Students working together on advertising project
Degrees Offered: BA MA PhD

The Department of Advertising, Public Relations and Media Design (APRD) strives to produce strategic communication leaders who have mastered a design­thinking process grounded in analytical and creative thought. The department believes in amplifying students’ curiosity, increasing their tolerance for risk and adventurous thinking and encouraging them to look at life and a career with an entrepreneur’s eye for opportunity. APRD is committed to providing students the necessary tools and techniques to think critically, adapt, create and above all lead in a rapidly changing media world.

Every aspect of APRD is rooted in creative problem­solving, be it finding consumer insights and developing strategy, generating ideas and producing ads for various platforms or designing social media campaigns. The department strives to help students acquire the kind of in­depth expertise in at least one area of strategic communication and design that will enable them to generate ideas and solve problems for a variety of organizations, including but not limited to ad agencies, public­relations firms, publishing and design firms, nonprofits, start­ups and personal ventures. Graduates of the program are forward­-looking and have a deep interest in and knowledge of diverse cultures both within the United States and throughout the world.

Undergraduate Opportunities

Advertising students choose from two specialities: those interested in strategy will conduct research and analyze data, identify target audiences and ways to engage them and develop media plans to reach them. Those interested in creating the advertising itself will learn how to come up with ideas and execute them using the latest technology. CMCI’s public relations program will prepare students for one of the nation’s fastest-growing career fields. Public relations graduates work closely with news organizations, build relationships with media and other key publics, create content for traditional and new media platforms including social media, and learn how to manage public relations campaigns. 

With CMCI’s outstanding training in media design, students will learn to design and produce content on various screens and platforms including the Web, videogames, smartphones tablets and virtual environments.

Graduates of the advertising program work at leading advertising agencies, research firms and other corporations specializing in strategic communication. Students consistently take top awards in the prestigious international "Young Ones" competition sponsored by the One Club in New York City. CMCI’s strategic communication degree produces graduates who are creative, tech­savvy, thoughtful, forward thinking and ready for exciting careers in a rapidly changing media world.

Graduate Studies

The Master of Arts in Strategic Communication Design

Strategic communication is an umbrella term that refers to the ways in which organizations—corporations, nonprofits and governmental agencies—use advertising, public relations and, most recently, design to accomplish their communication goals.The MA in Strategic Communication Design adopts a design­thinking approach to solving strategic communication problems, with a particular emphasis on creative and analytical thinking.

Students may choose from two tracks of specialization: a professional media design track and an academic research track. The professional track is for students with some work experience in or outside the area of strategic communication who are interested in furthering their careers. The academic research track targets students who want to conduct basic research in the area of strategic communication, with an interest in pursuing a PhD.

The PhD in Strategic Communication 

The PhD in Strategic Communication is a full­time 75­-hour interdisciplinary program dedicated to producing graduates who wish to pursue teaching and research positions at universities or research positions in industry in the area of strategic communication, including advertising and/or public relations. 

The program is designed to be broad, flexible and interdisciplinary, and its students are highly encouraged to pursue research interests and find connections with other units in CMCI and across campus. Graduates of the doctoral program are expected to be thoughtful leaders in the field of strategic communication and to actively engage in producing scholarship and research of the highest level to extend the frontiers of knowledge in the discipline.