As a diverse field with opportunities reaching nearly every sector of industry, a marketing degree is commonly offered either as a concentration of an MBA or independently, through a college’s business or management school. A master’s in marketing online curriculum typically combines management, strategic planning, branding, forecasting, and business modelling, and may also include an emphasis in a particular area of specialized practice, such as technology, digital, or Internet marketing. Due to the demand for such skills in the workplace, most online master’s in marketing also strongly feature projects designed to build communication, analytical, and interpersonal abilities, among other soft skills. Earning a master’s in marketing online is ideal for adult students with families or who have a full-time job, as most programs provide internships and professional experience opportunities near the students’ places of residence in addition to convenient online coursework.
Below is our list of the top ranked marketing programs in the nation:
Saint Joseph’s offers an online MBA with a concentration in marketing, designed to focus on managerial and leadership skills within a general business curriculum. The marketing concentration is offered alongside nine other majors, including unique options such as health and medical services and The Data Intelligent MBA. This online marketing master’s degree encompasses 11 courses, potentially including up to eight additional foundations courses in business for students with no previous experience in this discipline. Flexible course delivery allows students to take courses part time or full time, as well as on campus or online, all capped at a student-teacher ratio of 18:1. Candidates may take anywhere from one to six years to complete the degree.
Xavier University offers an online MBA with a marketing concentration, including coursework in multinational marketing, international sales and negotiations, and a cumulative seminar course in ethical issues in marketing. The marketing concentration is strongly rooted in ethics, as is Xavier’s institutional Jesuit-based approach to higher learning. The online marketing master’s degree encompasses eight-week courses and offers multiple start dates throughout the year. Xavier boasts a 19% salary increase among its MBA alumni after graduation, and continues to offer competitive pricing per credit with a documented return on investment for this program.
California Lutheran University offers an online MBA with a marketing emphasis. The program is designed to provide students with crucial marketing and sales management tools for both domestic and international markets. Curriculum comprises a required emphasis course in marketing research, as well as a series of elective professional concentration courses in topics including CRM in the digital age, consumer behavior, and strategic brand management, among others. Though students may choose to complete their degree entirely online, the School of Management offers a variety of experiential learning and community engagement events at its Westlake Center, allowing MBA students to network with business and community leaders.
OSU’s Watson Graduate School of Management offers an online MBA in 12 optional concentrations, including global marketing and marketing analytics. Both marketing concentrations require a combination of core and elective courses, for a total of 42 or 43 credits for part-time or full-time students, respectively. Marketing analytics majors are eligible to earn an OSU certificate in marketing analytics in conjunction with their MBA degree. Both the online and traditional MBA at OSU feature the same coursework, focused on teamwork-oriented business and management practices. Applicants must have a four-year accredited degree, a competitive GMAT score, and at least a 3.0 GPA for admission into the MBA program.
Walsh University’s online MBA marketing program takes a unique approach, incorporating marketing communications, e-commerce, and emerging social media into its technology-oriented curriculum. MBA students must complete 36 course credit hours in core and required and elective specialty courses, culminating in a capstone course in marketing strategy. The Walsh University DeVille School of Business focuses on improving analytical and interpersonal skills for the individual, ultimately helping to maximize the effectiveness of an organization by creating a workforce with strong personal leadership skills.
SNHU offers an International MBA (IMBA) in marketing with a global focus, incorporating advertising, PR, communications, and branding concepts into its online program. The degree consists of 10 core courses in traditional global business concepts, as well as three marketing-specific courses, culminating in a multinational business strategy capstone totaling 39 credit hours. Applicants may be granted admission into the program on a rolling basis during five graduate terms per year. Some students may qualify for certain advanced IMBA courses by taking foundation prerequisites, while those with business-related undergraduate degrees may place out of basic foundations requirements.
Dallas Baptist University offers an online MBA in a marketing concentration. The online MBA comprises a minimum of 36 credit hours in core and concentration coursework, culminating in a capstone experience. Areas of study for marketing majors include marketing strategy formulation and implementation, outcome-based marketing systems, and consumer and buyer behavior. Applicants may also select a dual concentration, combining marketing and another focus area of their choice to form a 48-credit-hour program. DBU offers flexibility through its online programming by allowing students to choose online, face-to-face, or hybrid instruction, as well as a one-year track that can be completed in either 12 or 15 months for full-time students.
Concordia University in Wisconsin offers an online MBA with a concentration in strategic marketing through its Batterman School of Business. Here, all programs feature Christ-centered curriculum, aimed at developing students’ mind, body, and spirit in their journey toward Christian leadership and service. Coursework in the online MBA focuses not only on servant leadership but also entrepreneurship, reasoning skills, and critical thinking abilities, all with a communications-driven global approach. The program comprises 39 credit hours and offers ongoing, rolling admissions throughout the academic year. The online MBA boasts an especially diverse student body, with more than 40% of students hailing from international locations around the world.
