Public Relations Minor

Students must complete a minimum of 18 units and have a 2.0 GPA in the minor to graduate. At least 3 units must be completed at the University of Arizona.

PR Minor Outline

How to Apply

  • Complete the PR Minor Info Session and Quiz. New minors are declared every Friday at the start of the business day.
  • Continuing students must have a cumulative GPA of at least a 2.0 and no pending incomplete grades.

For more information, please contact the PR Minor Advisor, Laura Owen (lauraowen@arizona.edu).

Required Courses

Core (9 units)

This is a fundamental course in public relations that is designed to offer students a broad overview of public relations as a field and help them to set up a solid foundation for upper level Public Relations courses. It's intended to develop in students a broad and basic understanding of public relations -- what it encompasses, its history and influences, and its practices and processes in the contemporary business world and in society at large. Ethical issues for public relations practitioners will be considered, as well as the impact of globalization and new technologies in this field, through examination of current events and case studies.

Theories of Social Influence with particular attention to the means of changing  attitudes and behaviors.

This is an intensive course in public relations writing designed to expose students to professional-level strategic writing by focusing on communication objectives, techniques, styles and mechanics. Students will learn to write correctly and clearly in styles appropriate to the public relations profession, notably Associated Press (AP). Emphasis will be placed on learning to write in all public relations formats, including news releases, fact sheets, feature stories, blogs, pitch memos, media advisories, content, newsletters, brochures, broadcast scripts, backgrounders and others for real clients. Because most practitioners see writing as the foundation of professional public relations practice, the strong writing skills, writing for a "real" client and the online writing portfolio developed in class will definitely give students an edge in getting a great post-graduation job.

Internship (3 units)

Specialized work on an individual basis, consisting of training and practice in actual service in a technical, business, or governmental establishment.

Electives (6 units)

This course is designed to help students become more comfortable with speaking in public, and to familiarize them with the theory-based, basic skills of public speaking.  It will also help to increase students' communication, competence, and effectiveness, as well as improve  capabilities in research, and critical thinking.  This course will expose students to a variety of everyday speaking occasions.

This course provides an overview of sport industry-specific communication, including public relations, media relations and community relations within the sports and entertainment industry. Students will learn some of the unique attributes of the culture of sport and how public relations can play such a critical role in shaping one's identity of self, team, individual sport, governing organization, and the overall sport culture. Students will learn how social media and traditional media have influenced the industry. This course will provide students the opportunity to identify and analyze current and relevant sport communication trends. Students will examine ways on how the history of sport has influenced today's sport culture and sport communication in relation to gender, race, ethnicity and sexual orientation. These  sport narratives provide both challenges and opportunities for the sports PR practitioner.

This course in an integrated approach to PR for the nonprofit sector, including strategic advocacy for these organizations and what makes nonprofit advocacy unique. This course will also examine this history and practices of various nonprofit organizations and how it has, in part, influenced the culture today. We will examine established norms with stakeholders in the community, such as media and corporate partnerships. Students will identify needs to a specific nonprofit and work through some of the PR issues and opportunities to better understand how to serve these organizations and their constituents.

This class introduces students to the strategic planning process required of public relations professionals in developing programs and campaigns. Students will learn how to develop, implement and evaluate effective strategies, with a focus on building and maintaining beneficial relationships with key stakeholders.

This class provides an overview of ethical theories and principles to develop a framework for ethical decision-making in the professional practice of public relations. The study of ethics helps identify the process public relations professionals use in order to make decisions about what course of action is the right one to take, and how to influence others to "do the right thing". Established codes of conduct and underlying ethical principles will be examined for their application to real, timely issues. This course provides students the opportunity to examine their own personal value system and compare it with the value systems inherent in what is conventionally described as ethical practice in public relations.

The discovery and development of effective creative communication for undergraduate students. The class includes an overview of creativity and communication strategies that relate to personal and professional situations. Learning modules include creative development, promotion techniques and skills as well as focus on establishing, maintaining and leading relationships through the integrated marketing communications process.

This course is designed to explore the theories and methodologies of public relations encompassing writing, principles and integrated campaigns. The course allows students to apply public relations and communication theory in a community-based project where students serve as public relations "consultants." This course provides students the opportunity to create a comprehensive and integrated PR campaign for a "client," and the opportunity to conduct research in analyzing and evaluating a successful PR campaign. In addition to serving the "client" and community, this course is designed to allow students to add to their professional writing portfolio and résumé for future internships or job interviews.

As unforeseen and unprecedented events occur, the role of the public relations practitioner in facing a crisis is of critical importance. People demand immediate information to explain and justify the actions of individuals, corporations, government entities and nonprofit organizations. At the same time, without thoughtful, careful responses a crisis can escalate with unfortunate results. This course will examine the specific strategies and actions to take before, during and after a crisis communication occurs, and review cases of successful and unsuccessful responses those in authority displayed in such instances. Readings and discussions will focus on case studies of historical and contemporary emergency situations and how the issues were handled, with close examination as to the role of public relations and its impact on the outcome.

More Information

Students wishing to combine the COMM major and the PR minor will need to plan their curriculum carefully. They will also need to pay careful attention to prerequisites and availability for all courses. For COMM majors, COMM 101 counts towards the major, therefore an ADDITIONAL elective is required in the PR minor to reach the required 18 credit hours.

Apply for internship units prior to the semester/summer session in which you plan to complete the internship so that you are registered before the first day of classes (e.g., if you plan to complete an internship in the fall, you should submit your internship application a week before the first day of fall classes so that your application can be reviewed and you can be registered before the first day of classes to avoid late add fees). All summer internship students are registered for 7 Week II Summer units. We will register students after the first day of classes, but it is to your benefit to submit your application before the first day of classes. Internship students will be graded using the SPF grading scale; the final grade is not included in the GPA: https://catalog.arizona.edu/policy/university-wide-house-numbered-courses.

 

To qualify for PR internship credit, students must meet the following requirements:

  • Be a declared Public Relations minor
  • Have completed PR/COMM 201: Introduction to Public Relations
  • Have a 2.0 cumulative GPA in University of Arizona coursework

The following materials should be included in your application:

  1. Internship application form (download here)
  2. Unofficial UA transcript
  3. Résumé

For help finding a PR internship, contact PR faculty Carolyn Smith Casertano at carolynsmith@arizona.edu. Email your completed application to Shelby Carter at shelbyncarter@arizona.edu for review. Questions about internship credits should be directed to Internship Coordinator Shelby Carter at shelbyncarter@arizona.edu or Internship Director Kyle Tusing at kjt@arizona.edu.

The Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA) is a club that offering members a chance to learn and engage in the industry of Public Relations.  PRSSA members will have the opportunity to work on PR campaigns for real-world clients and gain working experience with many facets of the job (e.g., overseeing marketing research, bringing in new business opportunities, managing client relationships and events and implementing social media PR strategies).  Meetings will also feature guest speakers with local public relations professionals and University of Arizona Career Service employees, who will share professional insights to help maximize club members' career potential and opportunities.

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