Become a Marketer for Businesses with a Master's Degree
A master's degree in marketing helps graduates enhance their careers. Applicants need a bachelor's degree. Some master's programs limit applicants to those with experience. Coursework may cover pricing strategies, new product development, and statistics for marketing. These and other classes help students develop analytical and teamwork skills.
Degree-holders may work as marketing analysts, digital marketing specialists, or social media specialists. This page lists the best master's in marketing degrees. Read on to learn about costs, common classes, and potential careers. The embedded links provide more information.
Frequently Asked Questions About Marketing
What job can I get with a master's in marketing?
A master's degree in marketing trains learners to improve their employer's brand. Graduates may work as brand managers or account managers.
How long does a master's in marketing take?
The answer depends on whether students enroll full or part time. Full-time learners can earn a master's in two years. Part-time enrollees take longer. Accelerated programs help students graduate sooner.
Can I earn a master's in marketing in a year?
Yes. Accelerated programs help students earn a master's in marketing degree in one year. Learners can also graduate sooner by transferring credit.
Why Get a Degree in Marketing?
Earning a master's in marketing can make graduates competitive in the job market. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects jobs for marketing managers to grow 10% from 2020-2030. Professionals with a master's also >earn more than those with only a bachelor's.
Students who pursue a master's in marketing degree online benefit from flexibility. Many online programs run asynchronously. This format lets students earn a degree while continuing their careers or raising a family. An online format also lets degree-seekers attend top programs without relocating.
How Much Does a Marketing Degree Cost?
Master's degrees cost an average of $66,340, according to EducationData.org. However, cost varies by school and learners' residency status. Students attending public, in-state schools typically pay the most affordable tuition. Learners attending private schools or out-of-state colleges usually spend more.
Students can save money by researching whether their employer offers a tuition-reimbursement program. In these programs, participants do not pay out of pocket for their education. However, they may need to agree to stay with their employer for a specific number of years after graduation. Degree-seekers can also apply for federal grants and loans.
How Much Do Marketing Majors Make?
Many factors impact salary, including workers' role and geographic location. Advertising and promotions managers in New York, New Jersey, and Colorado earn average annual salaries of $163,040-$183,640.
Higher education helps salary potential in many ways. For example, coursework and internships can improve graduates' resumes. This advantage may qualify them for raises or high-paying positions. Other benefits include mastering the latest industry best practices. This knowledge may make applicants more attractive to employers.
Courses in Marketing
Top master's in marketing degrees emphasize brand building, social media, and target audiences. Students complete core classes and choose a concentration. Options may include digital marketing and marketing research and analytics. New media and communication is another concentration.
See below for three common classes in a marketing degree's core curriculum. Class names, topics, and academic expectations vary by school. Some of these differences affect learners' career paths. Students should research their prospective program in depth before applying. A school's admissions department can provide more information.
This class requires students to develop their market research skills by analyzing global market trends. Coursework covers product development, consumer behavior, and branding fundamentals. Enrollees research current foreign market conditions and how change affects new growth potential.
International Marketing Strategy
Marketing experts must use ethical principles when making business decisions. This class helps students develop these skills with coursework in U.S. marketing law, product liability, and pricing. Top programs with this class feature an evolving curriculum that responds to changes in business practices.
Ethical and Legal Issues in Marketing
The best master's degree in marketing programs conclude with a final-semester capstone class. Students work with an academic advisor to create a unique project involving original research. Learners showcase their skills and knowledge through this project. Some capstones include an extended essay or presentation.
Career and Salary Outlook for Marketing
Graduates with a degree in marketing can explore many jobs. University career centers help learners by providing interest inventories, resume guides, and job boards. Advisors also offer advice during one-on-one sessions.
See below for three possible careers for master's degree-holders. Please note that job responsibilities and titles vary by employer.
Advertising, Promotions, and Marketing ManagersThese professionals develop budgets, promotional campaigns, and advertising campaigns. They collaborate with other senior managers, meet with clients, and hire new employees. These managers often work for advertising or information services agencies. Some employers reserve promotions for employees with a master's.
Market Research AnalysisThese workers use their education and expertise to monitor sales trends and gather and analyze data. They also prepare reports for other managers. They work in many industries, including management, finance, and publishing. Market research analysts give presentations and need strong communication skills.
Public Relations and Fundraising ManagersPublic relations managers improve their employer's public image. They write press releases, create promotional programs, and develop corporate images. Fundraising managers perform related tasks, such as developing fundraising campaigns and meeting donors. They also write grant proposals. These managers often work in the professional, education, and scientific fields.
|Career||Median Annual Salary||Projected Growth Rate (2020-2030)|
|Advertising, Promotions, and Marketing Managers||$141,490||10%|
|Market Research Analaysis||$65,810||22%|
|Public Relations and Fundraising Managers||$118,430||13%|
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics
Best Master's Degrees in Marketing
At the top of the list of the 20 Best Master’s in Marketing is Columbia University’s Master of Science in Marketing Science program. This degree can be finished in two terms, and it is STEM-eligible. Through its intensive curriculum, Columbia seeks to prepare its students as researchers who are able to use their analytical skills to excel in the industry. The degree requires 30 credit hours of coursework, and it uniquely requires that students take at least two electives in the doctoral program in order to add a competitive edge to their knowledge. Students may also write a master’s thesis during their time at Columbia.
