Bachelor of Science in Journalism – Strategic Communications – West Virginia University

The Strategic Communications major teaches students how to develop and produce persuasive and educational messages and integrated communications campaigns that employ both public relations and advertising tactics. Students in this major select an area of emphasis (AOE) in either Advertising or Public Relations to complement their integrated strategic communications coursework.

Students build skills in writing, research, graphic design, event planning, direct marketing, media planning, and campaign development and management. Students plan and produce promotional and educational campaigns and materials for actual clients, which include non-profits, businesses and special projects, gaining real-world experience that can lead to careers in advertising and public relations agencies, corporations, nonprofits, government, education, entertainment, sports, health care and other public-sector fields.

The College boasts an active faculty-advised and student-run integrated communications agency, Martin-Hall Agency, and an active, award-winning Public Relations Student Society of America chapter. These organizations offer students professional networking opportunities and application of advertising and public relations knowledge into campaign experience. Members participate in the national American Advertising Federation Competition and national Bateman campaign competition, among others.

As a strategic communicator, you can be a …

  • Social Media Strategist

  • Nonprofit Advocate

  • Brand Champion

  • Community Relations Director

  • Digital Marketing Manager

  • Director of Audience Engagement

Advertising AOE

Students who select the Advertising AOE within the Strategic Communications major obtain a solid foundation in creative copywriting and design, media planning, audience insights and analysis, and campaigns. Additional courses in interactive marketing, strategic social media, and account management are available to round out students’ individual interests. They go on to work at advertising and marketing agencies, in media advertising sales, within corporate communications offices, as media planners, or as consultants and business owners. The advertising curriculum affords a solid foundation for law or other specialized graduate programs.

Public Relations AOE

Students who select the Public Relations AOE within the Strategic Communications major take courses in strategic writing and social media, media design, audience research and analysis, and campaigns. Other courses that apply to the major include web development, fundraising and foundation management, integrated marketing communications for sports, and blogging and interactive journalism. Students go on to work at communications agencies, in government, health care organizations, nonprofits, corporate communications, and politics. Those students who wish to go on to graduate school have a solid grounding in writing, research, analysis, and communications.

Strategic Communications Major Requirements

Strategic Communications majors earn a Bachelor of Science in Journalism (BSJ), Strategic Communications degree upon successful completion of the program.

  • To graduate, all College of Media majors must complete a minimum of 128 credit hours.

  • In addition to required College of Media core, students must take Strategic Communications core courses and at least three additional courses specific to Advertising or Public Relations. Students also must take specified courses outside of the College, complete a minor and fulfill the University’s General Education Curriculum (GEC) requirements.

  • Finally, the College’s accreditation guidelines require that students take a minimum of 72 credit hours outside of the College. Typically, students meet this requirement through the GEC, minor and other non-College courses.


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