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:

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

Total Minimum Hours: 39
Core Requirements: 12 hours

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.

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.

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: