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College of Creative Arts and Media: Reed School of Media and Communications

Advertising and Public Relations, BSJ

As an Advertising and Public Relations student, you’ll learn how to develop and produce educational and persuasive messages and campaigns that are customized and shared through a variety of media — websites, social media, print, streaming and more.

You will build skills in writing, research, design, event planning, direct marketing and media planning, which you will use to plan and produce promotional and educational campaigns and materials for regional and international clients.

Our graduates are highly marketable and find work in advertising and public relations agencies, corporations, nonprofits, government, education, entertainment, sports, healthcare and other public-sector fields.

Your Degree Plan

Intro

Advertising and public relations professionals plan, design and direct communications, and find fulfilling careers in a variety of industries and locations around the world.

You will select an area of emphasis in either Advertising or Public Relations to complement a minimum of 120 credit hours, including:

  • A media-focused first year seminar course
  • General Education Foundations (GEF) courses like English, math and science
  • Additional courses outside of the major including statistics, economics and sociology
  • Core media courses including writing and ethics
  • Foundation courses in advertising and public relations
  • Specific courses in your chosen area of emphasis (Advertising or Public Relations)
  • Elective courses of your choosing

Tailor this major to your interests by focusing your coursework in one of these areas:

  • Advertising

    Students who select the Advertising AOE obtain a solid foundation in creative copywriting and design, media planning, audience insights and analysis, and campaigns.

    Additional courses in interactive marketing, strategic social media and account management are available to round out students’ individual interests.

    Graduates go on to work at advertising and marketing agencies, in media advertising sales, within corporate communications offices, as media planners or as consultants and business owners.

    The advertising curriculum affords a solid foundation for law or other specialized graduate programs.

  • Public Relations

    Students who select the Public Relations AOE take courses in strategic writing and social media, media design, audience research and analysis, and campaigns.

    Other courses that apply to the major include web development, fundraising and foundation management, integrated marketing communications for sports, and blogging and interactive journalism.

    Graduates go on to work at communications agencies, in government, health care organizations, nonprofits, corporate communications and politics.

    Those students who wish to go on to graduate school have a solid grounding in writing, research, analysis and communications.

Take advantage of special options related to this major:

  • 3+3 Program

    This major is eligible for the 3+3 Law Degree Program that allows qualified students to earn a bachelor’s degree and law degree in six years instead of seven years.

  • Accelerated Program

    Advertising and Public Relations offers the option to earn a bachelor's and master's degree in an accelerated time frame.

    Accelerated Program Details
  • Honors

    Expand your curiosity — and enhance your curriculum — through the WVU Honors College. Two programs are offered: Honors Foundations for first- and second-year students and Honors EXCEL for third- and fourth-year students.

    Explore Honors

The WVU Difference

What sets this program apart from its competitors?

  • Small class sizes with individualized attention.
  • Faculty-led, student-run Martin Hall Agency capstone course where student teams plan and execute comprehensive strategic communications campaigns for regional nonprofit organizations.
  • Alumni from world’s top firms mentor students in the classroom.
  • Funding available for study abroad and major market internships.
  • Active, award-winning Public Relations Student Society of America chapter.
  • WVU College of Creative Arts and Media allows for collaborations with Art and Design, Fashion Design and Merchandising, Music, and Theatre and Dance.
  • One of only 39 internationally to earn Certification for Education in Public Relations from the Public Relations Society of America
  • One of only 115 journalism/communication programs accredited worldwide by the Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communications (ACEJMC)
  • Robust student media with Prospect and Price Creative, which supports The Daily Athenaeum student newspaper and U92 student radio station.
  • Purpose Center - Discover your values and strengths to guide your educational path and personal journey.
Scholarships

Over 92% of WVU freshmen receive grants or scholarships (2022-2023).

Learn more

Learn by Doing

Learning happens outside the classroom. Get involved.

