USC Annenberg/ Brett Van Ort

Public Relations Major Admission Standards, Requirements And Application For Current Students

Public Relations 

Public relations — sometimes called strategic communication — is a dynamic, fast-growing discipline found in organizations of all types, including non-profits, entertainment firms, sports teams, social action groups, universities and Fortune 500 companies. Its purpose is to help those organizations achieve their goals by maintaining healthy relationships with their most important audiences. Practitioners use a wide variety of creative strategies and tactics, including both digital/social media and traditional mass media, as their most important tools. Every day thousands of PR professionals rely on the training they received at USC Annenberg to analyze trends, develop and implement sophisticated programs, and counsel senior management. Internships with leading PR agencies, non-profit organizations, entertainment companies and government agencies provide real-world experience that prepares students for successful careers.

Major Requirements

Public Relations Requirement (44 units) 

  • PR 209 – Effective Writing for Strategic Public Relations 
  • PR 250 – Strategic Public Relations: An Introduction 
  • PR 351A – Strategic Public Relations Media and Content I 
  • PR 351B – Strategic Public Relations Media and Content II 
  • PR 463 – Strategic Public Relations Research, Analysis and Insight 
  • PR 428 – Social, Legal and Ethical Foundations of Strategic Public Relations 
  • PR 429 – Business and Economic Foundations of Strategic Public Relations           
  • PR 450 – Advanced Strategic Public Relations 

Plus sixteen upper-division journalism and/or public relations elective units. 

Accreditation Requirement 

To meet accrediting guidelines, public relations majors must complete a minimum of 72 units outside the major area of journalism and public relations. 

For more information regarding major requirements for the Annenberg School of Journalism, please visit the USC Catalogue

The USC Annenberg Advantage 


School of Journalism faculty members are among the top professionals in their fields.  They include renowned researchers, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalists, Emmy Award and Peabody Award-winning broadcast journalists, and leaders in fields including government, advertising and public relations.  For information on our faculty, click here.   

Academic Advisement 

All undergraduate journalism majors are required to meet with a USC Annenberg undergraduate adviser each semester to review degree requirements and plan their public relations major progress.  Students must use their USC email accounts to receive advisement information, scholarship announcements and other academic-related announcements. 

USC Annenberg Career Development 

The USC Annenberg Career Development Office provides internship and job listings, job fairs, résumé and career workshops, and one-on-one counseling to aid both students and alumni in their search for a fulfilling career.

USC Annenberg International Programs 

USC Annenberg sponsors international undergraduate study abroad programs in exciting cities around the globe.  Each of the programs provides students with a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to gain international experience in their chosen field of study. 


To learn more about all the organizations USC Annenberg has to offer, visit our Student Organizations page.

Admission Standards and Application Requirements 

Admission to the School of Journalism is selective. When reviewing applications, the Admission Committee considers many factors, such as academic performance, experience in the field of public relations and solid writing skills. The statement of intent is weighed heavily in the application process. To be eligible to apply, students are required to have at least a 3.0 cumulative grade point average and must complete at least one semester of USC course work (a minimum of 16 units). 

To apply to the School of Journalism, students must complete the online application form by one of the deadlines below. 

For more information about the School of Journalism or the application process, contact USC Annenberg Student Services at (213) 740-0900 or Information sessions are offered throughout the fall and spring semesters for students who plan to apply to the School of Journalism. Click here to RSVP for an information session.

Application Availability, Deadline and Notification

Public Relations 

It is recommended that students interested in applying to the public relations major do so before their junior year. It takes public relations majors a minimum of four semesters from the time of admission to the program to complete the major requirements. 

Fall applications are made available the second Friday of June.

  • Fall applications are due by 4:30 p.m. on the first Friday of the fall semester.
  • Fall applicants will be notified during Friday of week four of the fall semester.

Spring applications are made available on the Friday of Fall Recess (in October).

  • Spring applications are due by 4:30 p.m. on the first Friday of the spring semester.
  • Spring applicants will be notified during Friday of week four of the spring semester.

Summer applications are made available on the Friday of Spring Break (in March).

  • Summer applications are due by 4:30 p.m. on the first Friday after commencement.
  • Summer applicants will be notified two weeks after commencement.

Late applications will not be considered. 

NOTE: Students will be notified of admissions status approximately two weeks after the application deadline.

Required Documents for the Undergraduate Application 

The documents below are required.
Incomplete applications will not be considered. 

  • Completed School of Journalism online application form for current USC students only.
  • Statement of Intent: A one-page essay focusing on your interest in pursuing an education and career in the field of public relations. Limit 500-600 words.
  • References: Applicants will be required to list two references. References should be academic or professional.

NOTE: The Admission Committee will review students’ academic records (transcripts and transfer credit statements) on the university system.

Questions? Contact