Public Relations and Strategic Communication

This tool should only be used as a guide — remember to meet with your academic adviser, Career Services and/or faculty to determine appropriate career options.

Our new public relations degree prepares you for the full range of communication career opportunities.

We launched the public relations major in 2017 to meet the demand for strategic communicators who can cut through the media clutter. Our public relations degree equips you to craft powerful messages for targeted audiences, using the full range of print, broadcast, and digital tools. You’ll develop classic storytelling techniques and multimedia know-how as a public relations major,  creating a body of work that showcases your talent. The public relations degree builds on Oakland University’s partnerships in Southeast Michigan’s business and media sectors, providing you with real-world experience and professional connections that can give you a head start on a public relations career.  

Public Relations Degree: The Oakland University Advantage

The full name of our public relations major is “public relations and strategic communication,” and here’s why: The program goes beyond technical skill and cultivates a big-picture perspective. Our public relations degree enables you to weave individual messages into broad narratives that resonate with audiences, influence opinion, and get results. This outcome-oriented approach has tremendous value in the public relations job market.

Our public relations degree also provides benefits such as:

  • Superior writing instruction. The public relations major builds on Oakland University’s tradition of excellence in communication arts. You’ll take multiple writing courses and get specific instruction in speechwriting, fundraising letters, press releases, advertising copy, and other forms you’ll commonly produce in a public relations career.
  • Hands-on experience. Public relations majors frequently get involved in the student-run radio station (WXOU), TV station (OUTV), and newspaper (The Oakland Post). You’ll also do project-based assignments throughout the public relations degree, working with real-world clients to develop communication assets such as websites, social media campaigns, audiovisual resources, interactive digital content, and more. The program concludes with a semester-long internship in a professional work setting
  • Real-world opportunities. Oakland University’s active presence in Southeast Michigan adds significant value to our public relations degree. We partner with all kinds of organizations in the business, nonprofit, government, and media sectors, and these entities commonly recruit our public relations majors for internships, summer jobs, and full-time employment after graduation.
  • Well-connected faculty. You’ll learn from experienced pros who have lengthy public relations careers for high-profile clients. Their widespread networks can yield unique opportunities to interact with industry insiders in the classroom, on campus, and in workplace settings.
  • Cultural inclusiveness. Our public relations faculty come from all over the world, lending a global perspective that reflects the international reach of today’s media technology. You’ll gain the ability to communicate effectively with diverse audiences, regardless of nationality, race, gender, religion, or sexual orientation.

Public Relations Careers

The range of public relations career niches is diversifying rapidly, along with the proliferation of digital and social media. Our public relations degree provides you with well-rounded skills that have value in every corner of the industry. You’ll have public relations career opportunities in areas such as:

  • Media planning
  • Strategic consulting
  • Web content development
  • Social media strategy
  • Corporate communications
  • Nonprofit advocacy
  • Government outreach
  • Digital multimedia
  • Branding
  • Political campaigning
  • Crisis management
  • Audiovisual production
  • Advertising

Public Relations and Strategic Communication: What You’ll Study

The public relations degree at Oakland University integrates communications theory with applied professional practice. You’ll take core courses in writing, research, and media ethics, with electives in communications, journalism, and theory.

Electives cover a wide range of subjects, enabling you to tailor the public relations major to fit your academic and career interests. You can choose electives in topics such as:

  • Digital storytelling
  • Media design
  • Feature writing
  • Multicultural communication
  • Mobile media and the Internet
  • Group dynamics
  • Professional communications
  • Rhetorical theory
  • Mass media
  • Cultural theory

The public relations degree concludes with a professional internship.

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    Event Planning

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    Government Relations

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    Television Production

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    Television Broadcasting

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    Social Media Marketing

  • My future career:

    Radio Production

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    Public Relations

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    Public Affairs

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    Grant Writing

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    HR/Employment Services

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  • My future career:

    Radio Broadcasting

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    Sales & Marketing

    • Career & Salary Information
    • Possible Career Options
    • Median Salary*
    • Education Needed
    • For More Information**

    * Median salary for the state of Michigan

    ** These professional organizations provide an excellent starting point for your research. There are many more resources available online.

    Possible Career Options

    • Advertising
    • Event Planning
    • Government Relations
    • Grant Writing
    • HR/Employment Services
    • Management
    • Public Affairs
    • Public Relations
    • Publishing
    • Radio Broadcasting
    • Radio Production
    • Sales & Marketing
    • Social Media Marketing
    • Television Broadcasting
    • Television Production