Public Relations and Reputation Management, B.S.

Mission

The mission of the Bachelors of Science in Public Relations and Reputation Management is to develop competitive professionals who are skilled at managing organizational communication with stakeholder, providing a rigorous education the combines the Christian worldview with ethics, leadership, and creative strategies in order to effectively lead in leveraging influence and build relationship for organizations throughout the globe. 

Degree Program

Upon completion of the University Baccalaureate and major requirements in the Department of Public Relations and Strategic Communication, students can earn a Bachelor of Science degree in Public Relations and Reputation Management. The Public Relations and Reputation Management major requires the completion of a minimum of 50 credits beyond the general education requirements, 24 of which must be upper-division.

The B.S. in Public Relations and Reputation Management is designed to champion ethical influence and to develop leaders. Equipping students to create engaging and innovative communication strategies, our program prepares leaders to be ethical counselors and relational artisans for organizations. Throughout each of the courses, students will be challenged to integrate their faith alongside their calling, recognizing that the work of public relations is a sacred space that brings together a powerful blend of communication, relationship management, strategic leadership, and creative innovation to leverage ethical influence for the good of society and culture.

Distinctives of the program are:

  • The B.S. in Public Relations and Reputation Management is offered entirely online. Designed for flexibility, courses are offered throughout the year and are completely online, allowing for working professionals and those with busy schedules to be able to fully invest in their future no matter what their scheduling needs.
  • Our program is highly invested in mentorship and personal networking. Students will have the opportunity to develop connections with peers and faculty throughout the program, as well as public relations professionals, equipping them to graduate with a strong professional network.
  • This program blends theory and practice, meaning that in each class students are not only learning the foundational constructs and background for how public relations works - they are also applying this knowledge to projects with real-world clients. Students in our program have the potential to graduate with multiple portfolio pieces from clients, allowing them to showcase their expertise for future employers.

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 Public Relations and Reputation Management, B.S., 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 a 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 he Certificate in Principles of Public Relations examination. 

Internship

Internship, comprising a total of 3 credits, is required for graduation in the Public Relations and Reputation Management 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 earn 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 (PREL 465) for Bible credit.

Curriculum Requirements

Program-Specific Core Requirements
Bible Requirement
Biblical Interpretation and Spiritual Formation
Foundations of Christian Thought
Old Testament History and Literature
New Testament History and Literature
Theology I
Early Christian History - Acts
Theology II
BBST 300/400 Elective
BBST Integrative course (taken as PREL 320)
BBST Integrative course (taken as PREL 465)
Program Courses
PREL 104Media Ecology and Christian Perspective3
PREL 107Multimedia Channels3
PREL 110Public Relations Foundations3
PREL 231Strategic Writing for Public Relations3
PREL 250Digital Design Essentials3
PREL 267Public Relations Career Readiness1
PREL 307Soc Media, SEO, and Digital Strategy3
PREL 320PR Ethics3
PREL 344Public Relations Internship1
PREL 350Crisis Communication & Reputation Management3
PREL 360Paid Digital Media3
PREL 389Campaign Management & Public Relations Philosophy3
PREL 410PR Principles, Law, & Global Influence3
PREL 420Advanced Digital Management3
PREL 444Advanced Internship and Career Preparation in Public Relations2
PREL 456Public Relations Research Standards & Practices3
PREL 462Leadership & Organizational Influence 13
PREL 465Rhythm & Calling in Public Relations 23
PREL 490Portfolio and Certificate1
Total Credits50

3 + 1  B.S. or B.A. 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 (cross-listed with PREL 460 (B.A.)/PREL 462  (B.S.) and PBRL 660 (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 107PREL 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.