RIT's program is one of the few in the country to combine advertising, public relations and marketing, reflecting the growing influence of the Internet and the overlapping roles of public relations practitioner and advertiser.
The new major was formed through a close partnership between the department of communication in the College of Liberal Arts and the department of marketing in the College of Business. A senior thesis requirement and 20 weeks of work experience through internships and/or co-ops further distinguish the program from others.
Student interest influenced the development of the degree program, says Rudy Pugliese, associate professor of communication and coordinator of communication and media technologies master's program.
“Much of this is driven by student demand,” Pugliese says. “They kept asking us about advertising classes. It seemed like a missing part of the puzzle.”
Bruce Austin, chair of RIT's Department of Communication, points to an increasing demand for communication specialists. “As new media for communication opens up they enhance the number of career opportunities for people in PR and communication departments. We're not abandoning traditional outlets, we're adding a new medium.”
The department of communication will continue to offer its popular professional and technical communication (PTC) BS/MBA program, though both Austin and Pugliese expect an initial migration to the new major.
“Advertising and public relations serve as a form of extension for us for students who seek to specialize,” Austin says. “PTC provides for students a broad-based background in communication proficiency with emphasis on written and oral skills.”
RIT is accepting freshmen applicants to the advertising and public relations program for fall 2005, and transfer students for this winter quarter. For more information, call RIT's Office of Undergraduate Admissions at 475-6631.