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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, online, verbal and visual communications, as well as research and strategic thinking. The public relations program offers numerous hand-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 300 hours of an internship. Students also have the opportunity to apply for positions at two student-run agencies and to get involved in the Kent State Chapter of the Public Relations Student Society of America. 

Journalism and mass communication majors supplement their coursework with an internship in their field of specialization. Other opportunities for practical experience include news, production, management, sales, performance and advertising positions on the campus newspaper, the Daily Kent Stater, and its online edition; the campus television station, TV-2; the campus radio station, Black Squirrel Radio; and the campus magazine, the Burr, and its online edition. Students may also obtain positions with "The Tannery" a student-run, full-service integrated marketing communications firm located in downtown Kent.

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

Students first entering the university, whether from high school or transferring from another institution, are admitted directly into one of the ten JMC majors/concentrations. A Kent State GPA of 2.750 must be maintained to continue taking JMC courses.

Current Kent State students wishing to pursue a major in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication must have a GPA of 2.750 or higher to be admitted directly into one of the ten majors/concentrations.

Current Kent State students with a GPA lower than 2.750 (but 2.000 or higher) may be admitted as pre-journalism and mass communication majors after consultation with a JMC academic advisor.

Graduation Requirements

Minimum 124 credit hours and minimum 2.750 cumulative and major GPA. Minimum 72 credit hours taken outside the School of Journalism and Mass Communication. Only general elective courses may be taken as pass/fail, of which maximum 12 credit hours may be taken as pass/fail. A 2.750 overall GPA is also required to enroll in JMC courses.

Students who fall below a 2.750 overall will be allowed to remain in JMC courses for which they are already registered for one more semester. They will be given one semester to bring their overall GPA up to the school minimum. Failure to do so will result in not being permitted to enroll in JMC courses until their overall GPA reaches the school minimum. 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.

Study Abroad/Away Opportunities

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

Program Fee



Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communication

Student Organizations

National Association of Black Journalists, Public Relations Student Society of America, National Press Photographers Association, American Advertising Federation Student Chapter, Kappa Tau Alpha. Student Media: Artemis, The Daily Kent Stater, The Burr and Cyburr, UHURU, Luna Negra, Fusion, TV2, Black Squirrel Radio,

Advanced Degree Programs

Type Legend: DD Diversity–Domestic; DG Diversity–Global; ELR Experiential Learning; KAD Kent Core Additional; KBS Kent Core Basic Sciences; KCM Kent Core Composition; KFA Kent Core Fine Arts: KHU Kent Core Humanities; KMC Kent Core Mathematics and Critical Reasoning; KSS Kent Core Social Sciences; WIC Writing Intensive

Please read the sections in the University Catalog on Kent Core, diversity, writing-intensive and the experiential learning requirements.


Course Title Credits
  US 10097 Destination Kent State: First Year Experience 1
II. MAJOR PROGRAM REQUIREMENTS (45 credits)  Courses count in major GPA*
Type Course Title Credits
  JMC 20003 Introduction to Mass Communication** 3
    20006 Multimedia Techniques  3
    20008 Audience Analysis and Research 3
    26001 Multimedia Newswriting 3
    26005 Multimedia Storytelling 3

Print Beat Reporting (4)
Broadcast Beat Reporting (4)
    28001 Principles of Public Relations 3
    38002 Public Relations Case Studies 3
    40011 Ethical Issues in Integrated Communication 1
    40016 Law of Advertising and Public Relations 3
ELR   40092 Internship 1
WIC   48001 Media Relations and Publicity*** 3
    48002 Public Relations Tactics 3
    48003 Public Relations Online Tactics 3
    48006 Public Relations Publications 3
    48091 Seminar: Public Relations Campaigns 3
Type Course Title Credits
  ACCT 23020 Introduction to Financial Accounting 3
KAD COMM 15000 Introduction to Human Communication 3
    21000 Communication Grammar Review**** 1
KSS ECON 22060 Principles of Microeconomics 3
KAD   22061 Principles of Macroeconomics 3
HIST 12070 History of the United States: The Formative Period 3
  12071 History of the United States: The Modern Period 3
  LIS 10010

Information Fluency
Information Fluency in the Workspace and Beyond
  MIS 24163 Principles of Management***** 3
  MKTG 25010 Principles of Marketing 3
    45045 Advertising and Promotion Management 3
    3/4xxxx Marketing upper-division course 3
KSS POL 10100 American Politics 3
  VCD 14001 Visual Design Literacy 3
  Choose from the following: 3
  ENG 30062 Principles of Technical Writing (3)  
    30063 Business and Professional Writing (3)  
    30064 Argumentative Prose (3)  
    30065 Expository Prose Writing (3)  
    30066 Writing in the Public Sphere (3)  
    3/4xxxx English upper-division course (3)  
  Kent Core Composition 6-8
  Kent Core Mathematics and Critical Reasoning 3-5
  Kent Core Fine Arts 3
  Kent Core Basic Sciences (must include on laboratory) 6-7
  General Electives (10 hours Non-JMC, 7 hours upper division)****** 17


* 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.

**Students who successfully complete JMC 20001 prior to declaring a JMC major may use it as a substitute for JMC 20003.

***A minimum C (2.000) grade must be earned to fulfill the writing-intensive requirement.

**** A minimum C (2.000) grade must be earned.

*****BMRT 11009 is equivalent to MIS 24163.

******Any JMC course taken is calculated in the major GPA. 72 credit hours must be taken outside of JMC.

Special Major Note:

Students who pass 15 credits of non-remedial academic coursework each fall and spring semester and the 1-credit First Year Experience course will accumulate 121 credits in four years. This major requires 124 credits for graduation. Students can stay on track for graduation by:

  • Declaring their major as freshmen and completing all courses in sequence (bear in mind that switching majors may cause a delay in graduation);
  • Prioritizing required courses above electives;
  • Meeting regularly with their academic advisors to stay on track;
  • Passing each required course the first time attempted and maintaining the minimal GPA for the major;
  • Successfully completing more than 15 credit hours of relevant coursework (field-based work, internship) during academic semesters; and/or
  • Completing relevant coursework (field-based work, internship) during summer sessions.