Paving the Way to Professional Success
Whether you are hoping to advance your career or continue on to earn a doctorate, our concentrations will prepare you to be leaders in the field.
Our master’s program with a concentration in advertising or public relations allows students to work closely with faculty members as they hone their skills through research, theory, and practice.
The College of Communication and Information’s master’s degree with a concentration in advertising or public relations is for students looking to advance their careers or to pursue a PhD. The ADPR master’s concentrations offer a two-year, on-campus experience that allows students to work closely with faculty members as they continue building their skills and knowledge. Advertising and public relations master’s students may choose to write a thesis or complete an applied project. The thesis option is necessary for those hoping to pursue a PhD. Upon completion of the master’s degree, many students begin advertising and/or public relations careers in agencies, corporations, government, and nonprofit organizations. Others choose to progress to doctoral level studies and academic careers.
The 4+1 Master’s Concentration
Earn a bachelor’s and master’s degree in five years
The new ADPR 4+1 concentration allows current students and recent graduates to turn their bachelor’s degree into a master’s degree with just one additional year of coursework. This program is for students wanting to work in management or higher-level positions in their field. It offers more advanced strategic coursework and follows an approach that gives students an advantage when entering the workforce.
My experience in the Advertising and Public Relations 4+1 concentration has been truly transformative. The faculty’s unwavering support and mentorship have played an incredible role in my personal and professional development, consistently going above and beyond to help me explore new opportunities and navigate the exciting world of communications.”
4+1 master’s concentration student at the Tombras School of Advertising and Public Relations
Required Courses for the 4+1 Concentration
The ADPR 4+1 M.S. concentration requires a minimum of 30 credit hours. The courses in the concentration work to enhance the strategies, tactics, and skills learned during the undergraduate programs. Students will take courses in advertising, public relations, strategic communication, and concept application.
Block 1: Advertising and Public Relations Courses (12 hours)
- ADVT 510 Advertising and Society
- ADVT 520 Advertising and Communication Theory
- ADVT 540 Advertising Decision Making
- ADVT 560 Account Planning (cannot take if already had ADVT 460)
- PBRL 525 Public Opinion
- PBRL 530 Issues and Crisis Management
- PBRL 540 Public Relations Management
- PBRL 550 Public Relations Strategies
Block 2: Strategic Communication Courses (3 hours)
- * ADPR 515 Social Media Analytics or Elective
- ADPR 530 Advertising and Public Relations Research
- ADPR 562 Social Media Strategy and Tactics
*Cannot take if already completed ADPR 415
Block 3: Concept Application Courses (3 hours)
- ADVT 470 Advertising Campaigns (only if not taken as undergrad)
- PBRL 470S Public Relations Campaigns (only if not taken as undergrad)
- ADPR 590 Advertising and Public Relations Project
Block 4: General Electives (12 hours)
Any class carrying graduate credit from ADPR, ADVT, PBRL, CMST, JREM, or INSC may be used. At least two courses should be outside the School. Other electives outside of the College may be taken with the permission of the advisor.
Do I need a bachelor’s degree in advertising or public relations to enter the program?
It is not required, though some pre-requisite courses may be required depending on undergraduate degree to be sure they have foundational knowledge.
What is the length of the master’s program?
Most students complete the program in 1.5 to 2 years. Students writing a thesis usually take 2 years.
Can I enter the program and start my coursework in the spring semester?
Only if you are in the 4+1 concentration. Residential master’s programs start in the fall each year. Undergraduate students at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, can request graduate credit for graduate courses (up to 9 hours in their last year).
How do I apply to the 4+1 program?
Applicants must be current advertising or public relations majors at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, or a recent graduate of our program.
Seniors can request to take courses for graduate credit. To take courses for graduate credit, please follow the instructions on the Graduate School website. Students must still apply to the concentration through Graduate School Admissions and be accepted by both the graduate school and the ADPR graduate admissions committee.
Recent Graduates who were advertising or public relations majors and who graduated from our program in the past three years may apply. Applicants must meet UT Graduate School academic requirements and apply online to the Office of Graduate Admissions.
When can undergraduate students start taking graduate courses for the 4+1 concentration?
Seniors in their last 30 hours of the undergraduate program may apply to the program to take graduate courses with approval from the school director.
Undergraduate students may take up to 9 credit hours of graduate coursework in their senior year.
Students may not take the same course for both the undergraduate program and the 4+1 master’s concentration.
How do I apply to the residential master’s program?
You can apply through the UT Graduate School, and the College of Communication and Information’s Graduate Programs can also assist with additional information. See “We’re Here to Help” below for contact information.
We’re Here to Help!
Associate Professor, Director of Graduate Studies for ADPR
Associate Dean for Graduate Programs
Administrative Specialist III
CCI’s Online Master’s – Strategic and Digital Communication Concentration
This online program is designed for the professional who wants to continue their education and learn more skills to advance themselves in their field. It is an interdisciplinary concentration that includes courses from the School of Journalism and Media, as well as the other three schools within the College of Communication and Information.