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FAQ - Public Relations

Can I take more than one course per semester?
There are four courses offered each spring and fall semester: two in the first half of the semester and two in the second half. Typically, one is a required course and one is an elective. In the summer term, two required courses are offered. 

Should the courses be taken in any specific order?
No. They can be taken in any order.

How much time should a student expect to invest per class or per week?
The actual number of hours will depend on the specific course.  However, a good rule of thumb is to set aside at least 3-4 hours a week of “in class” time, with up to another 10 hours for class readings, writing, and other assignments.

Are the courses in the Certificate in Public Relations offered online?

Are there any prerequisites to apply for the certificate or to enroll in individual courses within the program?
Individuals with a minimum of a high school diploma or equivalent are invited to apply. Applicants should also have taken at least one college-level course in English Composition. There are no specific prerequisites for any course.

Can I enroll in just a few courses? I'm not interested in applying to an earning the certificate.

Can I take courses before applying for admission to the program?
Individuals must apply to and be offered admission to earn a certificate. A maximum of two courses that will count towards satisfying the requirements for the certificate may be taken at SCPS prior to admission.  

Can I transfer credit into this program from another institution?
Individuals can transfer one course for academic credit from a regionally accredited college or university. The transfer course will count towards one elective course in the certificate program, and must have been taken within the last three years. Transfer courses are not accepted for required courses in the certificate. Official transcripts and course syllabus are required for an analysis of the content, level, and comparability of the transfer course, as well as the quality of the student’s performance with a grade of B- or better.  Official transcripts with a request for transfer of credits can be sent to SCPSadmissions@virginia.edu or School of Continuing and Professional Studies, 104 Midmont Lane, PO Box 400764, Charlottesville, VA 22904-4764 Attn: Admission Services 

What exactly does it mean to earn a certificate?
Certificates offer discipline-specific courses that can help you acquire new skills for professional advancement or for a career transition. Completion of a certificate demonstrates evidence of specialized education achievement. It is recognized on a University of Virginia transcript.

How many courses are required to complete the certificate?
You must complete five required courses and three electives.

How long does it take to complete the certificate?
The certificate can be completed in 12 months by enrolling in at least 2 courses per term..

What fields/industries are represented by students in the program?
This program may be valuable for professionals in any field, at any stage of their careers. Students come from the public and private sectors, and are from all parts of the country and the globe. This program may be of particular interest to those in (or hoping to join) the communications, public relations, public affairs, or marketing industry. There are also students in the program who are in business for themselves and are interested in learning how to promote their own business.

For what jobs or positions does the Certificate in Public Relations prepare me for or make me a more attractive candidate?
The Certificate in Public Relations provides the practical and theoretical coursework to prepare both the PR novice and further empower the experienced PR professional with knowledge of current PR best practices. This credential is valuable for candidates interested in entry-level PR specialist positions, as well as PR managers and directors. Recent college graduates and the PR professional with 10 to 15 years of experience and a graduate degree benefit from this continuing and professional studies program.

Still have questions?  We're here to help!

Answers to those questions asked most frequently about our school by our prospective students can be found here.  If you don't find what you're looking for, please don't hesitate to contact us.  

* The information contained on this website is for informational purposes only. The Undergraduate Record and Graduate Record represent the official repository for academic program requirements.

University of Virginia School of Continuing and Professional Studies
104 Midmont Lane PO Box 400764, Charlottesville, VA 22904