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How to Apply

How to Apply

If you are admitted into the advertising program, you will also be admitted to the School of Communications. The mission of the School of Communications is to become “a consecrated community of disciples, scholars, and mentors who strive to walk in the meekness of Christ’s spirit, as we inspire learning through love, faith, and service that prepares each Child of God to share light and hope with the world.”

Being part of a consecrated community means there are expectations that apply to everyone: faculty, staff, and students (see Elder Paul Pieper’s recent devotional titled BYU: Building a Community of Trust and Respect). Please note, that if you accept an invitation to join the School of Communications you are indicating your willingness to abide by the expectations and standards of our School of Communications community. Your standing in the program will be contingent on your willingness to comply with these policies. You will be expected to be in compliance with all three policies throughout your time in the program.

The School of Communications is governed by certain resource realities, such as number of instructors, classroom space, computer laboratories, and class size requirements. Additionally, these professional emphases require hands-on learning and smaller class sizes. Students in these emphases produce media content in the form of newspapers, broadcasts, advertising, and public relations campaigns. To ensure the quality of learning and to sustain the quality of content in our public outlets, the university has allowed the faculty to limit the number of majors admitted into the program. Because the demand on the school’s programs exceeds the available resources, the school has implemented an admission process that limits enrollment on those programs.

Students may apply to more than one emphasis at the same time; however a separate application must be submitted for each emphasis. Students must rank the applications to indicate their first, second, or third choice. Students may apply to the Communications major a total of two times. This means that you can apply to more than one emphasis during one application period but may only apply to the major twice.

The emphases allow some flexibility in your course schedule. However, where prerequisite courses are involved, accreditation rules preclude us from waiving prerequisites or allowing courses to be taken out of sequence. These courses represent what we consider to be important preparation for more-advanced classes.

Applying to the Advertising Program

Each student must complete the steps listed below in order to apply to the Advertising program in the School of Communications. When you are ready to apply, click the “Click Here to Apply Online” button at the bottom of the page and you will be directed to the online application site.

  • Students MUST be declared Pre-Communications to apply to the major.  To change your major, go to MyMAP, click “Change Major Request”, and submit an online request.

    You MUST also be an admitted BYU continuing day student in order to apply to the program. Please be advised that according to University policy, students must select and declare a major by the time they have 60 earned BYU credit hours (excluding language exam credits). Once a student has 75 earned BYU credit hours (excluding language exam credits), they will not be allowed to change their major unless special permission is granted.

  • Students must take the following courses and receive a B or higher in each (a B- will not meet this standard). Typically, there are no exceptions to this rule. Under normal circumstances, students may repeat each course only once to earn a higher grade. However, students who took one of the prerequisite courses during the Winter 2020 semester that was disrupted by the novel coronavirus pandemic had the option of taking a pass/fail grade instead of a letter grade at the end of the semester. Because of these unique circumstances, students who opted to take a passing grade for any prerequisite class in which they were enrolled during Winter 2020 will be allowed to apply. Meeting the minimum standard requirements does not guarantee admission to any school emphasis.

    • WRTG 150 or Advanced Writing Requirement**
    • Communications 101: Mass Communication and Society
    • Communications 230: Introduction to Advertising

    ** Our WRTG 150 requirement must be fulfilled by WRTG 150, ELANG 150, M COM 320, an Advanced Written and Oral Communication GE course (WRTG 311, WRTG 312, WRTG 313, WRTG 315 or WRTG 316) or an equivalent transfer course (Transfer classes from other universities must be cleared by the advisement center prior to applying to the program). We do not accept AP English credits or English 115.

    These courses are typically offered each semester and term. Some courses are also offered through BYU Independent Study and at the Salt Lake Center. Prerequisite courses from other universities or colleges, other than Comms 101 or an advanced writing course, are not transferable.

  • Students will apply directly into their desired track within the advertising program, either the Creative Track or the Strategy Track. You will apply to only one track. You must follow the instructions for each track in the Slideroom application.

    Students MUST upload a PDF of their Full Progress Report, including the Academic Summary (the last page of the report), as part of the application process. The Academic Summary by itself, or an official transcript, will not be accepted and will cause your application to be invalidated. For information on how to find this report, please click here.

    Credit Information

    Preference for admission will be given to all students with fewer than 75 BYU earned credit hours (excluding language exam credits.) Pre-Comms students with more than 75 BYU earned credit hours (excluding language exam credits) may apply to the major but may not be admitted.

