About the Program

The Master of Arts in Advertising and Public Relations degree program is a 30-33 hour program intended for those who wish to acquire advanced understanding of and skills in the development of highly effective persuasive communication. You will study communication theories, current research trends, and advanced practical techniques designed to equip you for the multi-faceted role of advertising and public relations professionals. APR master’s graduates are known for their professional discernment, their development and execution of successful communication programs, and their ability to lead others effectively. Foreign applicants to the APR MA program must meet the department’s minimum TOEFL requirement of 100 on the IBT, 600 on the written test, or 7.0 equivalent on the IELTS.

Conditional admission may be granted to a student who falls below the minimum grade point or test score requirements.

Professional Option

The professional track in advertising and public relations is an intensive, one-year option emphasizing the collaboration between the advertising and public relations industries. You will learn to create idea-driven, persuasive communication and prepare well-researched, comprehensive media plans for advertising and public relations campaigns. You will also study strategic design and visual communication and complete a comprehensive master’s project as part of the program’s required communication workshop.

This track is specifically designed for recent college graduates who desire to develop their advanced, practical skills in the field. The program’s unique emphasis on strategy and management will prepare you to enter the advertising and public relations field as a leader among your peers.

Please consult the graduate catalog for details on course offerings and plans of study.

Research Option

The research track is a two-year option intended for students seeking a strong research emphasis in their study of advertising and public relations. You will focus on current issues and questions in the advertising and public relations fields and study the processes required to gather evidence and address these issues. Six hours of research courses and a thesis are required for successful completion of this option. The research track is ideal for those planning to pursue their doctorate in advertising, public relations or a related field.

Please consult the graduate catalog for details on course offerings and plans of study.

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.



Admission to graduate work in the advertising and public relations program requires a 3.0 or higher undergraduate grade point average (on a 4.0 scale) and a score of at least 300 on the Graduate Record Examination general test. All those interested in being admitted into the program must apply for admission to the Graduate School of The University of Alabama the semester prior to their anticipated start date.

 Application Process

  1. Completed online application form
  2. $50 application fee ($60 for international applicants)
  3. Resume/CV
  4. A statement of purpose emphasizing why you want to complete an advertising and public relations degree in our program and how the degree will advance your professional and educational goals
  5. Three letters of recommendation (at least two from academic sources)
  6. Transcripts from previous academic institutions
  7. Graduate Record Examination scores (international applicants should also report TOEFL scores)

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

Funding Opportunities

The APR MA program considers all admitted students for a limited number of graduate assistantships based on GPA, GRE score, Statement of Purpose, letters of recommendation, and previous relevant experience. Those selected for assistantships will be contacted by the graduate coordinator in March or April.

Graduate Teaching Assistantships

Graduate teaching assistant (GTA) positions are usually available for two or three students in the two-year thesis option. The student teaches undergraduate labs and is compensated with fully paid tuition and a stipend. GTA positions require relevant subject knowledge and about 20 hours of work per week.

Graduate Research Assistantships

Graduate research assistant (GRA) positions are usually available for two or three one-year professional students. Students in these positions help proctor exams, grade tests, monitor writing labs and so forth, and are compensated with half tuition and a stipend. GRA positions require about 10 hours of work per week.

Scholarships and Fellowships

The Graduate School offers various forms of financial support that all students are encouraged to consider. Students who are competitive for University scholarships and fellowships generally have high GPA and GRE scores, will significantly benefit the program, and are usually admitted into a degree program by early spring.

Contact the APR Graduate Coordinator

For specific questions regarding the APR master’s program, contact Dr. Kenon Brown.