Accelerated B.S./M.A.

ZAP program venn diagram

Through the Zimmerman Advertising Program, students will earn a bachelor's degree in business advertising. In their junior year, they will be given the option to apply to an accelerated master's degree program in mass communications. This 4+1 format will allow ZAP graduates to earn two degrees in less time than it takes the average student to complete their undergraduate coursework.

Unlike any other advertising program, USF's ZAP curriculum fuses business education and marketing courses with advertising education. Limited to just 34 students per cohort, this program blends academics with experiential living and learning opportunities. As a result, they will get a jump on entering the job market and lessen the financial burden of school expenses. They'll also be more likely to land a job with a higher salary.


Shared B.S./ M.A. Requirements

Twelve (12) hours of graduate credit can be taken in place of 6 hours required for the advertising major and 6 hours of required business electives, as follows:

  • ADV 600 (Advertising Management), satisfied by PUR 6607 (Strategic Communication Management)
  • ADV 4800 (Advertising Campaigns), satisfied by PUR 6603 (Strategic Communication Campaigns)
  • ADV 4940 (Advertising Practicum), satisfied by MMC 6945 (Mass Communications Professional Practicum)
  • MAR 4933 (Selected Topics in Marketing: Social Media Applications), satisfied by MAR 6936 (Selected Topics in Marketing: Social Media Applications).

Graduate Degree Requirements for accelerated M.A. in Strategic Communications

Total Minimum Hours: 39
Core Requirements: 12 hours

  • MMC 6920 Introduction to Mass Communication Research 3 credits
  • MMC 6401 Mass Communication Theory 3 credits
  • MMC 6421- Research Methods 6 credits

Concentration in Strategic Communication Management 24 credits

The strategic communication management concentration accentuates the integration of organizational communication functions such as public relations and advertising into a single communication management function. This program requires 39 hours of coursework (12 hours of which are shared in the B.S. degree), including three (3) hours of an applied research project, twelve (12) hours of the mass communications core, and fifteen (15) hours of the strategic communication management concentration.

  • PUR 5505 Introduction to Strategic Communication Theory and Research 3 credits
  • PUR 6607 Strategic Communication Management 3 credits
  • PUR 6603 Strategic Communication Campaigns 3 credits
  • MMC 641 Strategic Message Design 3 credits
  • MMC 6415 Strategic Communication Media 3 credits
  • Satisfied by ADV 5505- Advertising Planning

Applied Research Project Requirement 3 credits

The applied research project will serve as an integrative experience for students to bring together all they have learned during their stay at USF. Students will be paired with clients in Tampa and within the state of Florida to solve real-world research problems. With the guidance of a faculty advisor, students will plan, conduct, and present research to their client and the graduate faculty within the school of mass communications.

  • MMC 6950 Applied Research Project 3 credits

Applying to the accelerated M.A.

  1. Students must have a minimum undergraduate GPA of 3.33 overall, and a minimum GPA of 3.50 in the major to be eligible for the accelerated degree program.
  2. Following the completion of a minimum of 15 hours in the undergraduate major, students may be considered for acceptance into the accelerated program through faculty nomination or student self-nomination, via submission of an accelerated program application form. Both B.S. and M.A. programs will review the applications and approve the nominations. All applications require the approval of the school of mass communications graduate program, the college of arts and sciences, and the USF graduate school.
  3. To apply to the accelerated master's program, the following must be submitted with the accelerated program application form:
  • Statement of intent (a personal statement about why the student wishes to apply for the program.)
  • Undergraduate transcripts
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • GRE scores (GRE should be taken before or during the third year of study)