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Public Relations Major

Our public relations program balances visual perceptions through art and the communicative perceptions to build relationships effectively. Public relations differs from marketing by focusing on the connections organizations make with those both inside and outside the business. By joining this major, you can expect to gain skills in creating digital art through graphic design and photography in addition to skills in creating effective messaging for an organization.

Program Overview

You will learn to effectively execute strategies and tactics to reach multiple publics (customers, donors, community members, etc.), to deal with a public relations crisis, and to motivate publics to a business or nonprofit organization’s goals. You also will learn how organizations use social media to spread their message, capture dollars, and connect to their publics. You may combine these studies with a focus on visual communication through art and digital design (e.g., computer graphics, photography, time-based media and web design) to pursue a career in business or with a nonprofit; or develop skills in graphic design and visual communication (e.g., typography and page layout, digital photography, marketing and video production) to discover more professional opportunities.

Program Concentrations

This program is made up of the following concentrations. Learn more about concentrations.

Concentration Overview

The Digital Arts concentration is for students who want a focus on visual communication through art and digital design (e.g., computer graphics, photography, time based media, and web design). Communicating ideas in the workplace, in the classroom, or online demands clarity, precision, efficiency, visual impact, and an awareness of diverse audiences.

Concentration Overview

The Graphic Design Concentration will develop your skills in graphic design and visual communication (e.g. typography and page layout, digital photography, marketing and video production). We prepare you for a visually complex world and across multiple platforms of creative design solutions.

Concentration Overview

Business to Business and Community Relations Concentration is perfect for those looking to have a career in business or with a non-profit organization. Students learn strategies, tactics, and skills for reaching multiple publics (customers, donors, community members, etc.), how to effectively deal with a public relations crisis, and ways to motivate publics to achieve the organization’s goals.

Concentration Overview

Students learn how organizations utilize social media to spread their message, capture dollars, and connect to their publics. Additionally, students learn the current research and analytic techniques used to inform social media campaigns. Our social media concentration builds the skills needed for a variety of employment opportunities in social media, a fast-growing field.

Concentrations on this page are required for this program. Additional courses or concentrations may need to be added to meet program or credit requirements.

Program Coursework

The specific degree requirements on the website are for illustrative purposes and may change at any time. Please contact the Registrar's Office, Academic Advising or refer to the course catalog for detailed program requirements.

Liberal Arts Core

The Liberal Arts Core Curriculum is rooted in the Liberal Arts and our Franciscan heritage. It is designed to create a framework to develop knowledge, skills, and responsibilities necessary to educate students so that they will be prepared to contribute to the world guided by a concern for issues of justice and ethical behavior.

LEADERSHIP:  4 credits
  • Freshman Seminar (1 cr.)
  • Spiritual & Ethical Literacy (3 cr.) 
  • Personal Branding Communication (3 cr.)
  • Writing for the 21st Century (3 cr.)*
  • Quantitative Problem Solving (3 cr.)*
  • Language & Culture (3 cr.)
*For ‘Writing for the 21st Century’ (English) and ‘Quantitative Problem Solving’ (Math), you may need additional courses depending on your placement.

CORE LITERACIES:  15 credits – Choose one (1) course from each broad theme. Course options can be found in the course catalog or on the academic advising page. Broad themes are:
  • Narratives of Identity       (3 cr.)
  • Science, Environment & Culture (3 cr.)   
  • Social Tensions (3 cr.)    
  • The American Experience (3 cr.)
  • Approving the Better Things (3 cr.)

Professional Core

Culminating Experience

Giving students a culminating experience as well as practical work experience, the Professional Core is a graduation requirement for every Stritch student in a bachelor’s degree program. This bachelor’s degree program includes completion of the Professional Core consisting of three courses:
  • Pre-Internship
  • Internship
  • Capstone

Cassie Ziegelbauer, ‘18

Arena Marketing Coordinator at Milwaukee Bucks, Inc

The faculty in the Communication department are the most supportive group of people. Throughout my college career I leaned on the faculty numerous times – how to navigate studying abroad, how to improve my public speaking skills, and just overall life lessons.

Laura Ellingen, '19

Public Relations & Marketing Major at Milwaukee Repertory Theater

One of the greatest things about the Communication department is that we had the opportunity to work closely with our professors in every class. That really allowed me to build strong relationships that helped me not only in my classroom experience, but also as I started on my professional career. 

Experiential Learning

Our program offers the unique opportunity to have in depth knowledge and experience in both art and communication to provide strong skills that are attractive to employers.

You will gain practical experience through internships and through guest speakers in classes to prepare for their careers.

Internship sites may include:

  • Campus Vote Project
  • Cardinal Stritch University - University Communications, Undergraduate Admissions
  • Catholic Charities
  • Discovery World
  • Elite Sports Club
  • Leaders Initiative Program
  • Medical College of Wisconsin
  • Milwaukee Chamber Theatre
  • National Basketball Academy (Milwaukee Bucks)
  • Spanish Journal Newspaper
  • St. Thomas More High School
  • Target
  • Urban Ecology Center
  • Wisconsin LGBT Chamber of Commerce
Public Relations Jobs

8 Jobs in Public Relations

A bachelor's degree in public relations can meet the entry-level requirements for careers in advertising, marketing, and public relations. 

Job opportunities can include the following:

  • Public Relations Specialist
  • Social Media Strategist
  • Crisis Managers
  • Market Research Analyst
  • Public Relations Coordinator
  • Event Planner
  • Public Relations Manager
  • Public Relations Director

Average Salaries in Public Relations

Contact admissions or the program faculty with questions about this program.


Barb S. Spies

Director of Mission Integration

Mission Integration

(414) 410-4691