Kennesaw State to offer a bachelor’s degree in public relations

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Board of Regents approval recognizes expanding opportunities for PR professionals KENNESAW, Ga….

Georgia (Jan 7, 2015)Board of Regents approval recognizes expanding opportunities for PR professionals

KENNESAW, Ga.  (Jan. 7, 2015) — Kennesaw State University will begin offering a Bachelor of Science in Public Relations following approval Tuesday by the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia. The new major will be available fall 2015.

The new stand-alone degree represents an expansion of the University’s program in public relations, which previously was offered as a concentration within the Bachelor of Science in Communication. 

“The new B.S. in public relations demonstrates Kennesaw State’s commitment to providing professionally focused, market-driven and academically rigorous degree programs that best prepare our students to meet critical needs in our local communities, the region and state,” said W. Ken Harmon, the University’s provost and vice president for academic affairs.

The creation of degree programs in public relations — Georgia Southern and University of Georgia also offer the degree — reflects both an increase in student interest and employment opportunities.

At Kennesaw State, 139 of the 336 students who graduated in FY 2014 with a B.S. in communication concentrated in public relations. Currently, 450 students are concentrating in public relations. University officials expect that a minimum of 550 students will major in the field by 2019.

Based on Bureau of Labor Statistics projections, some 80,100 job openings are anticipated in public relations- related occupations from 2012-2022. An increase of 28.4 percent in employment for public relations managers is also expected over the 10-year period. The growth in employment for PR specialists is expected to jump 36.8 percent.   

“Clearly, this great job outlook is making public relations a highly desirable career choice for today’s students,” said Barbara Gainey, chair of Kennesaw State’s Department of Communication. “It is critical that students gain a thorough knowledge of PR theory and practice, as well as the skills demanded as this discipline becomes more dynamic, complex and integrated into organizations of all types.”

Students interested in the “gated” public relations major must meet a GPA requirement and pass a writing test. To earn the new bachelor’s degree, students must complete 123 hours of study, including courses focusing on PR theory, research and practice, as well as an opportunity to complete an internship in the field. Course content will be taught in traditional face-to-face and online formats, and in a hybrid format that mixes face-to-face and online delivery. Existing faculty, as well as lecturers and adjunct professors among the many PR professionals practicing in the Atlanta Metro and Northwest Georgia regions, will teach courses.

Gainey noted that the new bachelor’s degree in public relations represents a significant milestone for Kennesaw State’s communication department.

“We are excited about adding a second major, especially as we celebrate the Department of Communication’s 25th anniversary and a new academic year for the newly consolidated KSU,” she said. “Our new gated program and new major will help ensure that our graduates are ready for a competitive marketplace and exceptionally well-prepared to make an immediate impact in their new careers."

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Kennesaw State University is the third-largest university in Georgia, offering more than 100 graduate and undergraduate degrees, including doctorates in education, business and nursing and a Ph.D. in international conflict management. A member of the University System of Georgia, Kennesaw State is a comprehensive, residential institution with a growing student population of nearly 26,000 from 130 countries.



A leader in innovative teaching and learning, Kennesaw State University offers undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degrees to its nearly 43,000 students. With 11 colleges on two metro Atlanta campuses, Kennesaw State is a member of the University System of Georgia. The university’s vibrant campus culture, diverse population, strong global ties and entrepreneurial spirit draw students from throughout the country and the world. Kennesaw State is a Carnegie-designated doctoral research institution (R2), placing it among an elite group of only 6 percent of U.S. colleges and universities with an R1 or R2 status. For more information, visit