The Advertising and Public Relations major prepares graduates to be successful as advertising and public relations practitioners in today's fast-changing industry and society. Graduates benefit from the liberal arts context within which technical and professional skills are developed, including social media, digital communications, communication strategy, counseling management, adapting to international contexts, and the use of analytics for measuring results. Students learn not just how to do advertising and public relations, but why they are doing it and its impact on organizations and society.

The Advertising and Public Relations major values integrating theory with practice. Our curriculum follows the recommendations of industry organizations such as the American Advertising Federation (AAF) and the Commission on Education in Public Relations (CEPR). Also, students work with actual clients from the community on a regular basis in four different courses. The program also requires at least one 3-credit internship to gain professional experience.

The Ad/PR major supports two active student organizations that are associated with local and national professional groups, the Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA) and the American Advertising Federation (AAF). The GVSU Chapter of PRSSA has a nationally affiliated student-run PR Firm, GrandPR, and has won several national awards and recognitions. Ad students have placed in regional annual National Student Advertising Competition and were a top 10 national finalist in 2012.

Graduates of this program are prepared for a variety of careers at agencies, corporations, non-profit organizations and in government, including:

  • advertising and public relations management
  • copywriting
  • advertising sales
  • sales promotion
  • public relations writing and program development
  • social media management
  • media research
  • media strategy and implementation
  • digital advertising management

To learn more about the Advertising and Public Relations major:

Frederick A. Chapman Scholarship

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The Frederick A. Chapman Endowed Memorial Public Relations Scholarship was established by the family of former Professor Fred Chapman, who taught in the Advertising and Public Relations program from 1990-2000. The fund offers scholarships of $1,000-$1200 per year to a Public Relations student who is committed to community service.

Frank Fund

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Created in honor of Professor Frank Blossom, this fund supports professional development opportunities for Advertising and Public Relations majors, ranging from airfare to conference registrations for experiential learning outside of the walls of GVSU.

Mission - Vision - Values

Through the integration of theoretical foundations and experiential learning, the APR major educates students to be strategic critical thinkers and technically proficient Advertising and Public Relations professionals who are conscious of their beneficial role in society.

The APR major will be known for thoughtful, creative and adaptable students, knowledgeable faculty with scholarly output and professional experience, and innovative and excellent teaching in state of the art facilities that reflect professional settings. In addition, the APR program will be engaged in community, with alumni and professionals, embracing diversity in both the college and the profession.


  • The APR major will exemplify the principle of integration of theory and practice;
  • The APR major values the interdisciplinary and integrated nature of Advertising and PR, as well as other disciplines, in both pedagogy and practice;
  • The APR major prepares students to be intellectually curious, culturally aware, and socially responsible;
  • The APR major stresses face-to-face instruction and interaction, individual attention to student needs, and smaller class sizes to enhance learning;
  • The APR major favors broad, liberal education over mere technical and skills training.