Strategic Communication

A fresh approach to public relations and advertising.

Students complete our program with the balance of theoretical and practical knowledge and skills to create and deliver messages targeted to a wide array of audiences.

Excellent preparation for career or grad school.

Strategic Communication: PR & Advertising offers a fresh approach to traditionally separate programs in public relations and advertising. Students complete the program with the essential balance of theoretical and practical knowledge and skills to create and deliver messages targeted to a wide array of audiences: media, employees, customers, legislators, investors and the community.

Outside the classroom, students benefit from joining our active student chapters of the Public Relations Student Society of America and American Advertising Federation’s Ad Club. Members have the chance to participate in PR and advertising projects and campaigns for actual clients. Additionally, students may contribute to the five fountains marketing and communication agency.

Rounding out the activities in Strategic Communication are faculty-led collaborative research and service learning opportunities, as well as a vibrant internship program. Each semester, including summer, interns work with numerous for-profit and not-for-profit organizations and communications firms locally and nationally. Indianapolis provides an excellent learning laboratory for strategic communication students, who often land jobs with the companies for which they intern.

Strategic Communication FAQs

Butler’s Strategic Communication: PR and  Advertising degree explores creating and delivering socially responsible communication to diverse audiences supported by research and strategy. The courses in this major are highly interactive and emphasize the synergy of advertising and public relations along with mass communication practices. Students are prepared to commit to professional and ethical communication strategies by researching, interpreting, and producing professional-quality communication materials.

Graduates from Butler’s Strategic Communication program are prepared for an array of unique opportunities in the workforce. By utilizing the analytical and theoretical frameworks of mass communication, graduates are ready for careers requiring responsible communication knowledge. Some of these careers include but are not limited to:

    • Research Analyst
    • Journalist
    • Communications Officer
    • SEO Manager
    • Director of Content Strategy
    • Public Relations Manager

Student Resources & Opportunities

Learning at Butler doesn’t end in the classroom. Students are encouraged to strengthen their expertise through experiential opportunities at Butler, via internships and abroad.

1 male and 1 female student with PRSA awards

Organizations & Activities

Regardless of which organizations or activities you participate in, you are sure to collaborate with your peers, network with industry professionals, and develop your skills and abilities outside of the classroom.

students studying


As a Strategic Communication student, you’ll get hands-on experience starting from day one, whether in the classroom, through your involvement in student organizations, or through internships. In fact, students graduate with at least one internship for academic credit and more than half complete two or more.

study abroad

Study Abroad

We live in a global society. That’s one reason we encourage students to take full advantage of opportunities to study abroad while pursuing their strategic communication degree. More than half of majors do just that and still graduate in four years. In addition to University-based programs, faculty have led short-term study abroad trips to explore strategic communication through a global lens, including to locales such as Shanghai, China and Japan, where students both learn and work while visiting six cities. Several Strategic Communication alumni have found their global experiences so transformational that they have chosen to pursue international careers in places such as Italy, England, and Ireland.

lincoln memorial

Washington, DC Learning Semester

Live, work, and take classes in the nation’s capital for a semester. Students earn Butler credits by taking classes on foreign policy and the history and public art of Washington while engaged in real-life internships with governmental offices and agencies.

All careers benefit from good communication skills. That may account for the wide variety of career paths our graduates take. Some head directly for an advertising or public relations agency to take advantage of the rich experience that comes with agency work. Others seek careers in corporate communications, where the success of huge marketing plans may hinge on the written word. Some have entered government to serve as a White House liaison or a member of a senator’s or governor’s communications staff. Others find work in the arts, in event planning, in music and entertainment, in fashion, or in digital media. Some choose to pursue a career outside the field of communication, in law, business, or social work. The important thing is that our alumni all have the communication skills required to succeed in life as well as work.

Is it what you know or who you know? The truth is that it’s probably both—so in addition to instructing students, faculty also put them in touch with people who count. Butler is well recognized on the national stage; alumni can be found across the country and overseas. Faculty also help introduce students to local professionals by inviting these professionals to provide guest lectures and by partnering with their organizations for class assignments and projects. Further, students can broaden their professional networks through participation in the department’s chapters of the Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA) and the American Advertising Federation’s student Ad Club, both of which put students in touch with professionals on an ongoing basis. Finally, we are big on internships. More than three-fourths of the department’s juniors and seniors have internships, which often include placements at major PR and advertising agencies, Fortune 500 companies, nonprofit organizations, government agencies, fashion houses, sports teams, and event planning agencies.

95 percent of our CCOM are employed in the field or seeking graduate school within one year of graduation. While this placement rate is impressive, we don’t train students for a job; we train them for a career. And the success of our alumni at the local and national level speaks for itself. Strategic Communication alumni work for PR and advertising agencies such as BorshoffEdelmanFleishmanHillardGolinOgilvy & Matherthe Basement, and Young & Laramore. They work for companies such as AnthemEmmis CommunicationsGeneral MillsSalesforce, and Walmart on the corporate side. They work for the Patachou Foundation; the Spy Museum in Washington, D.C.; for U.S. senators; and for Indiana governors. They work in sports, music and entertainment, and tourism and destination promotion. Students also earn prestigious fellowships, including the Orr Fellowship, and pursue graduate education or law school at highly competitive institutions such as Columbia, Georgetown University, and the University of Chicago.

Is it what or who you know?

It’s probably both.

The accomplished Strategic Communication faculty and staff support students throughout their time at Butler. Faculty also help introduce students to local professionals by inviting them to guest lecture and by partnering with their organizations for class assignments and projects.

rademacher classroom