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Bachelor of Science in Communication – Public Relations Online

Transform your power of words into a successful communications career. Level up your ability to collaborate, communicate and influence new ideas.

01/04/21 Next Application Due Date
01/13/21 Next Class Start Date

Overview


Grow your expertise as a persuasive communicator with the 100% online Bachelor of Science in Communication – Public Relations program from Northwest Missouri State University. According to Burning Glass Technologies, the demand for public relations skills in job postings has increased by over 30% since 2017, making this degree the career of choice for many students. Learn from our expert faculty who have years of professional experience in this sector and can introduce you to the most relevant communication career scenarios as well as their professional contacts in the field.

$299 Per Credit Hour
Up to 90 Transfer Credits
120 Credit Hours

In our online communications degree program, you will develop your communication skills across multiple media platforms, focusing on key aspects such as writing, social media and information management. You will grow your foundational knowledge of communication research methods and expand your skills in both written and verbal communication. As a graduate of the B.S. in Communication – PR online program, you will have grown as a creative thinker and problem solver, fully preparing you to view all sides of modern-day challenges and to offer strategic solutions.

Our experiential learning format prepares you with the relevant knowledge and skills to effectively contribute to the workforce upon graduating. The undergraduate-level curriculum goes beyond theory and encourages you, as a student, to think critically and act decisively. Plus, the profession-based learning aspect of the curriculum, influenced by the Professional Advisory Board at Northwest, allows you to apply your studies to real-life contexts. The Board, composed of industry professionals, meet annually to discuss the job market, workforce skills, gaps and needs and provide that information to Northwest faculty, so they may incorporate it in their course learning outcomes.

This online communication program in public relations is fundamental in preparing career-ready graduates

93% of students graduating with this online degree find employment or continue their education within six months after graduation.

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Northwest Missouri State University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. HLC accredits degree-granting, post-secondary educational institutions in the North Central region of the United States. For more information, contact the Higher Learning Commission by mail at 230 South LaSalle Street, Suite 7-500, Chicago, Illinois 60604-1411, by phone at 800-621-7440 or via email at info@hlcommission.org.

Graduates of this online program will:

  • Be able to manage social media campaigns, leveraging tools to track and measure success (Facebook, Twitter)
  • Gain a general understanding of Google Analytics
  • Develop the power of persuasion
  • Be adept in crisis communication and learn to protect and restore an organizational or professional image
  • Be able to defend a position through well-thought-out research
  • Know how to write and distribute press releases

Career opportunities include:

  • Public Relations Coordinator
  • Communications Specialist
  • Speech Writer
  • Event Planner
  • Nonprofit Fundraiser

Have questions or need more information about our online programs?

Also available

Northwest offers a variety of specialized online education program options. Check out our other online undergraduate programs.

Tuition and Fees

Our B.S. in Communication – PR online program offers affordable, pay-by-the-course tuition, which is the same for in-state and out-of-state students. All fees are included.

$299 Per Credit Hour

View full tuition breakdown

Program Per Credit Hour Per Course
B.S. in Communication – PR $299 $897

Important Refund Information

1st day of class Last date for 100% refund for dropped course
2nd day of class Last date for 75% refund for dropped course
3rd day of class Last date for 50% refund for dropped course
4th day of class Last date for 25% refund for dropped course

Northwest Missouri State University is ranked #1 among the "Best Online Colleges in Missouri" by SR Education Group (2019).

Calendar

Northwest online programs are delivered in an accelerated format ideal for working students, conveniently featuring multiple start dates each year.

01/04/21 Next Application Deadline
01/13/21 Start Classes

View full calendar

Term Program Start Date Application Deadline Document Deadline Registration Deadline Payment Due Last Class Day
Spring 1 01/13/21 12/18/20 01/04/21 01/06/21 01/08/21 03/05/21
Spring 2 03/15/21 02/23/21 03/01/21 03/09/21 03/10/21 04/30/21
Summer 1 05/11/21 04/21/21 04/27/21 05/04/21 05/06/21 06/25/21
Summer 2 06/28/21 06/08/21 06/14/21 06/21/21 06/23/21 08/13/21

Ready to take the next step toward earning your degree online from Northwest?

