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Bachelor's Degree in Communication

Concentration: Public Advocacy and Change (BA)

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Public Advocacy and Change Concentration Overview

Purdue University Northwet’s communication degree program with a concentration in public advocacy and change allows students to confront current public issues while studying the role of media and its impact on social change.

Department of Communication and Creative Arts

Journalism and Public Relations are the oldest communication professions and are the basis for almost all communication careers.

Journalistic ethics, methods of research and writing are essential skills, and public relations has the broadest application of those skills and commands the highest salaries and greatest career potential for business communicators.

Public Advocacy and Change Concentration Curriculum

As a public advocacy and change student, you’ll take a balance of general education courses, College of Humanities, Education and Social Sciences core courses and communication courses.

Introductory courses explore communication in business and society. Professional communication skills are developed in interviewing and writing for media courses. Junior and senior students can repeat the journalism practicum by taking on different roles at the student newspaper or by working with community organizations in the problems in public relations and advanced public relations courses.

Your journey begins with foundational courses in speech and news writing, as well as reporting, photography and PR.

Public Advocacy and Change Concentration Course of Study

Sample Courses

  • COM 11400 – Fundamentals of Speech Communication
  • COM 20400 – Critical Perspectives on Communication
  • COM 25000 – Mass Communication and Society

Explore broadcasting and media theories, hone your reporting techniques and learn to use social media in professional PR contexts.

Public Advocacy and Change Concentration Course of Study

Sample Courses

  • COM 25300 – Intro to Public Relations
  • COM 30900 – Visual Communication
  • COM 34800 – Public Relations and Social Media

Investigate advanced communications topics like persuasion, interviewing techniques and ethics. You may also complete an internship this year.

Public Advocacy and Change Concentration Course of Study

Sample Courses

  • COM 31800 – Principles of Persuasion
  • COM 32500 – Interviewing: Principles and Practice
  • COM 37000 – Writing for the Media

Your fourth year is a deep dive into practical applications of PR and journalistic principles. Work with actual clients to solve their problems while building your own portfolio. Round out your experience with ethics, writing for magazines and a practicum course.

Public Advocacy and Change Concentration Course of Study

Sample Courses

  • COM 35300 – Problems in Public Relations
  • COM 45200 – Practicum in Journalism
  • COM 46000 – Advanced Public Relations

Public Advocacy and Change Concentration Highlights

This program features a unique opportunity to audit real clients’ communication strategies. You’ll gain hands-on experience that employers seek and graduate with a working portfolio that sets you apart in the marketplace.

Previous clients include BP, Nipsco, City of Portage, Indiana South Shore Convention and Visitors Authority, Griffith Police Department and many more.

PNW Lion Statue with a brick wall in the background Two students pose in commencement regalia in front of the Nils Building

Public Advocacy and Change Concentration Outcomes

Our experiential courses give you the tools to be successful in any future career. Upon completing the program, you’ll have the tools and confidence to complete a professional portfolio filled with your own work. It’s an indispensable tool as you network with fellow professionals and go after your dream job.

Public Advocacy and Change Concentration Career Paths

A public advocacy and change concentration from PNW prepares you for a number of careers in the field, including:

  • Public relations specialist
  • Crisis communication specialist
  • Social media coordinator
  • News reporter-editor

Public Advocacy and Change Concentration Beyond the Classroom

You’ll have many opportunities to get involved in on- and off-campus activities, including:

See All PNW Student Organizations

Public Advocacy and Change Concentration Employers

Graduates of this program are employed in organizations and companies like:

  • Boy Scouts of America
  • Lamar Advertising
  • Service Employees International Union

Public Advocacy and Change Concentration Scholarships

In addition to the scholarships available to all PNW applicants, students seeking a public advocacy and change concentration may also apply for program-specific scholarship awards, such as:

  • The Stephen Hough Memorial Scholarship is awarded to a Communication major with a concentration in public relations.
  • Edwin F. and Elsie L. Buck Scholarship
  • John R. Troyer Communication Scholarship

See All CHESS Scholarships

Sara Komendat

I have had the opportunity to actually build a portfolio that I’m able to take to employers. I have been able to network with alumni and professors who have really helped me along the way. I feel that I am leaving with such great experience. I’m ready to go out into the real world and get a job.

Sara Komendat
Communication, Concentration: Public Relations, 2018

Meet the Faculty

Tom Roach

Thomas J. Roach, Ph.D.

Associate Professor of Communication

Thomas J. Roach teaches rhetorical theory and all courses in the PR concentration including journalism, interviewing and photography.

A student sits on a couch and smiles. There is a laptop and notebook on the couch next to them and many students sitting and walking around in the background of the photo

Earn a Bachelor's Degree in Communication with a Concentration in Public Advocacy and Change at PNW

Purdue University Northwest’s public relations and journalism concentration allows students to gain industry-relevant knowledge in a variety of fields through hands-on classes..

To see how a bachelor’s degree in communication with a concentration in public advocacy and change from PNW opens doors, from corporate boardrooms to non-profit leadership, take the next step today!

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