Public Relations Degree in Nashville with School Overviews

The Nashville area has four colleges that offer public relations (PR) programs. Learn about the degree programs, admission info and program requirements at three schools, none more than five miles from downtown, to make an informed education decision.

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Nashville Schools with Public Relations Programs

This article examines three schools within 15 minutes of downtown Nashville and the public relations degree programs they offer. It also includes a table of information about each school, including tuition, size, the percentage of first-year students who receive financial aid and the graduation rate. At the end of the article is the name of one more school, a bit farther from the city, that offers a PR degree.

  • Belmont University, just three miles from downtown Nashville, offers both a Bachelor of Arts and a Bachelor of Science degree in public relations management.
  • Students at Lipscomb University can earn a bachelor's degree in strategic communication that includes public relations coursework. Lipscomb's campus is about five miles from the city center.
  • Three miles from downtown, at Tennessee State University, students can focus on PR through the integrated marketing communication track in the mass communications degree program. This degree is available as a Bachelor of Arts or a Bachelor of Science.

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Comparison of Schools

Students need to consider many factors when choosing a college. The following table offers information about each of these schools in a format that allows for quick comparison.

Belmont University Lipscomb University Tennessee State University
School Type 4-year; private not-for-profit 4-year; private not-for-profit 4-year; public
Total Enrollment (2014) 7,244* 4,489* 9,027*
Campus Setting Large city Large city Large city
Tuition & Fees 2015-2016 $30,000* $28,624* $7,112, in-state; $19,832, out-of-state*
% of First-Year Students Receiving Some Form of Financial Aid (2013-2014) 88%* 100%* 98%*
Acceptance Rate (2014) 83%* 56%* N/A - Open admissions
Retention Rate (2014) 83% for full-time students* 80% for full-time students* 62% for full-time students*
Graduation Rate (2012) 70%* 62%* 42%*

Source: *NCES College Navigator.

Belmont University

Belmont University's B.A. in PR Management requires foreign language study, while the B.S. degree program calls for additional science courses. Belmont is affiliated with the Tennessee Baptist Convention, and all students must take religion courses.

Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science in Public Relations Management

Belmont PR management majors must complete general education courses, including a course in mass media and society. Through the required PR curriculum, students learn to conduct research and write for and organize a PR campaign. Students put all these skills into service during a capstone project with clients in the Nashville community. Students can choose from electives in communication and marketing as well as PR courses in fundraising, event planning and media relations. An internship is required.

Lipscomb University

Lipscomb's B.A. in Strategic Communication is offered through the Department of Communication and Journalism. The department strives to teach students to apply ethical practices in a global society. As a Christian institution, Lipscomb requires that all students take Bible courses.

Bachelor of Arts in Strategic Communication

All communication students at Lipscomb University are required to complete core courses including ethics, communication law, cross-cultural communication and storytelling across different forms of media. There are two public relations courses required for the B.A. in Strategic Communication, as well as courses in persuasion, graphic design and principles of marketing. Student may also choose to take courses in event planning, web and mobile journalism, Internet marketing and more. The degree requires 49 credit hours to complete.

Tennessee State University

The communications program at Tennessee State University emphasizes hands-on learning. Students can gain experience through the IMC (Integrated Marketing Communications) Agency, which includes PR functions.

Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science in Mass Communications, Integrated Marketing Communication track

Both the B.A. and the B.S. degree programs in mass communications at Tennessee State University require students to take 48 hours of major courses in addition to the school's general education requirements. The 4-year program includes 18 hours of communications core courses such as public speaking and research methods, as well as an internship and a senior project or senior seminar. In the mass communications concentration, courses include media writing and communications law. Students in the integrated marketing communication track can choose courses in principles of public relations, advanced public relations and entrepreneurship.

Other School Options

The School of Journalism at Middle Tennessee State University, about 37 miles from Nashville, offers a bachelor's degree with a concentration in PR.

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