• Chapman students reviewing advertisements
Dodge College of Film and Media Arts

B.A. in Public Relations and Advertising

» Public Relations and Advertising

In this program, you’ll learn all aspects of planning, developing and executing effective communication campaigns.

Everything you learn will help you become a compelling storyteller for businesses looking to connect with their audiences. Graduates can work in nearly any organization: from corporations to nonprofits to advertising/PR agencies. Everyone’s got a story to tell.

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Program Overview

We offer a unique degree in a film-school setting. Since this is a Dodge College program, you will learn how to effectively use storytelling and visual media within the marketing field. Our program also provides a foundation in both public relations and advertising along with the opportunity to specialize in one of those areas:

  • In your first two years, you’ll gain a broad understanding of strategy and tools. This includes classes on visual storytelling, design strategy, digital marketing and theories of persuasion (and much more). You’ll also take introductory courses on public relations and advertising.
  • By your third year, you will follow your interests into deeper study in PR or advertising. You will take advanced classes in media and public relations or advertising and copywriting.
  • In your final year, you’ll use case studies to write an original research paper and create your own comprehensive advertising or public relations campaign. That campaign plan will provide tangible evidence of your PR or advertising skillset and help open doors to your first job after graduation.

In addition, you’ll receive a liberal arts education at Chapman. This will give you a broad base of knowledge and the opportunity to learn things outside your major. This includes subjects that interest you and could influence your work.

To learn more about the classes you’ll take in the PR and Advertising program, view degree requirements and electives in our course catalog.

Senior Project

Everything you learn in the program culminates with the creation of your senior project, which will be an advertising or public relations campaign.

  • If you choose advertising, you will conduct research, develop creative concepts and plan a multi-channel advertising campaign for your client.
  • If you choose PR, you will create a multi-channel campaign to promote a film created by another Dodge College student. 

As you create your campaign, you will get assistance from your fellow students and faculty with deep (and current) experience in your area of interest.

You can view samples of advertising and PR campaigns created by recent program graduates:

Where This Degree Will Take You

After finishing the program, you’ll be prepared to succeed in public relations or advertising. This is because you’ll be able to:

  • Demonstrate effective written, oral and visual communication skills.
  • Use stories and visual mediums to communicate effectively with various audiences.
  • Understand effective PR and advertising tactics and apply them within a comprehensive PR or advertising plan.
  • Think critically about the economic, social, technological, political, persuasive and ethical factors that affect PR and advertising decision-making.

Our Dodge College career advisor helps both students and alumni develop and achieve their career goals. For more information on opportunities and outcomes, visit our Dodge College Career Services webpage.

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Public Relations Careers

PR professionals exist in virtually every field, from corporations to nonprofits to government agencies. Some areas of specialization include:

  • Corporate relations
  • Strategic communications
  • Marketing/consumer relations
  • Reputation/issues management
  • Public affairs
  • Crisis communications
  • Sports and entertainment
  • Community relations
  • Investor relations
  • International public relations
  • Employee/member communications


Common PR Job Titles

  • Director or Vice President of Public Relations/Corporate Communications
  • Account Executive
  • PR Firm President or Partner
  • Public Information Officer
  • Executive Director
  • Marketing Manager
  • Public Relations Counselor
  • Copywriter
  • Director of Development
  • Special Events Coordinator
  • Media Relations Specialist
  • Lobbyist
  • Spokesperson
  • Press secretary

Advertising Careers

Advertising professionals often work in advertising agencies or marketing firms, in public relations agencies, in-house for corporations or non-profit organizations. Some areas of specialization include:

  • Account management
  • Art direction
  • Copywriting
  • Commercial production
  • Media buying
  • Interactive marketing


Common Advertising Job Titles

  • Marketing Director
  • Creative Director
  • Brand Manager
  • Director of Account Services
  • Director of New Business Development
  • Account Director, Account Supervisor, Account Executive
  • Media Director, Planner, Supervisor or Buyer
  • Production Manager
  • Account Coordinator
  • Traffic Manager/Coordinator
  • Art Director
  • Graphic Designer
  • Copywriter

Program Faculty

Dodge College faculty draw on vast industry experience as they help you develop your communication and marketing skills. Not only will you be in contact with your professors for classes, you are also assigned a faculty member as a Dodge College adviser.

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Core PR and Advertising Faculty and Expertise

  • Veston Rowe (Expertise: Nonprofit public relations, crisis public relations, feature writing)
  • Jim Fredrick (Expertise: Entertainment marketing, trailer editing, producing commercials)
  • Kathy Thibault (Expertise: Advertising, research, branding, consumerism)
  • Chris Trela (Expertise: Public relations, content producer, photography)
  • Angela Paura (Expertise: Marketing campaigns)
For a full list of Dodge College faculty, visit our faculty directory.

Industry Internship Opportunities

Internships are a great way to earn academic credit and gain professional experience. Your dedicated Dodge College Career Advisor will help you find and land the position that best suits your interests and goals.  

Over the last two years, Public Relations and Advertising students have interned with more than 200 different organizations. Some organizations where our students work include:

Dodge College’s Study Abroad Programs

Stories are everywhere, so Dodge has developed study abroad programs for you to gain filmmaking experience around the world. Our Interterm (January semester) programs are popular short-term options; semester and year-long options are also available.

To provide these experiences to as many students as possible, we offer scholarships to help cover the costs of studying in another country.

Dodge College’s International Opportunities >>

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Additional Study Abroad Opportunities

Chapman’s Center for Global Education offers thousands of courses in hundreds of locations around the world. Visit their website to learn more about all the opportunities available.

Chapman’s Center for Global Education >>

Student Clubs and Organizations

Dodge College has two very active clubs for students: Chapman Ad Club and PRSSA, the Public Relations Student Society of America. Each group offers a variety of speakers, field trips and social opportunities.

Additionally, Chapman Ad Club and PRSSA sponsor two national competitions in which our students regularly participate: the National Student Advertising Competition (NSAC) and the PRSSA Bateman Case Study Competition.

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National Student Advertising Competition

Student teams from around the country develop an advertising campaign for a real client. Several dozen students participate on Chapman’s NSAC team each year. You can learn more about the NSAC competition here.

PRSSA Bateman Case Study Competition

Participants create a PR campaign for a sponsor, often a nonprofit agency.  Each team is composed of just five members, although a school can have more than one team. You can learn more about the Bateman Case Study Competition here.

Additional Dodge and Chapman Clubs

Joining a student club or organization is a great way to develop your skill set and build your community (inside and outside of Dodge). Chapman has more than 230 options. You can view all of Dodge College’s clubs here.

Admission & Tour Information

All applicants to Dodge College are required to submit the Common Application as well as a Creative Supplement. You only need to submit materials for your first choice major; any other materials submitted will not be reviewed. You can learn more about applying here.

While you consider Dodge College, we hope you will also have time to visit for a:

  • Dodge College Tour: These 45-minute tours are given by current students. They cover all academic programs, an inside look at our facilities and provide opportunities to ask questions.
  • Campus Tour and Information Session: You will get to see more of campus and the residence life area. These are offered directly after Dodge tours.

Related Programs

Chapman encourages you to explore your interests wherever they take you. Many students interested in PR and Advertising are also curious about:

You can explore all of Chapman’s undergraduate majors and minors with our program finder.

Contact Us

Dodge Admission Inquiries
(714) 997-6996
Marion Knott Studios, 3rd Floor (Room 343)

For other questions, visit our Contact page.

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