Preparation in Public Relations2
PREL 458Public Relations and Journalism Research3
or PREL 456 Public Relations Research Standards & Practices
PREL 460Public Relations Leadership and Advanced Campaign Analysis 33
or PREL 462 Leadership & Organizational Influence
PREL 490Portfolio and Certificate1
Concentration courses
Select one of the concentrations below6
Total Credits47

Concentrations

The department offers six areas of concentration: Advertising, Agency and Corporate PR, Digital Management and Social Media, Entertainment and Events PR, Media Relations, Nonprofit and Ministry PR.

Advertising

PREL 392Principles of Advertising3
PREL 420Advanced Digital Management3
Total Credits6

Agency and Corporate PR

Concentration Courses
Select one of the following:3
Introduction to Marketing
Principles of Management
Writing Across Media
Videography
Media Ecology and Christian Perspective
Public Relations Seminar
Select one of the following:3
Persuasive Communication
Organizational Communication
Crisis Communication & Reputation Management
Paid Digital Media
Principles of Advertising
Advanced Digital Management
Advanced Public Relations Seminar
Total Credits6

Digital Management and Social Media 

Concentration Courses
PREL 360Paid Digital Media3
PREL 420Advanced Digital Management3
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
Videography
Introduction to Broadcast Journalism
Media Ecology and Christian Perspective
Public Relations Seminar
Select one of the following:3
Understanding Representation
Convergent Production
Crisis Communication & Reputation Management
Paid Digital Media
Principles of Advertising
Advanced Digital Management
Advanced Public Relations 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 Ecology and Christian Perspective
Public Relations Seminar
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
Photo Communication
Publication, Web and Media Design
Cross-Cultural Storytelling Project
Broadcast Anchoring and Announcing
Media Narrative Project
Crisis Communication & Reputation Management
Paid Digital Media
Advanced Digital Management
Advanced Public Relations Seminar
Total Credits6

Nonprofit and Ministry PR

Concentration Courses
Select one of the following:3
Introduction to Marketing
Principles of Management
Small Group Communication
Writing Across Media
Introduction to Visual Media
Videography
Media Ecology and Christian Perspective
Public Relations Seminar
Select one of the following:3
Persuasive Communication
Organizational Communication
Convergent Production
Publication, Web and Media Design
Cross-Cultural Storytelling Project
Media Narrative Project
Introduction to Development
Crisis Communication & Reputation Management
Paid Digital Media
Advanced Digital Management
Principles of Advertising
Advanced Public Relations Seminar
Total Credits6

3 + 1  B.A.or B.S. to M.A. Program

The 3+1 program allows students to move at an accelerated pace through their undergraduate and graduate programs. Students who want to be admitted to the 3+1 program would apply after completing their 100-level courses in the major (PREL 104, PREL 105, PREL 107, PREL 110, PREL 111). Based on the application, reviewed by a faculty committee, students will be qualified to enter the 3+1 program.

Students who are accepted must meet the following standards:

  • Students must maintain a 3.8 GPA in their undergraduate B.A. in Public Relations and Strategic Communication or B.S. in Public Relations and Reputation Management.
  • Students must earn an A in the following courses: PREL 107, PREL 360, PREL 388/PREL 389.
  • In addition, students in the 3+1 program will enroll in PBRL 500, which is cross-listed with PREL 460 (B.A.)/PREL 462 (B.S.)  and PBRL 660, which is cross-listed with BBST 465 (B.A.)/PREL 465 (B.S.). Students must earn an A in these courses, as well as completing any additional assignments and work required.
  • Also, students will be required to pass an advanced portfolio review of their work form these courses. The portfolio requirements and rubrics used to assess are available in the 3+1 information packet students receive when considering application to the program. The student portfolio pieces must meet competency, based on that rubric, in order to qualify for the 3+1 program.
  • Students must still apply and be accepted as a student into the M.A. in Public Relations and Reputation Management, meeting all the requirements and standards of other graduate applicants. 

When students meet the above criteria, they will be able to advance into the M.A., with an ultimate graduate credit total of 33. Students accepted into the M.A. from the 3+1 program will have already completed 6 graduate credits (PBRL 500 and PBRL 660) during their time in the undergraduate program.

While all students in the B.A. and B.S. programs in the Department of Public Relations and Strategic Communication are able to apply to the 3+1 program, there are certain concentrations and degrees that align more strongly to the curricular requirements of our 3+1 program. Students in the B.A. in Public Relations and Strategic Communication degree who are in the Advertising or Digital Management and Social Media concentrations or students in the B.S. in Public Relations and Reputation Management will have advanced competencies in digital communication, based on their degree requirements of PREL 107, PREL 307, and PREL 420. Students in these degrees and concentrations who also maintain an A in PREL 307 and PREL 420, as well as any additional assignments for 3+1 students in the courses, will be able to waive PBRL 560 in their graduate work. These students will be able to advance into the M.A., reduced to 30 credits, as they will have already completed 6 graduate credits (PBRL 500 and PBRL 660) during their time in the undergraduate program. 

