University of South Carolina


Advertising: What to Expect

Advertising majors at the University of South Carolina have plenty of opportunities to put their creativity to use! Through our curriculum, you will be able to develop critical skills including presentation skills, strategic thinking, planning, and research. You will also learn how to interact with clients. Advertising majors can expect interactive courses with extensive writing assignments. As an Advertising major, you also will have the opportunity to earn academic credit by participating in supervised internships that will positively contribute to your overall educational experience while at the University. You can also enter the American Advertising Federation (AAF) National Student Competition, which challenges more than 100 AAF student teams in 15 districts nationwide. If you are selected for the team, you will earn six hours of academic credit plus the opportunity to compete with other schools in the region. Advertising majors can also participate in The Carolina Agency, a student-run Advertising and Public Relations Firm.

The following courses fulfill some of the course requirements for a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism and Mass Communications with a major in Advertising:

  • Introductory Advertising and Public Relations
  • Media Planning
  • Creative Strategy
  • Research
  • Law and Ethics
  • Graphic Design
  • Advertising Campaigns

On average, there is a 23 to 1 student-faculty ratio in major-specific courses. A detailed list of degree requirements can be found in the Undergraduate Bulletin.

Enhancing your Experience

Study Abroad allows you to earn academic credits toward your USC degree while seeing the world! Overseas study can complement any academic program or major. During Maymester, SJMC students travel to Munich, Germany for a unique and cultural experience. Print Journalism, Electronic Journalism, Public Relations, Advertising, and Visual Communications majors team up across traditional curriculum boundaries to produce stories across all media – old and new. Spring Break trips include Community, Culture and Communication in Jamaica and Public Relations Campaigns in Spain. SJMC also offers Freedom’s Messenger, a summer trip to various capitals across Europe. SJMC students can also enjoy semester-long study abroad experiences in England, Ireland, and Australia. Study abroad trips offer SJMC students academic courses, which will satisfy University graduation requirements. You are encouraged to visit the Study Abroad Web site for more information on opportunities to broaden and extend your knowledge and perspectives.
Student Organizations can be instrumental in helping you adjust to life on campus and network within your field. The University of South Carolina has a family of over 400 student organizations. SJMC has a number of student organizations that can help enhance your experiences while at the University.  The Student Advertising Federation is a professional organization of students in association with the American Advertising Federation (AAF). You will be able to network, gain recognition and use AAF resources to learn about internship and job opportunities. As an advertising major, you may also wish to join the Society of Professional Journalists. You can also participate in Ad Team to compete with other colleges and universities for national awards, while earning academic credit. You can also get involved in campus media through The Daily Gamecock, Carolina News, and The Carolina Reporter. Find a student organization on campus that interests you!
Distinguished Faculty can help enhance your overall academic experience while at the University. Bonnie Drewnian is co-author of one of the most popular ad strategy textbooks, Creative Strategy in Advertising. She has published many other works and is the recipient of many distinguished awards including the Silver Medal Award from the American Advertising Federation of the Midlands.
Departmental Scholarships may be awarded to outstanding entering freshmen or current students. Each year the School of Journalism and Mass Communications awards a handful of scholarships to entering freshmen. These include the Joseph W. and Dorothy Shoquist Fund, Journalism Scholarships, Rocky D. Harwood Scholarship, School of Journalism and Mass Communications Alumni Freshman Scholarship, and the School of Journalism and Mass Communications Freshman Scholarship. The School of Journalism and Mass Communications offers more than 65 additional scholarships each year.
Associated Learning Communities are an integral part of the university experience, providing you with the opportunity to live in an environment that promotes diversity, embraces excellence, encourages insightful faculty-student interaction and works to develop a strong sense of community. These academically themed communities also emphasize active service-learning experiences, study-abroad opportunities and undergraduate research. Freshman students interested in an exciting and ever-changing career in the field of journalism and mass communications will benefit from the first-hand experience of professors in the fields of advertising, broadcast, print, public relations, and visual communications, all while taking a journalism section of University 101 and Journalism 201, an introduction to Mass Communications. The Journalism and Mass Communications Community hosts events including a welcome reception, etiquette dinner, discussion nights, and an interactive blog.

Internship and Research Opportunities

Internships can be an important asset to your overall educational experience. Internship experiences often help you confirm your career interests, give you hands-on experience in a professional setting, help build your resume, reinforce what you’ve learned in class and can often lead to full-time employment. Likewise, pursuing professional research opportunities as an undergraduate student can also help enrich your academic experience while at the University. As an undergraduate student, you can work closely with faculty research mentors and explore a discipline that interests you. Both internship and research opportunities help you build a competitive edge in the job market.

As a USC student you will have numerous resources at your disposal to assist you with locating internship and research opportunities. The USC Career Center is the central location at USC for assisting students with internship preparation and finding an internship. In addition, be sure to visit your academic department as many programs offer supplemental internship guidance specific to your major. The School of Journalism has a searchable database of internship opportunities for their majors. The Office of Undergraduate Research assists all USC undergraduates by providing research and scholarly experiences in their chosen fields.

Advertising majors at the University of South Carolina have had a wide range of exciting and unique internship opportunities. Students have interned at local advertising agencies including Post No Bills, which has national clients such as Dreamworks and the Olympics.

Career Opportunities

Advertising majors from the University of South Carolina often go on to pursue careers at ad agencies and in ad sales. Many also pursue careers as media buyers. The average salary for advertising majors five years after graduation is $38,000 - $40,000 in large cities and $32,000 - $36,000 in smaller cities.

You can find more information about career options in the US Department of Laborís Occupational Outlook Handbook.

The USC Career Center offers numerous resources which provide more information about career opportunities for students in this major. Once admitted, a Career Development Coach is available to help you assess your interest areas, make decisions about your career path, and identify the experiences and skills that will help you accomplish your goals. Spur Connections will help you locate mentors from among USC alumni, employers and community members who can provide insights based on their careers and experiences. Early planning and preparation are keys to success.

About the School of Journalism and Mass Communications

The School of Journalism and Mass Communications (SJMC) at the University of South Carolina is one of 113 programs approved by the Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communication. The School’s curriculum begins with a strong liberal arts base that expands into cutting-edge journalism and mass communication. The School’s primary focus is on educating students in developing professional skills in all areas of mass communications. Undergraduate students are able to specialize in one of five programs of study: Advertising, Public Relations, Electronic Journalism, Journalism and Visual Communications.

Points of Pride

  • We are the headquarters for the South Carolina Broadcasters Association, the South Carolina Scholastic Press Association, the South Carolina Scholastic Broadcasters Association, and the Southern Interscholastic Press Association.
  • We are recognized as one of the leading journalism programs in the nation, offering the first nationally accredited degree program and the only nationally accredited graduate degree program in mass communications in South Carolina.
  • Our facilities include television studios, digital stereo radio control rooms and studios, and the Associated Press broadcast news service, plus complete photojournalism studios and print production facilities for electronic editing, graphics, and photocomposition. We also jointly operate Newsplex, a $2 million multimedia newsroom of the future, with Ifra, a German-based consortium of news publishers and news technology vendors.

Additional Resources:
Advertising Website
School of Journalism and Mass Communication Website
University Career Center
Undergraduate Bulletin