Michigan State launches PR program, says demand came from students

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.

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

Sciences.



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.



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