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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 curriculum encourages students to create their own plan of study, two optional 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

Applicants are admitted into the program only for the Fall semester for the on-campus degree program and for the Fall and Spring semesters for the online-only concentration in Marketing Communication Management (more information to come). Students cannot begin the program during the Summer semesters. Admission into the program requires a 3.0 or higher undergraduate grade point average (GPA) (on a 4.0 scale) overall, a 3.0 or higher GPA in the last 60 hours coursework, or a 3.0 GPA in graduate coursework.

Graduate entrance exam scores are NOT required for admission into the M.A. program; however, students must take the GRE or the GMAT to be considered for departmental or university funding for the on-campus program (assistantships or fellowships). 

International students are required to obtain a score of 90 or better on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) iBT test.

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. Video or written statement of purpose (see below)
  4. Resume with at least two references (preferable one academic reference and one professional reference)
  5. Three samples of academic and/or professional work, including one long-form essay or research paper (preferably samples that demonstrate your ability in advertising, PR or a related field)
  6. Transcripts from previous institutions
  7. Entrance exam scores (GRE/GMAT is optional; required for consideration for funding)
  8. English proficiency scores (for international students – TOEFL iBT preferred)

The statement of purpose can be either a video (preferred – max. 5 minutes) or an essay (max. three double-spaced pages) that details (a) how a graduate degree in advertising and public relations would help you address a key issue in the contemporary practice of advertising and public relations, (b) how a graduate degree will help advance your career in advertising and/or public relations, and (c) why you chose to pursue graduate education at The University of Alabama. Preference for admission will be given to applicants that complete the video option over the written option for the statement of purpose.

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. It is preferable that applicants for the AMP program complete one internship prior to enrollment. 

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. Please contact the graduate coordinator for more information and requirements.

Application Deadlines

The A+PR program accepts applications year-round, but only admits students during the fall semester. The department begins reviewing applications on November 1. You must have your application submitted by March 1 in order to be considered for departmental funding. You must have your application submitted by June 1 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.