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Early Application Deadline: January 31

Regular Application Deadline: March 3

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  • GRE Institution Code is 6292 for “SMU Meadows School of the Arts” and Department Code 4501 for Advertising.
  • GMAT Institution Code is “Temerlin Advertising Institute” checking the “Master of Arts in Advertising” program
  • TOEFL Institution Code is 7640 for “SMU Meadows School of the Arts” and Department Code in Social Science category is 83 for Communications.



To earn a Master of Arts in Advertising from the Temerlin Advertising Institute, you will complete a minimum of 36 credits from courses in the core of the program and elective credits in the areas of strategic brand management or creative.

Plan B – Research Emphasis

Applicants interested in pursuing a thesis/research emphasis may select Plan B of our MA in Advertising program. Research credits are taken in place of both the second year fall elective and the final semester’s Executive Internship so that students are able to complete and defend their projects.


The Early Core — Your First Semester

Theories of Persuasion. This course applies knowledge from a variety of social sciences to the study of consumers — both as individuals and as members of larger groups. Drawing upon theories from many disciplines, you'll study consumer behavior from the perspectives of culture, sub-culture, social class, social groups, and family — along with the effects of advertising on those groups. Key theoretical topics include motivations, attitudes, beliefs and learning. Also discussed are ethical considerations in cross-cultural advertising.

Creativity as Problem Solving. A seminar devoted to the understanding and application of creative thinking in all facets of the industry. You'll discuss the effects of creativity on innovation, change, strategic planning and organizational dynamics. You'll also study the important theories on creativity and review case studies, and apply your learning through group projects and industry monitoring.

Advertising as a Cultural Force. Does advertising take its cues from culture, or is it a trendsetting change-agent that deliberately or unintentionally shapes society based on what is being advertised? You'll assess the impact of advertising across economic, social and cultural lines, and study the regulatory bodies overseeing the industry. Specific topics may include the development of corporate images, racial and gender stereotypes, persuasive strategies, and cultural differences.

Concepting. This class is designed to introduce students to the creative process in advertising. This class focuses on the development of ideation skills and facilitates the student path to being art directors and copywriters. The general objectives are to help students develop their own creative process and, in doing so, produce a professional portfolio that will help them land a job at a great agency. Students will be encouraged to think critically and creatively while keeping the "big picture" in mind. This goal-oriented creative aproach comes with the inherent element of constructive critique — a vital variable in the creative approach.

The Middle Core & Your Specialty — Your 2nd Semester

Responsibility & Social Entrepreneurship. Who are the agents of change in our industry, and what sets them apart? How can responsibility be defined, and how does it manifest itself in the field of advertising? How does responsible advertising effect cultural change? Engage in an ongoing discussion, and form an educated response through lectures, guest speakers and a review of contemporary literature/case studies.

Qualitative/Quantitative Research. Our program teaches you to understand the various research methods used in advertising. The material extends from qualitative methods including focus groups, in-depth interviews and participant observation to quantitative methods including surveys and experiments; sampling; data analysis; and communication of the results. The course work is designed to teach students how to locate and interpret existing research while evaluating the quality of the information; how to plan and organize research projects using secondary and primary sources; and finally how to interpret and report findings that allow for managerial action. We place a heavy emphasis on garnering insight from the research in order to leverage opportunities to elevate brands.

Portfolio (1 course) or Research Metrics (1 course)

Experience — Global Immersion — Your Summer

Several weeks of travel to a country or countries important in the new global advertising industry give unparalleled exposure to advertising as a cultural force. All students take part in this global immersion course specially designed to expand their industry and cultural awareness and leverage the intensive coursework of the first year. This takes place during the summer after the first year of the program.

International Advertising. Discover how the rapidly changing global environment influences marketing and advertising — from research, management, strategy and media to execution. Learn how to recognize similarities and differences between countries and consumers based on tangible cultural indicators — and develop the necessary tools to effectively communicate and advertise products in a global marketplace.

The Final Core — Your 3rd Semester

Strategic Brand Management. The course will cover topics such as: strategic targeting, constructing compelling brand platforms, brand portfolio management, brand equity building, online branding, global brand building, metrics and measurements, and integrated marketing communications. The course will emphasize 1) contemporary case analyses, both on a team and individual level; 2) discussion of topical marketing issues, and 3) contemporary brand building best practices.

Consumer Engagement Strategies. Students will explore ways to deliver messages to audiences using a variety of traditional and nontraditional media. Emphasis will be placed on the development of delivery systems that can maximize consumers' engagement with marketing messages. Topics covered will include word-of-mouth, viral marketing, social media marketing, cause-related marketing, product placement and customer relationship management.

Advanced Portfolio (1 course) or Elective (1 course)

Experience — Getting to Work — Your 4th Semester

Executive Internship. Intensive advertising industry work experience. A semester-long placement of 20 hours per week for 15 weeks. Immerse yourself in the industry, and work with agencies and corporations on real, long-term projects, while gaining the necessary experience and engaging in networking opportunities. This industry immersion gives agencies and corporations the opportunity to assign students to long-term clients and projects.

  • Applicants selecting Plan B – with a research emphasis for their MA in Advertising program will take research credits in replace of both the second year fall elective and the final semester’s Executive Internship. 

Advertising Campaigns. Work directly with major clients to develop and present an advertising campaign. You and your team will use research, strategy and planning, media, creative execution and presentation skills to successfully create and pitch your work.

Read More: Strategic Brand Management

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Art History

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