Strategic Brand Communication, MS

for the degree of Master of Science in Strategic Brand Communication

head of department of advertising: Mike Yao

head of department of business administration: Cele Otnes

academic director: Shachar Meron

department website:

department faculty:

overview of grad college admissions & requirements:

college website:

advertising department office: Charles H. Sandage Department of Advertising,119 Gregory Hall, 810 S. Wright Street, Urbana, IL 61801

business administration department office: 4013 BIF, 515 E. Gregory Drive, Champaign, IL 61820

phone: advertising: (217) 333-1602; business administration: (217) 265-0799

Programs in Advertising

Undergraduate Programs:

major: Advertising, BS

major: Computer Science & Advertising, BS

minor: Public Relations

Graduate Programs:

degree: Advertising, MS

degree: Strategic Brand Communication, MS

This Master of Science in Strategic Brand Communication (MS SBC) degree is an online program jointly sponsored by the Charles H. Sandage Department of Advertising in the College of Media and the Department of Business Administration in the Gies College of Business. The degree program launched in December 2016 and graduates from this program receive the MS SBC degree awarded by the Graduate College. Strategic Brand Communication (SBC) is a data-driven, purposeful conversation with a brand’s stakeholders. SBC combines traditional advertising practices with contemporary business thinking that pertains to delivering consistent, meaningful messages to consumers. In so doing, SBC seeks to integrate multiple consumer contact points that occur through the purchase of commercial messages in paid, earned, and owned media to deliver persuasive and impactful statements about brands and companies.

This management process integrates all aspects of strategic brand marketing communications such as advertising, public relations, digital media, social media, promotion, and revenue development marketing. Such integration impacts a firm’s business-to-business, marketing channel, customer-focused, and strategic integrated communications.

The MS SBC degree program is designed for working professionals. The proposed online program is designed to be completed in 15 months. The curriculum will prepare students to: be strategic leaders in an ever-changing global media environment; be analytic and integrative thinkers; be effective brand communicators and managers; respond agilely to new technologies, emerging media, new demographics, and market trends; be team-oriented in their approach to management and communications; and be prepared to continue to learn as the media environment evolves.


To be admitted into this program, applicants are expected to have a minimum grade point average of at least 3.0 (A = 4.00) for the last two years of undergraduate study and a 3.0 for any previous graduate work completed. All applicants whose native language is not English must submit a minimum Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) score of at least 102 (iBT), 253 (CBT), or 610 (PBT); or minimum International English Language Testing System (IELTS) academic exam scores of 6.5 overall and 6.0 in all subsections. Prerequisite: course in Statistics or Calculus from an accredited institution. The admissions criteria will be based upon an evaluation of each applicant’s academic and professional experience, GPA, English aptitude, and letters of recommendation. A minimum GPA of 2.75 is required for continued enrollment.

for the degree of Master of Science in Strategic Brand Communication

For additional details and requirements refer to the department's program information online and the Graduate College Handbook.

Core Courses
SBC 500Strategic Brand Communication Essentials2
SBC 501Strategic Branding: Global Perspectives2
SBC 502Essentials of Business Management3
SBC 503Consumer Insights I3
SBC 504Managing Projects & Teams3
SBC 505Consumer Insights II3
SBC 506Measurement and Evaluation3
SBC 507Promotional Strategy3
SBC 508Messaging Strategy3
SBC 509Strategic Media Management3
SBC 511Strategic Analytics & Data Visual2
SBC 512Professional SBC Capstone Project2
Total Hours32
Other Requirements
Minimum 500-level Hours Required Overall32
Minimum GPA2.75