College of Communication > Academics > Public Relations and Advertising > Combined Degree Program

Combined Degree Program

The combined bachelor’s + master’s degree program allows students to complete 12 graduate credit hours while still enrolled in their undergraduate program. These graduate credit hours will count toward both the undergraduate and graduate degree programs. Undergraduate students from any major across DePaul University can apply to the Public Relations and Advertising combined degree program.

Admission Criteria

Admission criteria for the combined bachelor’s + master’s degree program in Public Relations and Advertising:

  • 3.5 GPA in major courses
  • 3.0 cumulative GPA
  • Junior status
  • Completion of any two courses from the following:
    • College of Communication core courses (CMN101, CMN102, CMN103, CMN104)
    • Public Relations and Advertising major core or elective courses
  • Completion of or currently holding one or more PRAD internships or jobs

In addition to the above minimum requirements, there is a strong preference that a student is an active member of a PRAD co-curricular organization (e.g., PRSSA, AAF, Bateman, or the Ad Society) or college media (e.g., The DePaulia, Radio DePaul).

Students who meet the above criteria must submit the following to the Office of Graduate Admission no later than six weeks prior to the start of their senior year (i.e., prior to the start of their final three undergraduate quarters):

  • Online application (you will select a combined degree program during the application process)
  • Official DePaul undergraduate transcript (e-Transcript is preferred)
  • Four essay questions (Essay questions should be saved as .doc or .pdf and uploaded into online application or e-mailed to
    • What factors contribute to your decision to enter graduate school now?
    • How does studying public relations and advertising relate to your personal and professional goals? In your response, identify how this program suits your specific needs, goals, interests, etc.
    • What demonstrates your suitability for graduate study in this program? Build an argument for your admission.
    • What understanding should admission reviewers bring to a reading of your application? What additional information or explanations seem important?
  • One to two writing samples that demonstrate an applicant’s ability to communicate clearly and concisely with a variety of audiences (for example: academic papers, scholarly articles, professional work created in internships, jobs, freelance).
  • Résumé or curriculum vitae.
  • Two letters of recommendation:
    • One letter of recommendation from a professor in the College of Communication (preferable from a PRAD professor/class) or in the major
    • One letter of recommendation must be from a supervisor at a clearly PRAD-related internship or job.

Please submit all admission materials* to:

Office of Graduate Admission
College of Communication
DePaul University
2400 N. Sheffield Avenue
Chicago, IL 60614-2215

*Letters of recommendation and writing sample can be e-mailed to

Program Standards

  • The three PRAD graduate courses taken as a senior cannot be used to fulfill core major requirements. They can be used to fill communication electives (for communication majors) and/or open electives.
  • Students admitted to the program must achieve a 3.0 GPA (B or better) in the three graduate courses taken as a senior.
  • If a student fails to meet this GPA requirement, they will not be allowed to continue as a graduate student in the program.
  • Students can defer their graduate admission for one year. If students do not matriculate after completing their undergraduate degree or within one year deferral period, the graduate courses taken as undergraduate students will no longer count towards the graduate degree and students must reapply for admission to the graduate program.
  • Students are strongly encouraged to take three of the four core classes (PRAD 553, PRAD 555, PRAD 575, PRAD 585) during their senior year.

Visit the Public Relations and Advertising MA site for more information about the graduate program.