Admissions

At Northwest, we've streamlined the admission process to help you get started quickly and easily. Please read the requirements for the B.S. in Communication – PR online, including what additional materials you need and where you should send them. The requirements include:

GPA of at least 2.0 on a 4.0 scale
Official transcripts from all institutions attended

View all admission requirements

To apply for this program, you must meet the requirements for one of the sections listed below.

  • Students with 24 or more transferrable credit hours:
    • Minimum 2.0 cumulative transfer GPA (on a 4.0 scale)
  • Students with less than 24 transferrable credit hours:
    • Follow freshman admission requirements
  • Transfer students from non-regionally accredited institutions will also be considered a first-time freshman; credit cannot be transferred into Northwest from a non-regionally accredited institution

Returning Students (will need to reapply)

Students who have not been enrolled at Northwest for more than one semester (excluding summer):

  • Must submit a complete and official transcript with a minimum of a "C" if they have attended other institutions
  • Must submit an essay for re-admission if returning after suspension or probation

First-Time Freshman Students

First-time freshman admission is based on a combination of class rank, GPA and ACT/SAT score. One of the following is required:

  • Category I:
    • 21 or higher on the ACT composite (or the SAT equivalent: 980 or 1060*)
    • A minimum 2.0 cumulative GPA or above (on 4.0 scale)

*Per 2016 SAT redesign.

  • Category II:
    • An admissions index score that equals or exceeds 100 points
    • A minimum 2.0 cumulative GPA (weighted or unweighted) or above (on 4.0 scale)

Home-Schooled Students

Applicants must have their ACT or SAT results submitted directly from ACT or College Board. A transcript listing of high school courses and grades in each course is also required for admission.

  • 21 or higher on the ACT (or SAT equivalent), OR
  • GED score of 660 or higher, OR
  • HiSET score of 75 or higher

GED Applicants/HiSET Applicants

A student may be considered for admission after receiving an equivalency certification, meeting the following criteria:

  • GED score of 660 or higher, OR
  • HiSET score of 75 or higher

Official transcripts can be emailed to apply@nwmissouri.edu. To submit official documents by mail, send them to:

Office of Admissions
Northwest Missouri State University
800 University Drive
Maryville, MO 64468-6001

Have a question? Call us at 844-890-9304 844-890-9304.

Courses

For the B.S. in Communication – PR online, the curriculum is comprised of 120 credit hours, including: 44-47 credit hours of Northwest Core (general education), 4 credit hours of our university seminar, 33 credit hours of communication core courses, 12 credit hours of cognate courses, 6 credit hours of emphasis courses, 9 credit hours of communication courses, and 6 credit hours of advisor-approved electives. Plus, as many credit hours of general elective courses that are needed to fulfill the 120-credit-hour degree requirement.

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Students must take 44-47 credit hours of general education courses to meet the degree plan requirements.

Students must take the 4-credit-hour university seminar course to meet the degree plan requirements. Students who transfer in 15 credit hours will not be required to take this course.

Duration: 7 weeks   |   Credit Hours: 3

This course will cover a variety of communication theories that provide much of the basic foundation for the discipline. Students will learn about theories relating to the different areas of study in communication (e.g., interpersonal, small group, organizational, rhetorical, public relations, and mass media). Satisfactory completion of the course is part of the requirements for Advanced Standing within the School of Communication and Mass Media.

Duration: 7 weeks   |   Credit Hours: 3

A study of the theory and principles of effective public speaking. The student will develop and present various types of public speeches with and without presentational aids. The ability to effectively present one's ideas in a public forum is one of the most fundamental skills necessary for success in professional and political life. This course is designed to provide the skills needed to excel at public communication in variety of specific situations. Additionally, this course provides an overview of the historical development of the study of public communication. After successfully completing this course, students should be able to develop well-reasoned, supported and delivered public messages as well as function as critical consumers of discourse in the public sphere.

