Rochester Institute of Technology

Academic Program Overviews

Student Skills & Capabilities, Salary Data, Career Information 

Advertising and Public Relations BS

Program Overview

The Bachelor of Science degree in advertising & public relations combines courses offered through the Department of Communication in the College of Liberal Arts and the Department of Marketing in the E. Phillip Saunders College of Business. The program takes an integrated approach to the study of communication and communications media by combining the breadth of the social sciences and humanities with the depth and understanding of the marketing process. Students are trained in (1) analyzing audiences/publics, (2) creating messages, (3) selecting media, and (4) managing campaigns in corporate, government, and non-profit settings.

Degrees Awarded

  • Bachelor of Science


  • Approximately 80 students are enrolled in the Advertising & Public Relations program.

Cooperative Education & Experiential Education Component

  • Students are required to complete one co-op work assignment, ideally during the summer of their 2nd or 3rd year. Note: pre-approval by your department academic advisor is required before you can complete a co-op during the fall or spring terms.

Salary Information

Co-op:     $12.01                     $9.00 - $27.00
*BS:         $37,404                   $35,000 - $37,696
*Statistics from the Nat’l Assn. of Colleges & Employers (NACE) for Spring 2016 graduates.

Student Skills & Capabilities

·         All students will have completed a basic sequence in spoken, written, visual, and mediated communication.
·         All are capable of conducting quantitative and qualitative research as well as statistical analyses.
·         All are experienced writers and speakers, capable of writing speeches, news releases, advertising copy, newsletters, and feature articles, as well as managing various digital and social media platforms.
·         All are capable of designing layouts for newsletters, brochures, and other print materials.
·         All are experienced in the process of creating plans and campaigns for public relations and advertising initiatives.

Professional/Technical Skills

Students complete a professional core, equivalent to four courses in Marketing through the RIT Saunders College of Business.  This core, combined with their program courses, gives students an understanding of the role of advertising and public relations in the overall marketing process.   Students are also taught basic graphic design skills through a sequence of visual communication courses.  All students have working knowledge of the Adobe Suite programs.

Equipment & Facilities

The College of Liberal Arts has two computer labs: one has 25 Windows-based workstations and one has 25 Macintosh OSX-based computers. Both labs are equipped with the Microsoft Office and the Adobe Design Suite.

Nature of Work

The nature of advertising and public relations work can be competitive. Agencies compete for clients by pitching them the best ideas for their brand. Public relations professionals are technical communicators. They produce strategic writing materials such as press releases to send to journalists. The work created by public relations specialists is focused on achieving goals, such as getting the media to report your story, or getting an individual to make a donation. Working in the field of public relations can also involve event planning, which can include occasionally attending events. Jobs in advertising and public relations can be very social, whether you’re working with your colleagues, reaching out to a journalist, or meeting with a client.

Training / Qualifications

Internships are one way for students to get experience in the field and prepare themselves for entry-level positions. Some employers prefer candidates that have experience communicating with others through a school newspaper or a leadership position in school or in their community. Portfolios are not always qualifications when applying for a job or internship, however, students majoring in Advertising and Public Relations will be able to use the work they produce for their courses to compile a portfolio to share with potential employers if requested.

Job Outlook

The job outlook for public relations specialists and public relations managers is 6 percent and 7 percent, respectively. The growing use of social media is expected to increase employment for public relations specialists. Employment of advertising and promotions managers is expected to grow 5 percent from 2014-2024. Strong competition is expected for these occupations. With Internet-based advertising becoming more important, advertising managers who can navigate the digital world should have the best prospects. (Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics O.O.H. ‘15)

Job Titles

Account Managers, Media Assistants, Account Executive, Media Relations and Government Public Relations departments. (Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics O.O.H.)


Advertising and public relations graduates have many options when it comes to employment - there are many industries and work environments to choose from. If graduates decide to work in-house, employment opportunities exist in a vast array of categories, including healthcare, technology, non-profit organizations, fashion, and many more. Corporate PR departments generally offer higher salaries and more benefits. One of the other employment options is to work in an agency, which often serve many diverse clients. Entry-level positions generally pay between $20,000 and $30,000 per year. As you advance in the industry, though, salaries can jump into the $80,000s and $90,000s and even into six figures if you make it to the executive level.Job Titles: Copywriter, Media Planner, Account Executive, Public Relations Specialist, Strategist.

Significant Points

  • Keen competition for jobs is expected.
  • College graduates with related experience, a high level of creativity, and strong communication skills should have the best job opportunities.
  • High earnings, substantial travel, and long hours, including evenings and weekends, are common. (Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics O.O.H.)

Selected Employer Hiring Partners

ABVI-Goodwill, Access Hollywood, BBDO NY, Clear Channel NY, Darien Lake Theme Park and Resort, Excellus Blue Cross Blue Shield, Fisher Associates, Rochester Business Journal, Osram Sylvania, Roberts Communication, the Sportsman Channel, Terakeet Corporation, LM&O Advertising.

Contact Us

We appreciate your interest in your career and we will make every effort to help you succeed. Feel free to contact Lisa Monette, the career services coordinator who works with the Advertising & Public Relations program. You can access information about services through our web site at
Lisa Monette, Career Services Coordinator, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.; 585.475.7413; 585.475.2301
Rochester Institute of Technology . Office of Career Services and Cooperative Education
Bausch & Lomb Center . 57 Lomb Memorial Drive . Rochester NY  14623-5603