The Master of Science in Public Relations Curriculum at the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications

As I earlier posted, I’m going to the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications to earn my M.S. in Public Relations. I don’t have all the course syllabi yet but here’s a general overview of the coursework I’ll be doing. I’ll be writing about anything noteworthy about my experiences there. There seems not to be many people who wrote about the program (with the notable exception of Sophia Kathryn Coon, a ’12 student who has also been exceptionally helpful in answering questions from incoming students).  These following posts will provide my perspective on the program and hopefully some insight helpful to any future prospective students.

Summer 2012

PRL 604 Writing for News and Public Relations

Students learn the fundamentals of news writing and news media expectations, research and write various communications forms considered “the tools of the public relations trade,” including producing a professional “Webinar.” Public Relations introduction included.

GRA 617 Visual Communications Theory and Practice

Visual problem-solving including conceptualization, typography, design, image editing, and production of printed communications. Applies current practices and digital equipment to implement visual theories and principles. Concurrent lab required.

Fall 2012

PRL 605 Public Relations Theory

This course covers theories of excellence in public relations by looking at models, roles, communication, organizational culture, diversity and ethics. A brief overview of communication theory included. Theories form the foundation for professional practice.

PRL 611 Public Relations Research

Nature, formation, and communications of attitudes and public opinion in public relations settings. Application of social science methods for measuring attitudes, opinions, and public relations performances. Actual research designed and carried out for client.

PRL 614 Advanced Public Relations Writing for Digital Platforms

This course builds on the students’ understanding of news writing and fundamental writing skills emphasized and developed in PRL 604 by introducing them to social media and writing for an online, digital world.

COM 698 Media Law

Problems in media law, including libel, privacy, fair trial/free press, obscenity.

Winter 2013

PRL 615 Public Relations Campaign Planning & Execution

Students apply strategic planning, research and tactics to client needs. Teams design, execute and evaluate appropriate integrated campaigns for actual clients. Frequent client/team interaction required. Campaign books produced are part of the student’s professional portfolio.

PRL 525 Public Relations Practicum

On-site work experience in the Syracuse area to acclimate students to the realities of organizational life; to explore one type of public relations in depth; to apply classroom theory to the solution of everyday communications problems and to develop additional work samples for professional portfolios.

PRL 725 Public Relations Management

Historical and current management theories and practices to apply to the public relations function. Students learn the responsibilities of managing a public relations department.

MBC 607 Understanding Financial Statements (The Martin J. Whitman School of Management)

Financial statement information and related disclosures. Interpretation of financial information to assess and evaluate firm performance.

MBC 627 Financial Markets and Institutions

The nature of the firm’s financial environment and the implications for financial management. Characteristics and functions of major financial institutions and markets. Debt markets, equity markets, interest rates, initial public offerings, private equity, and valuation of financial assets.

Summer 2013

PRL 635 Public Relations Culminating Experience

Students work in a professional setting full-time for a minimum of eight weeks. Students are responsible for a journal of observations, and a midpoint and final evaluations. PR master’s student with 33 completed hours toward degree required.


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About Geoff Campbell

Geoff Campbell is an Assistant Director, Communications & Marketing at American University.

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  1. […] for recent college graduates seeking entry into the field of public relations“. The professional track curriculum includes two mandatory internships (one in Syracuse, the other after all other program requirements […]

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