Curriculum:BA in Journalism & Mass Communication in Public Relations


The BA in Journalism and Mass Communication in Public Relations may be completed in an average of four years or less with transfer credits applied. This 120-credit hour program consists of the following course categories:

  • Core Courses: 22 credit hours
  • Public Relations Courses: 30 credit hours
  • Additional Courses: 40 credit hours

You can complete your BAJMC-PR with Drake University 100% online through asynchronous courses. All classes are six or 15 weeks in duration and require no in-person components.

Core Courses

JMC 30: Mass Media in a Global Society – 3 Credit Hours

Introduction to the role and functions of mass media. Survey of newspapers, magazines, books, radio-television, advertising, public relations, digital media and the Web. Discussion of media issues and professional opportunities.

JMC 31: Multimedia Lab – 1 Credit Hour

Introduction to multimedia communication; lab component of JMC 30. Students learn to tell stories with photo, audio and video. This course gives students a foundation in multimedia storytelling.

JMC 40: Pre-Professional Workshop – 1 Credit Hour

A short course introducing students to policies, practices and principles in internships and cooperative education. Course covers the nature of internships; developing resumes, portfolios or talent/audition tapes; and other concerns. The course is required of all SJMC majors and should be completed during the sophomore year.

JMC 41: Financial Fundamentals for Communication Professionals – 1 Credit Hour

This one-credit course provides an introduction to basic business principles and terminology for non-business majors, with an emphasis on communications professionals. Topics include fundamentals of business organizations; reading and interpreting business financial statements; investment basics; understanding economic indicators; writing a business plan, and basic applied math. Must be sophomore classification.

JMC 54: News and Reporting Principles – 3 Credit Hours

Information evaluation, fact-gathering methods and journalism style, with extensive practice.

JMC 55: Digital Media Strategies – 3 Credit Hours

Digital Strategies will introduce students to the tools and best practices to cut through the digital din. Students will understand how to grow, engage and maintain a digital audience, creating effective native social content and email newsletters while also using analytics to drive and adapt a multi-platform plan. Students will also delve into the complexities of Search Engine Optimization (SEO), data journalism, and data visualization, as well as investigate the latest tech advances popping in Silicon Valley, on the Silicon Prairie, and from the world at large.

JMC 59: Introduction to Visual Communications – 3 Credit Hours

This course helps students master the fundamental principles of good design, color, balance and contrast using different media to convey a message. Photography, print, and web will be explored. Instruction on using digital cameras, Photoshop, InDesign and other software will illustrate the elements of design and communication for each medium.

JMC 104: Communications Law and Ethics – 3 Credit Hours

Press freedom, ethics, social responsibility, pressures and problems; legal limitations, including libel, privacy, intellectual property and obscenity. Must be junior status. Not open to first-year students or sophomores.

Public Relations Courses

JMC 85: Public Relations Principles – 3 Credit Hours

This course explores the role of public relations in today’s organizations. Students will develop an appreciation for and understanding of the critical thinking, research, planning and communication skills necessary for the effective practice of public relations. Students will acquire a solid foundation in the basic theories and concepts of communication, persuasion, motivation and learning which are integral parts in the success of public relations and in engaging people. Prerequisite: Sophomore standing.

JMC 123: Public Relations Writing – 3 Credit Hours

Objective and persuasive writing for print, broadcast and social media and internal communication channels. Prerequisites: JMC 54 and JMC 135 or 085.

JMC 136: Public Relations Research – 3 Credit Hours

An examination of research methods and applications and interpretation of research findings to public relations planning and problem solving. Prerequisite: JMC 123.

JMC 143: Public Relations Planning & Management – 3 Credit Hours

This course explores the role of strategic planning and issues management in public relations, helping you gain essential skills you will need to thrive as a practitioner. You will learn how to identify and assess the ways in which emerging issues may affect public relations practice, and design and defend a comprehensive public relations plan on behalf of a community partner. Throughout the course, we will strive to balance proactive and reactive (i.e. crisis) strategies. Prerequisites: JMC 059 & JMC 123.

JMC 144: Cases in Ethical PR Practice – 3 Credit Hours

This course is designed to prepare public relations students through both instruction and practice to execute professional-level thinking, analysis, writing and presentation skills needed for successful public relations campaign management. JMC 135 or 085 JMC 123 strongly recommended.

JMC 146: Public Relations Campaign Strategy – 3 Credit Hours

Planning and executing a major public relations campaign through the fact-finding, planning, communicating and evaluation stages. Class teams simulate competitive counseling firms. Prerequisites: JMC 040, 123 and 143.

ECON 2: Microeconomics – 3 Credit Hours

Economic analysis of individual markets. Production, comparative advantage, supply and demand, elasticities, price and quantity controls, taxes and subsidies, international trade, consumer choice, business cost curves and profit maximization, consumer and producer surplus, economic efficiency, monopoly, oligopoly, externalities, and public goods. Students are expected to understand graphs, functions, and algebra at the level of tenth-grade high school mathematics.

PSY 1: Introduction to Psychology – 4 Credit Hours

A survey of contemporary methods and approaches to the science of behavior.

MKTG 101: Marketing Principles – 3 Credit Hours

This course is focused on managerial decision making regarding markets, products and services, promotion, distribution, logistics, and pricing to satisfy customer needs and institutional goals.

MGMT 110: Management Process and Behavior – 3 Credit Hours

Additional Courses

An additional 40 credit hours must be in upper-division courses numbered 100 or above.

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