Master of Arts (MA): Advertising and Public Relations Degree Overview

Oct 26, 2019

A Master of Arts (M.A.) in Advertising and Public Relations program commonly focuses studies around advertising strategies, ethics and management skills. Find out what you need to apply, what to expect from the curriculum, and what you can do when you finish.

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Essential Information

Master of Arts (M.A.) programs in advertising and public relations combine professional, social and global instruction in design and business and the effective utilization of media and technology. Over the course of these programs, students develop critical thinking skills and creativity through coursework in personal areas of interest. Students are also required to complete an internship where they get the opportunity to interact with and acquire skills from professionals in the field. Some programs may also offer specializations, such as management, within the advertising and public relations curriculum.

A Master of Arts (M.A.) in Advertising and Public Relations usually takes between 18 months and two years to complete. In order to apply, students must hold a bachelor's degree and submit undergraduate transcripts, GRE scores, and a resume.


Master of Arts (MA) in Advertising and Public Relations

Advertising and public relations programs generally allow students to explore an integrated framework of courses focused around marketing, research, technologies, communication and ethics. Students may work with computer graphics and video production during their studies. In general, course topics include:

  • Planning strategies and marketing
  • Copywriting and research methods
  • Laws and ethics
  • Campaigns
  • Media
  • Management

Popular Career Options

With an advertising and public relations master's degree, individuals have the ability to pursue advanced careers in advertising, marketing, public relations and media related fields. More specifically, individuals may pursue positions as:

  • Public relations managers
  • Advertising managers
  • Media planners
  • Copywriters
  • Art directors
  • Account planners

Employment Outlook and Salary Information

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) predicts that advertising and promotions managers would see 3% growth in employment opportunities from 2018-2028, while public relations and fundraising managers could see 8% growth. The BLS also reported that the median salary for public relations and fundraising managers was $114,800 as of May 2018, while advertising and promotions managers had a median annual salary of $117,130 at that same time.

Continuing Education

For individuals who want to expand their career options, some colleges and universities offer doctoral programs in advertising or related fields. These programs give students the opportunity to pursue independent research in a particular area of interest.

Master of Arts degree programs in advertising and public relations help students gain the advanced communications and management skills needed to advance their marketing careers. The interdisciplinary programs include both classroom learning and hands-on training through internships and professional experiences.

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