Learning Outcomes:

  • Understand the role of writing and speaking in living and learning
  • Engage in disciplined thought to generate and communicate ideas
  • Locate, retrieve, organize, store, synthesize, and annotate various forms of information
  • Engage in team-based activities and understand the logistics, value, and challenges of effective teamwork

Course Specific Objectives:

  1. To provide an overview of the study of public communication and the historical development of the field.
  2. To gain an understanding of what constitutes a well-structured message.
  3. To evaluate the quality and applicability of different types of support in constructing messages with various purposes
  4. To develop skills for preparing high quality visual aids of various types (including computer developed slides using PowerPoint)
  5. To integrate the understanding of conceptual issues into the practice of developing public speeches.
  6. To develop and refine critical listening skills.
  7. To intelligently critique the speeches of others with compassion and insight.
  8. To use language effectively to advance a speaker's goals and to engage the audience.
  9. To become comfortable with extemporaneous and impromptu forms of delivery.
  10. To appreciate the value of refining speeches to achieve excellence in public speaking

Duration: 7 weeks   |   Credit Hours: 3

A study of group processes in the problem-solving setting. The focus is on problem-solving, leadership, role development, cohesiveness and effective practitioners. Group participation outside the classroom will be expected.

Duration: 7 weeks   |   Credit Hours: 3

Exploration of the symbolic means of engineering consent, focusing on techniques that foster intolerance and bigotry. The course focuses on theories of symbolic manipulation and persuasion and on analyzing actual propaganda/persuasive campaigns.

Duration: 7 weeks   |   Credit Hours: 3

A study of the theories of interpersonal communication. Experiences in the development of communication, anxiety awareness, verbal confrontation, reinforcement and interpersonal trust are included. This class explores relationships among and between groups and examines differences in the areas of culture, gender, and media and technology.

Learning Outcomes:

  • Distinguish between impersonal and interpersonal communication
  • Explain the role of communication in the development of a sense of self
  • Articulate the influence of perception and perceptual barriers on communication
  • Identify essential characteristics of healthy relationships
  • Develop and sustain healthy relationships in diverse settings
  • Be able to apply interpersonal concepts to work based situations

Duration: 7 weeks   |   Credit Hours: 3

Introduction to the communication techniques of public relations including internal and external interpersonal communication networks and mediated communication. Students will be able to further develop writing skills necessary for the PR field. You will learn how to communicate properly in a business setting and have the ability to analyze an audience and structure your messages appropriately. Recommended prerequisites: MMED 20130 and ENGL 10111 and ENGL 10112.

Learning Outcomes:

  • Further develop writing skills necessary for the public relations field
  • Students will be exposed to the practices of business and learn to communicate properly in a business setting
  • Learn how to analyze an audience and structure messages appropriately
  • Learn how to properly apply spelling and grammar skills
  • Learn about the multiple functions of communication in an organization, both public and internal

Duration: 7 weeks   |   Credit Hours: 3

An introduction to the process of research and inquiry in the field of communication. This course surveys quantitative, qualitative and critical methodologies and provides students with tools to evaluate and conduct such studies. MATH 17114 General Statistics is recommended as a directed Northwest Core choice. Prerequisites: COM 29102, ENGL 10111 and ENGL 10112 or ENGL 10115.

Duration: 7 weeks   |   Credit Hours: 3

An overview of public relations as practiced historically and in contemporary America. It provides a comprehensive foundation of theoretical and applied knowledge necessary to become a public relations practitioner. Prerequisites: COM 29260 and MMED 20130.

Duration: 7 weeks   |   Credit Hours: 3

A study of the rationale underlying public relations campaigns, achieving specific public relations goals and solving a wide variety of public relations problems. Prerequisite: COM 29360.

Duration: 7 weeks   |   Credit Hours: 3

Professional experience in public relations. The particular interests of the student are addressed through practical application with public relations practitioners. Prerequisites: senior standing in public relations and consent of instructor. Repeatable for new experience.