    Please direct any inquiries regarding your credits to the advisement center.

  • Create a Sixty-Second Video Self-Portrait Advertisement

    This video assignment is done to ensure that the advertising faculty know who you are, that they know the passion you have for advertising, and so that they an see the creativity that is inside of you.

    The advertising faculty area diverse group; some are scholars in their field while others are advertising professionals; however all of them are creative thinkers and they all have the same goal: to make sure the very best students are admitted into the advertising program. They are looking for the most devoted, most capable and most talented undergraduates who will add luster to their program.

    Your assignment:

    Create a sixty-second video portrait.
    You will upload your video as part of your online application. You will need to create a digital file of your video in either .mov or .mp4 formats (all of the advertising instructors use MACs). Your video MUST be uploaded before the application deadline or your application will not be considered. You should allow at least an hour for the upload if you need to compress your video, so please plan accordingly.

    Things to Consider:

    1. Show us that you are creative - Don't just tell us you're creative.
    2. Let your personal brand show through.
    3. Keep it single-minded. The best messages communicate one main idea. What is the one thing about you that you want to communicate? One of the biggest problems students have with this video is trying to fit too much information into 60 seconds. Choose one quality or facet about you and make your video a concept about one thing.
    4. Break through the clutter. How can your portrait stand out? What special talent or ability do you have that will assist you? What do yiu have to share that is "like no other," your USP/brand insight/benefit?"
    5. Make this video part of the new zeitgeist of multi-media storytelling. After watching your video, we should immediately react with a heart, thumbs up, or our favorite emoji and exclaim, "I want this person in the program."
    6. Make it relevant. More important than making it clever is making your message meaningful. How are you going to touch your target emotionally?
    7. This is visual medium. Show us - don't tell us. Remember, we will read your portfolio that tells us all about you. This video is a chance to show us something that isn't in your written application. Does your video reflect the kind of advertising you want to do?

    IMPORTANT: YOU ARE NOT ALLOWED TO GET PROFESSIONAL HELP. You may use other students, however to assist you.

    Create a Portfolio of Your Creative Work

    Select whether you are an aspiring:

    • Art Director (AD)
    • Copywriter (CW)
    • Content Creator (CC)

    Section 1 - One page with your name, desired discipline, Comms 230 teacher's name and one paragraph on what you will bring to the #1 advertising program in the nation and to the mission of BYU.

    Section 2 - Upload at least 5 examples of creative work in the discipline you are applying for (AD,CW, CC) that you did completely on your own. Using AI is not allowed for this work. These should be creative examples of solely your on work demonstrating the skills you have in either:

    • Art Direction/Design (Logos, print layouts, package design, photography, photos, motion graphics, animations, illustrations, story boards, designs, and any other visually beautiful and artistic work.)
    • Copywriting/Concepting (Creative concepts, blog posts, poetry, essays, short stories, radio scripts, tv scripts, screenplays, creative writing samples, manifestos, headlines, thoughtful muses, jokes, etc.)
    • Content Creation/Filmmaking (Compilation reel of short films, sharable content videos [mini-docs, branded content, etc], New Media pieces [vines, gifs, motion graphics, kinetic typography, stop motion, animation, cinemagraphs, etc.], class exercises or spec commercials you have written, directed, created, edited and/or produced.)

    Section 3 - Upload 2-3 ads that you helped create as a member of a team. This can come from your Comms 230 assignment or any other spec ad campaign you have worked on. Please define your role and the role of other team members who contributed to what part of the creative work.

    Remember, please submit your best work for these portfolio pieces that embody your skill, taste, point of view, and what you want us to remember you by. As a future point of emphasis, you will always be remembered by the worst creative piece in your portfolio, not always the best piece, so please submit your very best work.

    REMEMBER: Simplicity is always key in advertising. Simplify, simplify, simplify.

    You are applying to the BYU Advertising program. If you can’t honor your commitments and don’t comply with the Honor Code and dress and grooming standards in your application, you will not be accepted to the program.

    Also, make sure that you use your own thinking and work to answer these prompts. Though we will use Chat GPT and other generative AI in the program, please do not use these as part of your application.


    The Creative Track Faculty will set up a day and time for interviews.
    After reviewing each candidate's submitted application, they will have you present pieces of your work and answer questions about what you were hoping to communicate.
    They will then assess your aptitude and attitude for the creative track.

