Strategic Communication (STC)

STC 501. Principles and Theories of Public Relations.3 Credits.

Students are introduced to the growing body of knowledge in the discipline and gain expertise that contributes to professional competence in public relations. Students examine the function of public relations in organizations and society, review contemporary and historical roles of public relations professionals and explore the practice of public relations in various public and private settings. Students also learn the latest theoretical approaches to public relations and apply these approaches to contemporary public relations management practices.

Offered: Every year, Fall

STC 502. Public Relations Research Methods.3 Credits.

This course examines the applied use of research in public relations program development. Students learn methodologies appropriate for conducting secondary analyses and primary research. Both quantitative and qualitative methods are addressed, such as secondary analysis, content analysis, survey research, focus groups, participant observation, case study and experimentation.

Offered: Every year, Fall

STC 503. Public Relations Research Design.3 Credits.

This course focuses on the practical aspects of designing and implementing a public relations research project. Students develop problem statements, conduct literature reviews, write research questions and prepare research proposals. Ethical and methodological issues involved in research design are discussed. The course also familiarizes students with IRB protocols and helps them hone scholarly and professional writing skills, including the proper use of citations.

Prerequisites: Take STC 501 STC 502.
Offered: Every year, Spring

STC 504. Law and Ethics in Public Relations.3 Credits.

Students become familiar with legal and industry standards for legally and ethically practicing public relations. The course aims to instill an appreciation for freedom of expression and the First Amendment; to impart a functional understanding of legal rules and principles relevant to public relations practice in the U.S.; to enhance students' ability to identify the moral and ethical dimensions of issues that arise in public relations practice; and to develop analytical and critical thinking skills that encourage students to make and justify ethical decisions.

Offered: Every year, Fall

STC 505. Public Relations Writing.3 Credits.

This course helps students develop professional-quality public relations writing skills. Students prepare a variety of public relations materials, such as news releases and other media materials; copy for internal magazines, reports, newsletters, brochures, institutional/advocacy advertising; video/audio scripts; web site copy; and speeches. Upon completion of this course, students have a professional portfolio of public relations writing samples.

Offered: Every year, Fall

STC 506. Public Relations Management.3 Credits.

This course focuses on the business management aspects of public relations, such as policy formation, project direction, resource management, client relations, budgeting and counseling. Special emphasis is placed on public relations' contribution to an institution's mission and effectiveness.

Prerequisites: Take STC 501.
Offered: Every year, Spring

STC 507. Strategic Planning in Public Relations.3 Credits.

This course familiarizes students with the public relations strategic planning process. Students examine contemporary case studies that demonstrate the public relations planning process and apply what they have learned to the development and presentation of a public relations campaign plan for a client.

Prerequisites: Take STC 501.
Offered: Every year, Spring

STC 510. Crisis Management.3 Credits.

This course examines institutional crisis communication from a management perspective with an emphasis on crisis prevention, planning and response. Students are required to read and discuss selected articles from the crisis management literature, research and develop case studies of contemporary crises, and participate in simulations designed to develop professional expertise and practical skills in crisis management, including the management of information, management of public communication, strategic planning, problem solving, message production and issues management.

Offered: As needed

STC 511. Global Strategy.3 Credits.

This course examines concepts, issues and practices in international public relations across the borders and focuses on the challenges, opportunities, and the worldwide development of public relations. The course aims to inform you about the variables that affect public relations practice in the international realm and assist you in understanding of other countries' domestic public relations given the various cultures, geopolitical and socio-economic systems. Participants look closely at how governments, corporations, multinationals and nongovernmental organizations employ international public relations strategies around the world. Students also examine similarities between international public relations and public diplomacy and the effects of international public relations on images of nations.

Offered: As needed

STC 512. Investor Relations.3 Credits.

Students study the function of investor relations in corporations and examine the role of investor relations specialists charged with communicating financial information about companies to the financial media, SEC, financial analysts, shareholders and others in the financial community. Students learn how to integrate finance, communication, marketing and securities law compliance in efforts to maximize shareholder wealth.

Offered: As needed

STC 513. Health and Strategic Communications.3 Credits.

In this course, students are exposed to the field of strategic health communications, with particular attention to analysis and practice of health communication relationships and messages. Issues to be discussed include, but are not limited to: history and current challenges of the health communication field; health campaign creation, implementation and evaluation; cultural issues related to health behavior change campaigns; translational research; traditional and social media training for health care professionals; and perspectives of media influence on health attitudes, norms and behaviors.