Northwestern University helps its students to become leaders in digital strategy and marketing through its Master of Science in Integrated Marketing Communications program. The program typically takes 15 months to complete. Students can also choose from sequences in order to tailor their curriculum to their interests. These sequence options include Consumer Insights and Analytics, Messages and Content, and Media. Additionally, as part of this program, students work on a team for a company for ten weeks in which they assist with that organization’s current marketing. There are also study abroad opportunities in Asia, England, France, and Chile. Eighteen credits are required for this degree.
Johns Hopkins University capitalizes on its expertise in research in order to provide a cutting edge curriculum and experience to its students in the Master of Science in Marketing program. This degree requires 36 credit hours of study, and it can be finished in one year. Students can opt to attend Johns Hopkins full- or part-time. For those who choose the latter, there is also an online option. Some examples of course titles include Pricing Analytics, Business-to-Business Marketing, and Strategic Market Intelligence. Graduates of Johns Hopkins’ business programs have gone on to work for the United States Department of Defense, The Kraft Heinz Company, Procter & Gamble, and Verizon Wireless, among others.
Students can finish their Master of Science in Marketing at Texas A&M University. The program typically takes 16 months to complete, and it does require some prerequisite experience in marketing. While in the program, students can take advantage of the partnership that the Mays Business School has built up at Texas A&M. There is a Corporate Mentor Program, where a student is assigned to an advisory board member-mentor for the duration of the program. Additionally, teams of students can also work with a marketing firm on projects in order to gain real-world experience. In total, this degree requires 36 credit hours of coursework.
The University of Texas at Dallas offers a Master of Science in Marketing program that gives students the flexibility to specialize in their area of interest while also deciding in which format they will complete the degree. Classes are held on-campus in the evening and online, allowing students to still work full- or part-time. Additionally, students can choose from six specialty tracks, which are Business Development and Sales, Digital Advertising and Marketing, Advertising and Branding, Marketing Analytics and Customer Insights, Product Management, and Marketing Management. The degree requires 36 credit hours. Alternatively, however, students can earn a dual MS in Marketing and a Master of Business Administration degree by taking 63 credit hours of coursework.
Students can complete the Master of Science in Marketing Research program at Michigan State University online or from the comfort of their home. This program has fall and spring cohorts, as well as an online option. It typically takes about 12 to 20 months to finish and requires 34 credits of coursework. During the course of the program, students must put together a capstone project. Students can also do an internship for credit. Other courses in this program include New Design and Methods, Online Research Communities, and Applications in Predictive Analysis. Ninety-eight percent of graduates from 2011 to 2016 are employed full-time, and they are employed by companies like FedEx, IBM, and Microsoft.
Vanderbilt University recognizes the creativity required in business through its Master of Marketing program. It requires 31 credit hours of coursework. Students complete classes in modules, meaning that each course is seven weeks in length, and students take several courses per module. Two modules are equivalent to a full semester. This schedule allows students to earn their master’s in ten months. During this time, students are able to take advantage of opportunities like career development workshops, peer coaching, networking events, and mock interviews. Students must also complete real-world immersion experiences to help grow their experience. They can also get involved with the Vanderbilt Marketing Association.
The University of Southern California has a Master of Science in Marketing program that values individualized attention for its students. It is so personalized that every student in the program meets with the MS in Marketing Associate Director to talk about their goals. In total, 30 credits of coursework must be completed for graduation, this can usually be done in two years. Students can also choose the Analytics and the Consumer Behavior tracks. Additionally, they can receive credit for an internship. USC also has a graduate certificate in the Business of Entertainment to offer additional knowledge to students interested in working in film and television.
The University of Maryland helps business professionals make critical decisions about advertising and strategy through its Master of Science in Marketing Analytics program. This program requires 12 courses, one of which is an Action Learning Project. While pursuing this degree, students learn about statistics and programming as well as about consumer analysis and micro-targeting. This is also a STEM-eligible program that can be finished in either ten or 16 months. Some examples of courses include Market-Based Management, Business Policies & Ethics, and Marketing Forecasting. The University of Maryland is also home to the Smith Analytics Consortium, which brings together big businesses like Deloitte and Unilever, among others, for experiential learning projects with students.
The University of Texas at Austin uses its research base to form a community of learners dedicated to the study of marketing. The Master of Science in Marketing program is cohort-based. This degree, which can be finished in ten months, is also a STEM-certified program. UT Austin brings together data analysis with marketing theory and even offers students one-on-one sessions with career coaches to bring that knowledge out of the classroom and into the workplace. The degree requires 36 credit hours of coursework. The culminating experience is a practicum in which students receive hands-on training in the field.
