Daniel D'Souza
Written By - Daniel D'Souza

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Advertising is a field that is very enterprising for students. Through online master’s in advertising, students learn how to create innovative and inspiring work. They learn to strategize and build insights into advertising campaigns. This degree prepares students to work in a dynamic environment, with most colleges bringing mentors or faculties who are industry-renowned experts. The online advertising master’s curriculum prepares students for various jobs in advertising, like marketing communication, digital advertising, multimedia production, and so on. Read on to find out what the online advertising master’s is all about.

Online Master’s in

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Featured Online Programs

Southern New Hampshire University

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Southern New Hampshire University is a private, nonprofit, accredited institution with more than 3,000 on-campus students and over 60,000 online students, making us one of the fastest-growing universities in the country. Founded in 1932, we’ve been relentlessly reinventing higher education ever since and have gained national recognition for our dedication to helping students transform their lives and the lives of those around them.

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The Best Online Master’s in Advertising Programs

Any prospective student applying to online master’s in advertising degree programs should know their varied options. Students must know crucial factors like the institution’s environment to promote education, research, and learning in this field; admission requirements; financial aids or scholarships provided; extent of student support services; mentoring programs; and practical exposure to the field. The team at OMC has curated a list of some best degree programs across the country based on a unique methodology. Here is the list of the best online master’s in advertising programs:

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College Name & AddressTuitionGraduation Rate
The University of Alabama
739 University Blvd, Tuscaloosa, Alabama 35487
Villanova University
800 Lancaster Avenue, Villanova, Pennsylvania 19085
Boston University
One Silber Way, Boston, Massachusetts 02215
The University of Texas at Dallas
800 West Campbell Road, Richardson, Texas 75080
Michigan State University
East Lansing, Michigan 48824

Source – Integrated Post Secondary Education Data System & University Data
*Tuition rates are for in-state and per year. Program specific rates may apply.
**NA – data not available

What Online Master’s in Advertising Programs Entail

Curriculum and Coursework

An online master’s in advertising typically requires 36 credits to complete on average. Credits might differ depending on the curriculum designed by the institution. Students are required to take core courses and pick from different elective courses. They must also complete an end-of-curriculum project and take a comprehensive exam. The curriculum might also vary depending on whether the program includes a thesis or not. Regardless, the advertising master’s program will have some common advertising courses across programs, such as: 

Strategic Principles and Practices

 In this course, students delve into the core principles and methodologies of crafting impactful advertising strategies. They gain insights into market dynamics, consumer behavior, and competitive landscapes to develop strategic advertising plans that align with organizational objectives. Through case studies and practical projects, students apply strategic principles in real-world scenarios, honing their skills and understanding of advertising strategy implementation.

Graphic Design Fundamentals

In this course, students are introduced to the principles and methods of graphic design within advertising. They acquire skills in crafting visually captivating and influential designs using various tools and software. The curriculum encompasses essential topics like typography, color theory, layout composition, and image manipulation, establishing a strong base in graphic design specifically for advertising applications.

Advertising and Public Relations Law

This course emphasizes advertising and public relations’s legal and ethical aspects. Students delve into topics such as regulations, intellectual property rights, defamation, privacy, and industry self-regulation. By studying the legal framework governing advertising and public relations practices, students gain a thorough understanding and the necessary skills to navigate legal challenges they may encounter.

Digital Branding and Strategy

This course explores the concepts and techniques of building and managing brand identities in the digital era. Students learn to develop effective digital marketing strategies, optimize brand visibility, engage audiences, and create cohesive brand experiences across various digital platforms.

Quantitative Research in Advertising

Learning Outcomes and Skills Gained

An online master’s degree program in advertising provides students with a comprehensive education tailored to the demands of the dynamic and competitive advertising industry. Through this program, students acquire essential knowledge, skills, and abilities that enable them to excel in advertising and related fields. Upon completion of the program, graduates can expect to possess the following valuable skills:

Degree Types

When applying for a master’s, the student must understand the types of master’s in advertising degrees available across different institutions. There are two types of online master’s in advertising degrees available. They are Master of Arts or MA in advertising online and Master of Science or MS in advertising online.

Master of Arts in Advertising

Master of Science in Advertising

The Master of Science or MS in Advertising provides students with in-depth training in analyzing, extracting, and utilizing the analytics associated with media and advertising. They understand how those analytics would shape creative content and strategies. This degree is useful for students seeking entry-level positions or mid-career professionals in the advertising field.

