Graduate Courses

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As a Sports Journalism graduate student, your curriculum will focus on the converging worlds of print and digital journalism, public relations, advertising, documentary, and emerging technologies as expressed in the new commercial reality of sport. You’ll experience a mix of skills and seminar courses and a combination of experiential and classroom learning. You’ll learn versatility and skill-building across platforms.

Public Relations graduate courses will prepare you for management positions in public relations firms, corporations, government agencies, nonprofits, associations, and health and life sciences organizations.

The Department of Journalism and Public Relations continually examines the curriculum to ensure that course offerings are relevant and up-to-date. Below is a list of courses offered as part of the curriculum for the Master’s degree in Public Relations and the Master’s degree in Sports Journalism. Not all are offered every semester. For specific courses offered in each semester, see the Schedule of Classes at Student Central.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, IU is currently offering adjusted modes of instruction. Learn more at Student Central.

Public Relations Graduate Courses

JOUR-J528 Public Relations Management

The primary purpose of this course is to provide you with a fundamental knowledge of the organizational structures, management styles, and problems commonly encountered in the management public relations or advertising firms and the advertising and/or public relations departments in a corporation or government agency. It also examines management structures in not-for-profit organizations. 

JOUR-J529 Public Relations Campaigns

This capstone course provides students with an opportunity to apply campaign model methodology to public relations planning so that they will be able to apply the research, theories, planning, and evaluation processes in working conditions which may not provide them with the time to deliberate on and evaluate each step in the way that the classroom provides. 

JOUR-J531 Public Relations for Non-Profits

The course provides a theoretical and practical foundation in public relations for those considering careers in nonprofit organizations or in fundraising. Specific coursework will involve the public relations campaign process and its relationship to organizational goals and to the specifics of organizational development and fundraising. An additional focus will involve the communications efforts required to maintain relationships with donors, volunteers and key community and industry officials.

JOUR-J560 Topics Courses:

Public Relations Research and Evaluation 

This course is a survey of simple and scientific research and evaluation techniques for use in organizational social environment research including target public analysis, initial research for public relations campaign and program planning, public relations program effectiveness evaluation, and continuous implementation evaluation for the purpose of facilitating periodic adjustment. This course focuses on applied research techniques such as surveys, both printed and online, interviews, focus groups, Q Sorts, secondary research techniques and others. (Required.)

Public Relations Theory 

Theory is the backbone of public relations. This course examines both the historical and emerging theories underlying the practice of public relations. (Required.)

Public Relations Planning 

This course provides students with an opportunity to explore and learn the advanced management techniques for public relations programs and campaigns focusing on the use of research and evaluation techniques, development of goals and objectives, segmentation of audiences, development of strategies and tactics, and creation of timelines and budgets. The course also uses the case study method to illuminate and illustrate these concepts. The course provides theoretical and practical experience in public relations project planning and execution. (Required.)

Agencies and Entrepreneurs 

This course covers organizational structures, management approaches and problems commonly encountered in establishing and managing public relations, advertising, marketing and related communications firms. What you learn is relevant to those who might work in (as an employee) or with (as a client) an agency. It also covers the steps needed to establish, maintain and grow an agency or independent consultancy.

Managing Online Public Relations 

From blogs to Twitter, Facebook to websites and from Myspace to all of the emerging online tools available to communications professionals today, public relations managers must be able not only to use these tools, but to be able to integrate them into a coherent strategy. This course discusses not only the tools social media of Web 3.0, but also how to manage those tools and techniques.

Issues Management and Crisis Communication 

Identification and management of various issues impacting organizations are critical to their success. Of course, when issues become crises, or crisis strikes, management of that crisis via effective communication with key constituent public is critical to the success and even survival of the organization. This course examines the techniques of issues management and the management tools available. It also examines from a practical perspective how to manage the public relations for organizations in crisis.

