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A.S. Public Relations

Boost your career options with an associate degree in public relations

Public relations (PR) is known as the business of persuasion. With it, PR practitioners employ a strategic communication process that’s meant to advance a cause or agenda. If you’re interested in a career that uses communication narratives, social media and others tools to earn and build trust between organizations and their publics, a public relations career could be right for you. Build foundational PR skills and launch your public relations career by earning an A.S. Public Relations from Franklin.

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Real-World Practitioners

Learn best practice public relations from on-the-job professionals.

100% Online Classes

Earn your degree around your schedule.

Hands-On Experience

Learn from real-life PR scenarios, projects and assignments.

Program Overview

Become a business influencer

Prepare yourself for an exciting, no-day-is-ever-the-same career in PR by earning your A.S. Public Relations from Franklin University.

From media relations to social media communication to community outreach, learn how to plan, write and execute PR campaigns that enhance organizational image. With our associate in PR degree program, you’ll gain the knowledge and skills needed to launch a career as an effective public relations professional while helping business, organizations and entrepreneurs establish and maintain their reputation.

With classes and course topics ranging from marketing and interpersonal communication to journalistic research and copywriting to presentations and promotional pieces, you’ll get a well-rounded education in all aspects of the field, including publicity, promotions and media relations.

You’ll also learn how to leverage communication tactics and skills to overcome public relations issues within a societal, cultural and environmental context. And you’ll learn how to use applied critical and creative thinking to improve awareness, influence public opinion and manage crisis situations.

At Franklin, your public relations classes simulate real-life events and projects so you’ll be well prepared after graduation to effectively handle such PR-related activities, including publicity, special events and community relations.

Earn a transfer-friendly associate’s degree in PR from Franklin in just under two years and build a solid foundation for a fascinating and fast-paced career as a reputation maker and image enhancer. And, if you want to pursue your bachelor’s degree, Franklin’s associate degree program in public relations provides the fundamentals needed for a no-hassle transfer to our B.S. Public Relations degree program.

Earn your degree from a university built for busy adults

Earn your degree on your terms by taking classes 100% online or pursue available coursework at one of our Midwest locations. Regionally accredited and nonprofit, Franklin was built from the ground-up to satisfy the needs of adult learners. Our seamless transfer process and team of academic advisors will help ease your transition to becoming a student, while our flexible course schedules help to balance your education with work, family, and life. Get started on your future today.

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Curriculum & Course Descriptions

64 Semester Hours
Fundamental General Education Core (24 hours)
English Composition

Choose a minimum of 3 semester hours from:

WRIT 120 - COLLEGE WRITING (4)
In this course, students acquire the writing competence necessary for conducting and presenting research. A variety of assignments, beginning with personal reflections, build upon one another, as students develop ideas that respond to, critique, and synthesize the positions of others. Students systematize and organize knowledge in ways that will help them in all of their courses. The course also emphasizes the elements of good writing style, appropriate grammar and mechanics, clarity of language, and logical and cohesive development. It culminates in submission of a documented research paper.

*If the course does not have a research paper component, WRIT 130 Research Paper, two semester credits, is also required.

Mathematics

Choose a minimum of three semester hours from:
(At least one mathematics or statistics course beyond the level of intermediate algebra)

MATH 215 - STATISTICAL CONCEPTS (4)
This course introduces the student to statistics with business applications. The course covers both descriptive and inferential statistics. Topics included are: measures of central tendency; measures of dispersion; graphical displays of data; linear regression; basic probability concepts; binomial and normal probability distributions; confidence intervals; and hypothesis testing. These topics will be covered using a basic knowledge of algebra and Microsoft Excel. Please note: A book fee will be included in your tuition charges for required course materials. Please see http://www.franklin.edu/financial-aid/tuition-fees /e-textbooks for specific charges.
MATH 160 - COLLEGE ALGEBRA (4)
This course is designed to prepare students for Applied Calculus and Discrete Mathematics and to provide the mathematical background needed for the analytic reasoning used in other courses. Topics include functions and their graphs, including exponential and logarithmic functions; complex numbers; systems of equations and inequalities; matrices; basic principles of counting and probability; and other selected topics.
MATH 180 - APPLIED CALCULUS (4)
This course is designed to meet the needs of the Computer Science Program. Topics include limits, the derivative, rules for differentiation, graphing strategy, optimization problems, differentials, implicit differentiation, related rates, exponential and logarithmic functions, antiderivatives, definite integrals, areas, and methods of integration. Applications are emphasized.
MATH 220 - BUSINESS CALCULUS (4)
This course may not be taken by students who previously received calculus credit. Topics include limits, the derivative, rules for differentiation, graphing strategy, optimization problems, differentials, implicit differentiation, related rates, exponential and logarithmic functions, antiderivatives, definite integrals, areas, and methods of integration. Applications in business, economics, and management are emphasized. This course should be taken as soon as possible after acquiring the necessary algebra skills and concepts, preferably within the first 60 hours of any degree program.
MATH 210 - FINITE MATHEMATICS (4)
This course includes such topics as matrices, solutions of simultaneous linear equations using matrix methods, graphic and simplex solutions to linear programming problems, set theory, counting problems (including permutations and combinations), probability theory (including Bayes' theorem), Markov chains, and the mathematics of finance. Game theory may be discussed if time permits. Applications in business, economics, and management are emphasized. Please note: A book fee will be included in your tuition charges for required course materials. Please see http://www.franklin.edu/financial-aid/tuition-fees /e-textbooks for specific charges.

