Master of Science in Advertising

Practical, cutting edge, and well-rounded, Boston University’s part-time Master of Science (MS) in Advertising is a hands-on, professional program offered through BU’s College of Communication and Metropolitan College.

Our convenient, evening courses combine core advertising fundamentals with the latest approaches in digital content and marketing, preparing you to compete in the fast-paced, ever-changing world of communication—whether you wish to enter this rewarding field, or seek to enhance your current industry knowledge and experience.

You can customize the Advertising program to your needs by choosing a sequence of courses that provide an understanding of interactive, digital content, or by focusing on international marketing and management. We also make sure you master the arts of presenting your pitch and working collaboratively—skills that give you an edge in the daily challenges of any job.

Through case studies, hands-on practice, market research, and analysis of what works, our curriculum covers:

  • Interactive Media
  • Branding and Creative Development
  • Advertising Management and Strategy
  • International Marketing
  • Mass Communication

Students who complete the master’s degree in Advertising will be able to demonstrate:

  • An ability to solve contemporary marketing problems from strategic, creative, and technological perspectives.
  • A sound understanding of the principles of digital advertising.
  • Proficiency in the communication of ideas using coherent persuasive skills in writing and oral presentation.

All candidates for admission to the part-time MS in Advertising program must have a bachelor’s degree and are selected on the basis of undergraduate transcripts, academic and professional references, and work experience. Standardized admissions tests such as the GRE are not required; English-language proficiency is required. The program has a rolling admissions policy with no absolute deadlines. Students may complete up to eight credits in the program prior to admission. As it is part-time, it is not possible for international students to obtain a visa through this program.

Apply here.

Academic Standing

Students in the MS in Advertising program must maintain a grade point average of at least 3.0 to remain in good standing and to graduate. No grade below B- in any course may be applied toward the degree. Students with grade point averages below 3.0 will be placed on academic probation and must be in a position to achieve a 3.0 within the 40 required credit hours for graduation or be subject to dismissal.

A total 40 credits is required.

Note: Some courses may have prerequisites. See the Advertising course descriptions for details.

Core Courses

(Three courses/12 credits)

Introduction to basic formats, including news releases, editorials, features, profiles, scripts, and basic copy qualities such as readability, clarity, crispness, color, and organization. Emphasis on developing the ability to write copy for varied audiences. Regular writing assignments; considerable rewriting. Includes lead writing, editing, and interviewing.   [ 4 cr. ]

Section Type Instructor Location Days Times
C1 IND Dodge CAS 310 W 6:00 pm – 8:45 pm

Overview of the nature, function, practice, and social, economic, and behavioral aspects of advertising. Student teams develop advertising plans, create campaigns, and explore problems of account management, creativity, production, and ethics.   [ 4 cr. ]

Section Type Instructor Location Days Times
SA1 IND Cakebread COM 210 TR 6:00 pm – 9:30 pm

An overview of the theories, practices, and techniques in the emerging field of interactive marketing communications (IAMC). Students gain an understanding of the strategy and tactics of IAMC and its place in the more comprehensive field of marketing communications. In addition, students review IAMC's relationship to and its effects on society, culture, and the economic system. The course will explore almost all the ways interactive marketing can be practiced via the Internet: historical introduction, dotcom era, basic principles, database marketing, etail, email, search (SEO & SEM/PPC), display advertising, social networking, gaming, mobile, et al.  [ 4 cr. ]

Electives

(Seven courses/28 credits)

Choose four advertising electives:

Analyzes the impact of advertising on individuals and society and evaluates the ethical, moral, and legal questions relating to the advertising industry. The history of advertising and the rise of consumerism will be studied to create a paradigm for understanding the social effects of advertising. Students will study the issues of advertising in cyberspace and questions of privacy and protection from intrusive communication messages.  [ 4 cr. ]

Overview of and current trends in the contemporary mass media labor force. Topics include career opportunities in print, film, broadcast, and digital media; changing relationships between media; contemporary patterns of ownership and audience attention; how the media select their content, how they are financed, and how they are related to agencies of control; and ethical issues and controversies regarding media content and influences.   [ 4 cr. ]

Grad Prereq: MET CM 708 Explores how to arrive at consumer insights that lead to better advertising and promotion. The course focuses on the set of skills necessary to create breakthrough advertising, including qualitative research, observation, interviewing skills, mapping, and presentation tools. Students learn to write effective creative briefs.   [ 4 cr. ]

