How to Apply
If you are accepted into the public relations program, you will also be admitted to the School of Communications. The mission of the School of Communications is to become “a consecrated community of disciples, scholars, and mentors who strive to walk in the meekness of Christ’s spirit, as we inspire learning through love, faith, and service that prepares each Child of God to share light and hope with the world.”
Being part of a consecrated community means there are expectations that apply to everyone: faculty, staff, and students (see Elder Paul Pieper’s recent devotional titled BYU: Building a Community of Trust and Respect). Please note, that if you accept an invitation to join the School of Communications you are indicating your willingness to abide by the expectations and standards of our School of Communications community. Your standing in the program will be contingent on your willingness to comply with these policies. You will be expected to be in compliance with all three policies throughout your time in the program.
- The School of Communications Professionalism Policy:https://comms.byu.edu/professionalism/
- The BYU Honor Code: https://policy.byu.edu/view/church-educational-system-honor-code
- BYU Dress and Grooming Standards: https://policy.byu.edu/view/dress-and-grooming-standards
The School of Communications is governed by certain resource realities, such as number of instructors, classroom space, computer laboratories, and class size requirements. Additionally, these professional emphases require hands-on learning and smaller class sizes. Students in these emphases produce media content in the form of newspapers, broadcasts, advertising, and public relations campaigns. To ensure the quality of learning and to sustain the quality of content in our public outlets, the university has allowed the faculty to limit the number of majors admitted into the program. Because the demand on the school’s programs exceeds the available resources, the school has implemented an admission process that limits enrollment on those programs.
Students may apply to more than one emphasis at the same time; however a separate application must be submitted for each emphasis. Students must rank the applications to indicate their first, second, or third choice. Students may apply to the Communications major a total of two times. This means that you can apply to more than one emphasis during one application period but may only apply to the major twice.
The emphases allow some flexibility in your course schedule. However, where prerequisite courses are involved, accreditation rules preclude us from waiving prerequisites or allowing courses to be taken out of sequence. These courses represent what we consider to be important preparation for more-advanced classes.
Each student must complete the steps listed below in order to apply to the Public Relations program in the School of Communications. When you are ready to apply, click the “Click Here to Apply Online” button at the bottom of the page and you will be directed to the online application site.
Toggle ItemDeclare Yourself a Pre-Communications Student
Contact the CFAC Advisement Center in D-444 HFAC (801-422-3777) and declare your status as a Pre-Communications student. Students MUST be declared Pre-Communications to apply to the major.
You MUST also be an admitted BYU continuing day student in order to apply to the program. Please be advised that according to University policy, students must select and declare a major by the time they have 60 earned BYU credit hours (excluding language exam credits). Once a student has 75 earned BYU credit hours (excluding language exam credits), they will not be allowed to change their major unless special permission is granted.
Toggle ItemTake the Prerequisite Courses
Students must take the following courses and receive a B or higher in each (a B- will not meet this standard). Typically, there are no exceptions to this rule. Under normal circumstances, students may repeat each course only once to earn a higher grade. However, students who took one of the prerequisite courses during the Winter 2020 semester that was disrupted by the novel coronavirus pandemic had the option of taking a pass/fail grade instead of a letter grade at the end of the semester. Because of these unique circumstances, students who opted to take a passing grade for any prerequisite class in which they were enrolled during Winter 2020 will be allowed to apply. Meeting the minimum standard requirements does not guarantee admission to any school emphasis.
- WRTG 150 or Advanced Writing Requirement**
- Communications 101: Mass Communication and Society
- Communications 235: Introduction to Public Relations
** Our WRTG 150 requirement must be fulfilled by WRTG 150, ELANG 150, M COM 320, an Advanced Written and Oral Communication GE course (ENG 311, ENG 312, ENG 313, ENG 315 or ENG 316) or an equivalent transfer course (Transfer classes from other universities must be cleared by the advisement center prior to applying to the program). We do not accept AP English credits or English 115.
These courses are typically offered each semester and term. Some courses are also offered through BYU Independent Study and at the Salt Lake Center. Prerequisite courses from other universities or colleges, other than Comms 101 or an advanced writing course, are not transferable.
Toggle ItemPrepare Your Application
Students MUST upload a PDF of their Full Progress (ABC) Report, including the Academic Summary (the last page of the report), as part of the application process. The Academic Summary by itself, or an official transcript, will not be accepted and will cause your application to be invalidated. For information on how to find this report, please click here.
Preference for admission will be given to all students with fewer than 75 BYU earned credit hours (excluding language exam credits.) Pre-Comms students with more than 75 BYU earned credit hours (excluding language exam credits) may apply to the major but may not be admitted.
Please direct any inquiries regarding your credits to the advisement center.
Toggle ItemCover Letter
As part of the application process, you are expected to write a cover letter to the PR faculty. The cover letter should address your interest in the program, passion for the profession, commitment to meeting deadlines, openness to receiving feedback, and a desire to chart your own path. Before you start writing your cover letter, you will need to read and agree to the following terms and conditions:
- I agree that I will write my own cover letter and not copy anyone else’s ideas or phrases. My cover letter reflects authentically who I am and who I want to become through the PR program.
The letter must address the following key points:
- Your interest in the PR program. Explain why you are interested in pursuing a degree in Communications with an emphasis in public relations. Out of all the options you could pursue, what motivated you to select public relations for your focus?
- Your passion for the public relations profession. What is it about the profession that pulls you in and makes you want to practice strategic communications? How do you see yourself contributing after graduation to organizations, whether they are non-profits, governments, corporations, or associations?
- Your commitment to meeting deadlines. How can we be assured that you will do what you say you will do and keep the deadlines given in class and through internship opportunities? What reassurance can you give the faculty that you have personal management skills and will keep up with the program?
- Your openness and willingness to receive feedback. Growth comes from not just hearing feedback but by working to implement feedback that is given. What experience have you had where you have received feedback and implemented it well?
- Your desire to chart your own path. You will be given many opportunities to develop a network, to take additional courses, to learn from industry professionals. How do you plan to take advantage of these opportunities to discover for yourself the path you want to take in strategic communications?
Keep your letter to one-page, single spaced, 12-point font. Be authentic, be strong, and be true to your sincere desire to be in the program. Persuade us. We’re excited to hear from you.
Toggle ItemSubmit Your Online Application
Applications are due on the second Friday of each Fall and Winter semester.
The Winter 2024 online application will be active on November 1, 2023 and there is a $6 fee for each application submitted. The Winter 2024 application deadline is January 19, 2024, at 11:59 pm MST. Students who are admitted during the Winter application cycle will begin their coursework in Spring 2024.
If you have technical issues while submitting your online application, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call them at (617) 729-2758 between 9:00 am and 9:00 pm CST. You may also consult the FAQ page on their website. PLEASE SUBMIT YOUR APPLICATION EARLY IN ORDER TO AVOID ANY POSSIBLE WEBSITE DIFFICULTIES. IF YOU ARE APPLYING TO THE ADVERTISING SEQUENCE, PLEASE ALLOW UP TO TWO HOURS TO COMPRESS AND UPLOAD YOUR VIDEO.
Toggle ItemAttend Mandatory Orientation Meeting
If you are admitted to the public relations program, you are required to attend an orientation meeting. You will be informed of the time and location of this meeting in your admissions decision email. If you do not attend the meeting, you may lose your place in the program.