Students who are not in the B.A. in Public Relations and Strategic Communication degree/Advertising or Digital Management and Social Media concentrations or students in the B.S. in Public Relations and Reputation Management are able to pursue getting PBRL 560 also waived if: They gain approval from the 3+1 adviser in the department and they decide to take PREL 420 as an additional course during their undergraduate time, meeting the grade requirements as well as the additional work for 3+1 students in PREL 420.

For course sequencing in the 3+1 program, contact the department for advising.

NOTE: The course sequence table is designed by the major department and is one way that the classes will work out properly in sequence for your major. However, there are alternative or flexible ways to rotate some of the classes within the same year/level and sometimes between year levels. Please contact your major department advisor to discuss flexible alternatives in scheduling the sequence of your classes. 

See Core Curriculum Program section for a list of approved Core Curriculum courses.

Public Relations, B.A. Advertising (PRAD)

First Year
FallCreditsSpringCredits
BBST 103 or 1653BBST 103 or 1653
PREL 1053BBST 209 or 2103
PREL 1113PREL 1073
ENGL 100 or 1123PREL 24913
KNES 1071Foreign Language (see Core Curriculum)4
GNST 1021 
 14 16
Total Credits 30
Second Year
FallCreditsSpringCredits
BBST 2513BBST 209 or 2103
PREL 2303PREL 3073
PREL 2671MATH 190 (required)3
Foreign Language (see Core Curriculum)4Communication (see Core Curriculum)3
Science (see Core Curriculum)3HIST 100 or 1013
 14 15
Total Credits 29
Third Year
FallCreditsSpringCredits
BBST 300/400 Bible Elective3BBST 3543
PREL 3603PREL 3923
PREL 3203PREL 3441
Behavioral Science (see Core Curriculum)3PREL 3883
Philosophy (see Core Curriculum)3ENGL 3133
KNES Activity1Fine Arts (see Core Curriculum)3
Writing Competency RequirementGraduation Petition due in Registrar's Office
 16 16
Total Credits 32
Fourth Year
FallCreditsSpringCredits
BBST 3653BBST 4653
PREL 4103BBST 306, 316, or 3263
PREL 4603PREL 4442
PREL 4901PREL 4583
HIST 200, 201, or POSC 2253PREL 4203
Literature (see Core Curriculum)3 
 16 14
Total Credits 30

Public Relations, B.A. Agency & Corporation (PRAC)

First Year
FallCreditsSpringCredits
BBST 103 or 1653BBST 103 or 1653
PREL 1053BBST 209 or 2103
PREL 1113PREL 1073
ENGL 100 or 1123PREL 24913
KNES 1071Foreign Language (see Core Curriculum)4
GNST 1021 
 14 16
Total Credits 30
Second Year
FallCreditsSpringCredits
BBST 2513BBST 209 or 2103
PREL 2303Concentration Elective23
PREL 2671MATH 190 (required)3
Foreign Language (see Core Curriculum)4Communication (see Core Curriculum)3
Science (see Core Curriculum)3HIST 100 or 1013
 14 15
Total Credits 29
Third Year
FallCreditsSpringCredits
BBST 300/400 Bible Elective3BBST 3543
PREL 3073Concentration Elective23
PREL 3203PREL 3441
PREL 35013PREL 3883
Behavioral Science (see Core Curriculum)3ENGL 3133
KNES Activity1Fine Arts (see Core Curriculum)3
Writing Competency RequirementGraduation Petition due in Registrar's Office
 16 16
Total Credits 32
Fourth Year
FallCreditsSpringCredits
BBST 3653BBST 4653
PREL 4103BBST 306, 316, or 3263
PREL 4603PREL 4442
PREL 4901PREL 4583
HIST 200, 201, or POSC 2253Philosophy (see Core Curriculum)3
Literature (see Core Curriculum)3 
 16 14
Total Credits 30

Public Relations, B.A. Digital Management & Social Media (PRDM)

First Year
FallCreditsSpringCredits
BBST 103 or 1653BBST 103 or 1653
PREL 1073BBST 209 or 2103
PREL 1113PREL 1043
ENGL 100 or 1123PREL 25013
KNES 1071Foreign Language (see Core Curriculum)4
GNST 1021 
 14 16
Total Credits 30
Second Year
FallCreditsSpringCredits
BBST 2513BBST 209 or 2103
PREL 2303Concentration Elective23
PREL 2671MATH 190 (required)3
Foreign Language (see Core Curriculum)4Communication (see Core Curriculum)3
Science (see Core Curriculum)3HIST 100 or 1013
 14 15
Total Credits 29
Third Year
FallCreditsSpringCredits
BBST 300/400 Bible Elective3BBST 3543
PREL 3073Concentration Elective23
PREL 3203PREL 3441
PREL 3503PREL 3883
Behavioral Science (see Core Curriculum)3ENGL 3133
KNES Activity1Fine Arts (see Core Curriculum)3
Writing Competency RequirementGraduation Petition due in Registrar's Office
 16 16
Total Credits 32
Fourth Year
FallCreditsSpringCredits
BBST 3653BBST 4653
PREL 4103BBST 306, 316, or 3263
PREL 4603PREL 4442
PREL 4901PREL 4583
HIST 200, 201, or POSC 2253Philosophy (see Core Curriculum)3
Literature (see Core Curriculum)3 
 16 14
Total Credits 30

