Undergraduate Program

Undergraduate Program

What’s unique about the Public Relations Program?

Students participate in experiential learning opportunities creating “real life” learning opportunities. From creating a public service announcement for a local food pantry to designing a resource booklet for the Hispanic population, students continue to engage in creative, “out of the box” learning environments.

At the same time, students participate in Public Relations Summits involving local industry leaders sharing their career in an informal setting designed to inspire conversation. As a result of the Public Relations Summits, students have secured not only summer internship opportunities but full-time employment following graduation. For more information, view Student Resources.

To meet the demands of this competitive career path, the Public Relations Program combines traditional courses in writing and public relations theory with courses invoking critical thought about the pervasive impact of social media within the business environment. Students will not only explore the demands of the global economy but will address issues impacting the local community and the non-profit venue as a result of our experiential learning philosophy.

The Public Relations Program – your first step to a career in Public Relations.


See what’s happening in the classroom!

Students in Dr. Hollie Smith’s Spring 2015 PRS441: Public Relations Campaign course got a first hand look at the future of wind energy in the Ocean State by working with Wind Energy Development, LLC to develop PR campaigns for audiences all across the state. Students worked with WED, a North Kingstown based company, to develop communication campaigns that share the company’s messages of increasing energy security, preserving farm land in Rhode Island, boosting local economies, and reducing carbon emissions. Students used the semester-long project to learn how to research audiences, create messages, and pitch proposals to the client.

Thanks to the in class experience, two students had the opportunity to intern with the company in Summer 2015. Emily Dodd and Nicole Anderson, both Public Relations majors, worked with WED staff to plan and coordinate 2016 public relations events, create press releases and design new publicity materials for the company. Emily and Nicole were able to apply their PR knowledge by overseeing social media campaigns as WED brands itself in the digital realm. The students also were exposed to the business side of renewable energy, learning how to create Requests for Proposals for future wind energy projects.

This is just one example of the PR program’s many courses that connect the classroom to Rhode Island industry. The PR curriculum is designed in an effort to make the classroom a real world laboratory for refining students’ public relations skills in a rapidly evolving communication climate.


Michelle Curreri PR class visists Ryan Center

Students at the Ryan Center


Students enrolled in Michelle Curreri’s PRS200: Introduction to Event Management class had the opportunity to tour URI’s Ryan Center and Boss Arena! Through in-depth research prior to their visit, students developed their knowledge on the history of the Ryan Center and Boss Arena, learned about its staff members and read up on the promoter’s guide.


Boss Arena

Students at Boss Arena


During the tour, students had the opportunity to meet with staff members and learned the process of event management. This included the entire event process from initiation and selection to full management and follow-through. Students also had the chance to incorporate their own questions, which helped to frame their visit. On top of it all, they were given a behind-the-scenes tour of both the Ryan Center and Boss Arena, an experience they will surely never forget! Next month, Curreri’s class will take a tour of URI’s Boss Ice Arena, another exciting stop on the road to event management. Stay tuned!