Examines the creative process in advertising, including concept development, copywriting, layout, and campaign strategies. Emphasis is on print advertising, but radio and television commercials are also included. Assignments include consumer and trade advertisements for both new and mature products.  [ 4 cr. ]

Prereq: MET CM 708 Administration of a complete advertising program. Case study method used to explore the marketing mix, budgeting, media strategy, planning, coordinating advertising with promotion, working with client or agency, and the social responsibility of advertisers.  [ 4 cr. ]

Explores the impact of current advertising/marketing issues from business, economic, political, social, legal, and ethical perspectives. Modified case method, with lectures from experts on selected issues.   [ 4 cr. ]

Examines media planning, buying and sales as performed by advertising agencies, clients, and the media. Research sources providing data on media audiences and product usage are evaluated. Examines contemporary trends in communications media and their effects on advertisers.   [ 4 cr. ]

Section Type Instructor Location Days Times
A1 IND Klapisch FLR 133 M 6:00 pm – 8:45 pm

Advertising electives with a digital media focus:

The role of video has become even more significant in terms of the digital environment for branded content, webisodes, viral video, corporate micro-documentaries, and instructional/educational website content. How this is integrated with, and disseminated by, social media is key. In addition, budgetary constraints in relation to work for the web often require a different creative approach than traditional broadcast media. This course explores the creative development of video concepts and introduces students to basic production techniques as they relate to the development of video geared for the web. This is mainly a writing and concept development course. Some rudimentary editing techniques are discussed throughout the semester.  [ 4 cr. ]

Section Type Instructor Location Days Times
SA1 IND Hackett COM 212 MW 6:00 pm – 9:30 pm

This course is designed to introduce students to using new media tools for creating media communication. Students build an integrated campaign and web site using software, which includes Photoshop, InDesign, iMovie, Dreamweaver and Flash. Students develop an understanding of the process of design consisting of: ideation, strategy and execution.

Permission required for non-MET students. Contact Metropolitan College, 755 Commonwealth Avenue, Room 103 (617-353-3000) for more information.  [ 4 cr. ]

Section Type Instructor Location Days Times
SB1 IND Miracco COM 109 MW 6:00 pm – 9:30 pm

The purpose of MET CM737, Social Networks in Strategic Communication Planning, is to help students understand the rapid evolution in marketing and communications brought on by the shift in technology that has forever changed traditional media and launched powerful new communications platforms via social media. This course will focus on communications strategy -- where it's been, where it's going with a focus on executing strategies through social media platforms that align with overall business (brand) goals and objectives. To help gain this perspective, students will learn from various experts (guests to class) and hands-on exercises designed to give all students a solid baseline for the dominant and tertiary social media platforms. I fully believe that the best way to learn and understand social media is to jump in and engage with the different platforms. This class will encourage and insist that you engage with at least two social media platforms so you can bring this first-hand knowledge to class.  [ 4 cr. ]

Section Type Instructor Location Days Times
B1 IND Staff CAS 312 T 6:00 pm – 8:45 pm

In this course students will become familiar with the basics of Search Engine Optimization and Search Engine Advertising and how these new rapidly growing areas fit into the marketing communications planning process. The course will cover topics such as how search engines work, how users search, how to optimize a website for search engines, how to develop a Search Engine Advertising campaign and how to measure success. At the end of the semester students will present a strategically executed Search Engine Marketing plan. Prerequisite for the course is MET CM 719, Interactive Marketing Communication or permission of the instructor.  [ 4 cr. ]

Provides knowledge and practice for effective graphic design for all media. Develops a foundation in design principles and software skills including Illustrator, Photoshop, and InDesign. Students create projects demonstrating how graphic design is used to engage an audience and enhance comprehension of all forms of mass communication from traditional print to new media.  [ 4 cr. ]

Choose three management electives:

Introduction to the concepts, methods and problems of accounting and financial analysis. Includes accounting principles, measurement and disclosure issues, financial statement analysis, time value of money, cash flow projection and analysis, capital budgeting and project evaluation, bond and equity valuation, cost of capital and capital structure. 4 cr.   [ 4 cr. ]

Fall 2018
Section Type Instructor Location Days Times
A1 IND Mcgue KCB 107 M 6:00 pm – 8:45 pm
B1 IND Page CAS 218 T 12:30 pm – 3:15 pm
D1 IND Mcgue MET B02B R 6:00 pm – 8:45 pm
O2 IND Cohen ARR
Sum1 2018
Section Type Instructor Location Days Times
BNR IND Watson FLR 121 S 8:30 am – 4:00 pm
SA1 IND Mcgue HAR 302 MW 6:00 pm – 9:30 pm
Sum2 2018
Section Type Instructor Location Days Times
SO1 IND Cohen ARR

