Curriculum
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Expertise that takes your knowledge in strategic brand marketing up a level.​

Our SBC courses are taught by faculty that will help you be positioned to benefit from all the latest expertise, research and practical applications in the field, in order to become prepared to lead brand communications across all channels and drive growth.
Curriculum

We’ve blended the best of two worlds. Learn from faculty from both the Department of Business Administration in the Gies College of Business and the Sandage Department of Advertising in the College of Media, as well as from brand marketing, advertising and multimedia industry leaders.

With a curriculum that combines elements of a traditional Master’s degree in business, marketing, and advertising, you will be prepared to:

  • Strategically lead in an ever-changing, global multimedia environment
  • Think in terms of developing innovative and integrative solutions
  • Effectively manage brand messaging and content throughout diverse industries
  • Respond effectively to new technologies, emerging media and market trends
  • Become skilled in business management, leadership and orchestrating successful teams
  • Be a global brand leader in integrated marketing and advertising communications

IT'S EASY
TO APPLY

MASTER'S PROGRAM

To complete the MS SBC degree, students will take 32 hours of coursework – 16 hours taught by faculty in advertising/media and 16 taught by faculty in business administration. A professional capstone project is designed to give students practical skills in applying the lessons learned before graduation. All courses are required; there are no electives, as the emphasis in diverse global disciplines are built into the curriculum. Students must also maintain a minimum GPA of 2.75 to be eligible for graduation.

Get even more answers from our frequently asked questions page!

Additional application information can be found through the University of Illinois’ Graduate College. Please visit their web page for minimum requirements and application instructions. 

Fall 2019 Early Bird Application Deadline is June 1, 2019.

Fall 2019 Final Application Deadline is July 31, 2019.

NON-DEGREE

Certificate and Individual Course Options

Students can complete a three-course SBC certificate or take an individual course from the program. Click here to view the Non-Degree Enrollment Schedule.

— COURSE LIST —

Our SBC courses are taught by faculty from both the Department of Business Administration in the Gies College of Business and the Sandage Department of Advertising in the College of Media, as well as by brand marketing, advertising and multimedia industry leaders. To complete the MS SBC degree, students will take 32 hours of coursework – 16 hours taught by faculty in advertising/media and 16 taught by faculty in business administration. Non-degree students have the option of completing a three-course certificate or taking individual SBC courses.

Basic concepts of strategic brand communication (SBC) related to business planning and strategy. Focus will be on marketing and brand management; brand positioning, brand and consumer analysis, brand integration, and brand metrics and value.

This course examines advanced topics that will enhance your understanding of strategic brand communication. Specifically, it will examine the influences of culture and community upon the branding process and provide students with important concepts, tools, and stories for understanding these influences and leveraging them to enhance their ability to engage in more effective strategic brand communication activities. This course will examine these topics using a variety of learning methods, including readings, video lectures, cases studies, exercises, and a team project.

Covers basic principles of business strategy; understanding of financial accounting and budgeting; the importance of ethics; principles of leadership; and the importance of the global business environment.

The course explores how cultural, sociological and psychological factors shape consumer behavior. This course will provide an overview of the key concepts of the discipline of consumer behavior and will enable students to put into practice their newfound understanding of consumer behavior to shape branding strategies.

Successful SBC requires working on a series of projects. Thus learning to effectively manage projects is a critical skill. The objectives of this course are to master the technical and sociocultural dimensions of the Project Management Process. The technical dimensions deal with needs analysis, work breakdown, scheduling, resource allocation, risk management, and performance tracking and evaluation within the allocated timeframe and cost. The sociocultural dimensions include attributes of sound leadership, formation and management of impactful teams, and managing customer expectations in order to formulate consistent, integrated campaigns across channels.

This course will provide an overview of the key qualitative methods used to gain strategic insights into consumer behavior and will provide practice in planning research projects, data collection, and analysis.

This course will focus on the method and analysis for consumer insights but also for measuring effectiveness of various promotional strategies and campaign effectiveness. This includes an overview of quantitative research methods with emphasis on analysis and interpretation of data, and application to evaluating effectiveness of promotional strategies.

This course will familiarize students with the topic of marketing communications and promotion management and will teach students the steps for planning a strategic brand communications campaign. The culmination of this course will be a campaign for a real-world client.

The focus of this course is on creating and executing successful messages across communication channels. It explores the development of persuasive messaging through theories of persuasion, consumer-information processing and theories of creativity.  The course examines the relationship between creative strategy and creative executions while allowing students to practice creating content for traditional and non-traditional media.

This course analyzes the markets served by various advertising media and factors to consider in the selection and evaluation of media. Markets include investors, employees, and consumer segments. This course will also cover managing media in a global context.  This course is designed to provide students with an advanced understanding of media analysis, planning, buying and optimization.

The course will prepare students to utilize database-generated information for targeting and building customer and brand relationships, with an emphasis on new and emerging media.  The students will get exposure to principles of working with structured data using relational databases and data warehouses. They will understand how to work with unstructured data from the web. They will also get exposure to select data mining methods relevant to data commonly worked on by marketing and communication executives and apply these concepts with cases/exercises during each of these modules.

This course serves as a capstone, requiring the student to demonstrate a mastery of knowledge in the primary areas of Strategic Brand Communication The project is designed to allow the student to demonstrate his/her mastery of Strategic Brand Communication, focused on Creating and Executing a Research Plan; Repositioning Analysis and Strategy; Strategic Brand Communication Strategy & Tactics; Media Strategy & Tactics; Campaign Monitoring and Evaluation.

— COURSE CALENDARS —

2018-2019 Course Calendar

Curriculum
< Click to enlarge our Fall 2018 Cohort course calendars >

2019-2020 Course Calendar

Curriculum
< Click to enlarge our Fall 2019 Cohort course calendars >

Professional Global Workshops with Industry Leaders​

In addition to the courses, students will participate in professional webinars offered by industry leaders. Illinois SBC students will gain access to the valuable global network of Illinois corporate partners and alumni.

CONTACT  |  For more information, please email us at MS-SBC@Illinois.edu.