The Sessions College Associate of Occupational Studies (AOS) in Advertising Design is an intensive two-year degree program for students seeking to enter careers in advertising design, marketing design, and print design. Designed for high school graduates and adult learners, the program will offer a strong foundation in visual design and a working knowledge of software and production techniques essential for print and digital advertising campaigns.
Advertising Design students begin their program with first year studies focused on developing strong visual design skills and proficiency in creating graphics and illustrations. Second-year classes place emphasis on best practices for developing strong concepts for advertising campaigns. Classes provide training in print production, copywriting, concept development, and advertising account management.
I love the feeling of being excited to make something. Once I have an idea and I start to see it take form, I become so proud of what I’m creating. That is a very addictive feeling. Also, name a greater feeling than seeing your work that you’re proud of out in the world knowing others are seeing it as well.
Student Work By: Michele Buck, Cynthia Keith, Marc Sutherland
Launch your Creative Career
Earn a degree and launch your creative career in our most rigorous 2-year program.
By Creatives, for Creatives
Collaborate with a community of creative learners and industry professionals.
Maximize Your Portfolio
Projects put you through your paces as you build a body of work. Your program culminates with a guided portfolio review.
Structure and Flexibility
Weekly deadlines keep you on track, but with no set login times you can build your studies around your schedule.
Education You Can Afford
Affordable programs with low per credit tuition, and financial aid available for those who qualify.
Convenient Online Application
Fast, convenient, and student-centered application process.
Studying Online at Sessions
Founded in 1997, Sessions College has delivered accredited and affordable fully online programs for creative professionals for more than 20 years. Earning your online Advertising Degree at Sessions has never been more accessible. Take a virtual college tour in this video!
What Our Students Say
Associate Degree in Advertising Design Curriculum
- DES 104 Color Theory - 1.5 credits
- DES 101 Typography I - 1.5 credits
- DES 111 Drawing I - 3 credits
- DES 121 Photoshop I - 3 credits
- GEN 104 English Composition - 3 credits
- DES 105 Design and Composition - 1.5 credits
- DES 131 Logo Design I - 1.5 credits
- DES 141 Illustrator I - 3 credits
- DES 206 Branding and Identity - 3 credits
- GEN 105 Computer Technology - 3 credits
- DES 102 Typography II - 3 credits
- DES 207 Layout Design - 1.5 credits
- ADV 201 Advertising Design I - 3 credits
- GEN 204 Intro to Marketing - 1.5 credits
- GEN 107 General Psychology - 3 credits
- ADV 205 Marketing Design - 3 credits
- ADV 202 Advertising Design II - 3 credits
- ADV 207 Creative Concept Development - 3 credits
- GEN 106 History of Art - 3 credits
- ADV 204 Advertising Account Management - 1.5 credits
- DES 205 Print Production* - 3 credits
- WEB 207 Internet Marketing - 3 credits
- ADV 259 Capstone Project - Advertising Design - 2 credits
- GEN 206 Creative Businesses - 1.5 credits
- DEG 260 Portfolio Review - 1 credit
* Elective course may be replaced by any other 3-credit course in the program, subject to availability and prerequisites.
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.
Associate Degree in Advertising Design Program Outcomes
By completing the program, Associate Degree in Advertising Design students develop the following competencies:
Conceptualize, create and present work that delivers strategic solutions to address business and customer needs.
Create images and design layouts by effectively and efficiently using design software including Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign, and other industry technologies.
3. Art/Design Principles
Demonstrate the ability to produce visually compelling work by applying knowledge of color, typography, and composition.
4. Design Process
Develop strategic advertising and marketing concepts and campaigns for a variety of audiences and social contexts.
Produce and present a range of professional marketing communication projects for print, digital/social media, and outdoor ads.
6. Critical Thinking and Writing
Employ critical thinking to generate, support, and convey ideas through writing for academic or professional contexts.
Apply creative problem solving and constructive feedback to conceive, produce, and present an impactful body of work that showcases your skills to employers and potential clients.
To learn more about our outcomes assessment process, visit our Academic Team.
VIEW ALL PROGRAM FACULTY
Get expert feedback in classes taught by our industry-leading faculty.
Andrew Shalat is an author, designer/illustrator, educator, and Mac expert who is a regular speaker at Macworld and has written several books on design for McGraw-Hill and Peachpit Press.
Carolyn Zaikowski is the author of the novel A Child Is Being Killed (Aqueous Books, 2013) whose fiction, poetry, and essays have been published widely.
Jordon Schranz is an audio/visual artist and designer whose work has been exhibited internationally in New York, Chicago, El Paso, Berlin, Bogotá, and Ciudad Juárez.
Jose Ramos is a publishing solutions specialist and Adobe consultant for the Caribbean region. Jose has Adobe certifications in Adobe Photoshop, InDesign, Illustrator, InCopy, Acrobat Pro, and Dreamweaver.
Kevin Hedgpeth is an Arizona native who makes his home in Phoenix, where he actively writes and illustrates in addition to teaching college-level visual arts courses. He is co-author and illustrator of several published books.
Kristen Becker is an educator and a graphic and business designer specializing in e-commerce. With over 12 years of experience as an award-winning educator, Kristen has developed curriculum and taught courses in graphic design, multimedia, and e-commerce/marketing.
Michael Hamm is a Senior UX Designer who has worked for Oracle Corporation and Expedia, and an Adobe Illustrator expert with over 20 years of experience in the creative field.
Dr. Taz Tally is the president of Taz Tally Seminars and Taz Tally Photography and author of numerous graphics and print production books and instructional videos, CDs, DVDs and online training courses on scanning, prepress and printing, Photoshop, and color correction.
View all faculty.
Our online Advertising Degree application process makes getting started easy, fast, and convenient.
What's the Admissions Process?
Classes start in January, April, and August, with early start options in February, June, and October.
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 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.)
How Long is the Program?
The Associate of Occupational Studies (AOS) program is a 72 credit program completed in six semesters or two years by a student on a full-time schedule. Students with transfer credit can graduate in under two years and part-time schedules are available.
Will the Program Fit My Schedule?
Weekly deadlines help you stay on track. And with no set login times, you can build your studies around your schedule, wherever you are located. That’s why more than 50% of our degree students complete their programs while working full-time.
What Software or Supplies Do I Need?
To take this program, you’ll need the following:
- Mac or Windows computer with an Internet connection.
- Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign CC software.
- Access to a digital camera with manual control over ISO, Aperture, Shutter Speed, and White Balance, that allows for shooting in RAW format.
- 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.
What are the Program Costs?
The tuition for full-time Associate Degree students is as follows:
|Associate of Occupational Studies (AOS) Program|
|$510 per credit|
|$6,120 per semester|
|$18,360 per calendar year|
|$36,720 total program tuition|
Per-credit tuition for part-time students is the same as for full-time students. 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 Degree Program Admissions.
Is Financial Aid available?
Federal Student Aid. Federal student aid is available to students who qualify. If you are eligible, you may be able to fund your program using Pell Grants and Federal student loans. Check out our Financial Aid Information pages and ask to set up an interview with our Financial Aid Director.
Military Student Aid. Military servicemembers and their families who are eligible for GI Bill Education Benefits or active service member Tuition Assistance (TA) may also be able to utilize these programs to pay for their education.
Adult Learner Scholarships. Ask about our innovative scholarships for adult learners. The Designed for You Scholarship Program can help you offset your tuition costs.
Accreditations and Approvals
Get Started Today
Take the first step on a rewarding creative journey towards earning an Associate Degree in Advertising Design.