Public Relations is an exciting, versatile profession. All industries and companies need savvy professionals who can clearly communicate messages across multiple platforms to the public, the media, customers and other stakeholders.
At UW-Whitewater, you’ll learn how to research, develop, craft, deliver and assess various messaging and creative campaigns, from promoting product releases to communicating in a time of crisis.
Jen Purcell, Communication alum and former president of the student body, talks about transferring to UW-Whitewater after taking a year off college — and the success and support she found here.
98% of UW-Whitewater Communication graduates in 2018-2019 were employed in their field within one year of graduation.
The world of PR, and communication in general, is changing more rapidly than ever before, and UW-Whitewater prepares you for today’s and tomorrow's public relations jobs. Our program focuses not just on theory and application, but also on the latest industry best practices, including an emphasis on strategic research and digital platforms.
If you’re interested in a Public Relations major, you’ll be interested to know our program offers you the opportunity to:
Communication majors at UW-Whitewater can take part in many hands-on learning opportunities, including creator, production and leadership roles at campus media outlets:
In addition to gaining career experience, you have the opportunity to earn practicum credit for participation in these media outlets.
In today’s global society, PR professionals will benefit from international experience. Our curriculum includes courses in cross-cultural communication, but we encourage you to take that exposure farther (literally) by traveling.
You’ll have the chance to take a semester-long class on campus which culminates with a related, short-term international trip, lasting from 10 days to a month. In recent years, our faculty have taken students to Brazil, Greece, Ireland and the United Kingdom.
UW-Whitewater’s Office of Global Experiences offers many semester-long study-abroad programs that fit with the communication curriculum. Popular locations with our majors include Spain, Finland and Ecuador.
Internships offer you the chance to put what you’ve learned in your PR classes into practice in a real-world setting. You’ll meet and learn from professionals in the field, build your portfolio and make valuable connections.
Our PR students find internships in a variety of industries and at organizations, including ad agencies, nonprofits, corporations and marketing firms.
UW-Whitewater has a strong Undergraduate Research Program, and the PR program encourages our students to participate. This allows you to dive into a topic that interests you or delve into a creative project you’ve been imagining.
You’ll also have the chance to share your work at the UW-Whitewater Undergraduate Research Day or the larger UW System Research in the Rotunda event at the state capitol.
Communication students with a Public Relations major emphasis can hone important skills, gain industry experience and make connections through several student organizations:
Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA) – find valuable networking and development opportunities in the student chapter of the #1 national organization for PR professionals.
CHIP (Communicating Health in Practice) – explore professional development and career opportunities related to healthcare communications in this interactive group.
Forensics Team – enhance your public speaking skills, boost your confidence and travel across the country as a member of our competitive forensics team. (Forensics is also known as speech and debate.)
Additionally, members of the team also have the chance to mentor the local high school speech and debate community through UW-Whitewater’s summer Forensics Institute.
UW-Whitewater Advertising Association – participate in real-world projects, make industry connections, attend events, tour agencies and more.
“I had the chance to learn from professors who have actually worked in the industry and field they’re teaching about. This real-world experience helped me prepare for my career in Germany as well as build my international network right from the start.”
— Selina Statz (Marketing and Social Media Manager, Mediengruppe Oberfranken, Bamberg, Bavaria, Germany)
Logan McHone graduated in 2019 with a B.A. in Communication, emphasis in Public Relations and a minor in Political Science. He is currently a fourth semester graduate student, pursuing his M.S. in Mass Communication and serving as a Graduate Instructional Assistant with the Department of Communication.
When you look at what some of our recent Public Relations students are doing post-graduation, it’s clear PR positions are among the versatile and exciting jobs in communications.
Here are just a few places our recent Communication graduates found careers:
You’ll learn from expert scholars and practicing professionals. The Public Relations faculty, part of the Department of Communication, are diverse in their backgrounds, research interests and industry experience.
Dr. Park’s research generally focuses on Public Relations, social media, and the perceptual process of media message usage and its influence. Dr. Park concentrates on the effects of health campaign messages using mass communication and social psychological theories.
Corey B. Davis is a professor in the Department of Communication. His research and teaching interests are in public relations, persuasion and political communication, focusing on political campaign communication, environmental communication and corporate and political apologia.
The Communication major offers the following options for Public Relations:
In addition to UW-Whitewater’s general education requirements, your emphasis in PR will require a set of core courses, including:
With the help of your advisor and based on your academic and career goals, you’ll also select electives from a variety of other courses across the communication curriculum.
To apply, you’ll complete the UW-Whitewater application for admission and indicate your interest in the Communication major, Public Relations emphasis.