Duration: 7 weeks   |   Credit Hours: 3

Designed to prepare the communication student to enter the post-college world in the communication field, this course summarizes communication trends, research techniques, discipline-oriented writing and presentation skills, including an emphasis on application to team-based projects. Prerequisite: Must meet the current departmental cut score(s) on the current standardized general education test(s) (contact the department office for specific information) and have the permission of the department chair to enroll.

Students must take 4 of the following courses.

Duration: 7 weeks   |   Credit Hours: 3

The course will prepare students for media writing, with special emphasis on AP style, news judgment and a thorough review of grammar.

Duration: 7 weeks   |   Credit Hours: 3

The study and application of social media tools and theories as they apply to the development of a social media strategy as employed by media and/or creative organizations. Prerequisite: Advanced Standing.

Duration: 7 weeks   |   Credit Hours: 3

Instruction and practice in the practical application of effective writing strategies for government, business and industry including, but not limited to, reports, memos, causal analyses, mechanism descriptions, definitions, persuasive letters and feasibility studies. Prerequisite: ENGL 10112 or ENGL 10115 or permission of instructor.

Duration: 7 weeks   |   Credit Hours: 3

Addresses the changing environments and situations facing writers due to the ever-increasing presence of computer and internet technology. Emphasizes planning and creating documents in a number of technology-rich situations. The specific content of the course will vary each semester, with possible topics such as Internet Rhetoric, Writing With New Media, Literature, Hypertext and Other Media Influences, or Technology and Collaborative Writing. While students may be required to learn the basics of web page construction through an HTML editor, this is not a course in coding or graphic design except as far as these subjects intersect with writing. Students may repeat the course with change of topic. Prerequisite: ENGL 10112 or ENGL 10115.

Duration: 7 weeks   |   Credit Hours: 3

This course covers major skills required in publishing, provides an overview of the publishing industry and prepares students for work in areas of technical writing, magazine editing and freelance copyediting. Prerequisites: junior or graduate student standing, or instructor permission.

Duration: 7 weeks   |   Credit Hours: 3

The study of determination and satisfaction of consumer wants or needs from a managerial perspective. Elements of this process include market research, demand analysis, product development, pricing, promotion and distribution.

Duration: 7 weeks   |   Credit Hours: 3

This course will prepare students to navigate the unique challenges communicators face during a crisis situation through the study of basic communication theory and practice, media relations, relevant laws and ethics, cross-cultural communication, international crisis communication, and communication coordination practices. The student will learn how to utilize crisis communication to create plans and opportunities for positives outcomes in an organization.

Learning Outcomes:

  • Learn to apply basic theories in crisis communication to crisis situations
  • Learn about the basics of crisis management at various levels of an organization
  • Analyze how crisis communication is handled in a crisis situation
  • Utilize crisis communication to create opportunities for positive outcomes in an organization
  • Learn the necessary elements to create crisis communication plans

Duration: 7 weeks   |   Credit Hours: 3

This course introduces students to areas of current importance in the communication field. It builds upon the theory and research introduced in previous courses and gives students a global perspective of communications practice. Students will study conflict within interpersonal, group, organizational, and societal contexts. Emphasis is placed on studying individual communication styles and then developing competence in the management of conflict. Prerequisites: COM 29260 or consent of the instructor. May be repeated for credit with topics changing.

Course Description in Syllabus:

Analysis of various theories and current research into the role of communication in conflicts. Studies conflict within interpersonal, group, organizational, and societal contexts. Emphasis is placed on studying individual communication styles and then developing competence in the management of conflict.

Learning Outcomes:

  • Identify and explain ways for understanding and applying communication in conflicting situations that promotes unity and solvency
  • Understand current research as it relates to conflict management in interpersonal, group, business, and other contexts
  • Apply communication models and techniques that promote effective conflict resolution in various situations
  • Identify issues that contribute positively and negatively to conflict situations

Apply methods of conflict management to specific conflict situations. Select methods and techniques appropriate to fostering conflict resolution in personal situations.

Students must take 3 of the following courses.

Duration: 7 weeks   |   Credit Hours: 3

This introductory course will examine the foundations, concepts, strategies and operations of the advertising industry. This course will examine the real world of advertising and present the breadth as well as depth of the field.

