The UAB Department of Communication Studies offers a top-ranked and award-winning curriculum in public relations. Our program is designed to offer you a wide range of career choices in fields that include business, politics, sports, government, not-for-profits, crisis management, and education.

Public relations students holding their PRCA award certificates.

The public relations curriculum places a heavy emphasis on teaching you all the skills you'll need to succeed and excel in any of these organizations. You'll learn the basics in the field and also practice those skills by representing real clients over the course of your study, all under the supervision and advice of faculty. In addition you will develop skills in management and leadership, as well as theory and research — all essential in providing professional representation to your clients throughout your career. Students regularly publish their work, recognized by public relations practitioners.

Here's What to Expect

Public relations is relationship-based. Initial courses will provide you with a broad overview of the field, exploring the relationships between public relations and other fields. Early on, you will begin representing clients while you take courses on the basic principles of public relations as a management function in the areas of communication analysis, counseling, and public information activities and publicity. You will learn to analyze the relationships between an organization and the publics upon which the organization’s success or failure depend. Then you will use those analytical skills to develop and implement a campaign in conjunction with your client.

Why Study With Us?

Our program has won the Public Relations Council of Alabama (PRCA) Student Chapter of the Year for 33 of the last 35 years. In 2018 UAB brought home four Medallion Awards (the highest award offered by PRCA) as well as 22 Awards of Excellence and 15 Awards of Merit. In addition, UAB PRCA/PRSSA competes successfully against similar student organizations across the nation and students sit on national committees and are active with the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA).

As a result of the opportunities afforded public relations majors, student placement is among the highest in the country in both careers and graduate programs. Our graduates hold jobs in some of the most prestigious organizations world-wide.

Program Requirements

A complete list of major requirements, courses, and a proposed four-year program of study for Communication majors are available in the UAB Undergraduate Catalog.

Want to Learn More?

Do you have questions that we haven't answered? Ask us! Email Dr. Jacquelyn S. Shaia, director of the public relations program and director of internships, at

Ready to apply? All the information you need can be found on UAB's Undergraduate Admissions Hub.

Medallion Award winnders 2018.