Academic Programs Catalog

College of Communication Arts and Sciences

Department of Advertising and Public Relations

Stephen R. Lacy, Acting Chairperson

The Department of Advertising and Public Relations links the fields of communication and commerce. The focus on global and research-based practices in these industries is unique to Michigan State University. It is the mission of the department to provide leadership to the respective industries through world-class programs that emphasize the importance of research, outreach and teaching excellence. Graduates of these department programs will be prepared to plan, implement and evaluate promotional and retailing strategies. Students will be well-versed in theories from the social sciences, particularly in economics/business, so that they are able to innovatively analyze, diagnose and solve managerial and creative problems. In addition, the undergraduate programs in the department provide the foundation for the Master of Arts degree programs in advertising and in public relations, and for a Doctor of Philosophy degree program in the College of Communication Arts and Sciences.
 


Undergraduate Program

While all those in the advertising field share a common orientation and a core knowledge base, within the industry there are a wide number of roles requiring specialized knowledge. These specialties can roughly be divided into the artistic functions known within the field as advertising creative and the strategic/managerial functions. The department offers two degrees, a Bachelor of Arts in Advertising Creative and a Bachelor of Science in Advertising Management, sharing a similar core, but allowing students to choose the degree that best fits their own professional aspirations. In addition, a Minor in Advertising Analytics and a Minor in Public Relations are available.


Advertising Creative

The undergraduate advertising creative program prepares students to work in advertising and related industries, as art directors and/or copywriters.  Promotional communication businesses, like advertising, demand a variety of skilled employees, including those who develop the messaging strategy, those who study the intended audience for the message, those who decide the best channel of communication to reach that audience, and those who actually compose the look, the wording and, if appropriate, the sounds of the message.  The advertising creative program is focused on those who actually create the advertisement.

Students receive a broad liberal arts background, as well as a strong overview of the advertising process that provides them with an understanding of the strategy, research, and other functions necessary to effective advertising.  However, greater depth of training is dedicated to helping students develop advertising art direction and copywriting skills.  Over the course of the program, students develop a portfolio of their work, to help them in seeking employment upon graduation.  These skills enable students to find work not only in advertising, but also in the fields of direct marketing, sales promotion, public relations, web design, electronic commerce, and more.

Internships and other cooperative educational opportunities are encouraged in the program.  Co-curricular activities include multiple student clubs, as well as national student competitions. Study abroad programs provide ways for students to gain experience that enhance and reach outside of the classroom, further advancing their employment opportunities.

Admission

Enrollment in the advertising creative program is limited. In addition to the university and college requirements, students must complete Advertising 205, and Psychology 101 with a combined minimum grade–point average of 2.00.

Admission to a Second Bachelor's Degree Program  or an Additional Major

The ability of the advertising creative program to accommodate students seeking admission to a second bachelor's degree program or an additional major is limited. At a minimum, these students must meet the same requirements as for admission to the advertising creative major.

Requirements for the Bachelor of Arts  Degree in Advertising Creative

  1. The University requirements for bachelor's degrees as described in the Undergraduate Education section of the catalog; 120 credits, including general elective credits, are required for the Bachelor of Arts degree in Advertising.

