2021 Best Online Masters in Marketing Programs

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If you’re interested in the way a business implements communication strategies, utilizes digital marketing platforms, or manages its brand, then earning a masters in marketing online may be a good degree path for you.

Online Masters in Marketing Programs

Online marketing masters programs can help prepare you to work in various areas of the field, from sports marketing and project management to social media management and public relations.

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By earning your degree from one of the many available online marketing graduate programs, you may be in a good position to benefit from higher than average salaries in this growing field.

Online Masters in Marketing Degree Programs

Masters in Marketing Degree Programs

Online masters in marketing degree programs are designed to prepare students for advanced roles in marketing, advertising, social media, sales, and public relations. With an online masters in marketing, you may be qualified to take on a variety of roles in the field, ranging from research and teaching to management.

Common marketing careers include:

  • Community college instructor
  • Market research analyst
  • Brand manager
  • Advertising manager
  • Marketing manager
  • Chief marketing officer
  • Content marketing manager
  • Public relations specialist
  • Marketing specialist

The positions you’ll qualify for can vary depending on the previous employment experience you bring to the table as well as the overall picture of your educational background.

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The specific makeup of courses that you’ll be required to complete as part of your online marketing master’s degree can vary from one program to the next. Common course topics, though, can include:

  • Brand management
  • Media technologies
  • Communication strategies
  • Marketing analysis
  • Applied market research
  • Consumer behavior
  • Communication and conflict

When pursuing an online masters degree in marketing, you may have a number of specializations to choose from. Available specialties that you can gear your education toward can vary from one school to the next, but they may include:

  • Social media management
  • Sports marketing and media
  • Digital marketing and advertising
  • Public relations
  • Project management
  • New media and communications

The specialty that you choose may influence the direction of your career, including whether you pursue a career in public relations, market research, or sales.

Common Marketing Master’s Concentrations

Common Marketing Master’s

A number of graduate-level marketing programs offer degree specializations, which allow you to develop expertise in a particular area of the field. While specific concentration offerings can vary from one school to the next, some common options include those listed below.

  • Marketing Communications. This specialty deals with the relationship between marketing and communications in advertising, word-of-mouth marketing, social media, and marketing strategy.
  • Social Media Marketing. This concentration covers strategies of designing social media marketing campaigns and utilizing social media data and analytics effectively.
  • Marketing Management. This specialty deals with important management practices in relation to marketing, including decision-making, financial management, and overseeing marketing projects and teams.
  • Digital Marketing. This concentration teaches you to implement marketing and advertising campaigns using multiple forms of digital media, and it helps you understand digital marketing’s relationship with traditional forms of advertising.
  • Marketing Analytics. This specialty area dives into the data and analytics related to planning and executing marketing campaigns, including customer insights, product and campaign costs, and buying behavior.

Each concentration includes distinct course offerings intended to help you develop an in-depth understanding of that particular vein of marketing.

Marketing Careers & Salaries

Marketing Careers & Salaries

With a masters degree in marketing, you may find career opportunities in a variety of sectors. These can include nonprofit, government, sports management, finance and insurance, manufacturing, research, education, and consulting services.

Positions in these areas may be related to project management, leadership, teaching, or project execution. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, a Master of Marketing degree can help prepare you for a variety of rewarding career opportunities.

Careers Annual Median Salaries
Chief Executives $185,950
Marketing Managers $142,170
Advertising and Promotions Managers $133,460
Sales Managers $132,290
Public Relations and Fundraising Managers $118,430
General and Operations Managers $103,650
Business Operations Specialists $71,450
Community College Teachers $68,510
Market Research Analysts $65,810
Public Relations Specialists $62,810

The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts job growth for a variety of positions within the field of marketing.

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This includes top executives (4% job growth), sales managers (4%), advertising, promotions, and marketing managers (6%), public relations specialists (7%), public relations managers (9%), and market research analysts (18%).

