Department of Communication Named on PRNews’ 2021 Education A-List

by Catherine Wright, PhD

This week, #MasonCOMM was recognized as one of the best institutions of higher education advancing the careers of PR and communication professionals in the United States. PRNews looked at elements such as the variety of learning options offered (e.g. online and hybrid) and how the Mason program prepares students at all levels (BA, MA, and PhD) for continued success in their existing jobs and future career paths.

#MasonCOMM offers a variety of PR foci, to include crisis management, health communication, political communication, PR, and strategic communication, all led by faculty with extensive research and industry experience.  At all levels of education, PR students at George Mason University learn how to build, sustain, repair, and enhance an organization’s relationships with key stakeholders. Students become competent and confident to enter the industry after learning about key underlying principles as well as day-to-day operations such as communicating through social media, organizing events, writing speeches, and researching for campaigns.

In collaboration with Mason’s campus partners and with industry professionals from the Washington, DC area, #MasonCOMM offers mentoring, career advising, and job search support. Through the curriculum, students also learn how to use advertising, promotion, counseling, and crisis management to address tough PR and reputational challenges. #MasonCOMM students receive many opportunities for internships, relevant minor program, and study abroad experiences.

Sojung Kim, assistant professor, PR coordinator, stated:

We are very excited and honored to be listed as one of the best institutions for career advancement in PR and marketing communication on the PR News' 2021 Inaugural Education A-List. As a department, we closely monitor the industry trends and offer relevant and timely PR courses along with courses that teach essential writing and research skills. Our students are also committed to learning and work hard to achieve their career goals. This achievement recognizes such combined efforts from the Communication Department and its students.

In recent years the department has added courses on social media, digital advertising, and reputational crisis management to the PR concentration. The curriculum stays current with emerging technologies and their applications to PR by continuously adding relevant content to the existing PR courses.

Additionally, the department offers elective courses in video production, audio production, and podcasting. Students can now combine their PR concentration with a second communication concentration in journalism, media production and criticism, political communication, or interpersonal and organizational communication. Academic advisors also assist students in choosing a minor that suits their career goals.

#MasonCOMM students hail from all over the world. George Mason University enjoys a diversity in its classrooms that enriches the learning experience in ways that make students valuable employees in internships and career placements with such companies as Booz Allen Hamilton, CapTech, Congressional offices in Washington DC, federal government agencies, Hill & Knowlton, Hilton Hotels, IBM, K12, Inc, major media corporations such as ABC, NBC, CBS, USA Today, Mitre, National League of Cities, Northrup Grumman, PCM Services, and professional sports teams (NFL, NHL, MLB, NBA).

To learn more about how a degree in communication studying public relations is right for you, please reach out to Dr. Catherine Wright, undergraduate program director, at combadir@gmu.edu.