Public Relations, B.A. Entertainment & Events (PREE)

First Year
FallCreditsSpringCredits
BBST 103 or 1653BBST 103 or 1653
PREL 1053BBST 209 or 2103
PREL 1113PREL 1073
ENGL 100 or 1123PREL 24913
KNES 1071Foreign Language (see Core Curriculum)4
GNST 1021 
 14 16
Total Credits 30
Second Year
FallCreditsSpringCredits
BBST 2513BBST 209 or 2103
PREL 2303Concentration Elective23
PREL 2671MATH 190 (required)3
Foreign Language (see Core Curriculum)4Communication (see Core Curriculum)3
Science (see Core Curriculum)3HIST 100 or 1013
 14 15
Total Credits 29
Third Year
FallCreditsSpringCredits
BBST 300/400 Bible Elective3BBST 3543
PREL 3073Concentration Elective23
PREL 3203PREL 3441
PREL 3553PREL 3883
Behavioral Science (see Core Curriculum)3ENGL 3133
KNES Activity1Fine Arts (see Core Curriculum)3
Writing Competency RequirementGraduation Petition due in Registrar's Office
 16 16
Total Credits 32
Fourth Year
FallCreditsSpringCredits
BBST 3653BBST 4653
PREL 4103BBST 306, 316, or 3263
PREL 4603PREL 4442
PREL 4901PREL 4583
HIST 200, 201, or POSC 2253Philosophy (see Core Curriculum)3
Literature (see Core Curriculum)3 
 16 14
Total Credits 30

Public Relations, B.A. Media Relations (PRMR)

First Year
FallCreditsSpringCredits
BBST 103 or 1653BBST 103 or 1653
PREL 1053BBST 209 or 2103
PREL 1113PREL 1073
ENGL 100 or 1123PREL 24913
KNES 1071Foreign Language (see Core Curriculum)4
GNST 1021 
 14 16
Total Credits 30
Second Year
FallCreditsSpringCredits
BBST 2513BBST 209 or 2103
PREL 2303Concentration Elective23
PREL 2671MATH 190 (required)3
Foreign Language (see Core Curriculum)4Communication (see Core Curriculum)3
Science (see Core Curriculum)3HIST 100 or 1013
 14 15
Total Credits 29
Third Year
FallCreditsSpringCredits
BBST 300/400 Bible Elective3BBST 3543
PREL 3073Concentration Elective23
PREL 3203PREL 3441
PREL 3553PREL 3883
Behavioral Science (see Core Curriculum)3ENGL 3133
KNES Activity1Fine Arts (see Core Curriculum)3
Writing Competency RequirementGraduation Petition due in Registrar's Office
 16 16
Total Credits 32
Fourth Year
FallCreditsSpringCredits
BBST 3653BBST 4653
PREL 4103BBST 306, 316, or 3263
PREL 4603PREL 4442
PREL 4901PREL 4583
HIST 200, 201, or POSC 2253Philosophy (see Core Curriculum)3
Literature (see Core Curriculum)3 
 16 14
Total Credits 30

Public Relations, B.A. Nonprofit & Ministry (PRNM)

First Year
FallCreditsSpringCredits
BBST 103 or 1653BBST 103 or 1653
PREL 1053BBST 209 or 2103
PREL 1113PREL 1073
ENGL 100 or 1123PREL 24913
KNES 1071Foreign Language (see Core Curriculum)4
GNST 1021 
 14 16
Total Credits 30
Second Year
FallCreditsSpringCredits
BBST 2513BBST 209 or 2103
PREL 2303Concentration Elective23
PREL 2671MATH 190 (required)3
Foreign Language (see Core Curriculum)4Communication (see Core Curriculum)3
Science (see Core Curriculum)3HIST 100 or 1013
 14 15
Total Credits 29
Third Year
FallCreditsSpringCredits
BBST 300/400 Bible Elective3BBST 3543
PREL 3073Concentration Elective23
PREL 3203PREL 3441
PREL 3553PREL 3883
Behavioral Science (see Core Curriculum)3ENGL 3133
KNES Activity1Fine Arts (see Core Curriculum)3
Writing Competency RequirementGraduation Petition due in Registrar's Office
 16 16
Total Credits 32
Fourth Year
FallCreditsSpringCredits
BBST 3653BBST 4653
PREL 4103BBST 306, 316, or 3263
PREL 4603PREL 4442
PREL 4901PREL 4583
HIST 200, 201, or POSC 2253Philosophy (see Core Curriculum)3
Literature (see Core Curriculum)3 
 16 14
Total Credits 30