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BA in Public Relations & Strategic Communication

Teams of students in professor Pallavi Kumar's PR Portfolio class developed communications plans for a real client - the Newseum.

Real World Experience

PR Portfolio students pitch their strategic communication plans to Newseum pros.

Public communication. It’s at the heart of our economy, society, and politics. Studios use it to promote their films. Politicians use it to get elected. Businesses use it to burnish their image. Advocates use it to promote social causes.

It’s a field built on ideas and images, persuasion and information, strategy and tactics. No policy or product can succeed without a smart message targeted to the right audience in creative and innovative ways. The ability to communicate this way – to communicate strategically – is what our Public Communication program is all about.

Why Choose SOC?

Yes, we teach professional skills at AU SOC. But even more important is that we teach our students how to think. We teach them to think strategically. We teach how to target an audience, how to create a compelling message, how to write persuasively, how to advocate in a changing world of new media and cutting edge technology.

Through our courses, internships and hands-on work, we empower students with the strategic tools and insights that rival what professionals learn after years of experience. To grasp a communication challenge and create a strategy to address it – that’s what we train you to do here.

Gaining Real Experience, Building a Network

Washington is our communications laboratory. It’s the PR and media capital of the world. And as the longest standing Public Communication program in the area, our program has deep roots throughout the city. Speechwriters and politicians come to class as guest speakers. Students take on nonprofit clients for their coursework. PR firms, international organizations, health care companies, congressional offices, advocacy groups – all welcome our students as interns.

We don’t just teach from books. Doing a paper on a political campaign or environmental cause? We’ll send you out to speak with the players and bring that knowledge back to class. In the process you’ll build a network of professionals that will help in your work and career.

A Record of Success

Our goal is to educate students not only in the most recent trends but in the type of thinking that will set them apart from their peers. That’s why our alumni include top speechwriters, press secretaries, media strategists, crisis communicators, Hollywood agents, sports marketers, public diplomacy experts, nonprofit leaders, advertising executives, and public relations professionals. Our graduates run the world.

Admission to the Program

Students apply to American University, upon admission, they may choose any major offered by AU. For current students, formal admission to the major requires a cumulative grade point average of 2.50 (on a 4.00 scale). Students should declare their major by the end of the sophomore year.

Students who are unable to achieve a cumulative grade point average of 2.50 and declare a major in communication are not allowed to take courses in the school after they have completed 60 hours of undergraduate credit.