Although online bachelor's degree programs in advertising aren't incredibly common, several schools throughout the U.S. offer this type of program. Hybrid degree programs are also available, in which students will have to take some courses on-campus. Sometimes, programs may be combined with the study of public relations or strategic communications.
While coursework may be offered entirely online, students may also have the opportunity to receive credit for completing a voluntary internship. Completing an internship or other real-world training can provide students with experience that's essential to entering the job market.
Advertising coursework typically involves using a variety of software programs, like Adobe Illustrator, Adobe Photoshop and Adobe After Effects. Students should be aware that programs may have a list of software and hardware requirements.
Bachelor's Degrees in Advertising
Online advertising bachelor's degree programs typically include a variety of business, general education and advertising classes. Students learn how to design effective advertising campaigns while improving their communications skills and understanding of basic business practices.
Students interested in learning advertising at the undergraduate level can also look for online programs in business administration, communications or marketing, as these programs incorporate advertising instruction in their core curriculum.
Program Information and Requirements
A bachelor's degree program in advertising can usually be completed in four years, but part-time students may choose to reduce their course load and take longer to complete the program. Some universities require undergraduate students to take as many as 50% of credit hours on-campus; however, fully online programs are also available. Some programs offer internships with advertising agencies that must be completed in-person.
Students in online advertising bachelor's degree programs must have access to a computer with the Internet. Course materials may load faster with high-speed Internet connections. For some classes, students may need to purchase special software, such as Adobe Photoshop.
List of Common Online Advertising Courses
All bachelor's degree programs include general education requirements. Although requirements vary by school, students are typically required to take English, history, math and science classes. Common core courses cover both advertising and business basics.
Strategies in Advertising
Students learn the common techniques and strategies used by advertisers. They learn how to select the type of media to use in advertising campaigns and examine the ethical implications of advertisements. In some advertising classes, students create a portfolio of their work, which they may post in online forums.
Copywriting for Advertising
Online students hone their persuasive writing techniques and learn how to write copy for different advertising mediums. During the course, students may study examples of advertising copy and create samples for their portfolios.
An online general business administration course exposes students to the business aspects of advertising. This survey course typically includes lessons in business ethics, marketing, economics and global business strategies. After completing an introductory course, students may take more focused classes in business ethics, finance and marketing.
Undergraduate advertising students in distance learning programs typically take one or two introductory graphic design courses. Students may need access to special graphic design software for this class. Course lessons cover visual communication techniques, typography, page layout and computer illustration.
Career Information for Graduates
Graduates of online bachelor's degree programs in advertising can work for advertising firms or in the advertising departments of businesses. The BLS predicts that the number of advertising and promotions managers will grow by 5% between 2014 and 2024. The average wage for these professionals was $113,610 in 2015 (www.bls.gov).
Continuing Education Information
Students interested in graduate-level study can pursue a Master of Business Administration with a concentration in advertising. Many schools offer online MBA degrees. Those who enter the workforce can keep their skills current by taking continuing education classes in the latest graphic design software and advertising techniques.
Online advertising bachelor's degree programs teach students how to create successful promotional campaigns and employ graphic design software. Completing an internship is optional, but it can provide students with valuable hands-on experience in the advertising industry.