M-School Institute of Marketing at LMU|LA



Program Overview

M-School was born from the need to transform the way our students learn about and are immersed in the new world of advertising and branding. In doing so, we answered the call to action from the advertising and branding community—specifically our close partner thinkLA.


The M-School curriculum focuses on what we call the 4Cs—Creativity, Collaboration, Critical Thinking, and Communication—to equip our students with the skills to be future proof and real-world ready. Course content is always current, courses are co-taught by industry professionals, and we’ve thrown out the proverbial marketing textbook.


LMU’s close proximity to Playa Vista and the thriving Silicon Beach creative and tech community (with over 300 agencies and brands all within a 10-mile radius of LMU) enables us to stay current and develop doers, thinkers, makers, and future leaders by exposing our students to the best in industry.


We’ve custom crafted a five-course curriculum along with supplemental one-and two-credit electives to deliver an intensive and immersive marketing education and experience that cultivates creative and passionate students and prepares them to hit the ground running in nearly any marketing, branding, advertising, or start-up role they pursue.

Courses Offered

This course immerses you in the fast-changing world of the advertising and branding industry through on-campus and off-campus exposure to industry professionals and real-life branding and advertising challenges. Throughout the course, you’ll work with and learn from professionals in the thriving creative and tech community. Emphasis is on developing your skills in creativity, collaboration, critical thinking, and communication. Content covered in the sessions includes advertising agency structure, the creative process, brand planning, media planning and strategy, the user experience, online and social media, presentation skills, and content creation. (FALL)

Instructors: Andy Rohm & Matt Stefl

Think about your favorite companies and their brands. What is it about them that makes them connect with you? That’s what this course is all about—learning about the brand planning and strategy process. This course offers a comprehensive look at where strategic planning takes place within the overall advertising process. In doing so, it focuses on the 4Cs of strategic planning: the Company, Competition, Consumers, and (product or service) Category. It also explores ways to develop effective campaign strategy, including knowing the product inside and out, knowing your brand’s DNA, understanding your target audience, and generating insights. In addition, the course covers important branding and consumer behavior fundamentals central to the success of account strategy.

Instructor: Matt Stefl

Cross-platform content creation is the process by which marketing content is created to tell a brand’s story (branded content) across myriad digital, social, and traditional media. That’s what this course is all about—immersing students in content creation and the distribution of that content across multiple forms of media (branded websites, YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, branded mobile apps, television, pop-up stores, virtual reality, and more). This course offers a comprehensive look at 360° cross-platform content creation and how it fits within brand strategy. We focus on the foundations of content-based narratives and storytelling and examine ways to develop effective marketing and branded content through the lens of storytelling. The semester project involves the creation of content across different media platforms (cross-platform content) to more effectively tell a specific organization’s story. (SPRING)

Instructors: Andy Rohm & Lori Schwartz

Because of the rapid growth and influence of advertising technology and online / social media, to remain relevant, brands must create, monitor, and adjust their message and media not by the month but by the day, by the hour, even the fraction of a second. To effectively reach and engage individuals, brands need to be agile and adapt in real time to how consumers react and respond to advertising content. This course provides students the perspectives and tools to develop paid search (search engine optimization, or SEO) and paid social strategies that are effective, cost efficient, adaptive, and measurable. Through this course, students will learn how analytics (monitoring, measuring, and interpreting online and social data) helps companies, brands, and organizations to better evaluate advertising and marketing performance. (FALL)

Instructors: Andy Rohm, Matt Stefl, Jeff Pickett & Isaac Pastrana.

Creative brand management lies at the intersection of three things: 1) creative and innovative problem solving, 2) deep insights with respect to culture, trends, and technology, and 3) developing and managing brands that have deep conviction (e.g., BMW), confidence (e.g., Uber), and great founder DNA that are purpose-driven (e.g., TOMS). In this course, you’ll develop the ability to thrive in the face of ambiguity, learn to survive and thrive in times of change, learn to leverage timeless approaches to creatively managing brands and solving problems, develop foundational tools to build and grow relevant, purpose-driven brands, and cultivate your own personal brand. (SPRING)

Instructors: Andy Rohm, Renee Welch, and Scott Leonard

This course is designed to provide students a better understanding of what to expect, and what is expected of them in account management. You’ll learn what it means to be a professional and how to survive and thrive during your first year as an account manager. (FALL)

Instructors: Mike Peditto & Andrew DuBois

Who are you? And how to you bring you, the best you, to the job market? How will you standout from the herd of a thousand “me too” resumes and job candidates all telling the same “me too” stories and making the same “me too” mistakes? This fast-paced, intimate and illuminating workshop isn’t for the faint of heart. It will require an open mind, courage and creativity. Aside from a getting a better sense of who you (really) are, you will also leave with a collection of cohesive, well-packaged and engaging Brand You materials that will help you to show the world what makes you different – and better. Be prepared to work hard; the outputs of the workshop will include a personal brand brief, style guide, website, case studies, resume, interview practice and more. (SPRING, LIMITED ENROLLMENT)

Instructor: Matt Stefl

Creativity is high in demand and short in supply, especially when you need it most. Turns out it’s not nearly as mysterious as most people think. There are proven methods to boost your creativity and generate better ideas. This course provides a look into the art and science of creativity and offers students a variety of tools that will serve them in virtually any role—from manager to creator. And be prepared to make stuff—the course has a multi-media maker component to stretch your imagination in all sorts of ways. (FALL)

Instructors Matt Stefl & Mitch Malpartida

Virtual reality (VR) technology is at an inflection point. On one hand, it’s exploding. In 2016 Wired Magazine wrote, “All the major players—Facebook, Google, Apple, Amazon, Microsoft, Sony, Samsung—have whole groups dedicated to artificial reality, and they’re hiring more engineers daily. Facebook alone has over 400 people working on VR. Then there are some 230 other companies, such as Meta, the Void, Atheer, Lytro, and 8i, working furiously on hardware and content for this new platform.” On the other, it’s still very much in its awkward adolescent years–figuring out who it wants to be when it grows up. The future is yet to be written. The course explores emerging field of virtual and augmented reality by exposing students to industry leaders, cutting-edge tech, tools, applications and approaches and challenge cross-discipline teams–consisting of students from entrepreneurship, marketing, graphic design, computer science and film–to apply these learnings in the development of their own VR content. Yes, we’re going to make VR. Prepare to be inspired, too, because we will visit leading companies and hear from visionary speakers almost every week. (FALL, 2-UNITS)

Instructors Logan MulveyMatt Stefl

This course covers the essential principles of marketing as a vital component of a business operation, emphasizing marketing’s strategic bases and the real-world utilization of both traditional and innovative techniques to influence both the trade and the consumer in making a purchase decision. We will focus on the effects of uncontrollable factors in the environment.  In addition, basic controllable variables essential to marketing success will be examined including market analysis, product decisions, pricing, distribution, and promotion.  We will explore how Marketing guides business strategy, discovers and creates demand for products, and influences product development.

Instructor: Matt Stefl, Scott Leonard & Others

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Industry Pros

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