Online Advertising Degree

Associate Degree in Advertising Design

The Associate of Occupational Studies (AOS) in Advertising Design degree at Sessions College combines a thorough education in design with experience in concept development, copywriting, account management, and other ad industry practices. In the program, you'll become a fluent designer, as you learn to create advertising and marketing messages that connect with consumers. We'll equip you with the portfolio and skills to get ahead in advertising—or any other business context.

Your future awaits. Take the next step with an associate degree in advertising design from Sessions College.

online advertising degree

Student work by Marc Sutherland, AOS in Advertising Design

Launch Your Career with a Degree in Advertising Design


Creative Classes, Expert Instructors

Focus on Career Preparation

Build Professional Skills and a Portfolio

Program Outline

Advertising Major - Year One

First Semester

  • DES 104 Color Theory
  • DES 101 Typography I
  • DES 111 Drawing I
  • DES 121 Photoshop I
  • GEN 104 English Composition

Second Semester

  • DES 105 Design and Composition
  • DES 131 Logo Design I
  • DES 141 Illustrator I
  • DES 151 Digital Photography I
  • GEN 105 Computer Technology

Third Semester

  • WEB 101 HTML and CSS I
  • DES 102 Typography II
  • DES 201 InDesign I
  • GEN 205 Business And Technical Writing
Advertising Major - Year Two

Fourth Semester

  • GEN 107 General Psychology
  • ADV 207 Creative Concept Development
  • ADV 204 Advertising Account Management
  • GEN 204 Intro to Marketing
  • ADV 201 Advertising Design I

Fifth Semester

  • GEN 106 History Of Art
  • ADV 205 Marketing Design
  • ADV 206 Copywriting
  • Elective (Choose One): DES 205 Print Production (Recommended), DES 211 Graphic Design I, WEB 211 Dreamweaver I, DES 232 Logo Design II

Sixth Semester

  • DES 207 Layout Design
  • ADV 202 Advertising Design II
  • WEB 207 Internet Marketing
  • GEN 206 Design Business
  • ADV 259 Capstone Project
  • DEG 260 Portfolio Review

Program Courses

Program highlights for Advertising majors in the AOS in Advertising Design program.

ADV 201 Advertising Design I - 3 credits

Learn creative approaches to persuading with visuals in our introduction to the history and business of advertising. Case studies from print, Web, and TV showcase advertising concepts at work: persuasion, color psychology and composition, copywriting and typography, and brand communication. Class projects include ads for a wide range of media and a final project in which you create an entire ad campaign.

ADV 202 Advertising Design II - 3 credits

Now you are ready to learn how to manage advertising campaigns at a higher level. You are ready to develop campaign concepts working from market research. You are able to develop multiple creative concepts and present them to clients. Working with the client’s marketing plan, you take your campaign ideas forward and develop creative concepts and samples for a broad, multimedia campaign.

ADV 204 Advertising Account Management - 1.5 credits

Dealing with advertising clients is a business. Do you understand how ads are sold and evaluated? In this course, you will discover how ad campaigns are typically managed in ad agencies, learning about the different stages in a campaign and the responsibilities of different stakeholders involved, from copywriters to designers, creative directors, and account managers.

GEN 204 Intro to Marketing - 1.5 credits

A grasp of traditional marketing concepts can be helpful to any designer working in a business environment. This course focuses on how marketing decisions affect the design process. Students develop a holistic understanding of marketing's role, exploring such time-honored concepts as the 7 "P's of marketing: price, place, promotion, product, people, physical evidence, and process.

ADV 205 Marketing Design - 3 credits

Explore how to make design decisions through research, writing, and planning techniques that set marketing designers (and their clients) apart from the competition. Class projects challenge you to combine concept, research, planning, presentation, and visual design to build your marketing portfolio.

ADV 206 Copywriting - 3 credits

Every ad designer must grasp the basics of persuasive copywriting. In this class, students will study how text and image interact in effective ad campaigns, learning how to write and edit ad copy for print and digital advertising media and turn written ideas into visual expression.

ADV 207 Creative Concept Development - 3 credits

Develop your visual creativity. In advertising, illustration, or design, you need to be able generate many ideas for your clients and projects. This class provides you a training in identifying the needs of each projects, brainstorming solutions, challenging your assumptions, and testing/evaluating your ideas until you have a winner.

WEB 207 Internet Marketing - 3 credits

Provides theoretical and practical insight into maximizing a company's marketing efforts online. Students will learn to create email marketing campaigns, optimize sites for search engines, build effective landing pages, manage social media presence, and conduct other online marketing activities. The course explores proven methods through case studies and practical exercises.

Program Objectives

First-year classes in the Advertising Design degree program introduce digital imaging and vector graphics, drawing, color theory, typography, photography, logos, and Web page creation.

Second-year classes emphasize best practices, theory, and techniques associated with print design for advertising. Classes provide training in print production and copywriting as well as studies in concept development, advertising account management, and marketing and advertising techniques for print and Web.

The Associate Degree in Advertising Design program wraps up with studies in design business and portfolio building as well as a live online portfolio review and a capstone project. The online Associate program at Sessions College is one of the most comprehensive, creative online advertising degree programs available.

