Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What exactly is Advertising? What types of jobs will a B.A. in Advertising equip me for?

Advertising is both art and science, using creativity, skill and strategy to communicate a message about a particular product or idea. While there are lots of career possibilities in advertising, descriptions of the most common ones can be found here.

I’m interested in majoring in Advertising. Why should I consider SMU’s Temerlin Advertising Institute?

SMU and the Temerlin Advertising Institute (TAI) are located in Dallas, a top-five media market that affords many opportunities for industry experience through internships, guest lectures, industry field trips, lecture series and networking events. Additionally, our curriculum is designed to give you deep, specialized knowledge of a particular area in advertising (creative, digital media strategy, or strategic brand management). Our goal is to equip you for a long and successful career in the advertising industry.

Can I declare Advertising as my major my first semester at SMU?

No. You must meet several prerequisites, complete the admission application, and be admitted to our program before you can declare Advertising as a major.

Can I apply to the Advertising major at any time?

No. Our application is only offered once each academic year during the spring term. Information about the current academic year’s application is available here.

How long does it take to complete the Advertising major?

The B.A. in Advertising (all specializations) can be completed in a minimum of four semesters (one for prerequisites, plus three for major courses), although most students will complete it in five semesters (one for prerequisites, plus four for major courses). Each of the three specializations is a three to four semester (fall and spring terms only) sequence of classes referred to as the Foundation, the Practice, the Application and Capstone. Students admitted to the B.A. in Advertising (any specialization) must take the required courses in sequence to complete the major in three to four semesters. Click here for a visual of the B.A. in Advertising requirements by semester and specialization.

Can I apply to more than one specialization? They all sound interesting!

Absolutely! But be sure you have completed/are completing the prerequisite courses for the specialization(s) you’re applying to.

Ok, I’m going to apply to at least two specializations. Can I be admitted to both?

While you can apply to two or all three specializations, you cannot be admitted to more than one. When you register for the admission application you will be asked to rank the specializations you’re applying to from “most interested” to “least interested.” We will take your rankings into consideration when making admission decisions, and will honor them when possible.

I’ve been admitted to one specialization but would like to switch to a different one. Is this possible?

No. If you’re not interested in pursuing the specialization you’ve been admitted to, you can decline the offer and re-apply to the major and preferred specialization during the next application cycle. Since we admit students to the major AND a specialization simultaneously, we do not allow majors to transfer admission to another specialization at a later time.

I’m not sure which specialization(s) I’m interested in. Do I have to apply to one?

Yes. You must apply to at least one specialization. We do not offer a general B.A. in Advertising degree.

I meet the minimum GPA requirements for admission the major. Will I automatically be admitted?

No. While strong grades in advertising courses and a strong cumulative GPA will increase your chances of being admitted to the major, they do not guarantee admission. Admission decisions are based on several criteria, including GPA/grades, written essay response and supplemental materials. We’re looking for students with a passion for advertising and bettering the world through it.

How many students are admitted to the major each year? Is admission competitive?

We admit approximately 45 students to the B.A. in Advertising each academic year, or 15 to each of the three specializations (creative, digital media strategy, or strategic brand management). Admission is competitive, so it’s important to put your best effort into your prerequisite courses, written essay, and other admissions materials.

I applied during the last application cycle but wasn’t admitted. Can I reapply?

Absolutely! If you have a passion for advertising, we encourage you to reapply during the next application cycle. We are happy to let you know which area(s) you can work to improve to increase your chances of being admitted.

Is it possible to study abroad and major in Advertising?

Absolutely! However, because major courses are lock step and only offered once each academic year, it’s important to plan ahead. Advertising majors can easily study abroad during the interterms (summer, winter). If you’re interested in studying abroad during a fall or spring semester, we recommend waiting until after you’ve completed your advertising requirements.

Am I required to complete an internship before I graduate?

While we don’t require our majors to complete an internship, we strongly encourage students to have at least one before they graduate. Because Dallas is a top-five media market, there is no shortage of advertising and related agencies and organizations to intern with. More information about internships can be found here.