2020-2021 Academic Year

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Amy Thurlow, BPR (Mount Saint Vincent University), MA (Saint Mary's), PhD (Saint Mary's), APR, FCPRS, Professor

The Public Relations program is designed to answer the need for university-educated public relations professionals in Canada. Students receive instruction in a variety of liberal arts subjects, communication techniques, public relations theories, practices and management. Graduates are qualified to take up positions in public relations, public affairs and information services in business, government, media, educational and non-profit institutions and consulting firms. Selected courses are available and delivered online.

All students must seek academic advising once admitted to the program. The Department of Communication Studies has a prescribed sequence of courses that must be followed.
Note: Students enrolled in the Bachelor of Public Relations prior to September 2001 should consult with the department regarding the requirements for completion of their program.

Admission Requirements
Please refer to 2.1.4 Admission Requirements and 2.1.6 Additional Admission Requirements. Enrolment in this program is limited and selection is based on suitable academic background and achievement.

Transfer Requirements
Please review Admission Requirements for Transfer Students.

Special Studies
Students may count a maximum of 4.0 units of directed/independent/research studies courses in a 23.0 unit degree, with no more than 2.0 units in any single discipline.

Course Failure
If a student fails a Public Relations course twice, she or he will be dismissed from the Public Relations program.

Program Requirements

The Bachelor of Public Relations (Co-operative Education) program is designed as a full-time study program. Co-operative education requires a student to be enrolled full-time before and after each co-op term. Full-time enrolment is defined as 1.5 units per semester. A student who commences the program on a part-time basis must be prepared to enrol full-time (1.5 units per semester) the semester prior to her/his first co-op term and must complete the program as a full-time student. Students are expected to maintain a portfolio of work completed during the public relations degree program.

Students must successfully complete 23.0 units with the following requirements:
 ❏  three compulsory co-op terms
 ❏obtain a minimum GPA of 2.0 in 8.0 units of required coursework including all required PBRL courses  Note: Co-operative education work term courses (PBRL 1188, 2288 and 3388) cannot be counted in the calculation of the GPA
 ❏meet all requirements for the co-operative education program
 ❏students may complete a minor consisting of 3.0 units as specified by the department offering the  minor. Students must achieve a minimum GPA of 2.0 in the required 3.0 units
   Required Courses (13.5 units)
 ❏   BUSI 11120.5 unit
COMM 2016
0.5 unit
COMM 2025
0.5 unit
 ❏BUSI 22300.5 unit
 ❏COMM 30170.5 unit
 ❏COMM 30230.5 unit
 ❏MATH 22080.5 unit 
 ❏PBRL 10100.5 unit
 ❏PBRL 11881.0 unit
 ❏PBRL 20120.5 unit
 ❏PBRL 2013/COMM 20130.5 unit
 ❏PBRL 2211/COMM 22110.5 unit
 ❏PBRL 22881.0 unit
 ❏PBRL 30120.5 unit
 ❏PBRL 3013/COMM 30130.5 unit
 ❏PBRL 30140.5 unit
 ❏PBRL 30160.5 unit
 ❏PBRL 30200.5 unit
 ❏PBRL 33881.0 unit
 ❏PBRL 40140.5 unit
 ❏PBRL 40150.5 unit
 ❏PBRL 40190.5 unit
 ❏PBRL 41010.5 unit
 ❏PBRL 41070.5 unit
   Electives (9.5 units)
 ❏0.5 unit of WOMS (Women's Studies or Women's Emphasis course)0.5 unit
 ❏0.5 unit of ENGL at the 1000 level or above0.5 unit
 ❏8.5 units of electives
❏ at least 3.0 units of these 8.5 units must be taken at the 3000 level or above
❏ at least 4.0 units of these 8.5 units must be taken from courses within Arts and Sciences
8.5 units


Co-operative EducationMount Saint Vincent University offers a 23.0 unit Bachelor of Public Relations degree with compulsory co-operative education. The Bachelor of Public Relations (Co-operative Education) degree is accredited by the Canadian Association for Co-operative Education (CAFCE).

Co-operative education is a process in which employers and educators co-operate in the education of students by formally integrating the student’s academic program with related work experience. All students must complete three alternate co-op terms off-campus with government agencies, non-profit institutions and corporations. Studies show that co-operative education enhances the student’s academic performance and facilitates the student’s transition to the workplace upon graduation.

The co-operative education component involves a sequencing of normal academic semesters and co-op terms. Students complete the normal academic sequence for their first 10.0 units if entering the Bachelor of Public Relations (Co-operative Education) degree directly from high school. Students admitted to the Bachelor of Public Relations (Co-operative Education) degree with sufficient transfer credits complete the normal academic sequence for their first 5.0 units. For the second half of the program, there is an alternation of co-op terms and academic semesters.

The following schedule depicts the typical Bachelor of Public Relations (Co-operative Education) program:

YearSept to DecJan to AprMay to August
1Academic Term 1Academic Term 2Free
2Academic Term 3Academic Term 4Co-op Term 1
3Academic Term 5Co-op Term 2Academic Term 6
4Co-op Term 3Academic Term 7Academic Term 8

Program Standards
Students entering the program with considerable professional public relations work experience may use the current university regulations regarding Challenge for Credit to challenge PBRL 1188. Once admitted to the program, students considering this option must consult the academic department to determine eligibility.

Before the first co-op work term, students must meet these prerequisites:

  1. a 2.0 CGPA at the end of the academic semester prior to the job search*
  2. normally completion of 10.0 units
  3. successful completion of PBRL 2013, 3012 and COMM 2016, COMM 2025

*Students who do not meet the 2.0 CGPA requirements for co-operative education but have more than 7.5 units of transfer credits, or grades from courses completed more than five years ago, may request an individual review of their transcripts by the department Chair who may approve admission.

Once you have accepted a co-op term, there are three possible grades for co-op terms:

  • P Pass. Student continues academic study.
  • NCR No credit, repeat. Normally, a student may receive only one NCR grade and remain in the degree program.
  • F Fail. A failing grade in a co-op term results in dismissal from the program.

For additional information, refer to the Co-operative Education Program section of the Academic Calendar and the Co-operative Education website.

Professional Concentration in French

Public Relations students have the opportunity to pursue a 3.0 unit concentration in French.  Students must fulfill the following requirements:

 ❏  3.0 units of French language courses (excluding FREN 1101 and 1102)

Professional Concentration in Spanish

Public Relations students have the opportunity to pursue a 3.0 unit concentration in Spanish.  Students must fulfill the following requirements:

 ❏  SPAN 1101, 1102, 2201, 2202, 3301 and 3302

Students completing SPAN 2202 may write the internationally recognized Spanish examination prepared by the Spanish Ministry of Education and receive the Initial Certificate (Certificado Inicial). Students completing SPAN 3302 may write the Spanish examination prepared by the Spanish Ministry of Education and receive the Basic Diploma (Diploma Basico).