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Top School in Chicago for an Advertising Degree

Students interested in studying advertising in Chicago, IL, have only a few schools to choose from. Read about the top local schools' degree programs, tuition and ranking info to find the right one for you.

School and Ranking Information

Undergraduate programs in advertising are offered at three not-for-profit schools in Chicago. Additionally, one of these universities also features a graduate program in the field. Each of these schools has received a national or regional school ranking from U.S. News & World Report. These three schools are ranked below based on program options, number of advertising-related degrees awarded and school rankings.

  • Winner: DePaul University is nationally ranked by U.S. News and is the only school to offer both bachelor's and master's degree programs in advertising and public relations (PR). This school also awarded the most degrees in this field in 2012-2013.
  • Runner Up #1: Loyola University Chicago also is nationally ranked by U.S. News. It offers a bachelor's degree program in advertising and had the highest graduation rate among these three schools.
  • Runner Up #2: Regionally-ranked North Park University features two bachelor's degree programs in advertising. This school offers the lowest tuition among the three compared institutes.

School Comparison Chart

Category DePaul University Loyola University Chicago North Park University
Rankings (2015) 121st among national universities* 106th among national universities* 54th among regional universities in the Midwest*
Location Chicago, IL Chicago, IL Chicago, IL
School Type 4-year, private not-for-profit 4-year, private not-for-profit 4-year, private not-for-profit
Undergraduate Tuition & Fees (2013-2014) $33,990** $35,573** $23,350**
Advertising Degree Programs Offered Bachelor's and Master's Bachelor's Bachelor 's
Advertising Degrees Awarded (all levels) in 2012-2013 268** 99** 4**
Most Popular Advertising Degree Program in 2012-2013 Bachelor's (242 awarded)** Bachelor's (99 awarded)** Bachelor's (4 awarded)**
Undergraduate Graduation Rate (in 150% of normal program time) for 2007 Entering Class 70%** 71%** 56%**
Noteworthy One of five finalists for PR Education Program of the Year in 2013, 2014 and 2015*** Advertising/PR faculty members also are professionals in the industry BS students can focus on account management, creative production, or market research and consumer behavior

Sources: *U.S. News & World Report, **NCES College Navigator, ***PRWeek.

Winner: DePaul University

  • Undergraduate students can take courses in PR, advertising or both
  • Combined bachelor's/master's degree programs pair PR and advertising with health communication or relational communication, among other fields
  • Bachelor's program offers concentration in Latino media and communication
  • DePaul reports that 97% of its master's in PR/advertising grads were employed or seeking advanced education within six months

DePaul University is the only nonprofit school in Chicago offering undergraduate and graduate degree programs in advertising. On the bachelor's level, students at this private Catholic university might take courses in advertising campaigns, writing for PR and advertising, digital advertising, and ethics in PR and advertising. The master's program features courses in PR and advertising management, advertising communication strategy, and contemporary issues and critical perspectives in PR and advertising. Students on both degree levels can complete internships with Chicago-based advertising firms.

Runner-Up #1: Loyola University Chicago

  • University's Water Tower Campus is in the heart of downtown, giving easy access to the advertising community
  • Advertising/PR program offers interdisciplinary electives in marketing and fine arts
  • Student-led Ad Club creates advertisements for university groups and events

At this Jesuit university, students can choose to focus on advertising, PR or a combination of the two. Required courses in the advertising focus include advertising campaigns, advertising creative copywriting and media planning. Students also might choose electives in international advertising, history of advertising, advertising/PR design and themes in advertising/PR.

Runner-Up #2: North Park University

  • Bachelor's programs in advertising are accredited by the International Assembly for Collegiate Business Education
  • Business Club offers networking and career development opportunities
  • School boasts a 12:1 student-teacher ratio, the lowest among the three featured schools

North Park is a small Christian university located on the north side of Chicago. All advertising students at North Park must complete courses in business and professional ethics, introductory psychology and statistics. Bachelor of Science students also must participate in an internship, and they're required to take 62 hours of major courses, compared to 38 hours for Bachelor of Arts candidates.

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