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Communication: Public Relations and Journalism

Bachelor of Arts

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Program Intro

This is an applied communication concentration that provides students with marketable skills in business communication. Courses include interviewing, writing for media, managing social media, journalism and public relations. In their junior and senior years, students can choose project and experiential learning courses in one or both fields.

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.

Curriculum Overview

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

You can currently complete this program at PNW’s Hammond campus.

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Sample Courses

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


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.

A lion sculpture on PNW's campus PNW graduates at commencement


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.


For more information, contact Academic Advisor Rhonda Nemri.

Beyond the Classroom

Opportunities abound to get involved with clubs, organizations and activities both on and off campus, including:

  • PR Club
  • PR Alumni Advisory Board
  • Lambda Pi Eta

Career Paths

This program prepares you for a range of careers, including:

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


Our alumni are employed at advertising/marketing firms, corporations and organizations like:

  • Boy Scouts of America
  • Lamar Advertising
  • Service Employees International Union
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. He currently serves as department chair and leads a study abroad program in Paris.

A PNW Student in the Classroom

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See how a PNW degree opens doors, from corporate boardrooms to non-profit leadership.

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