EAST LANSING, MI: Spurred by student demand, Michigan State University has started an undergraduate PR specialization.
EAST LANSING, MI: Spurred by student demand, Michigan State
University has started an undergraduate PR specialization.
Roughly 50 students will participate in the first year of the three-year
pilot program, according to Charles Salmon, associate dean for graduate
education research at MSU’s College of Communications Arts and
MSU has had a graduate-level PR program for many years.
Though PR agencies have long lamented the lack of qualified pros, Salmon
said that ’the demand for the program came from students. There’s more
demand for the specialization than we can satisfy.’
Perhaps one reason for the delay in starting an undergrad-level
curriculum was that the college wasn’t sure if such a program should be
run by its communications, journalism or advertising departments. By way
of compromise, the new interdisciplinary approach taps all three. Among
the courses to be offered are PR principles, communications research and
evaluation, PR techniques and PR campaigns.
Students can enter the new specialization (the equivalent of a minor at
other universities) in their junior year if they have maintained a 3.0
GPA in their other MSU coursework. The university is also trying to line
up internships for participants.
Other than hiring someone to fill an existing opening in PR, the college
hasn’t added new faculty for the program. After a three-year pilot
phase, MSU will review the PR specialization to determine whether to
devote more faculty and resources to it.