    The University's Tier II writing requirement for the Advertising major is met by completing Advertising 486.  That course is referenced in item 3. a. below.
  2. The requirements of the College of Communication Arts and Sciences for the Bachelor of Arts degree.
  3. The following requirements for the major:
    a. All of the following core courses (20 credits):
    ADV 205 Principles of Advertising 3
    ADV 210 Concept Development 1
    ADV 245 Multimedia Commercial Production 3
    ADV 330 Advertising Management 3
    ADV 342 Account Planning and Research 3
    ADV 450 Portfolio Presentation 1
    ADV 475 Advertising and Society 3
    ADV 486 Integrated Campaigns (W) 3
    The completion of Advertising 486 satisfies the capstone/synthesis requirement for the advertising creative major.
    b. Both of the following courses (6 credits):
    CAS 110 Creative Thinking 3
    CAS 112 Story, Sound and Motion 3
    c. Two of the following courses (2 credits):
    CAS 203 Design in Media Settings 1
    CAS 204 Web Design in Media Settings 1
    CAS 205 Photography in Media Settings 1
    CAS 206 Graphics and Illustration in Media Settings 1
    d. One of the following concentrations (15 or 16 credits):
    Art Direction (15 credits)
    ADV 222 Introduction to Copywriting 3
    or
    ADV 225 Writing for Public Relations 3
    ADV 224 Introduction to Creative Media 3
    ADV 326 Advanced Creative: Media I 3
    ADV 354 Interactive Advertising Design 3
    ADV 428 Advanced Creative: Media II 3
    Copywriting (15 to 16 credits)
    ADV 222 Introduction to Copywriting 3
    ADV 225 Writing for Public Relations 3
    ADV 322 360-degree Copywriting 3
    ADV 422 Advanced Copywriting: Creating Experiences 3
    Additional writing class from a list of approved courses as approved by the advisor 3 or 4
    e. Both of the following courses (7 credits):
    MKT 327 Introduction to Marketing 3
    PSY 101 Introductory Psychology 4


Advertising Management

The Bachelor of Science degree in Advertising Management provides the educational background necessary for students aspiring to become account managers, account planners, media planners, media researchers or a variety of other more managerial-oriented positions. The program focuses on developing students' strategic thinking, along with more research-oriented and analytical skills.
Internships and other cooperative educational opportunities are encouraged in the program. Students may also choose to pursue the departmental minors in Advertising Analytics or Public Relations and a number of other minors including: Entrepreneurship and Innovation, Retail Management, Sales Leadership, or Sports Business Management, which are particularly relevant for Advertising Management majors.

Co-curricular activities include multiple student advertising and public relations clubs, as well as national student competitions. Study abroad programs provide ways for students to gain experience that enhance and reach outside of the classroom, further advancing their employment opportunities upon graduation.

Admission

Enrollment in the Advertising Management program is limited.  In addition to the university and college requirements, students must complete Advertising 205 and Psychology 101 with a combined minimum grade–point average of 2.00.

Admission to a Second Bachelor's Degree Program or an Additional Major

The ability of the Advertising Management program to accommodate students seeking admission to a second bachelor's degree program or an additional major is limited. At a minimum, these students must meet the same requirements for admission to the Advertising Management major.

