Advertising and Marketing Communications

Study mode:On campus Study type:Full-time Languages: English
StudyQA ranking:4095 Duration:2 years

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The master of arts (MA) degree in advertising and marketing communications is intended for students interested in advertising and marketing communications, with or without academic or professional experience in the field. This degree prepares inexperienced students for a successful career in advertising and marketing communications and provides experienced students with the additional theory and application necessary to advance in their careers.

Students entering this program with a strong educational background or a minimum of three years of relevant professional experience in this area may be eligible to waive one of the required core courses and should consult with a School of Communications academic advisor prior to registration to discuss their qualifications.

Our degrees are theory and application based and are not intended to be production-oriented. Students interested in developing a creative portfolio or acquiring tactical production skills may wish to consider undergraduate course work in advertising.

This program is offered online and at the St. Louis home campus.

Learning Outcomes

Successful graduates of this program will be able to:

  • Utilize essential industry terminology, theories and principles to analyze an organization's situation from a marketing communications perspective.
  • Determine appropriate advertising and marketing communications objectives, strategies, and tactics that anticipate consumer trends and utilize traditional and new technologies in order to accomplish an organization's marketing communications goals.
  • Develop strategic, multi-platform marketing communication programs that challenge conventional thinking and foster breakthrough advertising and marketing communication strategies.
  • Evaluate the effectiveness of a marketing communications plan to accomplish an organization's goals.
  • Distinguish the influences of culture and international practices on global advertising and marketing communications.

Program Curriculum

Students choosing this degree may focus on either advertising or marketing communications or both.

MEDC 5000 Media Communications is the requisite course in the advertising and marketing communications program. It examines communications theory and its application in mass media, as well as introduces students to the graduate program, describes program expectations, and discusses academic preparation for MEDC 6000 Seminar in Media Communications. Therefore, students must take this course even if they have academic or professional experience in media communications.

The required and elective courses may be taken as directed studies, subject to the conditions stated in the Directed Studies section listed under Academic Policies and Procedures in the Graduate Studies Catalog and approved by the chair of the Department of Communications and Journalism and the dean of the School of Communications. Students taking courses that are a part of their approved curriculum and that are outside of the School of Communications should verify prerequisites with the appropriate school or college.

The course of study for students working toward an MA in advertising and marketing communications is as follows. Any variation from this curriculum should be approved in advance using a program option request form.

Core Courses (24 credit hours)

  • MEDC 5000 Media Communications (Requisite Course) (3 hours)
  • MEDC 5310 Media and Culture (3 hours)
  • ADVT 5100 Strategic Principles of Advertising & Marketing Communication (3 hours)*
  • MRKT 5000 Marketing (3 hours)
  • ADVT 5321 Advertising Decision-Making (3 hours)
  • MEDC 5350 Media Organization and Regulations (3 hours)
  • MEDC 5460 Media Research (3 hours)
  • MEDC 6000 Seminar in Media Communications (3 hours)

*Note: Course may be waived for students with strong educational background or three years of relevant professional experience in advertising and marketing communications.

Elective Courses

A minimum of 12 credit hours must be completed from the following:

  • ADVT 4190 Advertising Research (3 hours)
  • ADVT 4200 Media Planning, Buying, and Selling (3 hours)
  • ADVT 4910 Advertising Campaign Production (3-6 hours)
  • ADVT 5301 Marketing Communications: Sales Promotion (3 hours)
  • ADVT 5302 Marketing Communications: Product Publicity (3 hours)
  • ADVT 5303 Marketing Communications: Merchandising and Point-of-Purchase (3 hours)
  • ADVT 5304 Marketing Communications: Direct & Internet (3 hours)
  • ADVT 5305 Marketing Communications: Business-to-Business (3 hours)
  • ADVT 5341 Writing for Advertising (3 hours)
  • ADVT 5410 Fundamentals of Branding (3 hours)
  • ADVT 5420 Account Planning and Consumer Insight (3 hours)
  • ADVT 5440 Media Buying and Market Analysis (3 hours)
  • ADVT 5501 Creative Planning and Strategy (3 hours)
  • ADVT 5502 Multinational Advertising (3 hours)
  • ADVT 5550 Topics in Advertising and Marketing Communications (3-6 hours)
  • MEDC 5010 Introduction to Graduate Studies: Advanced Thinking and Writing (3 hours)
  • MEDC 5300 Strategic Communications (3 hours)
  • MEDC 5360 International Communications (3 hours)
  • MEDC 5400 Media Production Management (3 hours)
  • MEDC 5500 Professional Seminars (1-3 hours)
  • MEDC 5550 Topics In Media Communications (3-6 hours)
  • MEDC 5600 Introduction to Interactive Communications (3 hours)
  • MRKT 5720 Promotional Management (3 hours)
  • MRKT 5950 Consumer Behavior (3 hours)
  • PBRL 5322 Public Relations (3 hours)

