Students of advertising will develop and hone critical and creative thinking skills. Students will develop an understanding of the intended audience and utilize that understanding to create relevant messages, using powerful verbal and visual imagery capable of communicating the intended message(s) in order to capitalize on organizational opportunities and solve communication problems. The skills necessary for creating persuasive messages and developing the means to expose those messages to the intended audience will be learned in this program. These skills include the ability to conduct research to measure program needs, develop program quantifiable objectives and focused strategies, implement state-of-the-art tactics and develop the tools to measure a program’s return on investment.

Advertising is the creative expression of strategic persuasive communication. As a marketing function, advertising focuses on the promotion of products, services, companies, organizations and ideas through paid media space or time. Examples of advertising media include magazines, newspapers, television, radio, online, outdoor/transit and alternative.

Students seeking to major in advertising may pursue one of the following options:

  • General advertising major (32 hours): prepares students for account management and media buying
  • Creative specialization: prepares students for careers in art direction (37-39 hours) or copywriting (35-39 hours); students are competitively selected for this specialization based on an application process initiated after the first phase of coursework in the major
  • Consumer specialization (32 hours): prepares students for careers in consumer research/insight development; students are competitively selected for this specialization based on an application process initiated after the first phase of coursework in the major

Core Curriculum and General Education Requirements for All Advertising Majors

Hours
Freshman Composition (FC)
EN 101English Composition3
EN 102English Composition3
Computer Science (C) or Foreign Language (FL)
Complete a sequence6-8
Humanities (HU) and Fine Arts (FA)
COM 123Public Speaking3
Select three hours in Fine Arts (FA)3
Select six hours in Literature (L)6
Natural Science (N) and Mathematics (MA)
Select eight hours in Natural Science (N)8
Select three to four hours in MATH 110 or higher3-4
History (HI) and Social/Behavioral Sciences (SB)
Select three hours in History (HI)3
EC 110Principles of Microeconomics3
Select three hours in Social/Behavioral Sciences 13
Select three hours in History or Social/Behavioral Sciences3
Writing
Select six hours of W-designated courses 26
Total Hours53-56
1

Satisfied by MC 101 Intro To Mass Communic in the major.

2

APR 322 Copywriting Seminar (only for copywriting students in the creative specialization), APR 310 Concepting (only for art direction and copywriting students in the creative specialization), APR 423 A+PR Management and MC 400-level courses with the “W” designation may be used to satisfy the writing core. Other writing core courses outside the major, such as minor courses, will also satisfy this requirement.

General Advertising Major 

More InformationHours
MC 101Intro To Mass Communic3
JCM 103Mechanics of Media Writing1
APR 221Intro To Advertising3
APR 260Software Applications I1
APR 270Strategic Thinking (AD)3
APR 280Investigation and Insights3
APR 300Basic Principles of Design3
MC 401Mass Comm Law & Regultn3
Select one of the following: 3
Mass Communic Research 1
History Mass Communctn 1
Mass Communication, Service & Diversity 1
Political Communication 1
Race, Gender and Media 1
Media Management 1
Special Topics
APR 422Channel Planning3
APR 423A+PR Management3
APR 424Advertising Campaigns 23
Total Hours32
1

Not offered every semester

2

EC 110 Principles of Microeconomics is a prerequisite to APR 424 Advertising Campaigns.

To see the required order in which you take the courses in the general advertising major, click here.

Creative Specialization for Copywriters

APR 325 Digital and Social Media and APR 380 Independent Study are optional courses in the creative specialization for copywriters. 

Hours
MC 101Intro To Mass Communic3
JCM 103Mechanics of Media Writing1
APR 221Intro To Advertising3
APR 260Software Applications I1
Must apply for and be accepted into the creative specialization before you may enroll in the following courses: 1
APR 270Strategic Thinking (AD)3
APR 280Investigation and Insights3
APR 300Basic Principles of Design3
APR 310Concepting3
APR 410Portfolio I 23
APR 322Copywriting Seminar 23
MC 401Mass Comm Law & Regultn3
APR 411Portfolio II3
APR 424Advertising Campaigns 33
Total Hours35
1

With the exception of MC 401 Mass Comm Law & Regultn, which requires MC 101 Intro To Mass Communic and 61 earned hours.