Marketing Master’s Curriculum

Marketing Master’s Curriculum

When completing a masters degree in marketing, you may take a blend of coursework covering different areas of the marketing field, including social media, digital marketing, analytics, communications, and public relations. Potential courses include:

  • Market Research and Customer Insights: You’ll develop an understanding of customer behavior to better implement marketing initiatives, design products and services, and improve the performance of marketing campaigns.
  • Communicating with Social Media and Digital Media: You’ll learn to utilize effective digital and social media marketing strategies and communication tools in order to connect with an audience and communicate a brand.
  • Brand and Product Management: This course explores key principles of brand management, including brand architecture and sustainability, and how it relates to the success of product and service offerings.
  • Relationship Marketing: You’ll develop an understanding of how to establish and maintain relationships with a customer base through various marketing tactics.
  • Digital Marketing: You’ll learn about the various digital marketing tools available to support the management of marketing campaigns, ranging from content marketing and search engine optimization to platform analytics.
  • Effective Media Analysis: This course covers different social media platforms available to support businesses in building effective social media marketing strategies.
  • Advanced Project Management: You’ll develop an understanding of key project management principles, including selecting a project, creating a project plan, understanding project costs, and managing project risk.
  • Ethical and Legal Issues in Marketing: You’ll review common ethical and legal issues related to the field of marketing, such as product liability, social responsibility, and competitive intelligence.
  • Sports Marketing and Public Relations: You’ll learn about fundamental marketing theories, practices, and applications as they relate to the sports industry.
  • Sports Development and Sales: You’ll develop an understanding of various professional sales practices employed in the world of sports management, including relationship building and donor relations.

Course offerings can vary depending on the marketing specialty you choose to pursue as part of your masters-level education.

How to Choose an Online Master’s in Marketing Program

Master’s in Marketing Program

When deciding on an online master’s program in marketing, there are a number of important factors to consider.

  • Thesis requirement. Some programs require you to complete a thesis as part of your degree.
  • Attendance options. Whether you are able to attend on a full-time or part-time basis may influence whether a particular degree program is the right fit for you.
  • Program length. Depending on the school and the type of program, the required credit hours for a program can vary. A program with fewer credit hour requirements will generally take less time to complete, but a longer program may offer additional training.
  • Concentration offerings. Understanding what areas of concentration are available as part of a marketing masters degree program can also influence which program option you choose.

Another consideration is to determine what type of degree best fits your needs, as different schools may have distinct degree offerings.

Common degrees include a Master of Science in Marketing (MS in Marketing), a Master of Arts in Marketing (MA in Marketing), or a Master of Business Administration with a marketing concentration (MBA in Marketing).

Admissions Requirements

Master’s in Marketing Program Admissions

While admission requirements for online masters in marketing programs can vary from one school to the next, some common criteria includes:

  • Bachelor degree from an accredited institution
  • Transcripts from previous postsecondary studies
  • Resume or CV
  • GRE or GMAT scores (if required)
  • Letters of recommendation (only some schools require them)

Additional requirements may include the completion of an online application, submission of a letter of intent, and passing of an English proficiency test.

Accreditation

Master’s in Marketing Program Accreditation

The regional accreditation status of the school you choose to attend is an important consideration. This status indicates that the school has met predetermined quality standards for its educational offerings.

Attending a regionally accredited institution can not only influence your ability to transfer credits into another program but also influence your ability to enroll in a PhD program down the road. Accreditation can also play a role in the hiring decision of potential employers.

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For more information on the regional accreditation status of the school you’re interested in attending, you can visit the US Department of Education’s website.

Financial Aid and Scholarships

Master’s in Marketing Program financial aid

Earning a masters in marketing online comes with a cost, but you may be eligible to receive funding from a variety of sources in order to help relieve some of the financial burden. Financial aid options include:

  • Grants and loans from both federal and state governments. Grants generally don’t require repayment, while loans do.
  • Scholarships from private and public organizations. In some cases, scholarship offerings may be targeted towards specific areas of study and groups of individuals.
  • Tuition reimbursement programs. Some employers offer tuition reimbursement. Employer training or professional development programs may also be available if you’re currently employed.

