Home > Top Online Master’s in Marketing Degrees

Top Online Master’s in Marketing Degrees

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:

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.


To determine the best online master’s in marketing programs, we looked at the most important factors prospective students, mainly common predictors of future success and a school’s commitment to online programs. This boils down to admissions rate, student loan default rate, retention rate, graduation rate, and the percent of students enrolled in online classes. All data points are taken from information provided by colleges and universities to the National Center for Education Statistics.

Each factor is weighted evenly in order to give an objective view and determine the 30 best online master’s in marketing degree programs. To calculate our rankings, we looked at a school’s ranking when organized by a single factor, and then averaged each category’s ranking to find an overall score: Admissions Rate (20%) + Default Rate (20%) + Retention Rate (20%) + Graduation Rate (20%) + Percent of Students Enrolled in Online Classes (20%) = Final score.