Requirements for the Bachelor of Science Degree in Advertising Management

  1. The University requirements for bachelor’s degrees as described in the Undergraduate Education section of the catalog; 120 credits, including general elective credits, are required for the Bachelor of Science degree in Advertising Management.  The University’s Tier II writing requirement for the Advertising Management major is met by completing Advertising 486. That course is referenced in item 3. a. below.
  2. The requirements of the College of Communication Arts and Sciences for the Bachelor of Science degree.
  3. The following requirements for the major:
    a. All of the following core courses (31 credits):
    ADV 205 Principles of Advertising 3
    ADV 225 Writing for Public Relations 3
    ADV 330 Advertising Management 3
    ADV 342 Account Planning and Research 3
    ADV 350 Advertising Media Planning and Strategy 3
    ADV 375 Consumer Behavior 3
    ADV 413 Issues in Contemporary Advertising 1
    ADV 442 Digital Analytics 3
    ADV 475 Advertising and Society 3
    ADV 486 Integrated Campaigns (W) 3
    CAS 110 Creative Thinking 3
    The completion of Advertising 486 satisfies the  capstone/synthesis requirement for the Advertising Management major.
    b. Complete 6 credits from the following courses in consultation with an advisor. Students are encouraged to choose a minor that adds depth to their major while selecting courses that will count towards the minor.
      ADV 260 Principles of Public Relations 3
    ADV 325 Public Relations Techniques and Ethics 3
    ADV 334 International Advertising 3
    ADV 352 Media Sales 3
    ADV 360 Advanced Sales Communication 3
    ADV 386 Campaign Competition 3
    ADV 402 Public Relations Topics in Advertising 1 to 3
    ADV 420 New Media Driver's License 3
    ADV 425 Public Relations Strategy 3
    ADV 430 Social Marketing: Strategy and Practice 3
    ADV 431 Monitoring and Measuring Social Media of Brands 3
    ADV 432 Digital Media Planning and Buying 3
    ADV 433 Internet Video Promotion Strategy 3
    ADV 436 Promotions and Sponsorships 3
    ADV 445 Programmatic Media and Buying 3
    ADV 456 Interactive Advertising Management Strategy 3
    ADV 481 Retail Strategy Analysis 3
    ADV 492 Special Topics in Advertising 1 to 3
    ADV 490 Independent Study 1 to 3
    or
    ADV 493 Advertising and Public Relations Internship 1 to 3
    or
    ADV 494 Practicum in Research/Creative Works and Instruction 1 to 3
    BUS 190 The Art of Starting 3
    CAS 114 Creativity and Innovation Entrepreneurship 3
    COM 402 Public Relations Topics in Communication 1 to 3
    JRN 402 Public Relations Topics in Journalism 1 to 3
    MGT 325 Management Skills and Processes 3
    A maximum of 3 credits in ADV 490 or 493 or 494 may be used to fulfill this requirement.
    c. All of the following courses (10 credits):      
    ACC 201 Principles of Financial Accounting 3
    or
    ACC 230 Survey of Accounting Concepts 3
    MKT 327 Introduction to Marketing 3
    PSY 101 Introductory Psychology 4

 

Minor in Advertising Analytics

The Minor in Advertising Analytics, which is administered by the Department of Advertising and Public Relations, is designed to enable students who are true problem-solvers to exercise their intellectual curiosity to find insights and answers in databases and real-time streaming data. In today’s industry, those who not only understand, but also can strategically activate data, will have opportunities to advance more quickly as an advertising account executive, media planner, media sales representative, and more, moving into specialized roles as programmatic advertising specialists or digital advertising analysts.

The minor is available to students who are enrolled in the Advertising Management major at Michigan State University. Limited enrollment may be made available to other majors upon request. With the approval of the department and college that administer the student’s degree program, the courses that are used to satisfy the minor may also be used to satisfy the requirements for the bachelor’s degree.

To be considered for admission, a student must have been formally admitted to the Advertising Management major. Admission to the minor is competitive. Students must be enrolled in or have completed Advertising 350 (Advertising Media Planning and Strategy) and have demonstrated mastery of course content by providing their midterm or final grade in the course. Other admission criteria include overall grade-point average, work experience, and a statement of interest. Each student’s application package will be rank ordered. Students may be admitted provisionally contingent on their performance in Advertising 350.

Students who plan to apply to the program should complete an application after the midterm in Advertising 350 and submit it to the Advertising Analytics coordinator in the Department of Advertising and Public Relations.

Requirements for the Minor in Advertising Analytics

Complete 18 credits from the following:

1. All of the following courses (12 credits):
ADV 442 Digital Analytics 3
ADV 445 Programmatic Media and Buying 3
ADV 456 Interactive Advertising Management Strategy 3
MI 250 Introduction to Applied Programming 3
2. Complete 6 credits from the following courses:
ADV 420 New Media Driver’s License 3
ADV 431 Monitoring and Measuring Social Media of Brands 3
ADV 432 Digital Media Planning and Buying 3
ADV 433 Internet Video Promotion Strategy 3
MI 220 Methods for Understanding Users 3
MI 320 Reasoning with Data 3


 

Minor in Public Relations

The Minor in Public Relations, which is administered by the Department of Advertising and Public Relations, is available to students majoring in Advertising, Communication, Environmental Studies and Sustainability, Journalism, James Madison, and Professional Writing. Limited enrollment may be made available to other majors.  With the approval of the department that administers the student’s degree program, courses that are used to satisfy the requirements for the minor may also be used to satisfy the requirements for the bachelor’s degree.

