Public Relations

About the Department

The Department of Public Relations at the University of Florida was formed in 1972 in response to a growing industry need for professionals trained in persuasive communications, with a background in journalism and the ability to think strategically as part of a management team. All evidence indicates that throughout its history, the Department has successfully prepared students for entry into the workplace. Our alumni are employed in agencies and departments in industries ranging from athletics to zoology. UF public relations graduates work in politics and banking, in corporations, agencies and nonprofits.

Our mission is to provide exemplary leadership, education and scholarship to advance public relations’ unique role and responsibilities to foster organization-public relationships through effective communication and actions in support of a civil society and democratic ideals. The department educates the standard bearers of the profession for an interdependent local and global society.

At the University of Florida PR students focus on societal and organization/public issues, including ethics, gender and diversity, multicultural impact, social responsibility, political participation, civic engagement and nation building. Areas of inquiry include new media technologies, fundraising, philanthropy, public health education, organization/public relationship quality and cultivation, socially responsible behaviors and actions, social change methods, and the exploration of the impact of group/community/organizational culture on semantics and effective message design and evaluation. The scope of this work includes corporations, nonprofit, government, civil society and media organizations both domestically and internationally.

The Department is committed to providing an educational environment of exceptional quality for students interested in pursuing knowledge of the public relations field and to advance the field itself through ethical scholarship. We hold firmly to the ideals of the Academy, where students are encouraged to pursue knowledge within a strong ethical framework. It is our belief that the Department exists to provide optimum assistance and guidance to all students in their research in and pursuit of knowledge. We believe in providing an academic environment where our faculty are recognized for their efforts to share that understanding with their students, the public relations field and the academic community. To these ends, the Department strives to:

  • Provide cutting-edge instruction and pedagogy to our students.
  • Conduct high-quality scholarship that advances the fields of public relations and communication.
  • Provide service and outreach to the academic and professional communities of which we are a part both nationally and internationally.
  • Support the missions of the College of Journalism and Communications and University of Florida.

We will continue to be recognized as a world-class public relations education program. We will achieve academic leadership in providing an outstanding educational experience for our students and providing them the knowledge and strategic skills essential to ensure their competitiveness in the marketplace. Our faculty has earned the respect of the academic and professional communities through its achievements in public relations and communication scholarship.

The Department of Public Relations will continue to achieve academic success through our association with the finest teaching faculty members, a commitment to strong research, and a continuous modernization of our curriculum to meet industry needs. We achieve our goals through encouraging involvement, initiative, creativity, continuous learning and research, and in creating an academic environment where faculty, staff and students are able to do their absolute best.