Work with real clients and in full agency teams of art directors, copywriters, project managers, artists, and designers.
The Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree
Advertising is a major offered in the four-year bachelor of fine arts degree program. Our BFA curriculum is rooted by the
Core Four curriculum—fundamental courses that are structured to enrich each student's professional development over four years. Course Descriptions
ADV 2000 Introduction to Advertising 3
This course introduces Advertising majors and other interested students to the serious fun of advertising. Students work in creative teams as they would in an agency setting to concept a variety of advertising executions for products and services of all types. Guest speakers from the agency side, media side, and client side discuss the creative process and what’s worked for them.
Prerequisites: Foundation: 2D, Foundation: Media 1
ADV 3242 Copywriting for Broadcast 3
The goal of this course is to learn what it takes to develop successful, compelling selling ideas that work for radio. Students will study the origins of radio commercials and radio drama. They will come to appreciate what it takes to produce commercials via “theatre of the mind,” where copywriters get to be both copywriter and art director. They will learn about character development, storytelling, voices, sound design (SFX), and more.
AH 3658 History of Advertising 3
The goal of this course is to establish the historical beginnings of advertising communications, and relate those beginnings to the present day. Lecture will focus primarily on the United States, illustrating that history in detail and placing those examples in context with cultural, social, political and technological changes throughout the United States and the world. The course consists primarily of lecture with some class discussions. Students complete exams consisting of essay and short-answer questions, as well as produce short but polished writing assignments.
BS 3025 Marketing Concepts and Analysis 3
This course will study the theory and practice of marketing. Students will discover marketing’s role in society and for organizations as well as engage in an in-depth study of the various steps in the marketing process, including research, strategy, and campaign development. Students will develop a campaign as well as analyze historic and contemporary case studies.
ADV 3010 Agency 3
The goal of this course is to give students a realistic view of how a contemporary advertising agency functions. Students visit agencies and host guest speakers who work in all departments: creative, print and broadcast production, account service, planning and research, media, PR, and promotions. Particular attention is paid to career path and the importance of partnerships. Students shadow agency professionals and participate in meetings, brainstorm sessions, or client briefing. Students research and create reports of their experiences and collaborate on the creations of an “ideal” agency.
Prerequisites: Foundation: 2D, successful Junior Review
ADV 3020 Integrated Advertising 3
This course explores the seamless integration of several media in a single campaign. Media covered include television, print, PR, radio, and a variety of digital platforms. Students learn how communication vehicles such as packaging, product design, store design, advertising, promotions, PR, and corporate communications work together in a campaign, over time, to shape a brand. Guest speakers showcase histories of integrated advertising and brand management. Students work together in creative teams and client teams to develop, create, and execute an integrated campaign.
Prerequisites: Foundation: 2D, Introduction to Advertising (Introduction to Advertising may be taken concurrently)
BS 3240 Copywriting 3
Students will cover basic concepts of copywriting including the relationship of image and text, concept and tagline, and media and message. Students will concept, write, and revise, while studying various contemporary case studies of the creative process of copywriting.
ADV 3040 Creative Advertising Studio 3
The goal of this course is to learn what it takes to develop successful, compelling selling ideas for television. Students watch, analyze, and storyboard hundreds of television spots from the United States and around the world (contemporary and historical). Students work in art director/copywriter teams and move from creative briefs to concepts, scripts, and original storyboards for a variety of television formats and clients. They also work with MCAD film students during the concepting process to develop ideas. The best spot is taken into final production, with the spot’s student team acting as creative producers, while other students form a film crew. The entire class emerges with a spot for their reel. Guest speakers discuss the agency process and show their most successful spots.
Prerequisites: Introduction to Advertising or permission of instructor
ADV 3050 Business-to-Business Advertising 3
The goal of this course is to give students an overview of the many fascinating creative opportunities possible in creating business-to-business (B2B) advertising. Students develop the ability to handle B2B creative assignments on a number of levels in various media. They also sample special-interest, vertical-media vehicles that appeal to these specialized clients and their multilayered target audiences. Guest speakers discuss examples of successful B2B campaigns in various categories and media. Students work in teams of art director/copywriter to concept and create B2B advertising for a number of clients.
