Schools with Advertising Design Programs: How to Choose

Advertising design is the study of effectively marketing and selling a product or idea through graphic or Web design. Students may enroll in certificate and associate degree programs that combine advertising and graphic design into one curriculum, or they can find bachelor's degree programs, which concentrate in one or the other.

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There are numerous program options for those desiring an advertising career, and the type of program chosen will depend upon students' areas of interest within advertising, such as design or marketing. Advertising programs are widely available at 2-year and 4-year schools, as are graphic design programs; at the bachelor's degree level, students can find separate programs in graphic design and advertising that can provide a more encompassing education in each field.

Schools with Graphic Design Programs

Graphic design and advertising programs are offered at these institutions.

College/University Location Institution Type Degrees Offered Tuition* (2015-2016)
Rhode Island School of Design Providence, RI private, not-for-profit, 4 year Bachelor's, Master's Undergraduate $45,840; Graduate $45,530
Maryland Institute College of Art Baltimore, MD private, not-for-profit, 4 year Certificate, Bachelor's, Master's, Graduate Certificate Undergraduate $43,870; Graduate $42,280
Carnegie Mellon University Pittsburgh, PA private, not-for-profit, 4 year Bachelor's, Master's, Doctoral Undergraduate $50,665; Graduate $40,625
Yale University New Haven, CT 4-year, Private not-for-profit Doctoral Graduate $38,700
Virginia Commonwealth University Richmond, VA public, 4 year Bachelor's Undergraduate: In-state $12,772; Out-of-state $31,464
School of Visual Arts New York, NY private, not-for-profit, 4 year Bachelor's, Master's Undergraduate $35,000; Graduate $39,200
Art Center College of Design Pasadena, CA private, not-for-profit, 4 year Bachelor's Undergraduate $39,230
California Institute of the Arts Valencia, CA private, not-for-profit, 4 year Bachelor's, Master's, Graduate Certificate Undergraduate $43,986; Graduate $43,400
The New School- Parsons School of Design New York, NY 4-year, Private not-for-profit Associate's, Bachelor's Undergraduate $43,813

Source: *National Center for Education Statistics (NCES)

Find schools that offer these popular programs

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School Selection Criteria

Students interested in advertising design can look for a bachelor's degree program featuring a mix of courses in the two fields, such as a bachelor's degree in graphic design with a concentration in advertising. There are several things to consider when choosing a program in this field.

  • Check for programs with certificate and associate's degrees when interested in a shorter academic experience.
  • Seek advertising programs with optional courses that will allow a customizable education.
  • Look for schools with up-to-date computer laboratories with modern hardware and software.
  • Search for programs that offer real-world experiences through internship opportunities.

Certificate in Advertising Design

Certificate programs in advertising design may be completed in a matter of weeks, a semester or a year, depending on the format and amount of coursework. Students may have the opportunity to specialize in an area such as online business or print design.

Associate Degree in Advertising Design

Associate degree programs in advertising design can be completed in two years. Students commonly complete a portfolio as part of graduation.

Bachelor's Degree in Graphic Design

Bachelor's degree programs in graphic design can be completed in four years and commonly include coursework in both traditional artwork and digital art design. A portfolio and senior project may be required for completion of this program.

Bachelor's Degree in Advertising

These degree programs have some visual design and art courses as electives. Students may have the opportunity to participate in an internship.

A career in advertising design can be pursued with an educational background in graphic design or advertising. Many public and private institutions offer undergraduate and graduate programs in relevant fields, and prospective students can choose between pursuing a certificate or associate's degree, or completing a four-year degree and continuing with graduate studies.

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