ABOUT THE ADPR PROGRAM
B.A. in Advertising & Public Relations
The Advertising & Public Relations major features a flexible curriculum that serves students interested in both creative and business worlds. Foundations in marketing, digital/social media, branding, graphic design, media writing, campaign development, and entrepreneurship prepare students to engage diverse audiences and communicate strategically in for-profit and non-profit environments to meet organizational goals.
Collaborative work with real clients, as well as entrepreneurial skills for start-up initiatives, teach students to set communication goals, analyze markets, develop creative strategies, produce media, and measure success through key performance indicators.
Internships and electives allow students to focus on areas of interest and develop professional practices, and community-outreach projects inspire students to promote social change.
This hands-on creative curriculum is informed by theoretical frameworks in communication, media ethics and cultural studies, as well as principles of diversity and inclusion, to prepare students for professional work and the pursuit of advanced degrees.
As immerging communication leaders students are empowered to impact culture, community, and commerce, to build thriving, socially responsible, sustainable futures.
Fields & Careers
Graduates pursue vibrant careers in social media management and analytics, digital media strategy, creative content production, public relations strategy, advertising campaigns, graphic/web design, creative direction, copywriting, corporate communications, media planning and relations, account management, event planning, brand development, and many more fields. (See more about Fields and Careers.) A degree in strategic communications also provides foundations for legal fields, sales and marketing positions, human resources, corporate training, organizational communication, multimedia journalism, administrative professions, managerial roles, and instructional technology.
Entrepreneurship is encouraged in the Advertising & Public Relations major. Many students launch their own businesses, either during their college courses or after gaining professional experience. The ADPR program teaches skills ideal for developing and marketing new brands and developing nonprofit organizations.
Internships & Student Organizations
Two student organizations provide professional development and networking opportunities: The Ad Club and the U.T. chapter of PRSSA (Public Relations Students Society of America). In their academic program, students choose electives across disciplines that are relevant to their career pursuits, and they take on professional internships tailored to their interests. They may also opt to participate in the Minaret student newspaper, UTTV, WUT Radio, and other media outlets.
Tampa Bay: A Top-15 Media Market
As a national top-15 media market, Tampa Bay offers a wealth of opportunities in advertising, public relations, digital media, broadcast, and studio production. Sports-minded students have interned with the Tampa Bay Rays, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Tampa Bay Lightning and New York Yankees. Others have paired interests in fashion, health and fitness, activism, and many other fields, to develop rewarding professional careers or graduate studies. A minor in advertising or public relations is also available.
"Which concentration should I choose?"
This is a question we often hear when students enter the program. It doesn't really matter which of the three concentrations you claim to begin the program: Creative Advertising, Public Relations, or General (blend). You can start with required core courses that count for all the concentrations and then switch any time, as many times as needed. Usually students get a sense of direction after they've taken a few courses.
1) The Creative Advertising Concentration
Creative teams tend to rely on conceptual and digital skills: the ability to creatively problem-solve through visual communication, using marketing techniques that engage audiences with compelling messages. Beyond the foundations of the major, the creative concentration provides training in both traditional and digital media production, culminating in campaign development and creative direction. Branding through strategic communication is reinforced across multiple platforms and includes social media marketing, web design, digital imaging, media writing and print layout. Adobe Photoshop, InDesign, and Illustrator are staples for content creation. Knowledge of Content Management Systems such as WordPress is also useful, as are video production and other content creation tools, which are learned in electives. Critical thinking, research methods, analytics, cultural literacy, and communication skills are important to conduct needs assessments and understand audience desires and behaviors, in order to propose creative solutions that meet communication goals. These topics are in the core.
2) The Public Relations Concentration
Public relations professionals rely on knowledge of business, marketing, and communication. Foundational skills tend to be writing and digital media—for example, writing press releases, social media posts, web copy, backgrounders, interviews, articles, blogs, corporate communications, etc. Knowledge of digital media analytics and account planning, content development, and curation is also expected, along with basic knowledge of Adobe digital skills such as Photoshop and InDesign. Content management systems (such as WordPress) are used for online publishing. As in advertising, public relations requires strategic campaign development, critical thinking, research methods, cultural literacy, and communication skills to develop effective strategies and meet organizational goals. All of these skills are part of the Public Relations Concentration. Electives such as organizational communication, business, marketing, and speech are available as well.
3) The General Concentration
The general concentration features a balance of the advertising and public relations skills outlined above, with flexible electives that allow students to focus on their interests.
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