For more information, you can visit the US Department of Education’s website and fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

Marketing Professional Organizations

Marketing Professional Organizations

Professional marketing organizations may offer a good deal of benefits throughout your career, particularly when it comes to networking and meeting other professionals in your field.

Some professional marketing organizations include:

Networking in these groups may offer you new job or employment prospects and opportunities. Joining an organization can also connect you with potential clients or open the door to valuable professional training opportunities.

Should I Get a Master’s in Marketing?

Master’s in Marketing

Whether you should get a master’s in marketing depends on your personal and professional goals.

Benefits of holding a masters in marketing may include:

  • Greater job growth potential
  • Higher salary potential
  • Greater job versatility
  • Greater job security

If you’re interested in securing a position in leadership or management, a masters degree can help you develop leadership skills and often qualify you for greater responsibility in the workplace. The decision on whether to earn a masters in marketing is very subjective to your circumstances, interests, and goals.

What Can You Do with a Masters in Marketing?

Master’s in Marketing Roles

An online master’s in marketing can help qualify you to take on roles in leadership, management, research, and teaching.

Senior roles in this field include chief marketing officer, marketing manager, advertising manager, public relations manager, and community college instructor. Additional positions that are common in marketing and related fields include public relations specialist, marketing specialist, market researcher, or business operations specialist.

How Long Does It Take to Get a Masters in Marketing?

The specific length of time required to earn a masters in marketing will vary, but it generally takes around 2 years to earn a masters degree.

With that being said, if your program consists of 36 credit hours with no thesis requirement, you may finish in as little as 1 year with full-time enrollment. This includes attendance during the summer.

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If you need to complete a thesis or enroll in classes on a part-time basis, it make take you longer to complete your program.

Should I Get a Masters in Marketing or MBA?

Marketing or MBA

Whether you should get a master’s in marketing or an MBA depends on your personal and professional goals.

A master’s in marketing can help you develop advanced expertise in the field of marketing. This specialized knowledge can be utilized in various marketing or public relations management positions.

A Master of Business Administration (MBA), on the other hand, focuses on the management and leadership aspects of marketing within an organization. This specialized knowledge can be applicable to both marketing and non-marketing positions.

What’s the Difference Between an MBA vs. Masters in Marketing Degree?

While masters in marketing and MBA in Marketing programs both focus on important concepts related to marketing, they do so in different ways and with different goals in mind.

Masters in Marketing MBA in Marketing
  • Focuses on the advanced study of key marketing concepts
  • Suitable for careers in the field of marketing specifically
  • Covers topics like digital media, media relations, and communicating with consumers
  • Focuses on leadership and management skills in relation to marketing
  • May be more transferable to other, non-marketing-related leadership and management positions
  • Covers topics like finance, economics, and human resources

The option that is right for you will often depend on your overall career goals.

What’s the Difference Between a Graduate Certificate vs. Masters in Marketing?

Graduate certificates and masters in marketing programs both offer graduate-level education in relation to marketing, but they are different and distinct educational programs.

Graduate Certificates Master’s Degrees
  • Usually take less time to complete than a master’s degree program
  • Include less courses
  • May require the completion of 12 credits, depending on the program
  • More in-depth level of learning than a graduate certificate program
  • May require the completion of 30 to 36 credits, depending on the program
  • May include a thesis requirement

Whether you want to complete a graduate certificate or a master’s degree program may depend on your specific circumstances, including your professional goals, personal life, and financial ability.

Is a Masters Degree in Marketing Worth It?

Yes, a masters degree in marketing is worth it for many professionals. Earning a master’s degree in marketing online can help you develop expertise in the field. Common careers in the field include marketing manager, public relations specialist, advertising manager, chief marketing officer, market research specialist, and community college instructor.