Prerequisites: Introduction to Advertising or Copywriting
ADV 3060 Advertising for Retail Environments 3
The goal of this course is to give students an overview of the retail landscape and the opportunities that exist for artists and designers in this fast-paced, growing field. Students study traditional and nontraditional media, external media (broadcast, print, direct, and out-of-home) and internal media (store and fixture design, point-of-sale, and product development), promotion and event marketing, guerilla tactics, and new media. Presentation skills are stressed. Students work in teams to conceptualize a retail campaign.
Prerequisites: Foundation: 2D, Introduction to Advertising (Introduction to Advertising may be taken concurrently)
DE 4000 Professional Practice 3
Professional Practice is directed toward the student’s transition into the professional world. Students create a variety of promotional materials concentrating on their book, including résumés, work samples, and project documentation. In addition to the preparation of materials, students practice interview techniques, survey employment markets and opportunities, and finalize an internship site. Visiting professionals, field trips, and individualized student research provide context for all promotional materials.
Prerequisites: Junior standing
ADV 4010 Internship 3
Internships provide an opportunity for students to gain practical experience in a particular career area and valuable on-the-job skills. Internships may be arranged by the Director of Career Services or initiated by students. All internships must be pre-approved through the Career Services Office. For an internship to be approved, a mentor relationship and learning experience should exist beyond a simple employment opportunity. Three-credit internships require working 135 hours at the internship site and keeping a journal of hours and activities.
Prerequisites: Professional Practice
ADV 5010 Advanced Advertising Seminar 3
Advanced Advertising Seminar prepares students to become more independent and to develop a process of critical thinking and in-depth research in their practice. Through critical readings, individual and group discussions, and writings, students acquire a better understanding of advertising and the responsibilities and ethical issues of the profession. Assignments may include a semester-long integrated campaign for a Fortune 500 company, an imaginary client, or a new product line, complete with research, media, top-lines, and all other material necessary for a professional presentation.
Prerequisites: three 3000-level Advertising courses, successful Junior Review
ADV 5100 Senior Project 6
Senior Project is a semester-long project developed by an individual student in consultation with a faculty member. Senior Project concentrates on a finished book that can take several forms, including installation in the commencement exhibition. Students examine books by visiting creatives, show their own books to agency personnel directors, and conceptualize ways to expand the book concept for unique situations.
Prerequisites: successful Junior Review, Senior standing
First-Year Studio Foundation 15 FDN 1111 Foundation: 2D 3
This course is an introduction to creative thinking that develops skills in research, observation, interpretation, and self-expression. There is an emphasis on learning new ways to read and see the world and how to report on it. Students learn basic two-dimensional principles through the use of various media, tools, materials, and processes. As a result, students develop a visual and verbal language for analyzing, organizing, shaping, and communicating two-dimensional form and meaning.
FDN 1112 Foundation: 3D 3
This course is an introduction to understanding of visual creation for the development of knowledge, imagination, and perception. Students are introduced to basic three-dimensional concepts as well as materials and technical production processes. Classroom activities include shop demonstrations of tools and techniques, information, lectures, and discussions appropriate to promote the balanced fusion of practice and theory.
FDN 1211 Foundation: Drawing 1 3
This course is an introductory drawing course designed to prepare students for study in all majors of the College. Students develop basic drawing skills, including the ability to perceive and express visual relationships, organize a two-dimensional composition, and depict and manipulate form, space, and light. Students work from direct observation of still life, interior spaces, and landscape.
FDN 1311 Foundation: Media 1 3
Students are introduced to the digital resources at MCAD while exploring digital media and laptop computing. Areas covered include the Service Bureau, student servers, Media Center, and digital resources. Students discuss media and media artists as well as study various software applications including Adobe Photoshop and web-development tools.
FDN 1312 Foundation: Media 2 3
Building on the skills acquired in Foundation: Media 1, this course takes up more advanced software applications. Through discussions and lectures, students explore various modes of media presentation, the power of moving images, and web work. Using a variety of software and hardware, students learn the basics of nonlinear editing, sound recording, and video recording.
