Advertising and Marketing Communications (MA)


Effective 1 June 2016 through 31 May 2017

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 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 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 (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.


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