2

APR 322 Copywriting Seminar and APR 410 Portfolio I are corequisite courses.

3

EC 110 Principles of Microeconomics is a prerequisite to APR 424 Advertising Campaigns.

To see the required order in which you take the courses in the creative specialization for copywriters in the advertising major, click here.

Creative Specialization for Art Directors

APR 380 Independent Study is an optional course in the creative specialization for art directors. 

Hours
MC 101Intro To Mass Communic3
JCM 103Mechanics of Media Writing1
APR 221Intro To Advertising3
APR 260Software Applications I1
Must apply for and be accepted into the creative specialization before you may enroll in the following courses: 1
APR 270Strategic Thinking (AD)3
APR 280Investigation and Insights3
APR 300Basic Principles of Design3
APR 310Concepting3
APR 410Portfolio I 23
APR 301Software Applications II 21
APR 323Art Direction Seminar 23
MC 401Mass Comm Law & Regultn3
APR 401Software Applications III 31
APR 411Portfolio II 33
APR 424Advertising Campaigns 43
Total Hours37
1

With the exception of MC 401 Mass Comm Law & Regultn, which requires MC 101 Intro To Mass Communic and 61 earned hours.

2

APR 410 Portfolio I, APR 323 Art Direction Seminar and APR 301 Software Applications II are corequisites.

3

APR 401 Software Applications III and APR 411 Portfolio II are corequisites.

4

EC 110 Principles of Microeconomics is a prerequisite to APR 424 Advertising Campaigns.

To see the required order in which you take the courses in the creative specialization for ad directors in the advertising major, click here.

Consumer Specialization

APR 300 Basic Principles of Design is an optional course in the consumer specialization. 

Hours
MC 101Intro To Mass Communic3
JCM 103Mechanics of Media Writing1
APR 221Intro To Advertising3
APR 260Software Applications I1
Must apply for and be accepted into the consumer specialization before you may enroll in the following courses: 1
APR 270Strategic Thinking (AD)3
APR 280Investigation and Insights3
APR 320 or Creative Thinking3
APR 325 Digital and Social Media
MC 401Mass Comm Law & Regultn3
APR 421Account Planning3
APR 422Channel Planning3
APR 423A+PR Management3
APR 424Advertising Campaigns 23
Total Hours32
1

With the exception of MC 401 Mass Comm Law & Regultn, which requires MC 101 Intro To Mass Communic and 61 earned hours.

2

EC 110 Principles of Microeconomics is a prerequisite to APR 424 Advertising Campaigns.

To see the required order in which you take the courses in the consumer specialization in the advertising major, click here.

Application to the Creative and Consumer Specializations

Admission to these specializations will be selective, and based upon a faculty panel’s evaluation of applications used to assess students’ unique qualifications for entry. The applications require students to submit two samples of creative work as evidence of their capabilities: one that demonstrates facility to solve a specific problem creatively and another that permits a longitudinal examination of their creative thinking ability.

Creative/Artistic Standards

Advertising students admitted to our specializations will be required to produce work that meets creative/artistic standards (as evaluated by qualified faculty) in order to continue taking courses in a specialization, consistent with common practice in fine and performing arts programs.

The instructor in each specialization course will evaluate each student at the end of every semester and determine whether or not a student’s work meets these standards. Students whose work falls short will discontinue coursework in the specialization and have the option to pursue the general advertising major, provided that they qualify academically.

