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College of Communication and Information

School of Journalism and Mass Communication

201 Franklin Hall
Tel: 330-672-2572


Public Relations majors study the strategic management of communication and the relationships between organizations and their key publics. Students develop skills in written, digital, verbal and visual communications, as well as research, measurement and strategic thinking. The public relations program offers numerous hands-on learning opportunities. The upper division PR skills courses require students to develop plans, strategies and tactics that would be produced in the public relations field. Often, projects relate to actual client communication challenges. In PR Campaigns, students complete research and create a public relations plan for a real client. Public relations majors also are required to complete 150 hours of an internship.

Public relations students have the opportunity to apply for positions at two student-staffed agencies, Flash Communications and IdeaBase. Flash Communications is a student PR agency located in Kent State's University Communications and Marketing (UCM) department and managed by a full-time PR faculty member. Typically, seven public relations majors, including a student Assistant Coordinator, work at Flash each semester, covering and staffing events and writing for university print, online and social media outlets. IdeaBase is an integrated marketing and communications firm located in downtown Kent. Students have the opportunity to gain public relations experience through a range of campus jobs. 

Students also have the opportunity to be involved with the award-winning Kent State Chapter of the Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA). In October 2014, the chapter received the Outstanding Chapter Award at PRSSA's national conference. KSU's chapter is one of only 12 "star" chapters in PRSSA and has received seven national awards in ten years. 

There are many short- and long-term study abroad/away opportunities. For more information contact the Office of Global Education or CCI's Coordinator of International Study Programs.

Career Opportunities

Graduates typically secure positions in public relations firms or public relations departments at corporations, nonprofit organizations and government agencies.

From 2008-2018, public relations is expected to “grow 24 percent, much faster than the average of all occupations,” according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. A highly competitive and global business environment and shifts in economic conditions have created a greater demand for communications professionals. The growth of social media has created new opportunities for public relations professionals.

Public relations professionals are involved in different areas of practice including research counseling, crisis communications, internal communications, event planning, media relations, public affairs and social media.

Admission Requirements

General Admissions for Freshman Students
Admission Requirements at the Kent Campus: The freshman admission policy at the Kent Campus is selective. Admission decisions are based upon the following: cumulative grade point average, ACT and/or SAT scores, strength of high school college preparatory curriculum and grade trends.

The university affirmatively strives to provide educational opportunities and access to students with varied backgrounds, those with special talents and adult students who graduated from high school three or more years ago. For more information on admissions, visit the admissions website for new freshmen.

Current Kent State students must have a minimum overall GPA of 2.000 to be admitted directly into any major within the School of Journalism and Mass Communication. 

For more information about admission criteria for transfer, transitioning and former students, please visit the admissions website.

Progression Requirements

Students must maintain a 2.700 major GPA and a 2.000 overall GPA in order to continue taking JMC courses. Failure to do so will result in not being permitted to enroll in JMC courses. In addition, no grade lower than a C- (1.700) in a JMC course will be counted toward graduation or as a prerequisite for a subsequent class.


Graduation Requirements

Minimum 124 credit hours and a minimum 2.700 major GPA and 2.000 overall GPA are required for graduation. Minimum 72 credit hours taken outside the discipline, see requirements for acceptable courses. Only general elective courses may be taken as pass/fail, of which maximum 12 credit hours may be taken as pass/fail. 

Program Learning Outcomes

Graduates of this program will be able to:

  1. Demonstrate critical thinking, grounded in a legal and ethical framework. 
  2. Gather information, analyze it, and make informed judgments using methods and tools appropriate to their professions. 
  3. Demonstrate the ability to apply theory and research appropriate to their professions, including quantitative and qualitative methods. 
  4. Demonstrate the ability to apply basic ethical principles to their professional work. 
  5. Demonstrate the ability to apply laws and regulations applicable to their professional work. 
  6. Write correctly and clearly in forms and styles appropriate for the communications professions, audiences and purposes they serve. 
  7. Demonstrate understanding of how media and their professions evolved historically, their role in societal development and their global interaction today with institutions and individuals. 
  8. Demonstrate appreciation for diverse cultures and individual differences, and reflect that appreciation in their work. 

Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communications (ACEJMC); Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) candidate status - Certification in Education for Public Relations