Western Carolina University offers an online MBA with an emphasis in marketing coursework, taught by an all-Ph.D. faculty that provides collaboration and networking opportunities to students through internships and guest speaker events. The 36-semester-hour program encompasses coursework in human resource management, business statistics, legal issues, and organizational behavior. WCU’s online MBA is known for its individualized approach, with a reputation as a non-assembly-line business management program. The degree requires no prerequisites for admission, and can be completed in as few as three semesters for full-time students or six semesters for part-time students.
Suffolk University offers an online MBA with a concentration in marketing through its Sawyer Business School. The university’s online MBA is specifically designed for working professionals, parents, and military service members, offering both fully online and hybrid courses to distance students. The program even offers travel seminar opportunities to students who are studying online. Though Suffolk students have the option of earning their degree entirely online, MBA staff and alumni have important connections within Boston’s local biotech, finance, healthcare, and high-tech industries. The online MBA is identical to the campus program, offering synchronous sessions that involve group projects and interactive class discussions between students, peers, and faculty.
St. Thomas Aquinas College offers an online MBA with concentration in marketing through its School of Business. The program’s broad curriculum provides a well-rounded foundation in advertising, sales, market research, and communications concepts. Start times for the degree follow on-campus enrollment schedules, offering quarterly starts in September, December, March, and June. Each of the four sessions comprising the degree are nine weeks in length. Though the program comprises 57 total credits, students with previous experience may be able to waive up to 24 credits toward the degree. Full-time students who are eligible to waive the maximum amount of credits may also be able to complete the degree in as little as one year. All students are required to complete a capstone course in order to graduate.
Benedictine offers an online MBA with available concentrations in marketing management and internet marketing, aimed at addressing 21st-century business management skills. The online MBA can be completed in one of two ways: through the traditional one course at-a-time method, or two courses at-a-time via an accelerated option. Students may apply to the online MBA at any time, and applicants with experience may be eligible to waive up to four business foundations courses in their first term. Though Benedictine is among only a few colleges in the U.S. to offer these specialized marketing specializations within its online MBA, it also offers students the option to build their own major or pursue a dual degree.
Gardner-Webb University offers an online MBA with an emphasis in marketing through its Graduate School of Business. Curriculum focuses on building leadership skills, while also preparing students for a wide array of career possibilities across public, private, and nonprofit sectors of the business world. The majority of coursework is completed online, though the program also provides hands-on experience through internship and service opportunities, team projects, and simulations, culminating in a strategic management capstone course. Applicants must have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution, a GPA of at least 2.5, and a competitive GRE or GMAT score.
Oklahoma Christian University offers an online MBA in marketing, one of nine targeted concentrations available in addition to a general MBA option. Students may complete the MBA entirely online, take night classes on campus, or combine the two in a hybrid program. Even part-time students may be able to complete the degree in as little as 12 months. Applicants must have a bachelor’s degree (in any major) and a cumulative GPA of at least 3.0, as well as submit GRE or GMAT test scores and three recommendations to OCU’s Graduate School of Business for admission. MBA students are eligible to take advantage of the school’s exclusive Legacy Program, designed to help them save money on tuition by allowing them to “lock in” the tuition price at the time of enrollment for the duration of the degree.
Brenau University offers an online MBA in marketing through its Adult and Graduate Studies division. This accelerated program consists of 15 seven-week courses (45 credits) in sales, advertising, new product development, and international marketing. Course sizes are kept small to ensure that each student receives personal attention, and the program offers year-round start dates for added convenience. Applicants are required to submit previous college experience for consideration for admission; those with less than 30 hours of undergraduate experience must also submit high school transcripts or GED scores. Candidates who already hold a graduate degree may earn a Marketing Certificate by completing only the concentration courses required of this specialization.
Liberty offers an online MBA in marketing through its School of Business, with a focus on integrating faith into the virtual learning experience and ethics into practice in a viable marketing career. Applicants must have a GPA of at least 3.0 and a minimum of 15 hours of upper-level undergraduate coursework in business. Students who meet GPA requirements but do not meet coursework prerequisites will be automatically recommended for the MA in Executive Leadership instead, until they meet foundational requirements and can request replacement in the MBA program. The online MBA consists of 45 credit hours, combining core and marketing cognate courses.
City University of Seattle offers an online MBA with a global marketing emphasis, designed to deepen the student’s understanding of the marketing, management, and advertising needs of international companies and organizations. Coursework explores consumer behavior, public relations and media management, strategic brand creation, and more. Courses are structured to include projects and interactive discussions within the virtual classroom, as well as an optional internship experience, among other elective choices. CityU encourages all students with an accredited undergraduate degree in any subject to apply for the online MBA; as per its university-wide policy, CityU does not require standardized test scores for admission into the program.