Public Relations in the Life Sciences 

The medical product industry, including pharmaceuticals, medical devices and medical research, including genetic research, is a special industry that demands unique public relations activities. In addition, it is highly regulated and a complete understanding of that regulatory environment and the restrictions and requirements on public relations is critical for success of any organization. This course focuses on the unique elements of this industry and provides students not only with an understanding of the industry and its regulatory environment, but also with special understanding of the conduct of public relations in the industry and the management of communication in such organizations.

Integrating Marketing Communication in Health Care 

This course is designed to prepare students for senior management positions in hospitals, health care organizations, and the health support industry. It focuses on counseling senior management on unique issues regarding health care communication, unique health care communication problems and challenges, managing the public relations function in health care organizations, and orchestrating public relations campaigns in support of health care organizational goals.

Managing Public Relations Tactics and Techniques 

The mastery of a public relations tactics and techniques is the cornerstone of a public relations practitioner’s skill set. This course provides extensive hands-on learning and practice in some essential tactics and techniques. This course is designed to apply theory to actual problem solving.

JOUR-J563 Public Relations Publications Design

Institutional and industrial publications are an important means of internal and external communications. This course looks at the principles of design and production techniques. Students are provided with opportunities to create a variety of different public relations products while using state of the art desktop publishing applications.

JOUR-J804 Reading and Research in Journalism

Sports Journalism Graduate Courses

JOUR-J501 Public Affairs Reporting

This course includes lectures and roundtable discussion of problems in covering public affairs issues at the national, state, and local levels. Emphasis is on reporting on government, social welfare agencies, elections, political parties, special interest groups and other areas of general public interest.

JOUR-J510 Media and Society Seminar

This course offers an examination of structure, functions, ethics, and performance of communication and mass media, stressing a review of pertinent research literature. Students will analyze media policies and performance in light of communication theory and current economic, political and social thought.

JOUR-J540 Business of Sports Media

A history of how media have evolved from radio, network television and magazines into the multi-dimensional world of regional and national cable, the Internet, and the networks. The way media provide so much of the revenue for sports as an entertainment industry has made it the anchor for the sports industry.

JOUR-J541 Digital Sports Journalism

Students in this hands-on, practical course will learn how to envision, build, design and produce a sports website. Students will receive substantive training in the software used to produce web videos, podcasts and interactive graphics. And, students will be taught how to marry all of those elements into a compelling website.

JOUR-J542 Sports Journalism and Society

This course provides a broad understanding of how social issues impact sports and how sports impacts society. Included will be a historical overview of sports, athletes’ rights, race and gender in sports, the Olympics and international sports, youth sports, the commercialization of sports and the influence of the media on sports.

JOUR-J543 Sports Law

Students will develop a basic understanding of the relationship between sports and the law and of the basic concepts of major legal issues—antitrust, labor, contract and intellectual property—in sports today, while translating that knowledge into analytical reporting on those subjects.

JOUR-J545 Sports Writing

This course is an intensive, in-depth and practical instruction on reporting and writing for print, magazines and the Web. This course will include a broad range of sports writing, from long-form narrative for magazines to twittering on the Web. It also will explore the essentials of beat reporting, with experiential learning at live press conferences and events.

JOUR-J546 Sports Journalism Research

This course explores issues surrounding the highly lucrative nature of collegiate sports in America, such as which sports are the most and least profitable and the gap between men’s and women’s sports. Students will produce a research project in collaboration with a major media outlet.

JOUR-J547 Sports Broadcast Journalism

The course is an intensive, in-depth and practical instruction of sports broadcasting. This course will include instruction in everything from play-by-play broadcasting of live events to the art of interviewing for television to writing and editing long segments.

JOUR-J620 Media Coverage of Sports

This course will examine athletes, coaches, events and sports media coverage. It will focus on current events and controversies such as amateurism, competitive balance, debate over school mascots, gambling and problems in recruiting and the ensuing media coverage.