Society & Culture

Grady College to offer students a ‘Summer at the Circus’

New partnership with Atlanta portfolio school to focus on creative side of advertising industry

Athens, Ga. – This summer, the advertising and public relations department in the University of Georgia’s Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication will partner with The Creative Circus in Atlanta to offer specialized courses in advertising creativity as part of the new “Summer at The Circus” program.

Through this first-time collaboration, Grady College students will have the opportunity to earn up to six upper-level elective credits while taking courses from UGA through the Atlanta portfolio school. Classes will teach strategic problem solving, campaign visioning and development, typography, art direction, copywriting, packaging, graphic design, presentation and other skills vital to the communications industry. Each student also will learn how to build a professional portfolio.

“The Creative Circus has long drawn many of its best students from the Grady College,” said David Haan, executive director of The Creative Circus. “When Tom Reichert (the college’s advertising and public relations department head) came to tour our facilities, he was inspired by what he saw. Since that visit, we’ve collaboratively worked to craft a plan for a joint program that would enable Grady students to earn college credit through their experiences at The Creative Circus.”

“Summer at the Circus” will be divided into two short sessions for Grady students, each one running for four weeks with classes conducted five days a week. Each session contains four professionally oriented modules where faculty from the Grady College will work with The Creative Circus professionals to offer a hands-on learning environment. Students will receive mentoring and industry feedback on their work. The courses will mirror portfolio school-style format, including the assignment of marketing challenges, team brainstorming breakouts, creative execution and pitching ideas.

Haan said the program provides an incredible opportunity for students to begin the career path in the creative side of the industry, enabling them to explore creative study at the next level and to test the waters of portfolio school.

“All students interested in marketing communication can benefit from a ‘Summer at the Circus’ because it provides a better appreciation of the creative side of the business,” said Reichert. “In this way, the new program fosters creative leadership potential among all of its participants.”

Program fees are $1,875 per session, and UGA tuition and fees apply if students take the classes for course credit. Student housing is available through Emory University and Georgia Tech, with transportation to and from the site included.

The application deadline for in-state students is March 31. For more information or to apply to the “Summer at The Circus,” see or call 866/415-1124.

The Creative Circus
Ranked among the best in the nation, The Creative Circus is a two-year, accredited portfolio school located in Atlanta, Georgia. It offers courses focused on teaching students how to think creatively in the advertising, illustration, interactive development, graphic design and photography industries. Courses are taught by real-time industry professionals who give students the skills they need to develop professional quality portfolios and the ability to succeed in their creative industries.

UGA Grady College
Established in 1915, the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication offers undergraduate majors in advertising, public relations, journalism, digital and broadcast journalism, and mass media arts. The college offers two graduate degrees and is home to the Knight Chair in Health and Medical Journalism and the Peabody Awards, internationally recognized as one of the most prestigious prizes for excellence in electronic media. For more information, see or follow the Grady College on Facebook and @UGAGrady on Twitter.