Saint Leo offers an online MBA with a concentration in marketing as well as an MBA in marketing research and social media analytics. The marketing program includes an accelerated one-year program, designed to prepare students for careers in sales, promotions, and e-marketing, among other focus areas. MBA marketing students may start the degree during any of the program’s six eight-week terms, and may pursue dual-concentrations. The MBA in marketing research and social media analytics is equally flexible, and is also available in an accelerated format. However, coursework in this program is centered on the strategic marketing tools used to collect and analyze data and make business decisions.
University of Colorado offers an online MBA with a concentration in marketing through its Colorado Springs location. The curriculum encompasses 36 credit hours in a combination of foundation, core and elective courses, culminating in a strategic management project. While applicants are not required to have a background in business, students without any prior business experience must take an additional 12 credits of foundation coursework. Most students complete the degree within two and a half years. Applicants are required to have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited university, an undergraduate GPA of at least 3.0, and qualifying GMAT or GRE scores.
Nova Southeastern offers an online MBA with a marketing emphasis through its H. Wayne Huizenga College of Business and Entrepreneurship. The university developed its MBA marketing program with the needs of corporate employers in mind, taking into account that marketing skills are consistently in demand among top positions in nearly every industry worldwide. Both the MBA core courses as well as the marketing-specific courses comprising the 39-credit program are available at select NSU campuses as well as online for students looking for hybrid study options. The master’s in marketing online offers five start dates throughout the year, in August, October, January, March, and May.
Rivier offers an online MBA with a concentration in marketing, focused on providing students with the practical skills in accounting, project management, strategies of innovation, and others necessary to start their careers. In addition to the marketing concentration, Rivier offers an MBA in management as well as in information technology management, all provided entirely online through coursework designed to be both convenient and flexible for distance learners. Applicants must have a GPA of at least 3.0 and submit letters of recommendation to be considered for admission. The university operates on a rolling admissions system, typically notifying students of their acceptance into the program 2-4 weeks after they apply.
University of Massachusetts-Boston offers an online MBA with a specialization in marketing through its College of Management. Marketing is just one of 15 concentrations available within the program; students are permitted to select more than one specialization or customize their curriculum through a unique combination of electives from multiple areas. The online program, or Flex MBA, consists of a minimum of 33 credits, which may be completed through hybrid courses or entirely online. Students may enroll part time or full time, starting in either the spring or fall semester. Though prior experience is not required for admission, those with no undergraduate business experience may be required to take up to 8 prerequisite courses in foundational business management and marketing concepts.
University of Saint Mary offers an online MBA with a concentration in marketing and advertising, designed to teach students to take their ideas all the way “from the drawing board to market.” Coursework explores market research and strategy, buyer behavior, and financial planning, preparing graduates for careers in marketing analysis, marketing management, and branding, among other lucrative opportunities. Full-time students may complete the program in as little as one year. The master’s in marketing online consists of 36 credit hours of graduate-level study, each course eight weeks in length. Applicants must have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution and a GPA of at least 2.75 to be considered for admission.
Davenport University offers an online MBA with a concentration in marketing through its Donald w. Maine College of Business. The 39-credit online master’s in marketing features a broad curriculum well-suited to both aspiring and advancing business marketing professionals. Coursework explores emerging industry concepts including strategic branding, multicultural marketing, emerging marketing media, and more. The program culminates in a business integration capstone course. Applicants who do not have an undergraduate degree are required to have earned grade C or better in all courses in business during the last eight years of their academic career, and will be required to take select prerequisite courses. Applicants with a bachelor’s degree in business or a related field must have a GPA of at least 2.75 and are exempt from prerequisite requirements.
Tiffin’s online MBA with a concentration in marketing is one of nine specialized areas of business tailored to students pursuing an executive or corporate career. The 36-credit-hour online master’s in marketing is divided into nine “sessions,” pairing similar course topics together, all with a global business focus and culminating in a strategic management capstone project. All applicants must have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution and, ideally, a GPA of at least 3.0. However, applicants with a GPA of at least 2.5 and five or more years of professional experience will be considered on a case-by-case basis for admission into the program. The MBA is offered not just entirely online, but also at Tiffin University’s namesake campus location, and internationally in Romania.
Wilmington offers an online MBA in marketing management through its College of Business. Marketing management is one of eight specialized concentrations designed to address a wide range of professional needs currently of highest demand in the industry. Developed specifically for working professionals, the online master’s in marketing offers the same curriculum to both traditional and online students, and is also available at multiple Wilmington campus locations throughout the greater Delaware area. Coursework explores contemporary issues in marketing as well as skills needed in the global market, including financial management, analytical reasoning, and economic principles. Applicants must have undergraduate experience in which they earned a grade C or better in mathematics, economics, accounting, and finance. Each seven-week online course included in the program may be completed in the student’s own time.