Offered: As needed

STC 514. Social and Mobile Media.3 Credits.

This course addresses the impact of social and mobile media on public relations. It focuses on conducting public relations campaigns online and responding to public relations issues via such tools as social networking and bookmarking sites, blogs, podcasts/vodcasts, discussion boards and conferences, wikis, mobile and location-based applications.

Offered: As needed

STC 515. Special Topics in Public Relations.3 Credits.

This course examines a specific topic or issue in public relations theory and practice. Topics might focus on specific practice areas such as sports public relations, employee relations, political public relations, public diplomacy, nonprofit public relations, or on industry issues and trends, such as the uses and impact of new technologies, professional ethics and corporate social responsibility or the integration of communication practices.

Offered: As needed

STC 516. Branding Strategies.3 Credits.

This course explores strategies used by planners, communicators, managers and consultants to create, develop, nurture, maintain and reenergize brands. This course helps students understand the main idea of branding: developing, defending and growing brands for companies, agencies or nonprofits. It explores the essential elements of branding, including target audiences and segmentation, brand benefits, brand personality, differentiation and key brand equities. It also surveys conceptual approaches for the diagnosis of brand growth opportunities and for planning integrated brand communications.

Offered: Every year, Fall and Spring

STC 517. Strategic Communication for Health Professionals.3 Credits.

In this course, graduate students are exposed to the field of strategic health communication. In particular, students are asked to consider the role of health communication messages in internal, organizational settings, as well as outward-facing messages. Unique to this graduate-level strategic communication course, the students are expected to have minimal to no experience in the field of strategic communication. Instead, the overview of the field provided through this course seeks to encourage understanding of how the theories, practices and evaluations of health communication should be incorporated within their areas of health expertise.

Offered: Every year, Spring

STC 518. Measurement and Evaluation.3 Credits.

This course focuses on the development of knowledge and skills to ensure that students are able to use data to make business decisions. Students consider key concerns of measurement to determine if measurement tools are effective and appropriate for a project's goals, as well as how to make sense of data to measure success of a project and how to display findings for various audiences. The course is focused on the principles and process of utilizing research to best serve your client's or organization's goals. Main topics for the course include measurement development and refinement, online data analytics, audience segmentation, data interpretation and data visualization.

Offered: Every year, Fall and Spring

STC 519. Strategic Public Relations and Reputation Management.3 Credits.

The focus of this course is reputation management and its importance to business success. Students analyze the function of corporate communications and examine a range of topics including organizational identity, image and reputation; issues and crisis management; institutional ethics and corporate social responsibility; strategic public relations planning; integrated marketing communication; public relations theories and best practices; and global public engagement. The class also explores specialty public relations practice areas such as media relations, investor relations, employee relations and government relations. Class discussions, case studies, in-class exercises, team projects and essay exams help students improve their critical thinking and reasoning skills, develop research and strategic planning skills and increase diversity awareness and sensitivities that are important to professional and business success.

Offered: As needed

STC 530. Strategic Communications Independent Study.1-6 Credits.

Offered: As needed

STC 531. Graduate Internship in Public Relations.3 Credits.

Students complete a minimum of 90 hours of professional fieldwork supervised by the program director and a qualified field supervisor. Approval of the program director is required.

Offered: Every year, All

STC 601. Public Relations Professional Project.6 Credits.

Students develop a professional research project under the direction of program faculty.

Prerequisites: Take STC 501 STC 502 STC 503.
Offered: Every year, All

STC 602. Public Relations Research Thesis.6 Credits.

Students develop a research thesis under the direction of program faculty.

Prerequisites: Take STC 501 STC 502 STC 503.
Offered: Every year, All

STC 603. Candidacy Continuation.0 Credits.

This course is required of all students who are not registered for any graduate courses in the program but who continue working toward the completion of their degree. Requires permission of the program director.

Offered: As needed

STC 605. Public Relations Graduate Capstone.3 Credits.

Students develop a professional research project under the direction of program faculty. The project work should exhibit KSAs and/or serve as PRSA Readiness Review preparation. Students may enroll in this course once they have completed 30 credit hours in the program. The capstone project is a personally- designed, independently conducted activity, which enables students to further their knowledge/skill in one or more of the course topics, which students have found especially interesting or beneficial to them. Permission of instructor required. This course is graded on a pass/fail basis.

Offered: Every year, Summer

STC 606. Independent Study.3 Credits.

Students develop and implement individual research projects that advance understanding of particular theoretical or practical aspects of public relations. Approval of the program director is required.

Offered: As needed