How Do I Major in Advertising?

A degree in advertising can provide students with the skills necessary to pursue a variety of exciting careers. For students with strong communication skills, an advertising degree program may be a good option. Read on to find out about the process of majoring in advertising. Schools offering Advertising degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Should I Major in Advertising?

Students interested in the process of presenting and selling a product who also possess strong communication skills may be good candidates for a degree in advertising. The field offers students the chance to utilize their creative skills while also employing both business and technological expertise. A degree in advertising will both prepare students for a variety of possible careers and afford them the opportunity to pursue a higher degree in the field.

Important Facts About this Field of Study

Degrees Levels Undergraduate and graduate
Prerequisites A high school diploma or its equivalent and acceptable standardized test scores for most bachelor's programs; bachelor's degree needed for graduate study
Degree Field Advertising, visual communication, business
Online Availability Some degree programs are available online
Median Salary (2018)$51,740 (advertising sales agents)
Job Outlook (2016-2026)-4% decline (advertising sales agents)

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Declaring a Major

Most universities do not require students to declare a major until after their first year of study. This allows the student the opportunity to explore many subjects so he or she can make a well-informed decision regarding the appropriate course of study. Many students change their major at least once during their college career. Visiting with an academic advisor can be extremely helpful when making such decisions. After declaring a major in advertising, the student can begin completing the required courses to earn the advertising degree.


The curriculum of a degree in advertising combines required core courses in the field with several required general education classes. Core courses offer students an introduction to advertising strategies, in addition to other important marketing principles. Students are usually required to take at least one business administration course and one or more communication courses. Following are some of the courses typically found in an advertising degree program:

  • Advertising Strategies
  • Introduction to Mass Media
  • Persuasion
  • Graphic Design
  • Introduction to Psychology

Bachelor's degree programs in advertising may also have internship or capstone requirements, which give students the opportunity to gain real-world experience before graduation.

What Can I Do With My Degree?

After earning a degree in advertising, students can go on to earn an advanced degree in a related field, such as a Master of Science or Master of Art in Advertising, or even a Ph.D. in Advertising. Graduate programs teach students advanced topics that they can use to further their career.

Alternatively, students can go into the advertising field directly after completing a bachelor's program. Students with an advertising degree often get jobs where they can plan advertising campaigns, negotiate contracts, plan advertisements and work with clients on specific projects. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employment for advertising sales agents is projected to decline at a rate of 4% between 2016 and 2026. The median salary among these professionals was $51,740 as of 2018.

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:

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