Public Relations and Strategic Communication

The Communication curriculum begins with a thorough introduction to the historical, philosophical, and theoretical foundations upon which all communication activity is based. Students begin in Pre-Communication, and after successfully completing three required Pre-Communication courses with a 3.0 GPA or higher, may proceed to the upper-level General Communication major or select a concentration in:

  • Public relations and Strategic Communication - includes topics in PR (persuasion, public relationships, and image repair); advertising theory and practice; reasoning, persuasion, and controversy; and the inter-related PR and advertising areas of a public communication campaign.

Points of Pride

  • The School of Communication at Purdue is consistently ranked among the top programs in America in The Gourman Report.
  • Communication majors are encouraged to take advantage of internship and study abroad opportunities, and their curriculum and faculty support these important experiential enrichment opportunities.

*Regardless of communication concentration of interest, choose communication on the undergraduate admission application.


  • Advertising
  • Professional sales
  • Marketing
  • Management
  • Customer service/employee relations
  • Recruitment
  • Reporting
  • Editing
  • Promotion
  • Publicity
  • Public relations
  • Writing
  • Lobbying
  • Fund-raising and development
  • Media production, editing, or performance
  • Personnel placement, training, and evaluation

Plan of Study

Students must earn a "C-" or better in a course in order for it to count towards the major.

PREREQUISITE: Students must complete COM 11400 and achieve a GPA of 3.0 or above on a 4.0 scale in the three Pre-Communication courses before declaring this or any major in communication. NO additional communication courses from the plan of study can be taken prior to admission. Only one Pre-Com course may be repeated one time for admission purposes.

Category: Courses

A. Pre-Communication Course Requirements (9):

COM 10200 Introduction to Communication Theory
COM 20400 Critical Perspectives on Communication
COM 31800 Principles of Persuasion 

B. General Communication Course (3):

COM 30400 Quantitative Methods for Communication Research

C. PRSC Core (12):

COM 25300 Introduction to Public Relations
COM 25600 Introduction to Advertising
TWO of the following:
COM 21200 Approaches to Study of Interpersonal Communication
COM 31400 Advanced Presentational Speaking
COM 32400 Introduction to Organizational Communication

D. Area of Specialization
Choose ONE of the following areas of specialization and take the FOUR courses (12)

Advertising (12):

COM 33600 Advertising in the Electronic Mass Media
COM 35600 Problems in Advertising*
COM 45600 Advertising Writing
COM 49500 Special Topics in PRSC

Public Relations (12):

COM 25700 Public Relations Techniques
COM 35300 Problems in Public Relations*
COM 49500 Special Topics in PRSC
COM 49500 Special Topics in PRSC (different topic)

E. TWO 300-level COM courses NOT listed in areas A through D (6)

Program Course Requirements (57-58 credits): (See PDF for full list here)

ONE of the following:

ENGL 10600 First Year Composition
ENGL 10800 Accelerated First Year Composition

COM 1140 Fundamentals of Speech Communication
Other Language (12) (Proficiency through level IV in one language)
West Heritage
United States Tradition
Other Cultures
Aesthetic Awareness
Racial and Ethnic Diversity
Gender Issues
Social Ethics
Individual and Society
Global Perspective
Natural Sciences
Natural Sciences Lab

Electives (20-21 credits)

University Core Requirements

Courses selected above must meet the following University Core Requirements:

Human Cultures Humanities
Human Cultures Behavioral/Social Science
Information Literacy
Science Selective
Science Selective
Science Technology Society Selective
Written Communication
Oral Communication
Quantitative Reasoning

For more information, visit

Print Plan of Study

Brian Lamb School of Communication

Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN 47907 (765) 494-4600

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