The front of Reese Phifer Hall at The University of Alabama

Advertising & Public Relations MA

The M.A. program in Advertising and Public Relations was built with a changing communication landscape in mind. Our award-winning faculty work alongside graduate scholars to lead, innovate and build a brighter, more equitable advertising and public relations industry.

Advertising & Public Relations MA

As a student, you will:

  • Study theories and industry trends that shape the field
  • Learn research-driven critical thinking using big data
  • Connect with top scholars and professionals
  • Become a more persuasive communicator


The M.A. program offers two optional concentrations that grow expertise in two key areas: advertising creative and media strategy.

Advertising Creative

Minerva, the advertising creative concentration, helps students build portfolios while learning to solve a client’s problems by beautifully wrapping smart strategies in provocative, layered, and memorable ideas. Applications are available in the spring semester before students begin the program.

Media Strategy

Through hands-on course work and industry collaboration, students may pursue careers in media strategy and planning, brand planning, advertising, and public relations analytics. Interested students will interview with representatives from the Public Opinion Lab during their first semester and will be admitted into the concentration upon approval.

Degree Requirements

The degree takes 30-36 hours to complete.

  1. Core classes

  2. Electives

  3. Professional experience

  4. Capstone project

Learn more about the program requirements and our courses in the Graduate Catalog.


On-campus applicants are admitted into the program only for the Fall semester, while online applicants may be admitted in the Fall or Spring semesters. Students cannot begin the program during summer semesters.

Graduate entrance exam scores are not required for admission, but on-campus students must take the GRE or the GMAT to be considered for funding.

For a complete list of graduate application requirements, visit the Graduate School website.

Application Requirements

Alongside general graduate application requirements, the M.A. program requires the following:

  1. Video or written statement of purpose

    See below for complete statement of purpose instructions.

  2. Resume with at least two references

    A+PR prefers one academic reference and one professional reference is preferred.

  3. Three samples of academic and/or professional work

    Include samples that demonstrate your ability in advertising, PR or a related field.

Statement of Purpose

Your statement may be a video or an essay, detailing the following:

  1. How a graduate degree in advertising and public relations will help you address a key issue in the contemporary practice of advertising and public relations.
  2. How a graduate degree will help advance your career in advertising or public relations.
  3. Why you choose to pursue graduate education at The University of Alabama.

Video Statement

  • Maximum five minutes.
  • Upload the video to either YouTube or Vimeo as a public link and provide the video’s URL in a Word document, along with your name and email.
  • Do not submit as a password-protected, private link.
  • A+PR prefers applicants who submit a video statement of purpose.

Essay Statement

  • Maximum three double-spaced pages.
  • Provide your name and email in the heading.

Application Deadlines

Main Campus

Main campus applications must be submitted by March 1 to be considered for departmental funding and May 1 to be considered for admission.


Online applications are reviewed year-round, with priority deadlines of June 1 for fall admission and December 1 for spring admission.

Funding Opportunities


Graduate assistants support faculty through teaching, research or administrative responsibilities. In return, they receive:

  • A monthly stipend
  • Partial or full tuition waiver
  • Partial or full student health insurance waiver

Assistantships are nine-month appointments (August-May) and may be renewed, pending a performance review and a +3.0 GPA. For funding consideration, you must take the GRE or GMAT.

Other Funding

In addition to the assistantships offered by the department, students may pursue other funding opportunities within the University. The Graduate School offers several fellowships, available through departmental nomination.

For more information on funding opportunities, visit UA’s scholarships and financial aid site.

UA Online

C&IS also offers online degree options for current professionals looking to further their education while working, including programs in:

Accelerated Master’s Program (AMP)

Through AMP, talented undergraduate seniors may take courses that count simultaneously towards their undergraduate and graduate programs. Once admitted, an AMP student may take up to 12 hours that count towards their bachelor’s and master’s degrees, reducing the time it takes to earn their M.A. by one year.

The program prefers applicants who have completed one internship prior to enrollment.

AMP students may complete the Digital Communication concentration curriculum, taking their first year of courses on campus and completing their final year of coursework online.

Doctoral Program

The C&IS doctoral program, overseen by the Office for Graduate Studies, provides an interdisciplinary approach to the study of mass communication and information sciences.