Georgia State University prides itself on the project-based curriculum in its Master of Science in Marketing program. For example, in 2017, MS students collaborated with Trees Atlanta to come up ways to advertise the organization which seeks to advocate for the planting and protection of trees in Atlanta. Students have also benefited from the Social Media Intelligence Lab on campus. GSU also gives students the opportunity to earn a dual degree where they graduate with both the MS in Marketing and an MS in Analytics. The MS in Marketing alone requires 30 credits of study and can be completed in one year. Graduates have gone on to work for companies like CNN, Georgia-Pacific, and Bank of America.
Students learn about how to apply quantitative and qualitative skills to marketing theory in the Master of Science in Marketing program at Clemson University. The curriculum is designed to prepare students for careers in the field or for further study. In total, the MS takes about one year to complete, and many students have some prior work experience coming into the program. Clemon requires 30 credits of graduate coursework, and students take a core of marketing and business classes that include Marketing Research, Buyer Behavior, and Advanced Marketing Strategy. Students must also complete a research project as part of their time in the program.
The University of Houston offers a Master of Science in Marketing program. UH utilizes its connections to the business community in Houston to advance students’ careers. This program requires 36 credit hours of coursework, and it can be completed in as little as one year. Students can also opt to work on their degree part-time, typically finishing in about two years. During their time in the program, students take classes like New Product Development, Sales Leadership, and Integrated Marketing Communications. The curriculum culminates in a final professional project. Students can also take advantage of facilities and opportunities like RED Labs, which is a startup accelerator. Additionally, students at the university have consistently placed well in the Google Online Marketing Challenge.
Students can earn their Master of Science in Marketing from DePaul University. In this program, students benefit from the expertise of their faculty members who have worked for and with companies like Frito-Lay, Whirlpool, and the American Medical Association. They can enter the program at the start of the fall, winter, spring, and summer terms, and finish 12 courses in order to graduate. Some examples of classes include Analytical Tools for Marketers, Leading Business Development, Advertising and Sales Promotion, and Pricing Strategy. Scholarships are available from the Kellstadt Graduate School of Business.
The University of Cincinnati offers a Master of Science in Marketing program that draws on its proximity to Fortune 500 companies to educate its students. The Carl H. Lindner College of Business is also accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business. Students can work toward this degree on either a full- or part-time basis, and some finish in as little as one year. UC also has a number of research and teaching assistantships available to make graduate school more affordable for its students. In total, the degree requires 32 credits of coursework. Alumni of this program have gone on to work for the Cincinnati Reds, Abercrombie & Fitch, and Toyota, among others.
Syracuse University has a STEM-designated Master of Science in Marketing program that students can complete in as few as nine months. In this program, students take 30 credit hours of coursework. The courses required for the degree include titles like Economic Foundations of Business, Creating Customer Value, and Managing the Marketing Mix. Syracuse was also ranked No. 26 on U.S. News and World Report’s Best College for Veterans List, as well as No. 51 on its Best Value Schools list. Overall, Syracuse works to ensure that students are marketable to firms and advertising agencies by giving them the ability to analyze and interpret marketing data.
Students can earn their Master of Science in Marketing degree from the University of South Florida. It is geared toward those currently working in the marketing field, and it seeks to grow their experience and knowledge base in order to prepare them for promotion. In this program, students can pick from the following emphases: Marketing Analytics, Digital Marketing and Brand Management, and Supply Chain Management. This program requires 30 to 34 credit hours of coursework, and courses include Creativity in Marketing, Consumer Behavior Insights, and Sports Analytics. This degree also prepares students to go on for a doctoral degree as well as for a career in education.
The Master of Science in Marketing at Hofstra University prepares students to advance in their careers in marketing. Through this program, students become marketing specialists who are able to design and execute strategy. In total, they must complete 30 semester hours. Some classes for this program include Sports and Entertainment Marketing, Personal Selling and Sales Management in a Global Environment, and International Promotional Campaigns. Students can also receive credit for an internship, and Hofstra students have interned with companies like Geico, Madison Square Garden, the New York Jets, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA), and Nickelodeon.
Temple University prepares its students to utilize quantitative and qualitative data to inform their marketing strategy through its Master of Science in Marketing program. Students can finish this program on a full- or part-time basis, and they can also choose between an in-person and online delivery. It is also important to note that Temple’s Fox School of Business and Management is accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business. While in the program, students must take 30 credits of coursework. They can choose from specializations in Enterprise Marketing Management, Marketing Research and Insight, and Strategic Advertising and Marketing.
A Catholic, Jesuit institution, Saint Joseph’s University offers a Master of Science in Marketing. This program is offered both online and on campus. The biggest difference between these two formats is that the on-campus degree has an International Marketing specialization while the Customer Analytics and Insights specialization is available in the online delivery. Otherwise, students follow the same core curriculum at this Catholic, Jesuit institution. At a minimum, students must take 30 credits of graduate coursework. Some of the courses offered include Global Cultures and Consumers, International Product Development & Brand Management, Qualitative Marketing Research, and Advertising & Consumer Insight.