The Temerlin Advertising Institute offers students pursuing a B.A. in advertising the opportunity to focus their studies in one of three areas: creative, digital media strategy or strategic brand management. Students must apply to both the major and a specialization concurrently. Students may apply to more than one area of specialization but will be admitted to only one. All SMU advertising students are required to take a core set of advertising courses that includes survey, society and ethics, consumer behavior, research, media, business communication, professional seminar, and campaigns. In addition, advertising majors must declare and complete a second major or a minor outside of advertising. Because SMU is in the center of a dynamic U.S. advertising market, many students participate in internships for course credit.
The strategic brand management specialization prepares students to enter the world of advertising and marketing as account or brand managers, project managers, planners/strategists, consumer insight experts, event and promotion specialists, and new business developers. This specialization examines the approaches to management in advertising agencies and on the client side. Topics include strategies for the identification of marketing-related problems and the processes needed to find solutions through messaging, promotions and other forms of consumer engagement to build brand equity and market share. Students learn how to think critically, work collaboratively in an interdisciplinary environment, develop strategy, hone their communication skills, assess the metrics of their work and present concepts in an engaging way. The strategic brand management specialization courses must be taken in sequence.