Academic Programs Catalog

College of Communication Arts and Sciences

Department of Advertising and Public Relations

Graduate Study
Advertising and Public Relations - Master of Arts

The department offers two programs leading to the Master of Arts degree: one in advertising and public relations, and one in public relations. The Master of Arts Degree in Public Relations is currently in moratorium. 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.

The department offers a Master’s of Arts degree in Advertising and Public Relations. The program provides intensive professional preparation for careers in these fields. The flexible curriculum allows students to design a custom program to meet their career goals or to focus on one of four rapidly growing areas of Advertising and Public Relations: digital and social media; health, science, and the environment; social impact; or research for advertising and public relations.

The master's degree program is available under either Plan A (with thesis) or Plan B (without thesis).  Early in their studies, students work with their advisor to decide which plan best fits their personal and professional goals. 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 and 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. Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) scores, if applicable.
  7. 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 and Public Relations

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 800 Advertising and Public Relations Theory 3
ADV 815 Ethical Practice in Advertising and Public Relations 3
ADV 825 Advertising and Public Relations Strategies 3
ADV 835 Multimedia Content Creation for Advertising and Public Relations 3
COM 803 Introduction to Quantitative Research Methods 3
Additional Requirements for Plan A (15 credits):
1. The following course (3 to 8 credits):
ADV 899 Master's Thesis Research 3 to 8
2. Additional elective course work at the 400-level or above to meet the 30 credits required for the degree. The course work must be approved by the student’s academic advisor. 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 and Public Relations. Not more than 6 elective credits may be taken from outside the College of Communication Arts and Sciences.
3. Completion of a master's thesis.
Additional Requirements for Plan B (15 credits):
1. Additional elective course work at the 400-level or above to meet the 30 credits required for the degree. The course work must be approved by the student’s academic advisor. 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 and Public Relations. Not more than 6 elective credits may be taken from outside the College of Communication Arts and Sciences.
2. The final certifying experience is a poster presentation during the semester of graduation.