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About the Program

The Master of Arts in Advertising and Public Relations is designed for aspiring students who wish to gain advanced knowledge and expertise in creating and managing persuasive communication. The program is designed to help students transition from a tactical to a more strategic, managerial approach to the industry. Through an understanding of theory and industry trends, research-driven critical thinking and connections with top scholars and professionals, students who complete the program should be well-prepared for doctoral studies or to step into roles that will help them advance easily into mid-level management positions within their desired fields. Learn more about the program here.

Although the 33-hour curriculum encourages students to create their own plan of study, two concentrations are offered that provide expertise in two growing areas of advertising and public relations. Students that are interested in becoming art directors or copywriters, we offer the Advertising Creative concentration through our award-winning Minerva program. Students that are interested in a career in Big Data-driven media strategy and analytics should consider our Media Strategy concentration. Learn more about our concentrations here.

Finally, the A+PR department contributes to our C&IS doctoral program, which is overseen by the Office for Graduate Studies. In particular, the department contributes to the doctoral program concentrations in Media Processes and Effects and Applied Communication. For more information about the C&IS doctoral program, click here.

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. For more information about the C&IS doctoral program, click here.


Admissions

Admission to the A+PR master’s program requires at least a 3.0 undergraduate grade point average (or a 3.0 in your last 60 undergraduate hours), a 300 on the GRE, and a 90 or better on the TOEFL iBT test (for international students). Students that do not meet the GPA or GRE requirements may be eligible for admission with permission to continue, meaning you must make a 3.0 or higher your first semester in the program

Application Process

  1. Completed online application form (go to graduate.ua.edu to apply)
  2. $65 application fee ($80 for international students) – fee is nonrefundable
  3. Resume or CV
  4. Statement of purpose emphasizing how a master’s degree in advertising and public relations will further your professional or academic career
  5. Three letters of recommendation (at least one professional and one academic)
  6. Transcripts from previous institutions
  7. Test scores – typically GRE and TOEFL iBT (for international students)

Accelerated Master’s Program

Through the Accelerated Master’s Program (AMP), talented seniors will be able to take courses
that count simultaneously towards their undergraduate and graduate programs. Once admitted, an AMP student is approved to take up to 12 hours of courses that can count towards both the B.A. and M.A. degrees, while also reducing the time it takes to earn his/her master’s degree by one year.

Interested students will apply for the AMP program their junior year and will work with the graduate coordinator to create their plan of study for their final two years. Applicants must have earned 90 or more credit hours by the Fall semester that they start the AMP program and have a minimum GPA of 3.3. Students must also score a 300 or more on the GRE for admission; however, students who have a GPA of 3.75 or higher in major classes may receive a GRE waiver, pending a resume and portfolio review by the graduate coordinator.

Admission Timeline

The APR MA program accepts applications year round but only admits students for the fall semester, and the deadline for completed applications is March 1. However, students are strongly encouraged to complete the application process by February 15 for funding eligibility. Students will be notified regarding admission between February 1 and April 1. Often the program is full by March, so applications should be submitted as early as possible to allow time for review. All application materials must be received before an application is considered.

Application Deadlines

The department begins reviewing applications on November 15. You must have your application submitted by March 15 in order to be considered for departmental funding. You must have your application submitted by June 15 in order to be considered for admission.


Funding Opportunities

A+PR offers several graduate assistantships for exceptional students that are admitted into the program. Graduate assistants are usually assigned to support faculty through teaching, research or administrative responsibilities. These assistantships are nine-month appointments (August – May) that can be renewable for the following academic year, pending a performance review and satisfactory academic progress (at least a 3.0 GPA for earned credit hours). Departmental assistantships provide (1) a monthly stipend, (2) a tuition waiver, and (3) a student health insurance waiver. The amount offer depends on the type of assistantship provided, and will be detailed in the offer letter.

In addition to the assistantships offered by the department, students have opportunities to pursue other assistantships within the university. Also, the Graduate School offers several fellowships to exceptional applicants that are available via nomination from the department The application for student loans is available online or through the UA Office of Student Financial Aid.


Contact Form

For specific questions regarding the graduate program, please contact the graduate coordinator, Dr. Kenon A. Brown, at brown@apr.ua.edu.