Media, Marketing & Advertising

In 1819, Thomas Jefferson founded the University of Virginia to question convention, expand understanding, and harness the "useful sciences" as a means to better society. In the nearly two centuries since, UVA has become one of the nation's premier academic institutions. Combining outstanding coursework, world-class faculty and cross-disciplinary collaboration, we are dedicated to advancing knowledge for the common good. 

Our students who pursue careers in the media, marketing and advertising areas come from a variety of experiences and have unique skills they can offer as an employee for your organization. 

Jump ahead to: 

Student Demographics

Undergraduate Enrollment by Major (2015)

  • Media Studies- 349
  • Commerce- 688

Degrees Conferred by Major (2012-13)

  • Media Studies- 36
  • Commerce- 344

Rankings and Data Points

The University of Virginia prides itself for being among the nation's most elite colleges and universities. Both the university and its schools are nationally ranked, and students in our schools related to media, marketing and advertising industries achieve 3.0 GPAs or higher. 

U.S. News and World Report Rankings

  • No. 2 public university in the country
  • No. 24 among the 310 "national universities"
  • No. 5 public university best value
  • No. 25 most innovative school
  • No. 1 among public universities in first-year retention and 2015 graduation rate 

School Rankings

  • The McIntire School of Commerce ranks No. 3 among public institutions and No. 6 overall

Average GPA by School (2015)

  • Arts and Sciences- 3.296 (10,291 students)
  • Commerce- 3.64 (696 students)


Media Studies

Media Studies is an interdisciplinary department focused on the forms and effects of traditional and emerging forms of media (radio, film, television, photography, print, digital, and electronic media). The field of Media Studies considers the transformation of the public sphere and individual imagination through the effects of media upon social practices. 

Some highlighted courses from the curriculum include:

  • History of Media
  • Media Theory and Methods
  • Consumer Behavior and Marketing Strategy
  • Video Communications
  • Media Design Studio
  • Marketing Research Techniques
  • Intermediate New Media

Students may also participate in a Distinguished Majors Program as a part of Media Studies. Distinguished majors exhibit superior academic performance. They must write a thesis or complete a substantial creative portfolio with appropriate documentation demonstrating independent study of high quality. 


The McIntire School of Commerce begins with the Integrated Core Experience (ICE), which gives students a vantage into the world of business from multiple angles. 

Some courses required from the ICE include: 

  • Strategy and Systems
  • Behavioral Issues in Marketing and Management 
  • Strategic Value Creation
  • Managerial Decision Making 

By the fourth year, students are required to choose at least one of five concentrations in which to specialize their studies. The five concentrations are: 

  • Accounting
  • Finance
  • Information Technology
  • Management 
  • Marketing 

In addition, students may choose up to two of six tracks- an area of specialty that spans across several disciplines. The six tracks are: 

  • Advertising and Digital Media
  • Business Analytics
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Global Commerce
  • Quantitative Finance
  • Real Estate

Other highlighted courses from the curriculum include:

  • Advertising and Promotional Aspects of Marketing 
  • Global Marketing
  • Brand Management
  • Integrated Marketing Communications Campaigns
  • Customer Analytics and Brand Strategy 
  • Digital Media and Publishing
  • Social Media Marketing Strategy & Analytics 

Top Employers

Some employers of our alums include:

  • AKQA
  • Bloomberg 
  • CNN
  • Google
  • Marvel Entertainment
  • Nielsen
  • Walt Disney Parks and Resorts

Student Experiences 

Contracted Independent Organizations (CIOs)

There are nearly 1,000 different student organizations at the University of Virginia. Among them include these specifically geared towards media, marketing and advertising: 

  • Advertising and Marketing Association at the University of Virginia- AMA is an organization committed to the study of advertising and marketing. Events include guest lectures, case competitions, field trips, networking events, design workshops, and a mentorship program.
  • Media Studies Society- The Media Studies Society is an organization designed to create a network of students, faculty and alumni interested in media-related issues and opportunities.
  • Media, Entertainment and Sports Club- The Media, Entertainment & Sports Club’s mission is to provide first and second year students with career opportunities and professional connections within these industries.
  • WUVA, Inc.- WUVA Media provides real world commercial broadcasting and online journalism experience for UVA students, backed by an outstanding staff of radio sales and management professionals.

