Public Relations Field Experience Program

As a graduation requirement of the Public Relations Major, students must complete 250 hours of professional public relations internship or research experience, including for-credit and not-for-credit experiences. Hours may be accumulated through public relations internships, public relations research or a combination. Experiences must have the prior approval of the Public Relations Field Experience Coordinator and require a completion report from the student and their supervisor/mentor.

Core Competencies / Learning Objectives

Public Relations Field Experience should provide students with opportunities to 1) apply their public relations coursework in a professional setting, 2) be supervised/mentored by a public relations professional and 3) gain experiences that reinforce qualities of successful public relations professionals, including:

  • Responsibility, flexibility and professional-orientation
  • Ability to respond and adapt to new and changing situations
  • Ability to think conceptually
  • Initiative to problem-solve
  • Creativity and pragmatism
  • Ability to take criticism
  • Organization and self-management
  • Integrity as members of teams and as leaders
  • Demonstration of respect, empathy and appreciation for difference
  • Understanding of other cultures and perspectives

Learning objectives vary by student and experience, however, PR Field Experience should provide students with opportunities to:

  • Apply boundary-crossing competencies and effectively collaborate in works teams as a both a leader and a follower
  • Apply knowledge and skills in professional settings
  • Apply knowledge to solve real-world problems
  • Demonstrate effective interpersonal communication while establishing working relationships
  • Engage in creative/innovative design processes
  • Make informed, ethical decisions
  • Practice critical-thinking and inquiry
  • Respond empathetically
  • Use context-appropriate leadership strategies
  • Use inclusive practices to inform actions
  • Work effectively in a diverse environment

Processes and Procedures

Prior to graduation, students must complete 250 hours of approved PR Field Experiences. PR Field Experiences must be documented and approved by using the process detailed below.

To be completed for each individual PR Field Experience

Students must receive pre-approval for each individual PR Field Experience by the PR Field Experience Program Coordinator

  • Upon Experience Application review, the PR Field Experience Coordinator will approve or deny the experience as qualifying for the student’s 250-hour graduation requirement.
  • Students and their supervisor/mentor will receive an email notification with a determination for their MSU PR Field Experience Application. If application is denied, students will receive notice explaining why and how to correct issues with their application.

To be completed by student and their supervisor/mentor for each individual PR Field Experience

  • Upon completion of experience, students must complete and submit an MSU PR Field Experience Completion Report.
  • In addition, their supervisor/mentor must complete and submit an MSU PR Field Experience Completion Report through which they will confirm the experience start date, end date and number of hours completed.
  • Upon receipt/review of both the student and supervisor/mentor MSU PR Field Experience Completion Report, students and their supervisors/mentors will receive an email notification with an approval determination for completed PR Field Experience Hours.
  • An application, and student and supervisor/mentor completion report must be submitted and approved by the PR Field Experience Coordinator for experience hours to count toward a student’s 250-hour graduation requirement.
  • It is the student’s responsibility to ensure their supervisor/mentor(s) completes an MSU PR Field Experience Completion Report.
  • Students on an F-1 Visa must also process a CPT form or OPT form and secure authorization to work in the United States from the Office of International Students and Scholars (OISS).

Students must complete Steps 1 – 3 for each PR Field Experience until they reach the 250-hour graduation requirement.

MSU PR FIELD EXPERIENCE APPLICATION
MSU PR FIELD EXPERIENCE STUDENT COMPLETION REPORT
MSU PR FIELD EXPERIENCE SUPERVISOR/MENTOR COMPLETION REPORT

Fill in the blanks and use this email below to make completing the MSU PR Field Experience Supervisor/Mentor Completion Report as easy as possible for your supervisor.


Dear, NAME:

As part of my Michigan State University Public Relations Major 250-hour field experience requirement, I need my supervisor/mentor to complete a brief experience completion survey. Would you be willing to please complete the following survey confirming:

My start date: DATE
My end date: DATE
Hours Completed: XX hours

MSU PR Field Experience Supervisor/Mentor Completion Report

Thank you for providing me the opportunity to gain valuable work experience.

Sincerely,

YOUR NAME

Resources for Finding PR Field Experiences

The ComArtSci Career Center can help with everything from career exploration, resume and cover letter writing, to mock interviews and job search strategy.

Get help with internships

Handshake has the latest jobs from employers hiring at MSU.

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Network with Communication Arts and Sciences alumni.

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Students can refer to these public relations sub-disciplines as a starting-point for their PR Field Experience search:

  • Media Relations
  • Strategic Communication
  • Integrated Marketing
  • Brand Strategy
  • Copywriting/Editing
  • Government Relations/Public Affairs
  • Lobbying
  • Corporate Communications/Employee Relations
  • Association/Member Relations
  • Investor Relations
  • Community Relations
  • Internal Communications
  • Fundraising/Development
  • Event Support
  • Social Media Management
  • Influencer Marketing

Curricular Practical Training (CPT) is temporary alternative/work study, internship, cooperative education, or any other type of required internship or practicum which is offered by sponsoring employers through cooperative agreements with the school.

DIGITAL COMMUNICATIONS INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS F-1 CURRICULAR PRACTICAL TRAINING FORM

PR 493: PR Internship for Credit

PR 493: PR Internship is offered in fall, spring and summer semesters annually and allows students to receive academic credit for internship hours worked. Students must be approved to enroll in variable 1 to 15 credit hours. University academic standards require that students complete an academic component of an internship to receive academic credit and do not permit credit to be granted solely for the completion of the employment component of the internship.

To enroll, students should secure an internship supervised by a public relations professional and complete a PR 493: PR Internship Enrollment Form through the Communication Arts and Sciences Academic and Student Affairs Office. Contact Marissa King for more information.

PR 494: PR Research for Credit

PR 494: PR Research is offered in fall, spring and summer semesters annually as a faculty-supervised independent study that allows students to receive academic credit for research experiences emphasizing public relations. Students must be approved to enroll in variable 1 to 8 credit hours. To enroll, students must seek out an experience and faculty-approval, complete an MSU Application for Independent Study.