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Fairbanks Center

Strategic Communication

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. 

This program serves well as preparation for careers in public relations, advertising or corporate communications, while also providing a solid foundation for post-graduate study.

Outside the classroom, students benefit from joining our active student-run public relations (Public Relations Student Society of America) and advertising (ADrenaline) organizations. Members have the chance to participate in PR and advertising projects and campaigns for actual clients. 

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.

PR and Advertising

Students who choose to specialize in either public relations or advertising at Butler learn the skills of their chosen field. But they also learn group involvement through upper-level, project-based courses.

Practical Experience

You’ll get your feet wet early here. All Strategic Communication students graduate with at least one internship for academic credit. More than half complete at least two.

Department Highlights

Career Paths

Career Paths

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 our students, we also put them in touch with people who count. Butler is well recognized on the national stage; our alumni can be found across the country and overseas. We also help introduce students into the local public relations and advertising markets through participation in PRSSA and ADrenaline, both of which put students in touch with professionals on an ongoing basis. Finally, we are big on internships. More than three-fourths of our juniors and seniors have internships, which often include placements at major PR and advertising agencies, Fortune 500 companies, nonprofits, government agencies, fashion houses, sports teams, and event planning agencies. 


Global Education

We live in a global marketplace. That’s one reason we encourage students to take full advantage of opportunities to study abroad. In addition to University-based programs, Strategic Communication advances several programs of its own. Dr. Kevin Wang took a group to Shanghai, China, for a six-week internship experience during the summer of 2015, where students worked for Chinese companies and agencies. Dr. Rose Campbell took students on a trip to six Japanese cities in 2016. For all such trips, scholarship is available to defray expenses, along with academic credit in recognition of the learning experience. Many undergraduates choose to study abroad their junior year, and several Strategic Communication alumni have chosen to pursue careers in such places as Italy, England, and Ireland.

Indiana State House


The success of our alumni speaks for itself. Former students now work for such firms as Anthem, General Mills, and Salesforce on the corporate side; and Borshoff, FleishmanHillardEdelman, Ogilvy & Mather, and Blast Media on the agency side. They work for the Spy Museum in Washington, DC; for Sony Entertainment; for Michael Kors; for U.S. senators; and for Indiana governors. They work in sports promotion, music and entertainment, event planning agencies, and social media agencies. We don't train our students for a job; we train them for a career.