Duration: 7 weeks   |   Credit Hours: 3

An introduction to the concepts and strategies of using the internet to communicate to an audience. Students will analyze different types of websites and why they are built and examine common site features as well as good site design and content practices.

Duration: 7 weeks   |   Credit Hours: 3

This course examines the concepts, strategies and operations of specific advertising campaigns, both past and present. This examination allows students to better understand the strategies and frailties of advertising campaigns that have both succeeded and failed. The course ensures students are aware of famous advertising campaigns and provides them with a full understanding of what contributes to the fame, success and failure of those campaigns.

Duration: 7 weeks   |   Credit Hours: 3

An analysis of the fundamental forms of nonverbal communication. Attention is given to the use of the body in conscious and unconscious gestures, proxemics, kinesics and axis, and the effect of these on the environment and culture of the individual.

Duration: 7 weeks   |   Credit Hours: 3

A study of the theory of argumentation, logical argument construction, argument refutation and cross examination. The course involves the application of reflective thinking to problem-solving. Students are given an opportunity to apply argumentation theory to law, scholarship, politics and business.

Duration: 7 weeks   |   Credit Hours: 3

A study of the spoken communication process in business and organizational settings and the major concepts which influence organizational communication. Attention is directed toward the organizational elements, the communication system and improving organizational communication.

Duration: 7 weeks   |   Credit Hours: 3

A beginning course in the principles and theory of accounting.

Duration: 7 weeks   |   Credit Hours: 3

An introduction to the field of management designed to give a basic understanding of the principles, concepts and functions of management within that social system called the information era. Successful management is dependent on fostering responsible and autonomous behavior as authoritarian structures are being replaced by democratic processes evolving within modern organizations. Thus, successful management is studied as the processes and behavior of participative management.

Duration: 7 weeks   |   Credit Hours: 3

A study of that element of the marketing mix that relates to persuasive communication with prospective stakeholders of the firm. Specifically this includes an analysis of advertising, personal selling, publicity, direct marketing, Internet marketing and sales promotion. Prerequisite: MKTG 55330.

Learning Outcomes:

  • Explain the role promotion plays in overall marketing strategy
  • Understand promotional concepts/terminology
  • Understand the purpose, practice, significance, and current state of promotion
  • Explain the components of, and major influences on, a firm's promotional/communication tools/strategies
  • Understand the activities necessary to consider when developing a promotional campaign

Duration: 7 weeks   |   Credit Hours: 3

An interdisciplinary behavioral approach to understanding the consumer. Consideration is given to consumer psychological, sociological, and cultural processes as they relate to the development of marketing strategies. Students will learn to understand how consumer behavior is used in product positioning, market segmentation, new product and new market development, global marketing, and developing consumer legislation and public policy. You will expand your understanding of the consumer purchase decision process and understand how to use these concepts to develop a marketing strategy. Prerequisite: MKTG 55330.

Learning Outcomes:

  • Understand how consumer behavior is used in product positioning, market segmentation, new product and new market development, global marketing, and developing consumer legislation and public policy
  • Expand our understanding of the consumer purchase decision process
  • Understand how a marketing manager uses consumer behavior concepts to develop marketing strategy

Duration: 7 weeks   |   Credit Hours: 3

An analysis of the various methods and techniques available for collection and interpretation of data as they apply to marketing research. You will prepare to collect, analyze, and interpret data through statistical analysis and general software and learn to write in a formal business style. Prerequisites: MATH 17114 and MKTG 55330.

Learning Outcomes:

  • Apply basic marketing research concepts and terminology
  • Describe how marketing research is used to enhance decision making
  • Report problems in researchable terms
  • Prepare to collect, analyze, and interpret data through statistical analysis and general software
  • Write in a formal business style
  • Construct a fundamentally sound base of marketing research knowledge

Students must take 6 credit hours of any advisor-approved elective course to meet the degree plan requirements.

Students must take as many credit hours of general elective courses that are needed to fulfill the 120-credit-hour degree requirement.

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