The Stan Richards School of Advertising & Public Relations is a world-class program for students interested in the advertising and public relations industries at the undergraduate, Master's or Ph.D. level.
From challenging degree requirements to our priority of intertwining as much of the “real world” as possible in the classroom, our school is continually providing the tools needed to create the next leaders in advertising and PR.
As a Research I academic institution, we live by our motto: Theory x Practice.
In the United States alone, over 100 institutions of higher education offer an organized program of study in advertising. The Stan Richards School of Advertising & Public Relations is not only one of the largest in the nation, but its undergraduate program is also ranked #1. It is one of only a few such programs organized as a distinct school. Most programs are a part of a journalism, marketing, or communications department. In fact, UT is the only program that grants a Ph.D. specifically in advertising; other programs offer an emphasis in advertising with a Ph.D. in “mass communication” or another more general field of study.
Having consistently been ranked as one of the top three advertising programs over the past 20 years by employers and competitors alike, a 2010 study published in the Journal of Advertising Education in 2010 ranked the Texas Advertising program as the #1 program in advertising in the U.S., ranking significantly ahead of the nearest competition.
More recently, Campus Explorer ranked our advertising department #1 saying, “With 1,200 undergraduate students, it’s one of the largest advertising departments in the country. The department also offers one of the few Ph.D.’s advertising programs. Most importantly, the university is dedicated to helping students find scholarships.”
The Stan Richards School of Advertising & Public Relations is also unique in one especially notable respect. In addition to offering a highly-praised concentration in media, the school has built the nationally recognized Texas Creative program. Since its beginning in the late 1970s, this renowned program has been well known for producing talented copywriters and art directors who end up in advertising agencies around the world.
An article in Adweek magazine discussed the backgrounds of creative talent, stating, “They’ve come from the leading advertising programs — Art Center, Portfolio Center and University of Texas tops among them — with books filled with highly polished, technically sophisticated ads.”
Our degree in public relations offers a strong education in written and oral communication skills, strategic thinking and key techniques to succeed in the industry. From our high-level thinking courses to our in-house PR agency, Texas Tower PR, students are set up to succeed. Our alumni hold prominent positions in world-renowned public relations agencies like Burson-Marsteller, Edelman, MTV News and Brilliant Magazine.
Who is Stan Richards?
The Stan Richards School of Advertising & Public Relations is named for Mr. Stan Richards, the founder of the nation’s largest independent advertising agency. Stan Richards founded The Richards Group as a freelance practice after graduating from Pratt Institute. As a creative director, he has won awards in nearly every major competition in the world.
In 1999, he was inducted into the Art Directors Hall of Fame joining Walt Disney, Norman Rockwell, Andy Warhol and many other greats. In April of 2017, the living legend was inducted into the American Advertising Hall of Fame.
Today, The Richards Group is the largest independent advertising agency in the U.S. with over 700 employees. Despite his impressive business ventures, Richards somehow finds time to stay active with over 45,000 miles of running logged throughout his lifetime.
Richards was the primary contributor to a six-year, $10 million campaign for the Texas Advertising & Public Relations program establishing the Stan Richards School of Advertising & Public Relations.
Richards has said his donation was meant to give back in a place where he could see it doing the most good—a place where he has already received a tremendous amount of value through the talented pool of students who are graduated from the school every year.
“As far as the number of UT graduates in the agency, I couldn’t even guess, but it’s a lot,” said Richards during a 2014 video interview. “We all have to give back in some way and when I look at what I have gained over the years from UT graduates, kids who have come to work for us, many who stay for a very, very long time, and the contribution they’ve made, it was appropriate that I do something for this school.”
We are proud to be named the Stan Richards School of Advertising & Public Relations and to honor the man whose gift has helped countless students do their best work and enter the industry as some of the brightest of a new generation in advertising.
Mission and Goals
The mission of the Stan Richards School of Advertising & Public Relations is to continually seek ways to train and empower students, staff and faculty of all ethnicities, races, genders and identities to work collaboratively to produce world-changing ads, PR campaigns and research. This mission will ensure our positioning as one of the nation’s leading advertising and public relations programs and a formidable presence in the canon of communication theory and research.
Our mission can only be is achieved only if we meet the following goals:
- Generate top-tier research and creative work that contribute to the overarching theories that explain success and failure in the practice of advertising and public relations.
- Attract and retain the best student, staff and faculty talent—individuals who offer diversity in experience, background, culture and perspective.
- Maintain strong, positive relations with key publics served by the school.
- Cultivate graduate students with skills in critical thinking, quantitative reasoning, creative problem solving, active listening, efficient communication, evidence-based strategies and ethical decision-making.