While only a few New Jersey universities offer majors in public relations, several have bachelor's degrees in journalism or communication that allow students to choose public relations as a concentration, and one school listed in this article offers a public relations minor. Courses cover public speaking, public relations writing, publicity strategies, event planning, publication design, and crisis communication. In addition, students can gain hands-on experience by participating in a required or recommended internship. They can also network with peers in on-campus clubs designed for public relations majors. Below are brief overviews of the nine schools that offer undergraduate studies in public relations.
Fairleigh Dickinson Universit y- College at Florham
Located in Madison, Fairleigh Dickinson University - College at Florham allows communication studies majors to choose an area of concentration - public relations being one option. Every communication studies major take courses in perspectives on communication studies, global communication, mass communication, and communication theory as well as communication research. An internship is required. For the public relations concentration, required courses include the principles of public relations, writing for public relations, event planning, and crisis communication. Students work with an advisor to choose communication electives. An 18-credit public relations minor is also offered.
Union's Kean University offers a bachelor's degree in communication with an option to concentrate in public relations. The program teaches students to craft and deliver a message to promote an organization or individual, with an emphasis on the new media. Students gain practice in public speaking and persuasive communication as well as learning about media theory and writing for public relations.
Students at Monmouth University in West Long Branch can opt for the journalism and public relations cluster as they earn a bachelor's degree in communication. Major requirements include courses in public speaking, introduction to mass communication, communication theory and communication research. In the journalism and public relations cluster, students take introductory courses and a career preparation course in addition to completing a practicum in public relations. They learn about public relations writing and take courses in theory and message.
At Rider University in Lawrenceville, students earning a bachelor's degree in public relations are required to take courses in speech, publication design, feature writing, and publicity methods. A capstone course calls for them to work on a public relations project with a local business or non-profit group. For electives, students can choose from courses including advertising, copy editing, broadcast writing, and marketing. The Rider Public Relations Society offers opportunities for field trips, networking and job search preparation.
Rowan University offers a bachelor's degree in public relations at its campus in Glassboro. Rowan's public relations program has been given Certified in Education for Public Relations accreditation by the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA). Required courses include communication theory, public relations planning, public relations writing, and publication layout. Students must complete an internship as well. Elective course options include media ethics, magazine article writing, political communication, and health communication.
Rutgers University - New Brunswick
At its New Brunswick campus, Rutgers University offers a bachelor's degree in communication with an option for a public relations concentration. The program requires 15 credits in communications core courses and 18 credits in public relations. An internship is recommended, but not required, and students can join the Rutgers PRSSA chapter. Students must apply separately to the communications major, and admission is competitive. Requirements include a minimum grade point average and completion of an expository writing course.
Seton Hall University
Seton Hall University in South Orange offers a bachelor's degree in journalism and public relations. In the public relations track, students learn from faculty with current experience in the field and also have the opportunity to participate in the college's PRSSA chapter. Required courses include American journalism, news reporting, communication law and a senior seminar in public relations. Students have many options for elective courses such as desktop publishing, television production or women and media. Many students take advantage of the school's proximity to New York City and procure internships at major media outlets.
William Paterson University of New Jersey
At William Paterson University of New Jersey in Wayne, students earning bachelor's degrees in communication with a major in journalism/public relations can choose a track in public relations. The major gives them a solid foundation in gathering and disseminating information. In the public relations track, students learn about public relations theory, methods and the evolution of public relations. They can gain practical experience with an internship or through membership in the Student Public Relations Association.
Montclair State University
Montclair State University in Montclair, NJ offers a bachelor's degree in public relations and prepares students for careers in public relations and related professions, including human resources, marketing, advertising, social media management, and politics. A minimum of 120 credits of coursework is required for the baccalaureate degree with a minimum 2.0 overall GPA. The program resides in the School of Communication and Media. Many students participate in a study abroad program to experience new cultures and gain perspectives and exposure.
School Comparison: At a Glance
|School Name||School Type & Setting||Public Relations Degree Programs Offered||Tuition & Fees (2015-16)*|
|Fairleigh Dickinson University - College at Florham||Four-year; private not-for-profit; large suburb|| Bachelor of Arts in Communication Studies, Public Relations concentration;
Public Relations minor
|Kean University||Four-year; public; large suburb||Bachelor of Arts in Communication, Public Relations option||$11,581, in-state; $18,183, out-of-state|
|Monmouth University||Four-year; private not-for-profit; large suburb||Bachelor of Arts in Communication, Journalism/Public Relations cluster||$33,729|
|Rider University||Four-year; private not-for-profit; large suburb||Bachelor of Arts in Public Relations||$38,360|
|Rowan University||Four-year; public; large suburb||Bachelor of Arts in Public Relations||$12,864, in-state; $20,978, out-of-state|
|Rutgers University - New Brunswick||Four-year; public; small city||Bachelor of Arts in Communication, Strategic Public Communication and Relations specialization||$14,131, in-state; $29,521, out-of-state|
|Seton Hall University||Four-year; private not-for-profit; large suburb||Bachelor of Arts in Journalism and Public Relations||$38,072|
|William Paterson University of New Jersey||Four-year; public; large suburb||Bachelor of Arts in Communication, Journalism/Public Relations major||$12,365, in-state; $20,125, out-of-state|
|Montclair State University||Four-year; public; large suburb||Bachelor of Arts in Public Relations||$26,046, in-state; $33,834, out-of-state|
Source: *NCES, College Navigator