  • Each student will upload a 7-page portfolio (only 7 pages) that will include personal information and examples from your advertising campaign experience in Comms 230. You are encouraged to use as much creativity as you can in the writing and design of this portfolio, remembering that the purpose of this requirement is to introduce yourself to the faculty and show them the work you were responsible for in your Comms 230 class. Part of our assessment will center around the quality of design, formatting and creativity that is shown throughout your portfolio.

    You must submit an electronic version of your portfolio. Your electronic version must be saved as a PDF, compressed to 10 MB or less, and uploaded with your online application. The upload must be complete before the application deadline, so allow yourself plenty of time to accomplish this. You do not need to submit a hard copy of your portfolio.

    The portfolio must consist of the following seven pages:

    • Page 1- Cover page with your name and your Comms 230 teacher's name.
    • Page 2 -
      • Part I: Your resume - Be sure to highlight experiences that directly relate to the discipline of advertising
      • Part II: As a disciple of JesusChrist, how do you plan to use your talents and abilities to bring light and hope to the advertising program and your future career? (125 words max)
    • Page 3: Describe your Comms 230 project. Include the following: Who was your target market? what was your strategy statement? what was your role on the project? Provide examples of what you did on the project.
    • Page 4: Here we want to see the two best examples of the creative executions from your Comms 230 project.
    • Page 5: Advertising is creative problem solving. Demonstrate how you can create relevant and novel/interesting advertising idea that solves a business challenge. This is like doing a 230 project in four slides, all on one page.
      • Step 1: Identify a brand you love with a compelling brand or consumer problem. define the problem in a succinct and clear manner.
      • Step 2: Identify the target market (name them) that you would like to reach.
      • Step 3: Identify a relevant consumer and brand insight. Remember that an insight is "not so much to see what no one has yet seen, but to think what nobody yet has thought about that which everybody sees." - Arthur Schopenhauer
      • Step 4: Write a strategy statement that considers the audience, consumer insight and brand insight. This is critical for inspiring great creative.
      • Step 5: Come up with a creative "big idea" that solves the business or consumer problem, keeping in mind the strategy statement that you wrote.
      • Step 6: Show and describe to us how your creative idea might live in the world (i.e. media vehicles, events, promotions, etc.)
    • Page 6: Choose four of the seven prompts listed below and respond to them. Be playful, silly and fun with your responses. This is your opportunity to show your creative thinking.
      • Tell us your life story. Use six words.
      • Write a one-sentence sad story.
      • If you owned a thoroughbred racehorse, what would you name it?
      • January 21st is Squirrel Appreciation Day. How do you plan to celebrate? (50 words or less)
      • If a turtle loses its shell, is it naked or homeless? (Explain your decision using 50 words or less).
      • If the first rule of Fight Club is to never talk about Fight Club, what should be the first rule of the BYU Advertising Program?
      • You've just been accepted to the BYU Advertising program. What tweet would you send out letting everyone know the good news? (Remember that tweets are limited to 280 characters.)
    • Page 7: Lucky Page 7 - This is a Free-for-all page. You may put anything on this page that you wish. We haven't been "wowed" in a long time by this page, so see if you can be memorable and make your mark.

    REMEMBER: Simplicity is always key in advertising. Simplify, simplify, simplify. Distillation is also extremely important in advertising. Long, wordy, drawn-out responses to the above statements/questions can only hurt you in the evaluation of your portfolio. Be concise.

  • Please remember that students will apply directly into their desired track within the advertising program, either Creative Track or Strategy Track. You must select only one track to apply to. Please follow the instructions for each track in the Slideroom application.

    Applications are due on the second Friday of each Fall and Winter semester.

    The Fall 2024 online application is active now and there is a $6 fee for each application submitted. The Fall 2024 application deadline is September 13, 2024, at 11:59 pm MST. Students who are admitted during the Fall application cycle in advertising will begin their coursework in Spring 2025.

    If you have technical issues while submitting your online application, please email between 9:00 am and 9:00 pm CST. You may also consult the FAQ page on their website. PLEASE SUBMIT YOUR APPLICATION EARLY IN ORDER TO AVOID ANY POSSIBLE WEBSITE DIFFICULTIES. PLEASE ALLOW UP TO TWO HOURS TO COMPRESS AND UPLOAD YOUR VIDEO.

Please remember that if you are admitted to any of the sequences, you make a commitment to remain in the program for a minimum of three to four semesters. There are no exceptions to this requirement. Advertising and PR also require you to attend one spring or summer term.