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School of Communication & the Arts

Public Relations

Public Relations

Public Relations at Lasell

The Public Relations program prepares media literate, digitally adept graduates for exciting PR careers in areas such as corporate communications, public affairs, and promotions in a wide range of public and private sectors. By blending theoretical perspectives with hands-on learning, the program immerses students in the study of PR principles and practices including strategic communication, media relations, campaign planning and evaluation.


Program Features

The program features many extracurricular opportunities to give students leadership/team experience and portfolio material. These experiences include:

  • Opportunities for students to apply their knowledge in student media outlets including the 1851 Chronicle print and digital newspaper, Lasell Community Television (LCTV) and WLAS radio.
  • The program culminates with students completing at least one required internship and a capstone experience in which they develop a digital portfolio to showcase their undergraduate projects and skills. 
  • Students are required to do at least one internship and encouraged to study either abroad or domestically.

What You'll Learn

From your first day, you’ll take courses in your major and advance towards graduation with a yearly plan. Not sure what classes to take? We’ll help you create the perfect plan. 

Learning Outcomes

The following learning outcomes delineate what we strive for students to achieve when they complete a major program of study in Public Relations:

  • Communicate clearly and effectively with diverse audiences through writing, oral and non-verbal methods in styles demanded by platform and discipline.
  • Critically analyze the content, functions, effects and ethics of media in a diverse, global society.
  • Formulate applied communication research questions and employ quantitative or qualitative methods to gather, analyze, and share findings.
  • Employ tools and technology within industry standards to plan and implement communications to achieve strategic public relations objectives and evaluate results.
  • Identify and articulate one’s skills, strengths and experiences relative to public relations career goals, and identify areas necessary for professional growth.

For a complete list of courses and learning outcomes, view the Academic Catalog >>


Accelerated Master's Program

Save time and money — earn your graduate degree in just 1 year with the Accelerated Master's program. Learn more and how to apply >>

Career Success in the Public Relations Industry

Our students have interned with:

  • Viacom
  • Converse, Inc.
  • Dunkin Brands, Inc.
  • Madison Square Garden
  • Reebok Global Headquarters
  • The Boston Celtics
  • The New England Patriots
  • The Boston Globe
  • The Boston Hearld
  • iHeart Media

Our alumni work for:

  • Publicist
  • Media liaison
  • Public affairs officer
  • Community relations coordinator
  • Media planner
  • Speech writer
  • Press secretary
  • Corporate communications director
  • Event coordinator
  • PR account executive

Request more information about the Public Relations program:

COM101 - Understanding Mass Media

This course surveys the theories, history, economics, audience, and regulations of the major forms of mass media, including newspapers, magazines, motion pictures, radio, television, and new electronic communication. Students develop a basic understanding of the roles of mass media and their effects on society and the individual. The course focuses on the relationship between mass media and society, so students can identify current trends that are changing the nature and function of traditional mass communication. Students examine and debate many current controversial issues concerning the mass media and their effects on our society and culture. Students discuss significant aspects of mass communication, including ethics and policy formulation that are playing key roles in the materialization of a new global communication era.

COM102 - Visual Media Toolkit

This course introduces?a practice-based?approach to visual communication design.?Through a series of projects, students develop?knowledge and techniques for communicating meaning visually using Adobe and other software for digital imaging, publication and web design.?They will expand their visual vocabulary while exploring topics including?typography, color,?photo enhancement and manipulation, and principles of graphic design for?print and digital media. By creating visual messages and a digital portfolio website, and?critiquing?their own and?others’?work,?students increase their?overall?visual literacy and understanding of effective visual communication.

COM103 - Human Communication (KP)

This course is a basic survey of human communication, especially interpersonal and group. Attention is given to perception, language and meaning, listening, theories of persuasion, verbal and nonverbal communication, small group discussion, interpersonal conflict, and interviewing. The course focuses on understanding how human communication is fundamentally related to issues of interpersonal relationships; the history of human communication and language development; perception and intrapersonal communication; leadership; group/team work; multicultural diversity in organizations; decision-making; power; public speaking; and ethical challenges. This course helps students to develop and practice skills that will guide effective action in their professional careers and interpersonal relationships. This course includes a Service Learning component.

COM105 - Writing for The Media

This course provides students with a basic introduction to and overview of communication writing that focuses on channels of communication (clients, audiences, formats); creating writing samples; conducting writing exercises; developing strategies for soliciting feedback; and engaging in peer editing exercises. Students learn about various media writing formats, such as news releases, features, profiles, columns, editorials, reviews, speeches, public service announcements, backgrounders, etc. This is a writing intensive course. Prerequisite: COM 101.