Career Treks

The University of Virginia Career Center has offered Career Treks for the 2016-17 academic year. These treks offer students opportunities to explore various career fields in major US cities. Students will gain first-hand knowledge about companies and learn how to best prepare and apply for internships and jobs. This year's Career Treks include: 

  • Richmond, VA- Advertising Career Trek 
  • New York City- Marketing Trek

Student Research

The following are examples of research opporunities provided through the Center for Undergraduate Excellence:

  • Undergraduate Student Opportunities in Academic Research: Media Studies- Includes a specialization in media policy, law and regulation, and critical political economy. The purpose is to understand and analyze the relationship between farming communities and media policy. More specifically, the larger project explores the relationship between farming communities and media policy in Canada and the US from the early 1900s to the present day. 
  • Undergraduate Student Opportunities in Academic Research: Marketing- This research examines quantitative consumer models that help marketing scholars and retail managers better understand customer loyalty trends. Recent work investigates how human resource management practices, service policies, product return policies, retail concept extensions, and loyalty card programs influence customer attitudes, shopping behaviors, and store performance.

Capabilities and Skills

Media Studies

Students in Media Studies have a strong commitment to emphasizing the fundamental values and skills of critical thinking, research, writing, and intellectual inquiry. Students will have studied books, radio, film, television, photography, print, digital and electronic media. The curriculum emphasizes digital media through approaches to its history, theory, and technology and their impact upon contemporary life. Some areas students will be familiar with include: 

  • Aesthetics and form
  • Individual perception
  • History of media
  • Ethics and effects of media in the arena of policy studies 
  • Social impact of media on public opinion
  • Relations between media and the law 


Students in the Marketing concentration are exposed to areas of accounting, economics, finance, law, mathematics, philosophy and sociology as resources for the conceptual, theoretical and empirical underpinnings of the marketing discipline. Those who complete the Marketing curriculum will be well prepared for jobs in client relations, sales, advertising and promotion, brand management, distribution, international marketing, marketing research, marketing consulting, logistics, purchasing, product management, retailing, sales and service industries. 

Additionally, students on the Advertising and Digital Media track will become proficient in Adobe Creative Suite (Photoshop, InDesign, and Illustrator) and other relevant creative software packages that will allow them to design and execute their creative concepts.

How to Recruit

Employers in the media, marketing and advertising spaces looking to recruit students have a variety of opportunities to engage.

The signature event of the year has been our annual Commerce Career Day! The fair is an opportunity for organizations and institutional members to meet with students from these universities who are interested in commerce careers. There are several opportunities for organizations and institutional members to participate in this event as a sponsor or as an exhibitor. This is the information from last year's event.

Additionally, our UVA Job and Internship Fair occurs every semester. One of our largest fairs, this event is the perfect place to meet hundreds of students of all years and majors looking for full-time and internship positions. Information from this year's Fair can be found here. 

Engagement is not limited to these events, however. Organizations are encouraged to post their jobs and internships year round through our Handshake job portal. 

Handshake is UVA's online recruiting portal that allows you to:

  • Post jobs or internships
  • Register for Career Fairs
  • Manage your On-Grounds Interviewing
  • Advertise your presentations
  • and more!

Log in or register for Handshake here.

More to Explore

David Lapinski, Director of Employer Relations and Experiential Education

UVA offers a wide variety of large career events to meet the needs of organizations recruiting UVA students. 

Handshake is UVA's online recruiting portal. Post jobs or internships, register for Career Fairs, manage your On-Grounds Interviewing, and more!