If a core course is waived, the student must choose an elective offered in this major to replace it.

Application Requirements

  • An International Application. Non-U.S. citizens, U.S. citizens applying from outside the U.S. and any student applying to a campus outside the United States should apply online at A non-refundable application fee of $50 is required. Application fees vary based upon the campus location, please contact the campus you wish to attend.
  • Official transcripts from the educational institution from which the student earned their first bachelors-level degree. For U.S. institutions, this means accreditation from a regional accrediting body. Non-U.S. institutions must be recognized by the Ministry of Education as a university-level provider of higher education and accredited by any appropriate agencies within the home country and any countries in which it operates and/or issues degrees. This transcript and/or diploma must show the degree received and the date conferred. Applicants previously enrolled in graduate-level coursework must submit official transcripts of that work.

Note: Graduate applicants who apply and are provisionally accepted either by submitting unofficial transcripts or before completing their undergraduate degree must submit a final transcript indicating the degree received and the date conferred. If transcripts do not indicate degree or conferral date a copy of diploma is required. This official transcript must be on file within eight weeks from the beginning of the student's starting term for full acceptance to the University.

To be considered official, transcripts must be received by Webster University directly from the issuing institution. If the student is to deliver transcripts, they must be in sealed, unopened envelopes and certified with the official seal of the issuing institution. All official transcripts and documents in a language other than English must be accompanied by a certified English translation.

Additional Application Requirements

  • Documentation of English Language Proficiency: All applicants, regardless of program or enrollment location, whose primary language is not English must document their English language proficiency at the time of application. Applicants normally satisfy this requirement by submitting official Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), Academic IELTS, or Pearson scores.
  • A 300- to 400-word essay on a topic of your choice. You may describe a special interest, experience, or achievement or a curriculum vitae (résumé) that documents prior employment and experience.
  • One letter of recommendation from a professor and/or an employer.
  • Additional official documentation may be required depending upon an applicant's program of interest or previous educational background. See program page for details.
  • Applying for a visa: Students requiring a visa to study in the country in which their campus is located will be required to provide additional documentation for the visa process. Visa documentation requirements can vary at international campus locations depending upon the applicant's citizenship status and/or country of origin at the time of acceptance to the University. Applicants should check with the campus they plan to attend for specifics. The University will notify applicants if additional documentation is required to complete the application file. For current information, please contact the campus at which you plan to enroll.

English Language Proficiency

Applicants whose primary language is not English must document their English language proficiency at the time of application. Applicants normally satisfy this requirement by submitting official scores within the past two years of the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or Academic IELTS scores. The scores required for admission are as follows:

  • TOEFL: iBT - 80
  • IELTS: Academic: 6.5
  • Pearson: 61

Equivalent Cambridge, Oxford, NEAB, TEEP, Academic IELTS, and London Certificate test results that are current can be considered in lieu of the TOEFL. Students who cannot document current evidence of English proficiency should contact the campus to which they are applying for possible on-site testing. In such cases, testing must be completed before the admission decision will be made. Webster University will refer for testing any applicant for admission about whose English language proficiency an admissions officer has concerns. All English as a Second Language (ESL) recommendations and requirements are a condition of the applicant's admission, enrollment, and/or continued enrollment at the University.

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