New Bachelor of Arts in Public Relations at William Paterson University in Wayne Prepares Students for Career Success

Program offered both fully online and in person

Public relations students and faculty at the annual PR & Social Media Internship and Career Fair on campus.

Students work in the communication department's SMART Lab

William Paterson University has launched a bachelor of arts degree in public relations to prepare students for rewarding careers in public relations, social media, event promotion, global strategic communication, and advocacy-related fields.

The degree program, housed in the Department of Communication in the University’s College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences, is available both in person and fully online through WP Online, William Paterson’s fully online degree platform for adult learners. In addition, students have the option to pursue an accelerated 4 +1 program where students earn a bachelor of art degree in public relations followed by a master of arts in professional communication in 5 years.

“We have a long history of accomplished alumni in public relations. I am so excited about launching innovations through our new public relations major. Innovations that reimagine our offerings and opportunities with the future in mind,” says Wartyna Davis, dean of the College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences.

Lorra Brown, associate professor of communication and a former senior executive with global agencies Ogilvy and Weber Shandwick says, “We designed a rigorous applied public relations curriculum providing students with a competitive advantage in fast-evolving career paths.” 

The 39-credit program includes required core courses in public relations, digital and social media communication, strategic multi-platform writing, and corporate social responsibility, among others, such as interdisciplinary electives in communication, management, and marketing, and a required capstone project. In addition to their coursework, students will develop real-world skills to communicate effectively and consistently through internships and extracurricular activities such as the University’s chapter of the Student Public Relations Association, which hosts alumni networking mixers, field trips to New York agencies, and an array of professional development activities. A new Social Media Applications Research and Teaching (SMART) Lab provides opportunities for students to apply what they are learning through research, social media certifications, and the implementation of strategies to support an organization’s business objectives.

“Companies seek versatile professionals who understand emerging technologies and have strong analytical skills,” says Angie Yoo, professor of communication and director of the SMART Lab. “Our students gain tangible skills and credentials to effectively use social media in today’s crowded global media environment.”

Public relations is one of the nation’s fastest-growing career fields, with employment expected to increase nearly 10 percent by 2029, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. William Paterson’s proximity to New York City, combined with strong communication industry and alumni connections, provides students interested in the field to seek opportunities with sports teams, media networks, entertainment venues, corporations, and public relations firms. The University’s public relations alumni span all industries and interest areas from entertainment, sports, fashion, healthcare, music, food, travel to finance, corporate, and non-profit communication.