Public Relations and Advertising Major Admission Standards, Requirements And Application

Public Relations and Advertising Major Information And Requirements For Current Students 

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

Bachelor of Arts in Public Relations and Advertising (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 427 – Structured Inquiry in Public Relations and Advertising
  • 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. 

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 and advertising 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 Standards

To be eligible to apply, current USC students must have: 

  • Completed 16 units at USC. 
  • 2.5 USC GPA recommended.

NOTE: A minimum of four semesters is required to complete the Public Relations and Advertising major. No exceptions will be made.

Application Requirements

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

  • Completed Public Relations and Advertising Major online application for current USC students only. 
  • Statement of Intent: A statement of intent is required for students who have below a 2.5 USC GPA. This should be a one-page essay on any pertinent information that may have affected your academic performance and your interest in pursuing an education and career in the field of public relations and advertising. Limit 500-600 words. 

For more information about the School of Journalism or the application process, please contact USC Annenberg Student Services at (213) 740-0900 or Information sessions are 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. 

NOTE: The Admission Committee will review students’ academic records (transcripts and transfer credit statements) on the university system. Students accepted to the Public Relations and Advertising major will be admitted to the semester in which they apply. 

Application Availability, Deadline and Notification

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

Fall applications are made available on July 1.

  • Fall applications are due by 4:30 p.m. on the first Friday of the fall semester (in August).
  • Fall applicants will be notified on the fourth Friday of the fall semester (in September).

Spring applications are made available on December 1.

  • Spring applications are due by 4:30 p.m. on the first Friday of the spring semester (in January).
  • Spring applicants will be notified on the fourth Friday of the spring semester (in February).

Summer applications are made available on April 1.

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

Please reference the academic calendar on the schedule of classes for specific dates relating to each semester.

Late applications will not be considered. 

Questions? Contact