Advertising Design majors develop the ability to:

  • Create sophisticated, appropriate color palettes and use color and contrast effectively in their work.
  • Design and lay out typography for readability, impact, or expression.
  • Create drawings in traditional media that show a command of proportion, perspective, and value contrast.
  • Prepare images for professional publication with Photoshop retouching, correction, compositing, or collage.
  • Create engaging and readable layout designs that attract the eye using fundamental design and composition techniques.
  • Develop effective logo designs from a client brief using an iterative design process.
  • Create simple, stylized graphics, icons, and illustrations in Illustrator.
  • Manipulate framing, perspective, distance, and lighting to take professional-level digital photographs in a range of settings.
  • Create standards-compliant Web page designs using HTML and CSS hand coding.
  • Create consistent, engaging, and readable layouts in InDesign for multi-page print and electronic publications.
  • Develop print advertising campaigns that communicate a consistent, engaging message over various publications and media.
  • Apply an understanding of marketing principles, branding and identity principles, and best practices for communicating with specific audiences.
  • Manage all aspects of the advertising design creation workflow (including concept development, research, design, account administration, and copywriting) to effectively prepare projects for professional use.
  • Apply in their work an understanding of English composition, business writing, psychology, computer science, marketing, and art history.
  • Write papers and presentations that demonstrate critical thinking, clear organization, and professional style, grammar, and spelling.
  • Identify current areas of strength and prepare and maintain a portfolio of their best advertising design work.
  • Develop competence in various advertising design media including posters, magazine ads, large-scale ads, print campaigns, and Internet campaigns.

Financial Aid

Did You Know? Eligible students entering Associate Degree programs may be entitled to Federal financial aid. Grants and loans can help you cover the cost of your education.

Student Feedback

I treasure the knowledge I’ve gained at Sessions over the last two years. I've even had the opportunity to use my skills to work with a local business to assist them with the re-branding their logo and updating the advertising campaigns

Marc Sutherland,

Student Work

"A successful advertising campaign involves creative concept development, professional design work, and clear and persuasive communication of the message. The ad design and marketing courses in the program along with the portfolio development and capstone project will enable you to hit the ground innovating."

Kristen Becker, Department Head of Advertising Design

Featured Faculty

Kristen Becker Kristen Becker is an educator, graphic designer, and entrepreneur specializing in e-commerce.
Jose Ramos Jose Ramos is an Adobe Certified Design Master with his own design and consulting studio.
Andrew Shalat Andrew Shalat is an author, designer/illustrator, educator, and Mac expert.

Career Information

Advertising is everywhere people are. Professional advertising designers create content that moves those people. In order to stay competitive, organizations need to stay on the cutting edge of advertising. This is where you come in. A degree in advertising design will prepare you for an industry that is growing.

The advertising degree program at Sessions College will help you build a foundation for careers across various industries. Here are a few examples.

    Graphic Design

Visit our Career Center for more information, or browse the Federal Occupational Handbook or O*NET database. For Gainful Employment information on this program, visit this page.

Job Facts

An associate degree in advertising design from Sessions College can be a springboard to a new career. Your new future awaits. Here are some related job statistics that may interest you.:

Facts are sourced from the Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook. For more information about photography careers and the community visit: American Association of Advertising Agencies, American Advertising Federation, or Association of National Advertisers.


Median Income for Graphic Designers in advertising, public relations and related services in May 2017 was $49,530 a year, 31% higher than the median for all workers.


Overall employment of advertising, promotions, and marketing managers is projected to grow 10 percent from 2016 to 2026, faster than the average for all occupations.

Take advantage of our award-winning programs. They’re accredited, affordable, and delivered 100% online.

Getting Started

Enrolling online is easy and convenient.


Complete your application with essay, work samples, and transcripts.


Ask us about program options and financial aid.


Select your start date and preferred study schedule.

Program At a Glance

Classes start in January, May, and August, with early start options in February, June, and October.

To apply, you'll need to complete our convenient online application and provide an application essay, official transcripts from high school OR for any college degree completed, and 5-10 samples of your art/design work. (Transcripts must be provided for any course you wish evaluated for credit transfer.)

Students entering the program are expected to have earned a high school diploma, GED, or state-approved home school equivalent. Any students under 18 years of age will need to provide the signed permission of a parent or guardian.

To take this program, you’ll need the following:

  • Mac or Windows computer with an Internet connection.
  • Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign CC software.
  • MS word or equivalent application
  • Your computer must meet software manufacturer requirements.
  • Basic drawing and painting supplies including pencils, charcoal, newsprint, and sketch paper.
  • Webcam, headphones or speaker, VPN connection, and microphone connected to the computer for live proctored exams.

There are no textbook or course material costs to participate in this online program. Student discount on Adobe Creative Cloud software is available to enrolled students.

The tuition for full-time Associate Degree students is as follows:

Associate of Occupational Studies (AOS) Program
$350 per credit
$4,200 per semester
$12,600 per year
$25,200 total program tuition

Tuition for part-time students is $400/credit and paid by semester. Federal financial aid available for eligible students. Ask about our $500-$2,000 scholarships for exemplary applicants.

A $200 registration fee is required to process your enrollment in the program. Registration fees are nonrefundable after 5 days from the scheduled beginning of program orientation. See Associate Degree Tuition and Payment options.

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