“To develop well-rounded individuals with a sound, basic education and some specialized knowledge of advertising methods and practices, rather than turn out advertising technicians or specialists” (Charles H. Sandage)

The Department of Advertising at the University of Illinois was the first advertising department in country, established in 1959 by Charles H. Sandage, considered by many to be the "father of advertising education." Today, the Charles H. Sandage Department of Advertising celebrates Sandage's legacy and his vision with B.S. and M.S. programs that are professionally relevant, yet broad enough that students learn critical, analytical and problem solving skills.

Our faculty incorporate these values in their teaching and scholarship that is focused on understanding, evaluating and communicating the many faceted aspects of advertising. We value diversity, public engagement, and opportunities to embrace the digital, global, and professional world.

Our students are passionate and engaged in advertising. They have the opportunity to participate in research , internships, study abroad, student clubs , agency visits, service-learning projects, and more. Others choose to earn a Public Relations certificate, or an Informatics Minor.

Award-Winning Faculty and Students

The Department of Advertising has been consistently ranked in the top 5 departments in the country in the past 20 years*. Rankings are based on scholarship, perceptions of peers as well as advertising industry personnel.

Top Undergraduate programs as ranked by faculty

1. University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
2. University of Texas
3. University of Florida

Most mentions as a "Top 3" undergraduate program

1. University of Texas
2. Michigan State University
3. University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Most mentions as a "Top 3" graduate program

1. University of Texas
2. Northwestern University
3. University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
    Michigan State University

Top graduate programs as ranked by U.S. News & World Report

1. University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
2. University of Florida
3. Northwestern University
4. University of Texas

SOURCE: University of Texas at Austin Web site.


Many of our faculty members are named to the List of Teachers Ranked As Excellent with instructors winning campus-level teaching awards (Sheldon).

Our faculty members are also award-winning scholars and leaders in the field of advertising. In 2011, assistant professors in the department won top paper awards at conferences (Duff), (Ham), and in the leading advertising journal (Duff, 2011). Associate professors serve on the editorial board and act as associate editors at the top journals in the field, The Journal of Advertising andThe International Journal of Advertising. (Nelson, Vargas)

The American Advertising Federation (AAF) Student Ad Club won award as the Largest Chapter.

Degrees (B.S., M.S., Ph.D.)

We offer B.S. and M.S. degrees in advertising. Students interested in earning a Ph.D. in Communications and Media who wish to specialize in advertising apply through the Institute of Communications Research (ICR) doctoral program in the College of Media. We have approximately 700 undergraduates, 30 M.S. project and thesis students, and 43 total Ph.D. students in the ICR.

*Journal of Advertising Education: 1996, 2010; Journal of Advertising (1990); Staff (1996). America's Best Graduate Schools. U.S. News & World Report, 60),