Minerva is a portfolio program in the Department of Advertising & Public Relations. Students don’t have to be an advertising major to apply, but they must be an advertising major to participate.

The application window

The two-week application window opens just once a year prior to Spring Break. The application consists of a single, open-ended big question. The best answers are unique, smart, and brave.

Your path to a degree

Minerva students must be advertising majors. If at the time of their application, students are currently majoring in something else, they will need to change your major to advertising upon acceptance into the creative advertising portfolio program.

Sometimes a good way to understand something is to identify what it isn’t.

Minerva is not:

  • a marketing program.
  • a graphic design program. If you’re looking for that, check out UA’s top-notch graphic design program in the art department.
  • a branding, logo, package design program.
  • a UX, UI, or app development program.
  • a sports marketing/communications/design program.
  • a software certification program.
  • a filmmaking program.

Of course, we’ll do any of these things (and more) if we think it will help answer our brand’s challenge in a smart, compelling way.

Student work by Taylor Waisanka (CW) and Rachel Williams (AD) suggests Duolingo provide free beginner language lessons in headrest consoles of international flights.

Students explore both the art direction and copywriting paths.

Art Direction

Visual poets, art directors partner with copywriters to develop ideas. They strive to embed meaning into all the nooks and crannies of a campaign to communicate the intended message more clearly. They love design, hate orphans, and are a sucker for well-kerned type.


Wordsmiths of the advertising world, copywriters partner with art directors to come up with concepts that are both prodigious and compelling. They know what prodigious means. They write and write and write some more. They edit ruthlessly. They verbally inject a client’s message directly into the hearts and minds of the audience.

Student work for Bananagrams by Katie Greco (AD) and Vanessa Suarez (CW), Waze by Lauren Meadows (AD/CW), Public Storage by Elizabeth Swartz (AD/CW), VRBO by McKayla Mear (AD) and Jacob Perryman (CW), and Spirit Airlines by Emeline Earman (AD).

Failure is a stepping stone to success.

One thing we know is that there’s a lot we don’t know. So, we research. We learn. We try. We critique. We fail. We critique. We iterate. We repeat. And, once we think we’ve got it figured out, we execute our concept-forward, strategically rooted advertising ideas… then, we critique it some more.