Corporate/Community Relations Certificate

With a plethora of media outlets and the 24/7 news cycle of today, organizations must communicate effectively with their stakeholders more than ever. Whether notifying employees of an internal policy update or releasing exciting news into the community, writing and distributing well-crafted messages is a valuable skill.

Growth in the Field

Employment of public relations managers and specialists is expected to grow by 21% by 2020, driven by the need for organizations to maintain a positive public image in a high-information age. The median salary for public relations managers and specialists was $57,550 in 2010.

Source: Occupational Outlook Handbook, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

This 18-credit interdisciplinary certificate in Corporate and Community Relations combines courses in communications, business, English, and public service to give you a solid foundation in effective messaging strategies.

CGS Difference

The certificate is available as a standalone option or can be pursued as part of a degree.

Who Should Enroll

  • Individuals charged with communicating company and organizational news, policies, benefits, or messages to fellow employees 
  • Individuals charged with communicating and disseminating company and organizational news to an external audience, thereby improving public perception of the organization
  • Individuals interested in advancing the causes of community, civic, or volunteer organizations
  • Recent graduates or current students who wish to pursue a career in corporate or community communications

Admission Requirements

Students must meet requirements for admission to the College of General Studies. A certificate application must be completed and returned to the College of General Studies via our online portal.

Program Expectations

Graduates of this program will be able to:

  • Apply a theoretical understanding of mass media process, history, and ethics to a communications-related career
  • Identify and analyze audience traits, perspectives, and motivators
  • Manage and navigate professional relationships with a wide range of constituents
  • Develop and write clear messages that support organizational goals
  • Create professional and effective communications strategies and persuasive written materials, including proposals, speeches, marketing plans, and news stories

Credit Requirements

  • The Corporate and Community Relations certificate requires 18 credits, including six (6) credits of core classes, six (6) elective credits, and six (6) specialization credits.
  • Students must achieve a minimum grade of C (2.0) or better for all courses required for the program.
  • Credits earned at other accredited educational institutions may be eligible for transfer. However, a minimum of nine (9) credits must be earned at the University of Pittsburgh. 

Course Format

Many CGS programs offer a blend of face-to-face and flexible online class formats, all designed to meet our students' needs and schedule constraints.

Online courses are marked with an (●). Courses offered in both face-to-face and online formats are marked with an (#). Courses with no indicator are offered face-to-face only.

Visit CGS Courses to learn more about our flexible offerings and how to search for classes in the course catalog.

Required Courses: (6 credits)

Catalog Number Title Credits
COMMRC 0320 Mass Communication Process (#) 3
ENGWRT 0610 Introduction to Journalism and Nonfiction 3

Electives: (6 credits) 

Choose two courses from the following:

Catalog Number Title Credits
BUSERV 1940 Marketing Fundamentals* 3
COMMRC 1111 Theories of Persuasion (#) 3
COMMRC 1732 Special Topics: Public and Media Relations** 3
PUBSRV 1455 Ethics, Law, and Public Policy in the Mass Media 3

*CBA students: BUSERV 1940 Marketing Fundamentals may be substituted with BUSMKT 1040 Intro to Marketing.

**Make sure to take the appropriate section of this course.

Specializations: (6 credits) 

Choose two courses from the following:

Catalog Number Title Credits
COMMRC 1102 Organizational Communication (#) 3
COMMRC 1125 Media Theory 3
COMMRC 1730 Special Topics: Health Communication (#) * 3
COMMRC 1732 Special Topics in Mass Communication: Communication and New Media Technologies 3
ENGCMP 0410 Writing in the Legal Professions 3
ENGCMP 0420 Writing for the Public 3
ENGCMP 0515 Persuasive Writing: Advertising and Fundraising 3
ENGCMP 0520 Integrating Writing and Design 3
ENGCMP 0550 Topics in Public/Professional Writing 3
ENGCMP 0560 Writing Arguments 3
ENGCMP 0600 Introduction to Technical Writing 3
ENGCMP 0610 Composing Digital Media 3
ENGCMP 0641 Writing for Change 3
ENGCMP 1103 Public Relations Writing 3
ENGCMP 1104 Corporate Storytelling 3
ENGCMP 1112 Professional Uses of Social Media 3
ENGCMP 1120 History and Ethics of Advertising and Public Relations 3
ENGCMP 1270 Projects in Black Rhetoric 3
ENGCMP 1400 Grant Writing (#) 3
ENGCMP 1401 Writing for Fundraising and Development 3
ENGCMP 1420 Writing Proposals for Business 3
ENGWRT 0710 Intro to Audio Storytelling 3
ENGWRT 1330 Intermediate Nonfiction 3
ENGWRT 1403 Topics in Nonfiction: Electronic Media 3
PSY 1635 Organizational Psychology 3
PUBSRV 1200 Practices of Nonprofit Management 3
PUBSRV 1310 Diversity Issues in Public Service 3
SOC 0490 Mass Media 3

* Make sure to take the appropriate section of this course.

Tip: Download our handy planning checklist to track your progress towards your CGS program requirements.

Important: As you plan your certificate coursework, please make sure to review the CGS Course Overlap policy for information on how many courses can be double-counted if a student elects to pursue a CGS certificate in combination with other CGS and non-CGS majors, minors, and certificates. If you have questions, please contact your CGS advisor or CGS Advising at

Requirements subject to change. Check with an academic advisor before registering.