Advertising and Marketing Communications (MA)


Effective 1 June 2015 through 31 May 2016

Please see the Graduate Catalog Archives for PDF versions of past catalogs.

This program offered by School of Communications

Program Description

The master of arts (MA) degree in advertising and marketing communications is intended for students who have both an interest and background in advertising and marketing communications. This degree provides additional theory and application for students who want to advance in their careers. The MA degree in advertising and marketing communications is a specialized concentration available to individuals who qualify for the program.

All students entering this program are required to consult with a School of Communications academic advisor prior to registration. Qualifications and required prerequisite courses will be discussed at this time. Qualifications include a strong educational background or a minimum of three years of relevant professional experience in this area. A résumé may be requested to determine professional experience. Students without a strong educational background or three years of relevant professional experience in advertising and marketing communications are required to enroll in 6 credit hours of prerequisite course work.

Students must earn a grade of “B” or better in the prerequisite courses before they are allowed to enroll in graduate courses. The prerequisite courses are not counted toward the 36 credit hours required for the degree, nor are they considered as part of the credit hours required for advancement to candidacy.

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:

  • Demonstrate a working knowledge of the full spectrum of advertising and marketing communications activities and their organizational structure;
  • Analyze a client's specific marketing situation and use critical thinking skills to determine appropriate marketing communications objectives, strategies, and tactics to accomplish the client's goals;
  • Understand the essential role of traditional and non-traditional media to achieve advertising objectives;
  • Evaluate the effectiveness of a marketing communications plan and give productive direction to a team;
  • Stay competitive in the use of emerging technologies as applied to the field of advertising and marketing communications;
  • Understand the influences of culture and international business practices to develop more socially responsible and effective global advertising and marketing communications;
  • Challenge conventional thinking and current practices to foster breakthrough advertising and marketing communications strategies and concepts;
  • Develop a forward-thinking mindset to anticipate and take advantage of changes in consumer trends, non-traditional media, and new technologies that affect marketing communications.

Prerequisite Courses

If prerequisite course work is required for admission into the program, students must complete a minimum of 6 hours of appropriate undergraduate courses as determined by a School of Communications academic advisor. These required courses must be listed on an official transcript. Prerequisite courses could include the following or their equivalents:

  • ADVT 1940 Introduction to Marketing Communications (3 hours)
  • ADVT 2550 Creative Strategies (3 hours)
  • ADVT 2910 Writing for Advertising (3 hours)
  • ADVT 4040 Advertising Production (3 hours)
  • ADVT 4190 Advertising Research (3 hours)
  • MNGT 3500 Marketing (3 hours)
  • MNGT 3510 Advertising (3 hours)
  • MNGT 4570 Marketing Research (3 hours)

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 and approved by the director of Graduate Studies 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 (21 credit hours)

  • MEDC 5000 Media Communications (Requisite Course) (3 hours)
  • MEDC 5310 Media and Culture (3 hours)
  • MRKT 5940 Promotional Management (3 hours)
  • ADVT 5321 Advertising Decision-Making (3 hours)
  • MEDC 5350 Media Organization and Regulations (3 hours)
  • MEDC 5400 Media Production Management (3 hours)
  • MEDC 6000 Seminar in Media Communications (3 hours)

Elective Courses

A minimum of 15 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 5430 Media Communications Technology (3 hours)
  • MEDC 5460 Media Research (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)
  • MEDC 5650 Special Topics in Interactive Media (3 hours)
  • MRKT 5000 Marketing (3 hours)
  • MRKT 5950 Consumer Behavior (3 hours)
  • PBRL 5322 Public Relations (3 hours)
  • PBRL 5323 Organizational Communications (3 hours)


Students who are interested in applying to this degree program should see the Admission Section of this catalog for general requirements.

Send all admission materials to:

Office of Admission
Webster University
470 E. Lockwood Ave.
St. Louis, MO 63119