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Undergraduate Studies

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Why Temerlin?

Willie Baronet, Stan Richards Professor in Creative Advertising and former advertising agency owner, discusses the advantages at TAI.

With consumers seeing millions of messages throughout each day, advertisers must use creativity, skill and strategy to make an impact on their audiences. The Temerlin Advertising Institute for Education and Research (TAI) trains students to search for unique solutions in advertising, preparing them for work in advertising agencies, media firms, corporate marketing departments, design studios and more.

TAI is located in a top-five media market that affords many opportunities for industry experience through internships and guest lectures, industry field visits, directed study, and an annual lecture series. Students may also choose to study abroad, through advertising classes offered at SMU-in-London and other SMU-approved programs. Small classes ensure personal attention from the advertising professors, all of whom are prominent scholars and industry leaders. In-depth projects and internships prepare students for careers as account executives, account planners, media planners, art directors, copywriters and brand managers.

The Temerlin Advertising Institute was endowed by the Dallas advertising community through a pledge to augment scholarships, faculty salaries and public programs that enrich student learning and practical experience in advertising. Established in 2001, it is one of the nation's only endowed advertising institutes.

Major in Advertising

The B.A. in Advertising allows students to major in advertising and specialize their knowledge in one of three areas: creative, digital media strategy, or strategic brand management.

The B.A. in Advertising (all specializations) can be completed in a minimum of five semesters (one for prerequisites, plus four for major courses). Each of the three specializations is a two-year (four semester; fall and spring terms) sequence of classes that are referred to as the Foundation, the Practice, the Application, and Capstone. Students admitted to the B.A. in Advertising (any specialization) must take these courses in sequence to be able to complete the major in two years.

B.A. in Advertising – Creative Specialization

The Temerlin Advertising Institute’s Creative program prepares students for careers in art direction or copywriting. Admission to the program is selective and based upon a faculty panel’s evaluation of an application used to assess a student’s creative ability and potential. This screening process improves the quality of the experience each student receives in creative courses and helps ensure that the quality of work produced by students is of the highest caliber and competitive by industry standards.

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B.A. in Advertising – Digital Media Strategy Specialization

The Temerlin Advertising Institute’s program in Digital Media Strategy will prepare students to enter the world of advertising and marketing as digital producers, digital strategists, content managers, and media specialists. Marketing in the digital age means understanding when and where to communicate to consumers when they are going to be most receptive to your message and encourage them to share the messages. Students admitted to the specialization will learn to maximize consumers’ engagement with marketing messages using paid, owned and earned media to achieve this goal.

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B.A. in Advertising – Strategic Brand Management Specialization

The Temerlin Advertising Institute’s program in Strategic Brand Management prepares students to enter the world of advertising and marketing as account or brand managers, project managers, planners/strategists, consumer insight experts, event and promotion specialists, as well as in new business development. The specialization covers approaches to management in advertising agencies and on the client-side. Topics include strategies for the identification of marketing-related problems and the processes needed to find solutions through messaging, promotions and other forms of consumer engagement to build brand equity and market share.

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Minor in Advertising

The minor in advertising offers the student a cogent overview of the social, economic, legal and marketing environments in which advertising functions. Courses offered in the minor are designed to satisfy the needs of the consumer of advertising messages, as well as those of a person who might choose advertising as a valuable adjunct to another career choice.

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Minor in Graphic Design

The graphic design minor provides a basic understanding and development of skills necessary for message design across various media. Topics and skill sets include identity (logos, branding collateral material, packaging), digital (social, mobile, online media), publication (magazines, newspapers, books), and other areas of design. The minor is designed for students who wish to incorporate an interest in graphic design into their major coursework or to pursue further study in a variety of design disciplines.

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Areas of Study


Undergraduate Studies


B.A. in Advertising - Creative Specialization

B.A. in Advertising – Digital Media Strategy

B.A. in Advertising - Strategic Brand Management Specialization

Minor in Advertising

Minor in Graphic Design

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