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Degree Overview: Master of Arts (M.A.) Degree in Advertising and Public Relations

Majors Overview June 23, 2015

This article talks about Master of Arts (M.A.) degree programs in Advertising and Public Relations and their education requirements, coursework, career choices, job and wage outlook, and continuing education choices.

Master of Arts (M.A.) Programs in Advertising and Public Relations

Students enrolled in advertising, and public relations programs learn a combination of social, professional, and global frameworks in business and design. Students take 18-24 months to complete a Master of Arts (M.A.) in Advertising and Public Relations and can seek careers in marketing, advertising, or media. The common focus of master’s programs in advertising and public relations is on studies around ethics, advertising strategies, and management skills. Schools may encourage students to hone creativity and critical thinking skills through the discovery of personal interests, in addition to the use of technologies and media. Internships will help students acquire skills from and interact with industry professionals. Specializations, such as management, may also be offered by some programs within the coursework.

Education Requirements

Admission criteria typically require the submission of all transcripts from previously attended schools, in addition to, in some programs, a professional resume and Graduate Record Examination scores.


Coursework allows the exploration by students of an integrated framework of courses with a focus around research, marketing, communication, technologies, and ethics. During the program, video production and computer graphics may be worked with by students. Core coursework may cover topic areas such as:

•Research methods
•Laws and ethics
•Planning strategies

Career Choices

Program graduates can seek advanced careers in marketing, advertising, media and public relations related fields. They may choose from possible job positions such as:

•Media planner
•Advertising manager
•Public relations manager
•Account planner
•Art director

Job and Wage Outlook

Over the 2012 – 2022 decade, advertising and promotions managers are expected to see a 12% job growth. Public relations and fundraising managers could witness a 13% growth (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics). In May 2012, public relations and fundraising managers brought in an average annual wage of $95,450, while advertising and promotions managers banked $115,750 per annum on average (BLS).

Continuing Education Choices

Program graduates can opt for continued education by enrolling in a doctoral program in advertising or a related field. Doctoral programs are research-based, and each student can design them according to their personal interests.

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