The minor is designed to provide an understanding of the role of public relations in contemporary society, as well as knowledge and experience in developing public relations materials for use in corporate, governmental, and nonprofit organizational settings. Areas of focus include public relations and society, writing for the media, public relations techniques, research methods, campaigns and cases, public relations strategies, portfolio development, and public relations ethics.

Students are eligible to apply for the minor if they: 

  1. are of sophomore standing or higher;
  2.  have an overall grade-point average of 3.0; 
  3.  have successfully completed Advertising 260;
  4.  have successfully completed Advertising 225 or Journalism 200.

To apply, students must submit an application stating their interest in the minor. Applications are due by the tenth week of the semester. If the number of applicants meeting the basic qualifications exceeds the number of spaces available, selection will include evaluation of an interest statement and academic performance in prerequisite classes. Students will be notified of the decision after the completion of the semester.

Requirements for the Minor in Public Relations

The students must complete the following (14 to 20 credits):
1. All of the following courses (9 or 10 credits):
ADV 325 Public Relations Techniques and Ethics 3
ADV 425 Public Relations Strategy 3
COM 300 Methods of Communication Inquiry 4
Students majoring in Journalism should take Statistics and Probability 200 (3 credits) in place of Communication 300.
2. One of the following courses (3 or 4 credits):
ADV 486 Integrated Campaigns 3
COM 475 Communication Campaign Design and Analysis (W) 4
3. Complete 2 to 6 credits from the following:
ADV 402 Public Relations Topics in Advertising 1
COM 402 Public Relations Topics in Communication 1
JRN 402 Public Relations Topics in Journalism 1


Linked Bachelor's-Master's Degree in Advertising

Bachelor of Arts Degree in Advertising
Master of Arts Degree in Advertising

The department welcomes applications from Michigan State University undergraduate Advertising majors with at least 86 credits.  Admission applications must be made prior to the final semester as an Advertising undergraduate.  Admission to the program requires a minimum undergraduate grade-point average of 3.50, a statement of goals for the master’s degree, Graduate Record Examination scores, at least two letters of recommendation from faculty in the Department of Advertising and Public Relations, and an approved program of study for the master’s degree at the time of admission.  Admission to the Linked Bachelor’s-Master’s Program allows the application of up to 9 credits toward the master’s program for qualifying 400-level and above course work taken at the undergraduate level at Michigan State University or an external accredited institution.  The number of approved credits, not to exceed 9, is applied toward the credit requirement of the master’s degree.  No 400-level courses with a grade lower than 3.0 will count toward the master’s degree.  Credit obtained from 400-level pass-fail courses and internships will not count toward the degree.  Credits applied to the Linked Bachelor’s-Master’s Program are not eligible to be applied to any other graduate degree program.



Linked Bachelor's-Master's Degree in Health and Risk Communication

Bachelor of Arts Degree in Advertising
Master of Arts Degree in Health and Risk Communication

The department welcomes applications from Michigan State University undergraduate Advertising majors with at least 86 credits.  Admission applications must be made prior to the final semester as a Advertising undergraduate.  The number of students admitted to this linked program will be limited by availability. Admission to the program requires a minimum undergraduate grade-point average of 3.50, a statement of goals for the master’s degree, Graduate Record Examination scores, at least two letters of recommendation from faculty in the Department of Advertising and Public Relations or Health and Risk Communication faculty, a resume, and an approved program of study for the master’s degree at the time of admission.  It is recommended that students complete a special topic in the area of health and risk communication through COM 399 Special Topics. Admission to the Linked Bachelor’s-Master’s Program allows the application of up to 9 credits toward the master’s program for qualifying 400-level and above course work taken at the undergraduate level at Michigan State University or an external accredited institution.  The number of approved credits, not to exceed 9, are applied toward the credit requirement of the master’s degree.  No 400-level courses with a grade lower than 3.0 will count toward the master’s degree.  Credit obtained from 400-level pass-fail courses and internships will not count toward the degree.  Credits applied to the Linked Bachelor’s-Master’s Program are not eligible to be applied to any other graduate degree program.



