The Department of Advertising provides some funding opportunities to graduate students pursuing their M.S. Advertising degrees or to those interested in advertising pursuing their doctoral degree through the Institute of Communications Research.

Funding decisions are based on the quality of the graduate student application and the match between the experiences and the skills of the applicant and the needs of the assistantship or stipulations of the fellowship agreement. Assistantship and fellowship decisions are typically made during the admission process in February and March. Applications for funding are based on the applications submitted for enrollment in the degree programs. Sometimes additional funding is available through a professor's research grant. These opportunities are advertised to the current graduate students.

Funds are also available for travel to academic conferences to present research or for research projects in the form of mini-grants from the Barton A. Cummings Fund. To find out more information or apply for a mini-grant, please contact the department head or director of graduate studies.


General information about assistantships can be found here.

Assistantships are provided to graduate students in the form of teaching assistants or research assistants. Teaching Assistants help a professor in the classroom and research assistants help a professor with research.

Barton A. and Margaret K. Cummings Graduate Assistantship

This fund provides support for graduate student research and teaching assistants for the "Barton A. Cummings Graduate Assistant” and the “Richard and Audrey Christian Graduate Assistant”

Bart Cummings graduated from the University of Illinois where he studied advertising and participated in football and track and field. He began his advertising career as a teenager by working at his father’s advertising agency in Rockford, Illinois. After graduation, Mr. Cummings worked at Benton & Bowles, New York, as an account executive before spending nearly two years with the Office of War Information in Washington and two years overseas in the Navy during World War II. After the war, he worked for Compton Advertising as an account executive, and within 10 years, he became the chief executive. With Bart’s leadership, Compton expanded its offices into Europe, South America and the Far East and attracted multinational clients such as Procter and Gamble. After his retirement, Compton was sold to Saatchi & Saatchi Worldwide. Bart served as chair of the AAF, the AAAAs, the Advertising Council, the Advertising Educational Foundation and The AAF Foundation.

James Webb Young Advertising Graduate Assistantship

Assistantships are provided to graduate students from the James Webb Young Advertising fund.

The James Webb Young Fund is named for one of the great pioneers and most honored figures of advertising. A self-educated man who authored four textbooks on advertising, Jim Young enjoyed a distinguished career which lasted six decades and bridges two centuries. It began with the writing of direct response advertising and continued to include, among other achievements, the creation of several now-classic ads and the founding of the Advertising Council. The fund was established at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 1959. One of its main goals is to improve advertising by attracting talented graduate students from all over the world..


General information about fellowships can be found here.

Fellowships typically grant students a stipend and a tuition waiver for a semester or academic year.

S. Watson and Elizabeth S. Dunn Fellowships

The “S. Watson and Elizabeth S. Dunn Fellowships” are used to provide fellowships to graduate students enrolled in the Department of Advertising.

Samuel Watson Dunn (1918-1997) received his PhD in 1951 and was Professor of Advertising (1949-51) and head of the Department of Advertising (1966-77) at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He was also a faculty member at the University of Pittsburgh (1947-1949), the University of Wisconsin, Madison (1951-1966), and the University of Missouri, Columbia where he was Dean of Business and Public Administration (1977-19880) and Professor (1980-1983). Dr. Dunn’s research related to international advertising, including examining the differences between U.S. and European attitudes towards advertising, Japanese advertising, and advertising of multinational corporations.

The Paul Schrage-McDonalds Corporation Graduate Fellowship in Advertising

The “Paul Schrage-McDonalds Corporation Graduate Fellowship in Advertising” is used to provide fellowships to graduate students enrolled in the Department of Advertising.

The Paul Schrage-McDonalds Corporation Graduate Fellowship in Advertising was established in 2005 by Mr. Paul Schrage, a distinguished alumnus of the Charles H. Sandage Department of Advertising, and the McDonalds Corporation. Mr. Schrage joined the McDonalds’s Corporation in 1967 as National Marketing Director and was elected Vice President in 1968. He went on to serve as the corporation’s Executive Vice President in 1970 and became McDonalds’ Chief Marketing Officer from 1980 until 1997. In recent years, Mr. Schrage served as a business consultant for McDonald’s. Mr. Schrage’s highly successful career and contributions to the advertising profession continue to inspire and influence students and faculty, and the College strives to live up to his legacy and impact.