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Public Communication, B.A.

About the Program

This major allows students flexibility to tailor a program based on strategic communication through the disciplines of public relations, advertising, and related fields. It meets the needs of students preparing for a career in which research, strategic planning, implementation of creative tactics, and evaluation are central, whether to advance an organization, promote a product, or advocate a cause. Compare this major with communication studies, journalism, and media production.

This is the only program in public relations and advertising at any SUNY school that is affiliated with the Accrediting Council for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication. Only four other undergraduate programs in New York State are accredited.

Career Opportunities: Students in public communication prepare for careers in public relations and advertising, as well as fundraising, organizational communication, research, lobbying, marketing communication, and other fields that require a liberal arts education enhanced with communication expertise.

The profile of a successful public communication graduate is a person with strong writing and speaking proficiency, keen ethical insight, competence in research and planning, and skill in working effectively both independently and in teams.

About the Communication Department

210 Bishop Hall
1300 Elmwood Ave
Buffalo, NY 14222
Phone: (716) 878-6008
Fax: (716) 878-4697

Admission Requirements

Incoming freshmen and transfer students can declare the major. A 2.6 GPA in the major is needed to register for required upper-division courses (300- and 400-level).

See for application forms and additional information, including a list of equivalent core courses at community colleges. Transfer students from two-year schools may apply only core courses toward this major for a maximum of 12 credits. Students generally require four semesters of study after completing communication core courses.

Academic Standards: Only grades of C or higher may be applied toward requirements for any communication degree; courses with lower grades must be repeated. Consistent with standards of the Accrediting Council for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication, the number of communication courses that students may take is capped, encouraging a broad-based liberal arts education. The department encourages students to take minors or second majors and requires evidence of an academic concentration or area of expertise outside the Communication Department.

Program Requirements

Intellectual Foundations Requirements 33–39 cr

Total Requirements 42 cr

A. Communication Core (12 cr)
COM 100 Media Literacy
COM 210 Converged Media Writing
COM 215 Introduction to Visual Communication
SPC 205 Introduction to Oral Communication

Note: Students must have a minimum GPA of 2.6 in the major to register for cetain upper-division courses (300- and 400-level).

B. Major Requirements (18 cr)
COM 301 Principles of Public Relations and Advertising
SPC 307 Group Communication
COM 308 Public Relations Writing
COM 322 Communication Graphics
or COM 336 Web and Social Media Production
COM 401 Applied Communication Research
COM 418 Campaigns in Public Relations and Advertising

C. Senior Seminar (3 cr)
COM 450 Communication and Society

D. Communication Electives (9 cr)
COM 488 Internship
or COM 495 Independent Project
or COM 499 Independent Study
or 300/400-level elective by advisement

All College Electives 39-45 cr

Total Required Credit Hours 120 cr

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