Texas has 14 schools that offer programs, coursework or concentrations in public relations. Many of these options are offered by mass communication schools, combining public relations studies with lessons in advertising, journalism and media ethics. Profiled below are ten of the largest schools in Texas offering bachelor's degree programs in public relations.
Abilene Christian University
Abilene Christian University was founded in 1906 and is a Christ-centered educational institution. Among the school's 125 undergraduate programs is the Bachelor of Science in Advertising/Public Relations. Coursework examines media issues, visual media, public relations principles and media writing. Public relations majors have the opportunity to gain hands-on experience by earning a position at Morris and Mitchell, the school's in-house public relations and advertising agency. They can also complete internships.
Southern Methodist University
Located in the heart of Dallas, Southern Methodist University has grown since 1911 to serve roughly 11,000 students. This private institution is divided into seven separate schools. The Meadows School of the Arts launched a Bachelor of Arts in Public Relations and Strategic Communications program in 2012. The coursework touches upon areas such as media technology, multimedia writing, communications law and account management. In addition to coursework, students complete a public relations internship and campaign.
Texas A & M University - Commerce
Founded in 1889, Texas A & M University - Commerce has grown to offer over 100 degrees, including a bachelor's curriculum focusing on public relations. The degree is actually part of the journalism program, with specialized coursework emphasizing publication design, advertising principles, public relations campaigns and more. In addition to coursework, students can gain hands-on training through campaign projects for off-campus clients, internships and the college's student newspaper, The East Texan. Students enrolled in this major are required to take a supplemental minor.
Texas Christian University (TCU)
Located in Fort Worth, Texas Christian University's School of Journalism was founded in the late 1920's. TCU was one of the first private colleges in Texas to have an accredited public relations program. The strategic communications program combines studies in both advertising and public relations through courses in media writing, mass media, public relations principles and ethics. The TCU chapter of the Public Relations Student Society of America sponsors a Bateman Competition Team. The Bateman Case Study Competition challenges students to create a full public relations campaign revolving around an annual theme.
Texas State University - San Marcos
The Texas State University (TSU) - San Marcos campus offers 96 different bachelor's degrees, including one in public relations. The public relations program is a part of the School of Journalism and Mass Communications. TSU - San Marcos serves a particularly diverse student body, with Hispanic students comprising roughly 20% of the journalism school's student body. The bachelor's program in public relations includes five public relations-specific courses, as well as a mass communications core curriculum. Students must also complete an internship, practicum or special topics course.
Texas Tech University
Founded in 1923, Texas Tech University of Lubbock has grown to serve more than 30,000 students from West Texas and beyond. Texas Tech offers both a major and a minor in public relations through the Department of Public Relations. The program includes coursework in public relations principles and strategies, public policy, communication and public relations writing. Students also learn about online and digital public relations campaigns, as well as public relations professionalism. The College of Media and Communication, which houses the public relations program, recently moved into a new 120,000-square-foot, 24-classroom building with 14 video and computer labs.
The University of Texas at Arlington (UT - Arlington)
The University of Texas at Arlington is the sixth largest university in Texas and a rapidly growing research institution. Within the Department of Communication, students can pursue a bachelor's degree in communication with a concentration in public relations. In addition to the communications core, students also take 39 semester hours in areas of communications law, public relations campaigns, management, mass media writing and communication graphics. Students also have the option to complete a professional internship.
The University of Texas at Austin
The University of Texas at Austin's College of Communication was one of the first schools in the nation to offer a major in public relations. The school houses one of the original nine chapters of the Public Relation Student Society of America (PRSSA) and offers hands-on experience opportunities through the student-run Texas Towers PR firm. Students may also qualify for a 'Maymester' study-abroad opportunity through University College Dublin in Ireland. In addition to coursework, the public relations major includes an internship.
The University of Texas at San Antonio
Founded in 1969, the University of Texas at San Antonio serves over 30,000 students and offers roughly 66 bachelor's programs. The school's communication program allows for a concentration in public relations. This concentration is comprised of 15 additional, public relations-focused credits. Coursework delves into campaign creation, writing for public relations, case studies and commercial public relations.
University of Houston
Founded in 1927, the University of Houston is one of four universities in the University of Houston system. The Jack J. Valenti School of Communication offers a number of concentrations within its communications curriculum, including one in public relations. The public relations concentration includes a five-course core curriculum, as well as six elective hours in public relations topics. Courses delve into digital media, public relations principles, public relations writing and campaigns.
While there are no requirements for a career in public relations, experience in journalism, marketing or advertising can be a helpful boost toward finding a job in the field. Most of the schools listed below offer or require an internship or practicum, or other opportunities to provide hands-on experience for students studying public relations.
School Comparison: At a Glance
|School Name||School Type & Setting||Public Relations Bachelor's Programs Offered||Undergraduate Tuition & Fees (2015-2016)|
|Abilene Christian University||Four-year, private not-for-profit; midsize city||Bachelor of Science in Advertising/Public Relations||$30,830*|
|Southern Methodist University||Four-year, private not-for-profit; large suburb||Bachelor of Arts in Public Relations and Strategic Communication||$48,190*|
|Texas A & M University - Commerce||Four-year, public; distant town||Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Science in Journalism - Public Relations|| $6,202 in-state
|Texas Christian University||Four-year, private not-for-profit; large city||Bachelor of Science in Strategic Communication||$40,720*|
|Texas State University - San Marcos||Four-year, public; small suburb||Bachelor of Arts or Science in Mass Communication - Public Relations|| $9,348 in-state
|Texas Tech University||Four-year, public; midsized city||Bachelor of Arts in Public Relations|| $8,028 in-state
|The University of Texas at Arlington||Four-year, public; large city||Bachelor of Arts in Communication - Public Relations|| $9,208 in-state
|The University of Texas at Austin||Four-year, public; large city||Bachelor of Science in Public Relations|| $9,806 in-state
|The University of Texas at San Antonio||Four-year, public; large city||Bachelor of Arts in Communications - Public Relations|| $7,447 in-state
|University of Houston||Four-year, public; large city||Bachelor of Arts in Communication - Public Relations|| $8,759 in-state
Source: *NCES College Navigator.