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Additionally, a number of these roles are predicted to experience positive job growth over the next ten years. For instance, the Bureau of Labor Statistics projects 7% job growth for marketing managers. Management occupations in general are expected to grow 5%.

Universities Offering Online Masters in Marketing Degree Programs

Methodology: The following school list is in alphabetical order. To be included, a college or university must be regionally accredited and offer marketing degree programs online or in a hybrid format.

American University

American University

American University offers an online Master of Science in Marketing Analytics. The program requires the completion of 33 credits, including 2 practicum courses that are held on campus.

Students can typically finish the program in 15 months. Applicants must submit an online application, official transcripts, a personal statement, and letters of recommendation.

American University is accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges.

Bellevue University

Bellevue University

Bellevue University offers an online Master of Science in Strategic Marketing. Students must complete 36 credit hours to graduate. Classes are offered as a cohort and may be taken one course at a time. To be eligible for the program, applicants must have a bachelor’s degree with a GPA of 2.5 or higher from the last 60 credits obtained.

Bellevue University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Boston University

Boston University

Boston University offers an online Master of Science in Global Marketing Management. The program can typically be completed in 24 months and requires 40 credit hours, including 2 electives. Applicants must submit 3 letters of recommendation, a resume, all official transcripts, a personal statement, and an application.

Boston University is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education.

Florida International University

Florida International University

Florida International University offers an online Master of Science in Marketing. Students may choose to add one of three specializations to their degree: digital marketing, brand development, and marketing analytics.

Applicants must have a bachelor’s degree with a GPA of 3.0 or higher and either 3 years of work experience or a score of 500 or more on the GMAT.

Florida International University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

Liberty University

Liberty University

Liberty University offers an online Master’s in Marketing. The program offers 5 specializations and can usually be completed in 1.5 years. To graduate, students must obtain 36 credit hours. Each course is 8 weeks long. Applicants must have a bachelor’s degree with a GPA of 3.0 or higher.

Liberty University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

Lindenwood University

Lindenwood University

Lindenwood University offers an online Master of Science in Digital Marketing. The program requires 36 credit hours and a thesis or directed project and can typically be completed in a year. Applicants must submit a resume, a letter of intent, 3 letters of recommendation, and a portfolio when applying.

Lindenwood University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Regent University

Regent University

Regent University offers an online Master of Arts in Campaigns and Political Leadership with a focus on Marketing and Communication.

To graduate, students must complete 33 credit hours, including an internship. Applicants must apply online with college transcripts and government-issued ID. A resume and GRE scores are optional but may be submitted to strengthen an application.

Regent University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

Regis University

Regis University

Regis University offers a Master of Science in Marketing. Courses can be taken online or on campus and are 8 weeks long. To graduate, students must complete 30 credit hours. Those interested in the program must have a bachelor’s degree and need to submit official transcripts, a resume, and an admission essay.

Regis University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Rutgers University

Rutgers University

Rutgers University offers a Master of Science in Digital Marketing. The program can usually be completed online within 9 months and requires 30 credits to graduate. Applicants must have a bachelor’s degree with a minimum GPA of 3.0, experience in the field, 3 essays, and 3 letters of recommendation.

Rutgers is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

Saint Joseph’s University

Saint Joseph’s University

Saint Joseph’s University offers a Master of Science in Marketing. The program, which can usually be completed in a year, offers online classes that are 8 weeks long.

Those interested in the program must submit an application packet with official transcripts, 2 letters of recommendation, a resume, a personal statement, and GMAT or GRE scores.

Saint Joseph’s University is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

Santa Clara University

Santa Clara University

Santa Clara University offers an online Master of Science in Marketing. To graduate, students must complete 36 credit hours. Only one on-campus, weekend residency is required. Those interested in the program must complete an online application, submit 2 letters of recommendation and 3 essays, and finish a personal admission interview.

Santa Clara University is accredited by The WASC Senior College and University Commission.

Southern New Hampshire University

Southern New Hampshire University

Southern New Hampshire University offers a Master of Science in Marketing.