Choose MATH 150 Fundamental Algebra as the prerequisite. Can count as a general education or University elective.

Sciences

Choose a minimum of 6 semester hours from:

SCIE 210 - UNDERSTANDING SCIENCE: PRINCIPLES, PRACTICE, & THEORY (2)
Understanding Science: Principles, Practice & Theory is a two credit hour course that introduces students to the major themes, processes, and methods common to all scientific disciplines. Students will develop critical thinking skills necessary to analyze and evaluate all kinds of phenomena, scientific, pseudoscientific, and other. The focus is on the nature of science so students will develop an understanding of how science works and develop an appreciation for the process by which we gain scientific knowledge.
SCIE 211 - INTRODUCTION TO SCIENTIFIC ANALYSIS & REASONING (4)
Introduction to Scientific Analysis and Reasoning is a four credit hour course consisting of three credit hours of lecture and one credit hour of laboratory. This course is an introduction to critical thinking on statistical and scientific claims. The student will develop the critical thinking skills necessary to analyze and evaluate popular sources of (mis)information and to better understand and evaluate all sorts of scientific claims and arguments. The focus of the course is on students developing thoughtful and critical use of scientific information and research to be able to separate truth from deception and make decisions that affect their personal lives and roles as informed and engaged citizens.

*Two science courses, with one having a laboratory component.

Social and Behavioral Sciences

Choose a minimum of 6 semester hours from:

PSYC 110 - GENERAL PSYCHOLOGY (4)
A survey of the various fields of study comprising modern scientific psychology. The course examines the theories, research findings, and applications in each of the major areas of psychology, with the goal of providing students with practice information they can apply to their personal and professional lives. The topic areas covered in the course include learning and memory, motivation and emotion, human development, theories of personality, psychopathology, and social behavior. Please note: A book fee will be included in your tuition charges for required course materials. Please see http://www.franklin.edu/financial-aid/tuition-fees /e-textbooks for specific charges.

Choose an additional course from the Anthropology, Economics, or Sociology discipline, or PUAD 295 American Government in Action.

*The six semester hours must come from at least two different disciplines

Arts and Humanities

Choose a minimum of 6 semester hours from:

HUMN 210 - INTRODUCTION TO LOGIC & CRITICAL THINKING SKILLS (2)
The goal of this course is to help you improve as a critical, logical thinker. You will be introduced to the art of formulating and assessing arguments according to the standards of logical thinking and critical analysis. You will discover how to apply these valuable skills to your studies and everyday life, learning how to overcome obstacles to critical thinking, and how to avoid being deceived by means of misleading reasoning.

Choose additional coursework from the Humanities discipline.

Additional General Education Requirements (24 hours)
HUMN 211 - INTRO TO ETHICAL ANALYSIS AND REASONING (2)
The goal of this course is to help you improve your ethical analysis and reasoning skills. You will be introduced to the art of formulating and assessing ethical arguments according to the standards of logical thinking and critical analysis. In this course, you will discover how to apply the following questions to your job and everyday life. Why do we need ethics if we have laws to govern our behavior' Does the majority view determine what is ethical and what is not' Are feelings, desires, and preferences reliable ethical guides' Is it ever appropriate to criticize another individual's (or culture's) ethical judgment' Are people always responsible for their actions' Do human beings have a natural tendency to good, a natural tendency to evil' both' neither' Is there a single moral code that is binding on all people, at all times, and in all places'
PF 321 - LEARNING STRATEGIES (2)
This course prepares students to be successful lifelong learners both academically and in their chosen careers. Franklin courses require a high level of self-directed learning and focus on skills required in the workplace and the classroom that are easily transferable between the two environments. The course includes strategies for advancing communication skills, including the use of electronic tools to participate in virtual environments. The assignments and activities in the course are created to closely simulate teamwork found in the workplace.
SOCL 110 - INTRODUCTION TO SOCIOLOGY (4)
Sociology is the scientific study of group behavior - whether the groups are dyads, small groups, associations, bureaucracies, societies, publics, aggregates, social movements, or mobs, etc. This introductory course introduces the student to sociological principles and theoretical perspectives that facilitate understanding the norms, values, structure and process of the various types of groups into which people organize. The course focuses on applying the scientific method to studying social problems (e.g. poverty, crime, sexism and racism) and basic institutions (i.e. family, government, economy, religion, education). Students will develop their "sociological imagination" as a way of understanding what their lives are and can be in relation to the larger social forces at work in local, national, and international environments.
SPCH 100 - SPEECH COMMUNICATION (4)
A basic public speaking course intended to improve the student's ability to think critically and to communicate orally. Theory and practice are provided in various speaking situations. Each student is required to speak before an audience, but class work also involves reading, gathering and organizing information, writing and listening.
University Electives (4 hours)