COM203 - Effective Speaking

This course provides instruction and practice in preparing and delivering the various kinds of oral presentations encountered by professionals. Students learn how to analyze audiences, organize different types of presentations, prepare and use visual aids, deliver presentations to different audiences and respond to questions. Students are taught to express themselves in a clear, confident, responsible, and appropriate manner. The classroom environment is conducive to confidence building and overcoming the fear of speaking.

COM212 - Intercultural Communication

This course examines communication issues that arise from contact between people from different cultural backgrounds in everyday life, social encounters, and business transactions. Interdisciplinary approaches are applied to the study of how verbal and nonverbal presentation, ethnic, gender, and cultural differences affect communication. The course provides exercises in participation, analysis, and criticism of interethnic and interracial communications in small group settings. Students examine factors of international communication such as the cultural, economic, political, and social influences and the role of communication in affecting social change in a wide variety of cultures and countries. Prerequisite: COM101 or SOC101 or PSYC101

COM219 - Social Media Management

Communication professionals must to be able to utilize different social media platforms to both engage audiences and increase brand impact and influence. This course is designed to introduce students to the key concepts and practices of managing social media channels. Through case studies, interactive assignments, and a social media project, students will learn necessary skills to managing a social media platform, including conducting a social media audit, developing a strategic social media plan, building an editorial calendar, identifying key metrics and using data analytics to assess and report the impact of social media posts and campaigns. Students will also earn Hubspot Certification in Social Media during the course. Prerequisite: Sophomore status.

COM315 - Communication Research

This course introduces students to methods of social research that are applied to communication theory and practice. This includes both academic research on human communication and the kinds of professional research conducted in media industries, such as journalism, advertising and public relations. Students conduct individual and group research projects during the term. Prerequisite: COM101, MATH208 & Jr Standing

COM327 - Digital Storytelling

This project-based course introduces students to the practice of digital storytelling to engage, inform and persuade audiences. Students will explore narrative structure and aesthetics of different storytelling media, with emphasis on micro, short form and episodic audio and video for social and online platforms. Students will develop story ideas, use desktop and mobile tools to acquire content in a variety of settings, and edit and repurpose content to maximize its usefulness. Through creation and analysis of their own and others’ digital stories, students will increase their understanding of effective digital storytelling. Prerequisite: COM101

COM331 - Media Literacy & Ethics

Mass media have become the primary and predominant storytellers of our time, and their messages can influence the way we see ourselves and the world around us. However, because messages are shaped by the corporate interests that control media organizations, their impact may not always be in the best interests of the public. It is the responsibility of audiences, therefore, to understand and to think critically about mass media messages. This course provides students with a framework to explore such media content critically. Students study the role mass media plays in communicating cultural values and its impact on society, by emphasizing how media companies shape public discourse. The course uses two avenues of inquiry; one exploring the philosophical basis of media ethics and another outlining case histories from the media. Current trends in the news and popular culture’s view of the ethical lapses in mass media, journalism, advertising, and public relations, are also explored. Special emphasis is placed on the diverse theoretical approaches through which ethical questions of media literacy can be explored. Prerequisite: COM101 and Junior standing.

COM399 - Pre-Internship Seminar

This seminar helps students to develop professional objectives and identify potential sites for their internships. In this seminar students identify their personal work style and strengths, will identify a good career match, will create an effective cover letter & resume, will develop effective networking, interviewing, and negotiation skills. This course will help students apply search tools for finding internships. A goal of this course is to secure an internship for the following semester. Prerequisite: Sophomore standing.

COM400 - Field Experience I

This course is the professional component of the capstone experience in the Communication Department. The course provides students with a work/skill development opportunity to practice communication theory and skills in a real work setting. The internship course is comprised of a minimum of 150 hours in the field, the weekly seminar, and its assignments, including an oral presentation. Students also write weekly reflections on their experience, complete written assignments, and do an oral presentation to a group of their peers. The field supervisor contributes to the student’s learning through guidance, feedback and evaluation of the students work. Prerequisite: COM399 Pre-Internship Seminar

COM495 - Capstone Project & Portfolio

In this capstone course, students will review and refine their digital portfolios to demonstrate knowledge and skills acquired through their studies. They will also apply their learning to produce a capstone project based on their area of specialization and career goals. These projects will involve research into the project topic, as well as integration of relevant communication theory, ethical issues and professional practices. Students will iterate projects from draft to final deliverable(s) based on presentation and critique of their work throughout the term. The course culminates with students exhibiting their projects and portfolios to program faculty. Prerequisite: Senior standing.