Linked Bachelors-Master's Degree in Public Relations

Bachelor of Arts Degree in Advertising
Master of Arts Degree in Public Relations

The department welcomes applications from Michigan State University undergraduate Advertising majors with at least 86 credits.  Admission applications must be made prior to the final semester as an Advertising undergraduate.  Admission to the program requires a minimum undergraduate grade point average of 3.50, a statement of goals for the master’s degree, Graduate Record Examination scores, at least two letters of recommendation from faculty in the Department of Advertising and Public Relations, and an approved program of study for the master’s degree at the time of admission.  Admission to the Linked Bachelor’s-Master’s Program allows the application of up to 9 credits toward the master’s program for qualifying 400-level and above course work taken at the undergraduate level at Michigan State University or an external accredited institution.  The number of approved credits, not to exceed 9, is applied toward the credit requirement of the master’s degree.  No 400-level courses with a grade lower than 3.0 will count toward the master’s degree.  Credit obtained from 400-level pass-fail courses and internships will not count toward the degree.  Credits applied to the Linked Bachelor’s-Master’s Program are not eligible to be applied to any other graduate degree program.

 


Graduate Study

The Department of Advertising and Public Relations offers professional graduate programs leading to the Master of Arts degrees in both Advertising and Public Relations, and participates in the doctoral program in Information and Media.

Academic standards for admission and retention; degree requirements; and residence, transfer credit, and time limit requirements are in accordance with the regulations of the university and the college.


Advertising - Master of Arts

The department offers two programs leading to the Master of Arts degree: one in advertising and one in public relations. Both programs provide an intensive professional preparation for careers in these fields. Course work focuses on the general principles and practices underlying all advertising and public relations activities, as well as specialized areas of social media, management, media planning, consumer behavior, social marketing, or research.

Both master's degree programs are available under either Plan A (with thesis) or Plan B (without thesis).  Early in their studies, students need to work with their advisors to decide which plan best fits their personal and professional goals.

Requirements for the degree include course work in other academic units within the university. Concepts and analytical techniques derived primarily from the behavioral sciences and business administration are especially important.  The student's master's degree program must be approved by the student's academic advisor.

In addition to meeting the requirements of the university and of the College of Communication Arts and Sciences, students must meet the requirements specified below.

Admission

Admission to departmental programs is determined by an evaluation of information regarding the applicant's academic record, goals and motivation, experience, personal references, and other items submitted as indicators of intellectual, creative, and administrative capabilities. The Graduate Record Examination (GRE) General Test is also required. The Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) is not required, but scores on this test may be submitted.

To be admitted to either the Master of Arts degree in Advertising or the Master of Arts degree in Public Relations, the applicant must submit:

  1. a Graduate School application.
  2. an official copy of all transcripts.
  3. three letters of recommendation.
  4. a statement of purpose outlining academic and professional goals.
  5. a personal background statement.
  6. Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores.
  7. Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) scores, if applicable.
  8. a resume. 

Although evidence other than grades influences the admission decision, the Department uses the following guidelines: students whose grade–point averages for the third and fourth years of undergraduate study are 3.25 or better may be admitted to regular status; students whose grade–point averages are 3.00 to 3.24 may be admitted to provisional status; and students whose grade--point averages are below 3.00 are rarely admitted.

A background in advertising and/or public relations, either from experience or from undergraduate study, is necessary before students can begin graduate study. Students without adequate background will be required to remedy significant deficiencies through collateral course work or individual study.

Requirements for the Master of Arts Degree in  Advertising

At least 30 credits are required for the degree under either Plan A or Plan B.