Specializations for Advertising Students

Specializations at the graduate level will help prospective students strengthen their skills and get them several industry benefits like better career prospects, higher salaries, and industry recognition. The master’s in advertising (itself) is a concentration in marketing and hence does not have specializations as such. The master’s in marketing degree is a skill-based degree that provides advertising specializations to students to provide them with relevant skills in the marketing field. Since advertising is such a broad field, different subjects encompass it. Many different combinations of advertising programs are found across the country, some of which are:

Graduation Timeline

Most master’s in advertising programs would require around 36 credit hours and two years for completion. However, coursework, curriculum, thesis, end-of-the-year project, concentration, Synchronous vs. Asynchronous classes, program structure, etc., can determine the exact duration of the degree. Students can take up studies in two modes: 

Accelerated Online Master’s in Advertising Programs

SMU Temerlin Advertising Institute1 – offers a master’s in advertising with 27 credit hours of graduate coursework.  
The University of Illinois Urbana-champaign2– offers a master of science in advertising that can be completed with a minimum of 12 credit courses.

Admission Requirements for Online Master’s in Advertising Programs

  • Application form 
  • Nonrefundable application fee 
  • An undergraduate degree from an accredited institution (3.0 GPA or more is preferred) 
  • Official transcripts from all the universities which students have attended 
  • Graduate Résumé 
  • Minimum of two letters of recommendation meeting academic or professional requirements (differs by the institution) 
  • Statement of Purpose or Personal Statement 
  • Graduate Record Examination or GRE scores 
  • Students lacking an appropriate background in the selected concentration may be required to take additional prerequisite courses.

Online Master’s in Advertising No GRE Programs

The University of Illinois3

The University of Texas at Austin4

The University of Oregon5

Accredited Programs

There are no specific programmatic accreditations for the master’s in advertising program. For more information on accreditation, students can refer to the Accreditation Guide

How to Pay for Online Master’s in Advertising Programs

The online master’s in advertising degree costs would differ from program and institution. Tuition, course material, additional elective costs, and travel are the main costs students bear; travel costs would be an exemption for students pursuing this program online. The tuition for an online master’s in advertising program varies depending on the institution’s and program’s requirements. Alongside working full-time while studying, there are several different funding mechanisms students can use to fund their graduate studies, some of which are:

Graduate School Scholarships

Graduate school scholarships can cover the partial or total cost of a degree. They are mostly awarded based on the student’s merit. However, other factors can also qualify students for scholarships, like community, cultural heritage, socioeconomic background, etc.  

Scholarships for Online Master’s in Advertising Students


Grants are a good opportunity to seek financial assistance to alleviate the cost of a master’s. They are usually awarded to specific target groups or areas of education and research. While they may not be based on the student’s academic accomplishments, other factors are considered when awarding grants.  


Students can apply for federal aid, work-study, and loans through the Free Application for Federal Student Aid or FAFSA form. The college to which the student applies uses FAFSA data to determine if a student is eligible for federal aid. 

Graduate Assistantships

Graduate assistantships are excellent options for students who want to build a network with people and fund their education simultaneously. Graduate assistants assist faculty members or departments with teaching, research, and other academic activities in exchange for a fee reduction or waiver. 

Free Courses for Online Master’s in Advertising Students

There are many free master’s in advertising online courses available as an option for students. Such courses in the field of advertising can enhance one’s knowledge, skills, and expertise. It is worth mentioning that free courses are often not accredited and hence cannot be used in place of a master’s degree in the job market. Nonetheless, free courses can be used to gain additional knowledge about advertising, which can be helpful for one’s studies and career. Here are a few free master’s in advertising online courses:

CourseAdvertising and Society15
Provided  byCoursera 
DescriptionThis course helps students examine the relationship between advertising, society, culture, and economy. Students learn contemporary theories about visual communication forms and analyze different advertisement modes.  
CourseDigital Advertising16
Provided  byHubSpot Academy 
DescriptionThis course teaches students many skills to be successful, like design, optimization, analysis, and audience targeting. Advertising and marketing professionals who want to learn new tactics for advertising and refine their skills would benefit from this course. 
CourseIntroduction to Advertising17
Provided  byAlison 
DescriptionThis course teaches students about advertising, promotion, and marketing essentials. Students understand the essentials of advertising techniques and society. 

Career Paths and Average Salaries for Advertising Graduates

Certifications and Licensing for Advertising Graduates

 American Marketing Association(AMA)22

Certified Sales Professional23

Additional Resources for Students

American Advertising Federation (AAF)24

Association of National Advertisers (ANA)25 

Association of Network Marketing Professionals (ANMP)26 


International Advertising Association (IAA)28 

FAQs About Online Master’s in Advertising Programs

What is a master’s in advertising?

A master’s in advertising is a graduate program pursued by individuals interested in acquiring skills in different fields of advertisement. The program duration can be from 1 to 2 years. It is also categorized as a concentration of mass communication. Students in this degree learn about mass communication, brand management, and strategic planning to influence consumers’ perceptions and promote clients.

What can you do with a master’s in advertising degree?

How long is an advertising master’s?

Is an advertising master’s worth it?

What is the difference between advertising and marketing?

Are online master’s in advertising programs as reputable as on-campus programs?

Is it necessary to have a bachelor’s degree in advertising to pursue a master’s?