College of Media at Illinois

University of IllinoisCollege of Media

Master of Science in Advertising

Degree Requirements

More information in the Course Catalog.

Candidates for the M.S. degree must complete a minimum of 36 graduate hours of coursework, which includes a professional project or thesis. Full-time status requires a minimum of 12 credit hours. Students are required to take the required courses outlined below. Learn more about our courses.

  • ADV 550 Foundations of Advertising
  • ADV 580 Advertising Theory
  • ADV 581 Quantitative Research Methods in Advertising
  • ADV 582 Qualitative Research in Advertising
  • ADV 587 Graduate Seminar I
  • ADV 588 Graduate Seminar II
  • ADV 598 Professional Project OR ADV 599 Thesis Research

All students must complete the professional project (ADV598). Students may apply to write a master’s thesis (ADV 599) instead. Thesis/project proposals are written in ADV 588 (Graduate Seminar II). In addition, students must have 12 graduate-level electives (at least 1 course from College/Department and 1 course from outside the College).

Students often take ADV 590 special topic courses as elective courses (e.g., Global Advertising, The Psychology of Advertising) or courses in Business Administration, Communications, Psychology, or Sociology.

MS Advertising: 12-month Course of Study

Fall Term: 15 credits

  • ADV 580: Advertising Theory (3 credits)
  • ADV 550: Foundations of Advertising (3 credits)
  • ADV 582: Qualitative Research Methods (3 credits)
  • ADV 587: Graduate Seminar I (3 credits)
  • Elective (3 credits)

Spring Term: 15 credits

  • ADV 581: Quantitative Research Methods (3 credits)
  • ADV 588: Graduate Seminar II (3 credits)
  • Elective (3 credits)
  • Elective (3 credits)
  • Elective (3 credits)

Summer Term: 6 credits

  • Project (6 credits) -or- Thesis (6 credits)
MS Advertising: 18-month Course of Study

Fall Term: 12 credits

  • ADV 580: Advertising Theory (3 credits)
  • ADV 550: Foundations of Advertising (3 credits)
  • ADV 582: Qualitative Research Methods (3 credits)
  • ADV 587: Graduate Seminar I (3 credits)

Spring Term: 12 credits

  • ADV 581: Quantitative Research Methods (3 credits)
  • ADV 588: Graduate Seminar II (3 credits)
  • Elective (3 credits)
  • Elective (3 credits)

Summer Term: 12 credits

  • Project (6 credits) -or- Thesis (6 credits)
  • Elective (3 credits)
  • Elective (3 credits)

Click for course descriptions.

Students in the Cooperative Education Program must apply for an extension of their program beyond the typical three terms or three semesters. To apply for an extension, please fill out the extension request form.