                     
Requirements for Both Plan A and Plan B (15 credits):  
1. All of the following courses:  
  ADV 823 Consumer Behavior Theories 3
  ADV 826 Advertising and Promotion Management 3
  ADV 865 Advertising and Society 3
  COM 803 Introduction to Quantitative Research Methods 3
  MKT 805 Marketing Management 3
Additional Requirements for Plan A (15 credits):  
1. The following course (4 to 8 credits):  
  ADV 899 Master's Thesis Research 4 to 8
2. Additional credits from the courses listed below, or in other courses, as approved by the student's academic advisor (7 to 11 credits):  
  ADV 830 Seminar in Social Marketing 3
  ADV 836 Media Innovations 3
  ADV 843 Strategic Brand Communication 3
  ADV 846 Media Strategy 3
  ADV 870 International Advertising 3
  ADV 890 Independent Study 1 to 6
  ADV 892 Special Topics 3 to 9
  ADV 893 Internship 1 to 3
  Not more than 6 credits in ADV 890 and ADV 893 combined may be counted toward the requirements for the Master of Arts degree in Advertising.  
Additional Requirements for Plan B (15 credits):  
1. Fifteen additional credits from the courses listed below, or in other courses, as approved by the student's academic advisor:  
  ADV 830 Seminar in Social Marketing 3
  ADV 836 Media Innovations 3
  ADV 843 Strategic Brand Communication 3
  ADV 846 Media Strategy 3
  ADV 870 International Advertising 3
  ADV 890 Independent Study 1 to 6
  ADV 892 Special Topics 3 to 9
  ADV 893 Internship 1 to 3
  Not more than 6 credits in ADV 890 and ADV 893 combined may be counted toward the requirements for the Master of Arts degree in Advertising.  
  The final certifying experience is a poster presentation during the semester of graduation.
 



Public Relations - Master of Arts

Requirements for the Master of Arts Degree in Public Relations

At least 30 credits are required for the master's degree in public relations under either Plan A or Plan B.

                     
Requirements for Both Plan A and Plan B (15 credits):  
1. All of the following courses:  
  ADV 850 Public Relations Management 3
  ADV 855 Public Relations Theories 3
  ADV 860 Media Relations 3
  COM 803 Introduction to Quantitative Research Methods 3
  MKT 805 Marketing Management 3
Additional Requirements for Plan A (15 credits):  
1. The following course (4 to 6):  
  ADV 899 Master's Thesis Research 4 to 8
2.

Additional credits from the courses listed below, or in other courses, as approved by the student's academic advisor
(7 to 11 credits):

 
  ADV 823 Consumer Behavior Theories 3
  ADV 830 Seminar in Social Marketing 3
  ADV 836 Media Innovations 3
  ADV 843 Strategic Brand Communication 3
  ADV 846 Media Strategy 3
  ADV 865 Advertising and Society 3
  ADV 890 Independent Study 1 to 6
  ADV 892 Special Topics 3 to 9
  ADV 893 Internship 1 to 3
 

Not more than 6 credits in ADV 890 and ADV 893 combined may be counted toward the requirements for the Master of Arts degree in Public Relations.

 
Additional Requirements for Plan B (15 credits):  
1.

Fifteen additional credits, from the courses listed below, or other courses, as approved by the student’s academic advisor.

 
  ADV 823 Consumer Behavior Theories 3
  ADV 830 Seminar in Social Marketing 3
  ADV 836 Media Innovations 3
  ADV 843 Strategic Brand Communication 3
  ADV 846 Media Strategy 3
  ADV 865 Advertising and Society 3
  ADV 890 Independent Study 1 to 6
  ADV 892 Special Topics 3 to 9
  ADV 893 Internship 1 to 3
 

Not more than 6 credits in ADV 890 and ADV 893 combined may be counted toward the requirements for the Master of Arts degree in Public Relations.

 
     
The final certifying experience is a poster presentation during the semester of graduation.