  • Coursework often includes hands-on service learning projects with local nonprofit organizations that help you build a portfolio as you go through college.
  • Martin Hall Agency is a student-run, faculty-led strategic communications agency and one of the capstone course offerings where students gain real-world, portfolio worthy experience.
  • A unique, flexible and adaptable curriculum allows you to pursue what you're passionate about within communications.
  • Study abroad opportunities - Students have traveled to France for the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity and throughout Europe as part of a capstone course that involves strategic communications work for an international organization.
  • New technology and innovation in our classrooms prepare you for the changing media landscape.
  • The Public Interest Communication (PIC) Research Lab unites strategic public interest communication scholars within the Reed College of Media, across WVU and beyond.
  • The Innovators-in-Residence program brings top media professionals who are leading change in the industry to the WVU campus to create new curriculum, experiment with new technology and equip students with new skills to tackle current — and anticipated — challenges in the industry.

Before graduating, all undergraduates in this major complete an academic project (or "capstone") to demonstrate their research, communication and critical thinking skills.

As part of their capstone experience, recent students have contributed to:

  • COVID-19 communications - Research and information dissemination throughout West Virginia, in partnership with the CDC and the WV Department of Health and Human Resources.
  • Day of Play - NFL football players and former Mountaineers encourage kids to exercise through play.
  • Women Beyond Bars - an advocacy project to raise awareness about women incarceration rates, the effect on families and children and post-prison rehabilitation.

Connect with other students who share your academic interests as a member of:

View all of the student organizations you can join.

Network with professionals in your field as a student member of:

Students participate in internships everywhere from New York advertising agencies to Capitol Hill to professional sports teams and London-based communications firms.

Live, study and pursue outside-the-classroom learning in a residence hall community that shares your interests:

Outside of the Evansdale Crossing building.

What you learn outside of the classroom is just as important as what you learn during class. We’ll help you follow your curiosity.

Careers and Outcomes

How does this degree prepare students for a career?

Market Research Analysts and Marketing Specialists

Research market conditions in local, regional, or national areas, or gather information to determine potential sales of a product or service, or create a marketing campaign. May gather information on competitors, prices, sales, and methods of marketing and distribution.

Has a Bright Outlook

Median Salary: $62,560

Possible job titles include: Market Analyst, Market Research Analyst, Market Research Consultant, Project Manager.

Explore Career

Advertising Sales Agents

Sell or solicit advertising space, time, or media in publications, signage, TV, radio, or the Internet. Includes individuals who obtain leases for outdoor advertising sites or persuade retailers to use sales promotion display items.

Median Salary: $58,450

Possible job titles include: Account Executive, Account Manager, Advertising Account Executive, Advertising Sales Representative.

Explore Career

General and Operations Managers

Plan, direct or coordinate the operations of public or private sector organizations. Duties and responsibilities include formulating policies, managing daily operations and planning the use of materials and human resources, but are too diverse and general in nature to be classified in any one functional area of management or administration, such as personnel, purchasing or administrative services.

Has a Bright Outlook

Median Salary: $98,100

Possible job titles include: General Manager (GM), Operations Manager, Store Manager, Business Manager, Operations Director, Plant Superintendent.

Explore Career

Advertising and Promotions Managers

Plan, direct, or coordinate advertising policies and programs or produce collateral materials, such as posters, contests, coupons, or give-aways, to create extra interest in the purchase of a product or service for a department, an entire organization, or on an account basis.

Median Salary: $127,830

Possible job titles include: Account Executive, Ad Manager, Ad Sales Manager, Communications Manager, Marketing and Promotions Manager, Promotions Director.

Explore Career

Marketing Managers

Plan, direct or coordinate marketing policies and programs, such as determining the demand for products and services offered by a firm and its competitors, and identify potential customers. Develop pricing strategies with the goal of maximizing the firm's profits or share of the market while ensuring the firm's customers are satisfied. Oversee product development or monitor trends that indicate the need for new products and services.

Has a Bright Outlook

Median Salary: $140,040

Possible job titles include: Brand Manager, Business Development Manager, Marketing Director, Marketing Manager.

Explore Career

Public Relations Managers

Plan, direct or coordinate activities designed to create or maintain a favorable public image or raise issue awareness for their organization or client.

Has a Bright Outlook

Median Salary: $129,430

Possible job titles include: Account Executive, Account Supervisor, Public Relations Director, Public Relations Manager (PR Manager).

Explore Career

Meeting, Convention and Event Planners

Coordinate activities of staff, convention personnel, or clients to make arrangements for group meetings, events, or conventions.

Has a Bright Outlook

Median Salary: $52,560

Possible job titles include: Conference Planning Manager, Conference Services Manager, Convention Services Manager (CSM), Events Manager.

