Advertising Design Schools and Courses

Advertising design courses are offered in undergraduate and graduate degree programs at art schools, universities and technical schools. Read on for more information about degree programs that teach advertising design and skills you can learn through coursework, including illustration, animation and digital imaging. Schools offering Design Strategy & Innovation degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What You Need to Know

Many schools offer degrees in advertising design, or they offer degrees in visual communication or graphic design with a concentration in advertising design. Your coursework will likely combine art classes with business classes, like marketing and advertising.

Schools Technical schools, community colleges and 4-year colleges
Degrees Associate's, bachelor's and master's degrees in advertising design, visual communication, graphic design or advertising
Courses Illustration, web design, marketing

What Should I Look for in an Advertising Design School?

Your goal in advertising design is to solve marketing problems using art. Advertising is used in many mediums, including print, television and Internet, so a school that offers courses in print and digital design could help you expand your career opportunities. In advertising design, you can create the art, layout, color and font style of advertisements. You might want to choose a school that gives you a balance of education in both art and advertising.

If you're interested in niche areas, like illustration or animation, you could choose a school that offers coursework specific to those areas. Degree programs in advertising design are offered through art schools, but you can also find advertising design fields of study in communications or art departments of several community colleges, technical schools or 4-year universities. These schools offer advertising design courses:

  • Savannah College of Art and Design (GA)
  • Cazenovia College (NY)
  • Seton Hall University (South Orange, NJ)
  • Boston University (MA)
  • Tidewater Community College (Norfolk, VA)

What Courses Should I Expect to Take?

Advertising design combines art with business, so you might expect to take courses in both areas. Some schools also include internships and study-abroad programs that allow you to gain hands-on experience under the guidance of professionals. You might be required to complete a final project in advertising design for graduation. Some common course topics include:

  • Drawing and illustration
  • Typography
  • Photography
  • Marketing and branding
  • Art direction
  • Digital imaging
  • 2-D and 3-D design
  • Animation
  • Web design
  • Mass media communication
  • History of visual communications
  • Digital page layout
  • Storyboarding
  • Design and digital color theory

What Degree Programs Are Available?

You can pursue undergraduate and graduate degrees in advertising design. You can either enroll in an advertising design program or in a visual communication or graphic design program with an advertising design concentration. In a 2-year program, you might learn design techniques and receive guidance on building a portfolio that you can use for potential employers.

What About Bachelor's and Master's Degrees?

In a 4-year program, you could have the opportunity to build a foundation in art as well as learn the role of advertising in a marketing campaign. You can learn how to convey marketing messages using art, and you might also have the opportunity to take courses in niche areas of advertising design, such as business or creative art.

Similar to programs at the bachelor's degree level, master's degree programs are available in advertising or graphic design with a concentration option in advertising design. You could consider a graduate program if you hold an undergraduate degree in a related field, like business or marketing, in order to incorporate design principles into your undergraduate studies.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

  • 1. Degree Options:
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