Public Relations | University of Northwestern, St. Paul
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Department of Communication

Public Relations

Students working on group project in conversation
Department of Communication

Public Relations


  • Bachelor of Science
  • Bachelor of Arts
  • Undergraduate

125 credits

required for program

Minor Available

125 credits

125 credits

required for program

Minor Available

Learn to harness the power of the written and spoken word and share it effectively to garner interest and attention for a business or organization. Our experienced faculty will teach you the skills needed to conduct market research, analyze audiences, think strategically, identify publicity opportunities, and write and speak persuasively. This degree will make you a valuable asset in any industry.

Why study public relations at Northwestern?

We offer intense, hands-on, service-learning aspects in all of our public relations coursework. Experienced professors will constantly encourage you to get involved in the numerous public events on campus and around the Twin Cities where you can interact with the public and gain experience to add to your future resume.

Our school partners with companies throughout the Twin Cities to offer internships for you to gain real-world experience. Faculty will encourage you to grow in your faith through classroom discussions by highlighting Christian values in a professional context. Unlike large schools where your professor may not even know your name, our professors can get to know you personally so they can advise you for the best path to success.

With campus so close to downtown Minneapolis and St. Paul, students can take advantage of opportunities in Minnesota’s thriving business and public relations industries.

If you are comfortable being in the public spotlight, have good negotiation skills, are aware that effective communication can be the difference in a company’s stocks rising or plummeting, and are interested in a career working with the public, this might be the right degree for you.

I really enjoyed being able to listen and learn from other professionals. This was the first year my supervisor was in charge of the Irish Fair, and we had no manual or master plan, so using what I had learned in my courses at UNW, I was able to greatly contribute. Together, we developed a huge master plan, and it really gave me a great chance to learn all the aspects of planning an event.
Gillian McIntosh

Careers in public relations

There are a variety of career and academic pathways that begin with a degree in public relations.

What types of work are related to this degree?

  • Campaign marketing and fundraising
  • Press secretary
  • Fund development
  • Community affairs
  • Employee or member relations
  • Event planning or coordination
  • Media relations
  • Promotion and sales
  • Speech writer
  • Copywriter
  • Training and development
  • Research/social media
  • Public information
  • Disaster/crisis communication
  • Fundraising/grant writing

Who employs people with this degree?

  • Advertising agencies
  • Public and private corporations
  • Marketing/internet marketing companies
  • Sport and athletic organizations
  • Retail stores, hotels, restaurants
  • Hospitals and other healthcare organizations
  • Financial and insurance firms
  • Real estate companies
  • Print and electronic media companies
  • Consulting firms
  • Colleges
  • Government offices
  • Missions and nonprofit organizations
  • Public relations and advertising agencies
  • Lobbying groups
View Career Guide
96%

of Northwestern’s public relations graduates are satisfied with their job

UNW’s

public relations program was ranked in the top 100 nationally for both popularity and quality

99%

of seniors are able to discuss their major through a biblical worldview

Preparing for a Career

College graduation rates continue to increase each year making competition for jobs even greater. Set yourself apart from the crowd with the following strategies for getting started, networking, and gaining experience.

Strategies for success:

  • Obtain a part-time job, summer job, internship, or volunteer experience within an area of interest. Public relations is a competitive field and related experience is essential to breaking into the industry.
  • Explore specializations within major and field. Select electives or earn a minor to enhance knowledge in area(s) of interest.
  • Participate in co-curricular activities to develop skills such as public speaking, team work, leadership, event planning, and fundraising. Join professional associations related to public relations.
  • Make the most of public relations campaign classes to learn as much as possible and to generate items for a portfolio.
  • Be prepared to start at the bottom and work up to positions of greater responsibility. Expect to complete administrative tasks in entry-level jobs. While these jobs may seem unrelated, you will be consistently exposed to the “lingo” and the culture of PR, and that will greatly help you later on.

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