Any undergraduate courses offered by the University except developmental education courses.

Professional Core (12 hours)
COMM 150 - INTERPERSONAL COMMUNICATION (4)
By using applied critical and creative thinking, students in this course will develop a set of communication skills that will enhance their personal and professional relationships and endeavors. This course will focus on skill development in key areas such as self, perception, listening, verbal messages, conversations, relationships, conflict management, persuasion, and public speaking. Please note: A book fee will be included in your tuition charges for required course materials. Please see http://www.franklin.edu/financial-aid/tuition-fees /e-textbooks for specific charges.
MKTG 300 - MARKETING (4)
Theory, strategies and methods are foundational to the informed practice of marketing. Students investigate the importance of marketing to an organization or cause, the interrelationship of the difference phases of marketing, the marketing of goods versus services, analysis and identification of markets, pricing strategies and digital marketing tactics. Please note: A book fee will be included in your tuition charges for required course materials. Please see http://www.franklin.edu/financial-aid/tuition-fees /e-textbooks for specific charges.
WRIT 320 - BUSINESS & PROFESSIONAL WRITING (4)
This is an advanced composition course that focuses on writing for business and professional purposes. Students will review the writing conventions commonly expected within business and professional environments, as well as strategies for analyzing rhetorical situations within those environments. Coursework includes analysis, revision, and research exercises, as well as substantial practice in composing business correspondence. The final project is an extensive, researched business proposal developed in stages and presented to the class. Students will be encouraged to relate course materials to their major programs and workplace experiences.
Major Area (12 hours)
PBRL 325 - PUBLIC RELATIONS (4)
A general course in the technique of establishing and maintaining public relations. Activities span a variety of media to influence public opinion and manage an organization's reputation.
PBRL 350 - MEDIA RESEARCH AND WRITING (4)
This course explores approaches and techniques for conducting research and writing within key public relations contexts. Students in this course will examine and utilize research techniques and methodologies that are essential for public relations professionals. Components of this course will include: journalistic research, copywriting, research and writing for broadcast, web research, writing for the Web, transforming technical information for general audiences, and media release writing. Additionally, this course will examine the ethics involved in researching and writing for public relations contexts.
PBRL 425 - MEDIA AND CRISIS COMMUNICATION (4)
Today's public relations professionals have entered a new era where preparedness to respond rapidly to various levels of crisis is essential. Building a positive reputation through the strategic management of communications with internal and external audiences during good times is a necessary foundation for withstanding negative press. Utilizing analysis techniques, public relations tactics, and hands-on projects, students will evaluate crisis situations, create and implement a strategic crisis communication plan, and learn to coach the corporate spokesperson and manage the media, while maintaining the organization's reputation.
Additional Requirements

All students are required to pass College Writing (WRIT 120), either Basic Learning Strategies (PF 121) or Learning Strategies (PF 321) and either Speech Communication (SPCH 100) or Interpersonal Communication (COMM 150) prior to enrolling in any other course at the 200 level or above. Either PF 121 or PF 321 must be taken prior to the first BLF course, or it may be taken concurrently with the first 15-week BLF course. Students who enroll at Franklin with 30 or fewer hours of transfer credit are required to pass Basic Learning Strategies (PF 121) in place of Learning Strategies (PF 321). Students must also meet the University algebra competency requirement.

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Program Details

Career Opportunities

Communications Specialist

Communications specialists assist with creating and distributing content through a variety of different mediums, including press release and social media.

Event Planner

Event planners assist with coordinating and executing memorable experiences and events. 

Media writer

Media writers are responsible for writing and disseminating clear, concise content to help generate awareness and publicity for a business or organization.

PR Account Manager

PR account managers manage the development and implementation of public relations plans and are the liaison between public relations clients and members of the public relations team.

Communications generalist

Communications generalists support internal and external communications efforts, including assisting in the planning and execution of traditional and digital campaigns.

Frequently Asked Questions

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