Explore Career

Search Marketing Strategists

Employ search marketing tactics to increase visibility and engagement with content, products, or services in Internet-enabled devices or interfaces. Examine search query behaviors on general or specialty search engines or other Internet-based content. Analyze research, data, or technology to understand user intent and measure outcomes for ongoing optimization.

Has a Bright Outlook

Median Salary: $68,230

Possible job titles include: Director of Search Engine Optimization (Director of SEO), Ecommerce Marketing Manager, Internet Marketing Specialist, Senior Search Engine Optimization Specialist (Senior SEO Specialist).

Explore Career

Art Directors

Formulate design concepts and presentation approaches for visual communications media, such as print, broadcasting and advertising. Direct workers engaged in art work or layout design.

Median Salary: $105,180

Possible job titles include: Art Director, Creative Director, Production Manager, Senior Art Director.

Explore Career

Public Relations Specialists

Engage in promoting or creating an intended public image for individuals, groups or organizations. May write or select material for release to various communications media.

Has a Bright Outlook

Median Salary: $67,440

Possible job titles include: Account Executive, Public Affairs Specialist, Public Information Officer, Public Relations Specialist (PR Specialist).

Explore Career

How We Prepare You

Nearly all Advertising and Public Relations students complete internships or find student worker positions in the field while in college.

Recent alumni are working as:

  • Digital and Social Content, NBA
  • Account Coordinator, KWT Global
  • Marketing Coordinator, Streamlined Media & Communications
  • Account Coordinator, Uproar PR
  • Recruiter, Insight Global Health
  • Assistant Account Executive, Saatchi & Saatchi
  • Account Coordinator, LaunchSquad
  • Junior Copywriter, Gabe’s
  • Public Relations Account Coordinator, Sage Communications
  • Development Associate, Clay Center for the Arts and Sciences
  • Social Media Manager, LMC
  • Assistant Account Executive, Sharp Think
  • Junior Copywriter, Hager Sharp
  • Marketing Manager, Commerce Communications
  • Marketing Manager, West Virginia Department of Commerce
  • Assistant Account Executive, Leo Burnett
  • Marketing, Sales and Operations Representative, Caterpillar Inc.

Places and Spaces

Learn about all of the places and spaces you'll learn in.

Featurette - Media Innovation Center - 37654 S MSS 0008 XX

Media Innovation Center

The Media Innovation Center is an open-door, cross-discipline media space that provides the latest digital and interactive tools to develop original, story-based, digital media experiences. Our co-innovation philosophy and embrace of innovation for social change leads our belief that every community should have the access, tools and skills to shape its own story, identity and future.

Explore the Media Innovation Center
  • Virtual Tour
    It's the next-best thing to being here – you can virtually tour residence halls and the WVU Morgantown Campus.
  • Student Life
    You will have it all here — epic traditions, quality academics and a supportive community that feels like home.
  • Visit
    Experience WVU in person and start imagining life as a Mountaineer!

Admission Requirements

To be admitted to WVU's Advertising and Public Relations major, first-time freshmen must meet WVU's first-time freshman admission requirements for the 2024-25 academic year. Interested in transferring? Review the transfer admission requirements.

Tuition and Aid

How much does Advertising and Public Relations at WVU cost? And how can you save?

Tuition and Fees

Estimated rates are available on our tuition website. Anyone who is not a current West Virginia resident, including international students, will be charged non-resident rates.

View Tuition and Fees

Scholarships

Estimate your eligibility for merit scholarships at WVU Morgantown.

Find Scholarships

Net Price Calculator

Estimate your cost of attendance and eligibility for financial aid and scholarships at any WVU System campus.

Visit the Net Price Calculator

Ways to Save

Here are a few ways for you to save on the cost of attending WVU in addition to university scholarships.

Financial Aid

The most important step toward funding your future with financial aid for the Advertising and Public Relations major is submitting the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA.

How to Complete the FAFSA

Transfer Articulation Agreements

To simplify the transfer process, we have formal agreements with certain institutions. These agreements outline the courses you should take to prepare for transferring to WVU.

Review the full list of transfer articulation agreements to see if your institution is listed.

Learn How to Transfer Course Credits

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Learn how to join the WVU family.

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