Prerequisites: Foundation: Media 1
First-Year Liberal Arts Foundation 12 AH 1701 Introduction to Art and Design History 1 3
The objective of this course is to familiarize students with the major stylistic, thematic, and historical trends in Western art history from prehistoric times through the nineteenth century. This course is designed to encourage a critical understanding of the meaning and function of art objects, architecture, and design artifacts within their original historical contexts. The final section of this course deals with the emergence of modernity in art. Class sessions consist primarily of lecture with some discussion. Students will take in-class examinations and complete short essay assignments.
AH 1702 Introduction to Art and Design History 2 3
This course introduces students to issues in contemporary cultural theory, popular culture, and contemporary art and design. Topics include anti-aesthetic challenges to modernist aesthetics, the rise of consumerism, the proliferation of the designed object, and the transition from source-oriented media to user oriented media, among others. The course is a roughly equal mix of lecture and discussion. Students will produce short writing assignments and will complete written exams consisting of identification and essay questions.
EN 1100 Reading and Writing 1 3
Effective writing requires innovative thinking and creative engagement. Students in this course focus on building a writing portfolio by developing college-level writing skills and using these skills to produce a variety of assignments. Regular writing workshops will allow students to concentrate on experiential and practical approaches to writing. Assigned course materials will explore a variety of texts and objects. By the end of the course students will have the foundational skills to be reflective and eloquent writers. Class sessions are composed of seminar discussions, group work, and writing workshops. Course requirements include participation, presentations, directed group work and research assignments, and a portfolio of seven essays.
EN 1200 Reading and Writing 2 3
Key to the creative and critical nature of college-level writing is the idea that students explore a topic by developing a thesis that changes as they ask questions, explore ideas, and conduct research. To that end, this course extends and concentrates the thinking and communication skills introduced in Reading and Writing 1. The foci of this course are developing a thesis; engaging in critical and sustained research; and drafting, revising, editing, and proofreading a finished research project. As a result, students will become increasingly adept at utilizing a wide variety of research tools, from published books to online search engines. The final project will be a completed research paper and a visual presentation using programs such as PowerPoint. Class sessions are composed of seminar discussions, research exercises, presentations and debates, and writing workshops. Course requirements include participation, presentations, a research journal, a major research paper and a final research presentation.
Second-Year Studio Foundation 4 FDN 1411 Ideation and Process 3
Everything we make has its beginning as an idea, which takes form as the artist/designer makes a series of decisions to guide its creative evolution. This course is designed to help students explore the development of new ideas and their own process of making. Students also create visual tools to track their creative process from idea through construction and then to post-production analysis. The course consists of discussions, critiques, exercises, and visual logs.
Prerequisites: Sophomore standing FDN 1412 Sophomore Seminar: Contemporary Practice 1
Practice is more than working methods: it’s the context, marketing, and creative space that maintain creative work. This course is designed to introduce students to the variety, tools, and foundations of a professional practice. Students upgrade websites and documentation, enter contests, and create a professional presentation of their work as well as hear from guest speakers from a wide range of disciplines. Classes consist of lectures, student presentations, and guest speakers.
Prerequisites: Sophomore standing
varying Studio Electives 26
Advertising majors take 26 elective studio credits in any media they choose.
Liberal Arts Electives
varying Liberal Arts Electives 18
Advertising majors take liberal arts electives in the following distribution:
Art History (6 credits)
Scientific Perspectives (3 credits)
Economic and Mathematical Systems (3 credits)
Global Perspectives (3 credits)
Political Thought and Ethics (3 credits)
Creative and Professional Writing (3 credits)
internships at organizations such as ad agencies and cultural institutions—both local and international—allow students to learn about the industry, enhance their skills, network, and build their portfolios. Previous students have interned at the following organizations, among many others:
Carbon Collaborative ▪ Carmichael Lynch ▪ INDIGENIA, Mexico ▪ Ogilvy & Mather, Poland ▪ Peace Coffee ▪ Public Radio International ▪ Riesa Efau, Germany ▪ Walker Art Center ▪ Wilhelmina