Minors for Students Majoring in Advertising

The A+PR department requires each of its students to complete a minor, which may not comprise any advertising and public relations (APR), journalism and creative media (JCM) or mass communication (MC) courses. Advertising students minor in such diverse areas as communication studies, general business, political science, art, psychology, history, mathematics, cultural studies, and languages such as Chinese, Japanese, Russian and Spanish. No more than 27 hours in the minor may be counted toward fulfillment of graduation requirements. At least six hours in the minor must be at or above the 300 level. Two minors or a second major may be pursued. A minor is not required if the student pursues a second major.

Residence in the College and in the Major and Minor

While enrolled in the College of Communication and Information Sciences, students must earn a minimum of 30 hours on this campus. A minimum of 12 hours in each major and six hours in each minor must be earned at the 300- or 400-level in residence.

A+PR Department Requirements

Students are asked to make special note of the following Department of Advertising and Public Relations requirements.

Student Responsibility

As an A+PR student, you are here to become a leader — to shape the future of global advertising and public relations in a socially conscious manner. You are here to do the extraordinary, not just what is expected. The faculty expects you to be passionate about your work, fluent in your discipline and engaged as a learner. We are your partners in these endeavors.

It is the student’s responsibility to understand the requirements for the advertising major or minor and to seek the advice of their assigned faculty adviser when choosing coursework. Students receive adviser assignments soon after they declare the advertising major via MyBama.ua.edu, or they may go to 412 Phifer to request one. Students pursuing an advertising minor should go to 412 Phifer for an adviser assignment.

Prerequisites

A number of courses within and outside the department require other courses as prerequisites. A student who registers for any course without satisfying the proper prerequisites will be required to drop the course. Before registering, students are advised to review course descriptions for prerequisites and other requirements. 

Minimum Grade Requirement

A grade of C- or higher is required in all courses counted in the advertising major or minor. In addition, grades of C- or higher must be earned in all required external courses, including those established as prerequisites for courses in the advertising major or minor and those required directly in the major or minor. In keeping with University policy, when a course is taken more than one time, each enrollment will be counted in the cumulative hours attempted and used in computation of the grade point average, but only the final enrollment may count as credit toward the degree. 

Minimum Grade Point Average

A 2.0 or higher overall grade point average is required of all students who have earned 45 hours or more of college credit and wish to transfer into the college. A student must have an overall grade point average of 2.0 or higher in order to register for any 300-level or higher-numbered course in the Department of Advertising and Public Relations.

Graduates find employment at advertising or public relations agencies, advertising, public relations, or promotional departments of businesses, industries and government agencies and with traditional and nontraditional media outlets.

Types of Jobs Accepted

Our graduates work as copywriters, art directors, account executives, media sales representatives, photographers, researchers, production specialists, media consultants, management advisers, public opinion surveyors and marketing researchers.

Jobs of Experienced Alumni

Owners, presidents & CEOs of advertising agencies, vice president–corporate communication, professors, art directors, account executives, etc.

Learn more about opportunities in this field at the Career Center

General Advertising Major Suggested Plan of Study

Freshman
FallHoursSpringHours
APR 2601APR 2213
JCM 1031EN 1023
MC 1013History (HI) or social/behavioral science (SB)3
EN 1013MATH 110 (or higher or equivalent (MA))3
History (HI) course3Elective3
Elective3 
 14 15
Sophomore
FallHoursSpringHours
APR 2803APR 2703
EC 1103Minor3
First literature course (L)3Second literature course (L)3
Foreign language (FL) or computer science (C)3-4Foreign language (FL) or computer science (C)3-4
Elective3Elective3
 15-16 15-16
Junior
FallHoursSpringHours
APR 3003APR 4223
COM 1233MC 400-level course3
Fine arts3Minor3
Minor3Minor3
Natural science with lab (N)4Natural science with lab (N)4
 16 16
Senior
FallHoursSpringHours
APR 4233APR 4243
MC 4013Minor, elective or (W) course3
Minor3Minor or elective3
Minor3Elective3
Elective3Elective2
 15 14
Total Hours: 120-122