A communications skills course designed to better understand the nature of conflict and its resolution through persuasion, collaboration, and negotiation. Students will learn theories of interpersonal and organizational conflict and its resolution as applied to personal, corporate, historical, and political contexts. Students will assess their own styles, skills, and values, and develop techniques to better resolve disputes, achieve objectives, and exert influence.   [ 4 cr. ]

Fall 2018
Section Type Instructor Location Days Times
C1 IND Williams SHA 206 W 6:00 pm – 8:45 pm
Sum1 2018
Section Type Instructor Location Days Times
SA1 IND Marya HAR 324 MW 6:00 pm – 9:30 pm

What does it mean to be a good leader? Can key elements of good leadership be identified? This dynamic course will start with an exploration of traditional and contemporary models of leadership, leadership development and management training. From there, participants will assess their own personal skills, preferences, aptitude and readiness to confront the challenges of leadership through a series of exercises, simulations and hands-on activities. Key elements of leadership, such as visiting, communicating, decision-making, team building and motivating will be studied and practiced. This course combines a thorough review of the theoretical aspects of leadership with the opportunity for "real world" applications through experiential learning.  [ 4 cr. ]

Section Type Instructor Location Days Times
SA1 IND Mendlinger CGS 121 MW 6:00 pm – 9:30 pm

Addresses the specifics of new product and service development and fostering innovation and technology to increase performance. Topics include generating and screening initial ideas; assessing user needs and interests; forecasting results; launching, and improving products and programs; bringing innovation to commercial reality.   [ 4 cr. ]

Fall 2018
Section Type Instructor Location Days Times
C1 IND Unger SOC B63 W 6:00 pm – 8:45 pm
D1 IND Unger FLR 134 R 12:30 pm – 3:15 pm
O1 IND Unger ARR
Sum2 2018
Section Type Instructor Location Days Times
SB1 IND Bonyhay HAR 222 MW 6:00 pm – 9:30 pm

Examination of major marketing issues affecting companies operating in a global environment. Students will achieve an understanding of the economic, political, and cultural differences among nations as they affect marketing opportunities and operations. Develop skills to identify and evaluate international marketing opportunities. 4cr.  [ 4 cr. ]

Strategic and operational marketing issues arising in the firm's operations. Topics include market screening, decisions, entry strategies, product/service development, as well as designing the marketing plan and its implementation. 4 cr.  [ 4 cr. ]

Concepts, theories and practice of international, multinational and global advertising. A thorough and contemporary study of the impact of globalization on marketing communications and particularly advertising. The environment of worldwide advertising, the advertising mix and worldwide management.  [ 4 cr. ]

Management electives with a digital media focus:

Provides a detailed examination of how businesses can successfully use Internet and Web technology. Students are introduced to the concepts and issues of electronic commerce. Topics include comparison of e-commerce procedures, payment mechanisms, applications in different industry sectors, security, the challenges of starting and maintaining an electronic business site, as well as a comparison with traditional business practices.   [ 4 cr. ]

Fall 2018
Section Type Instructor Location Days Times
B1 IND Staff KCB 107 T 6:00 pm – 8:45 pm
O1 IND Lee ARR
Sum1 2018
Section Type Instructor Location Days Times
SA1 IND Appeltans CGS 527 TR 6:00 pm – 9:30 pm

Prereq: MET AD648
Introduces creative aspects of Web design using application programs such as Flash and Rixio/Adobe Multimedia. Students will have an opportunity to develop applications that integrate text content with video, digital photographs, computer animation, and computer graphics for website enhancement. This course will also focus on the exploration of a range of issues such as principles of good Web design and use of multimedia/Flash in major business applications. Students will create projects that integrate digital media, digital sound, and computer animation for e-learning, e-commerce, and related application areas.  [ 4 cr. ]

Prereq: MET AD648
Marketing approaches have been significantly altered with the advent of the Internet. This course provides a view of marketing for the twenty- first century. Special emphasis is provided on the impact of new Internet marketing techniques, research using data mining and metrics, search engine optimization, reaching consumer markets through the new business models associated with social communities, blogs, and other Web 2.0 structures. 4cr.  [ 4 cr. ]

Section Type Instructor Location Days Times
D1 IND Goncalves EPC 209 R 6:00 pm – 8:45 pm
O2 IND Pandit ARR

View all Advertising graduate courses.