Students must complete 36 credits to graduate and have the option to transfer in up to 12 qualifying graduate credits. One of four concentrations, such as Social Media Marketing may also be added. Applicants can apply at any time by contacting an admissions counselor.

Southern New Hampshire University is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education.

Union College

Union College

Union College offers a Master of Science in Digital Marketing and Communications. The program requires 30 credit hours to graduate and can usually be completed in 2 years.

To be eligible for the program, applicants must have a bachelor’s degree with a minimum GPA of 2.5. Official transcripts, 2 letters of recommendation, and a signed curriculum contract must be submitted.

Union College is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

University of Alabama

University of Alabama

The University of Alabama offers an online Master of Science in Marketing. To graduate, students must complete 30 credit hours, including a capstone project. To be eligible for the program, applicants must have a GPA of 3.0 or higher, GMAT or GRE scores, a statement of purpose, a resume, and 3 letters of recommendation.

The University of Alabama is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

University of Arizona

University of Arizona

The University of Arizona offers a Master of Science in Marketing. The program requires 30 units to graduate and can usually be completed in 12 months.

A summer internship must be completed after the second semester. Applicants must submit an online application with a resume, a statement of purpose, 2 letters of recommendation, GMAT or GRE scores, and official transcripts.

The University of Arizona is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

University of Colorado

University of Colorado - Denver

The University of Colorado offers both an online Master of Science in Marketing and a Master of Business Administration with a concentration in Marketing.

Students must complete 30 credit hours to be able to graduate. Applicants must submit official transcripts from any post-secondary schools attended, an essay, a resume, a letter of recommendation, and GMAT or GRE scores.

The University of Colorado is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

University of Illinois – Chicago

University of Illinois – Chicago

The University of Illinois—Chicago offers a Master of Science in Marketing. To graduate, students must complete 34 credit hours and a capstone project.

Applicants must have a GPA of 3.0 or higher from a business-related bachelor’s program. They also need to submit a personal statement, 2 letters of recommendation, and GMAT or GRE scores when applying.

The University of Illinois Chicago is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

University of Texas – Dallas

University of Texas Dallas

The University of Texas—Dallas offers an online Master’s in Marketing with a track in Management. To graduate, students must complete 36 semester credit hours. Those interested in the program need to submit official transcripts, a resume, a letter of recommendation, and a personal objective statement.

The University of Texas at Dallas is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

Walden University

Walden University

Walden University offers a Master of Science in Marketing. To graduate, students must complete 30 semester hours, including 3 hours dedicated to a capstone project.

Up to 15 credits may be transferred into the program. Applicants must have a bachelor’s degree and need to submit official transcripts from any post-secondary institutions attended.

Walden is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission.

William and Mary

William and Mary

The Raymond A. Mason School of Business at William & Mary offers a Master’s in Marketing. To graduate, students must complete 33 credit hours, including a capstone project and one on-campus residency. Applicants must have a bachelor’s degree and two years of professional working experience to be eligible for the program

William & Mary is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

Earning Your Masters in Marketing Online

Masters in Marketing Online

If you’re interested in advancing your career in marketing, then you may consider earning your master’s in marketing online. With different academic specializations available, there are a variety of career trajectories you may have the opportunity to pursue.

Depending on your chosen concentration, you can develop specialized expertise in brand awareness, digital marketing strategies, social media management, and marketing analytics.

The field of marketing is experiencing positive job growth, and a masters degree can help you qualify for greater responsibilities as well as higher than average salaries. You can start your higher educational journey today by exploring the different online marketing masters degree or online MBA in Marketing options from accredited universities.

Ready to start your journey?
Brenda Pyzik
WRITTEN BY
Brenda Pyzik
Brenda earned her bachelor’s degree in sociology from the University of Waterloo, with a minor in legal studies. She obtained a graduate certificate in human resource management from Georgian College. Brenda’s focus is on employment, entrepreneurship, business, and training and development.