Bellevue University’s online Master of Science in Management features a concentration in marketing, designed to build leadership and collaborative skills in a diverse global business environment. Curriculum comprises 36 course credit hours and matches that of the traditional program. The online marketing master’s degree combines core and concentration courses, culminating in a capstone project that doubles as a professional portfolio-building exercise. Applicants must have a bachelor’s or master’s degree from an accredited institution and a GPA of at least 2.5 from the most recent 60 credits of undergraduate coursework, or at least 3.0 for previous graduate-level experience.
University of Maryland’s University College offers an online master’s degree in management with a specialization in marketing, designed to provide graduates with the skills needed to assume senior positions in essential public and private sector organizations. Developed exclusively for online learning, this online marketing master’s degree encompasses 36 credit hours in a combination of core and specialization coursework, culminating in a strategic management capstone experience. Curriculum explores brand management, consumer behavior, and legal and ethical issues in global communications, among other topics. Candidates accepted into the online MBA program must maintain a GPA of at least 3.0 at all times, and fulfill all degree requirements to complete the program within five years of admission.
Franklin University offers an online MS in marketing and communications through its Ross College of Business. Coursework in the online marketing master’s degree is designed to mimic real-world scenarios in the marketplace, providing students the opportunity to learn and apply skills in digital marketing strategies, metrics and analytics, and creative concepts, among other topics, culminating in a marketing communication capstone course. Franklin operates on a rolling basis for admissions, and offers multiple start dates for new students to begin the program throughout the year. Applicants should submit transcripts for all undergraduate coursework; no GMAT or GRE scores are required if the applicant also has a GPA of at least 2.75. The graduate school also requires an original essay as a writing sample, as well as a current resume, as part of the graduate admission application for the MBA program.
University of the Southwest offers an online MBA in a marketing specialization, one of many specializations (including a Self-Designed MBA) intended to provide students with a versatile and customized learning experience that is tailored to their professional needs. All concentrations can be completed entirely online. The online marketing master’s degree includes small class sizes, with online courses starting every eight weeks. Full-time students may be able to complete the degree in as little as 12 months. University of the Southwest offers competitive tuition prices at a set rate, as well as includes all digital textbooks and a complimentary laptop in the cost of tuition for all students. Applicants must have a bachelor’s degree (in any field) for admission, though no additional prerequisites are required. The program comprises 36 credit hours in a combination of core and specialization courses.
Beginning a Marketing Career
A career in marketing management can provide both high job growth and impressive earnings for experienced graduates of an online master’s in marketing program. Marketing managers, responsible for planning and coordinating marketing services for both small companies and large corporations, can expect to see growth of 9% by the year 2024 and earned an average wage of $128,750 as of May 2015. Other closely related occupations that often share responsibilities with marketing professionals include advertising and promotions managers, the second-highest earners with the same estimated job growth. While market research analysts earn an average of $62,150, this sector of marketing is among the fastest-growing of all occupations, expected to increase jobs by 19% between 2014 and 2024.
Though the majority of entry-level marketing jobs require only a bachelor’s degree, employers hiring for top positions often prefer candidates with additional experience and an advanced degree, such as a Master of Science or MBA with a concentration in marketing. As evidenced by most of the schools on our list, studying marketing as an emphasis area of an online MBA is a common option for graduate students. An MS degree typically includes an emphasis in focused marketing management concepts, while an MBA with marketing concentration generally lays a broader, well-rounded foundation in business before incorporating marketing-oriented coursework. Students who earn their master’s in marketing online may be eligible to become marketing managers, sales representatives, marketing specialists, and more, as well as explore careers in expanding areas of marketing such as digital media and internet advertising. While work experience in marketing is always preferred, some employers may also favor candidates with certification such as the Professional Researcher Certification (PRC) for market analysts, offered by the Marketing Research Association, in addition to the advanced qualifications provided by a master’s in marketing degree.
Marketing: Different than PR and Advertising?
While marketing, Public Relations (PR) and advertising are closely related fields that are often most effective when used in conjunction with one another, they are not exactly the same. Marketing and advertising tend to describe two different stages of creating value for a product or service in the marketplace, or in relation to a business or company. Marketing is used to prepare a product or service for the market, and involves everything from establishing a customer base to defining a brand and attracting market shares. Advertising comes in when you’re ready to actually get the word out about said product or service, letting consumers know your product exists after convincing them, through the marketing phase, that they need to consume it. PR, by contrast, involves broader and more diverse audiences, both internal and external, and aims to bring key messages to sources such as the media, for non-monetized means.
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