Best Online Master’s in Marketing Degrees 2021

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Every day, consumers see advertisements in newspapers, on television, and on the internet. Marketing professionals create video and image advertisements based on market research. The profession includes numerous subfields. For example, digital marketers use targeted advertisements to help companies spread messages online.

Creative individuals with strong communication, research, and interpersonal skills often succeed in the marketing field. Responsibilities vary by position, but marketing professionals all need a passion for continued learning and skills development. Graduates of online marketing master’s programs often become marketing specialists, brand managers, and promotions directors.

Recent college graduates and working professionals with a bachelor’s degree can enroll in online marketing master’s programs. Many online programs feature benefits including flexible scheduling options and discounted tuition rates.


  • What is marketing?

    Marketing involves researching consumer preferences and using the results to create marketing campaigns. Marketing professionals often develop print advertisements, television commercials, and internet banners.

  • How long does it take to earn a master's in marketing?

    Full-time students typically finish online master’s in marketing programs in 1.5-2 years. Degree-seekers with transfer credit and learners in accelerated programs often graduate sooner.

  • What can I do with a master's in marketing?

    Graduating from one of the best marketing master’s online programs can qualify learners for management positions. Some master’s programs feature specialization options such as international marketing.

  • What is the difference between marketing and advertising?

    Advertising is a marketing subfield. Marketing professionals analyze the needs of their employer or client before planning an advertising campaign. Advertisers execute marketers’ plans by creating the advertisements that consumers see and hear.

  • What is the difference between marketing and sales?

    Sales involves contacting potential clients directly, by means such as telephone. Marketing campaigns involve passive advertisements that consumers see during the course of their daily activities.


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Career and Salary Outlook for Marketing Master’s Graduates

The best marketing master’s online programs prepare students for careers in advertising, promotions, and marketing. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects employment for these professionals to increase 6% from 2019-2029, faster than the median projected growth rate for all occupations. According to the BLS data, marketing managers earn a median annual salary of $135,900, which is more than three times the median annual salary for all careers.

Typical responsibilities of advertising, promotions, and marketing managers include collaborating with other management professionals to plan advertising campaigns. These individuals may create plans for promotions, billboards, and online media. Marketing professionals also evaluate websites’ effectiveness in attracting and retaining customers. Like managers in other fields, marketing managers play a significant role in hiring, training, and mentoring new staff members.

In addition to earning an online master’s in marketing, professionals can increase their earning potential by specializing in a certain area. Marketing managers research consumer needs, while promotions managers develop campaigns that include coupons and discounts. Advertising managers develop advertisements to increase revenue for their employer or client.

Advertising, Promotions, and Marketing Managers

Lowest 10% Median Annual Salary Highest 10%
Less than $61,930 $125,510 More than $208,000

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

Accreditation for Marketing

Universities that offer online master’s in marketing programs should hold regional accreditation from one of six agencies the U.S. Department of Education charters. These schools should also possess national accreditation from the Distance Education Accrediting Commission (DEAC). DEAC accreditation signifies that a school’s online and on-campus programs deliver the same educational experience and learning outcomes.

The Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP) grants programmatic accreditation to the best undergraduate and graduate marketing programs. The Council for Higher Education Accreditation maintains an online list of all ACBSP-accredited programs.

Courses in a Marketing Program

Online master’s in marketing programs emphasize in-demand skills such as analysis, planning, and critical thinking. Students complete coursework on topics such as marketing strategies, consumer behavior and marketing, and ethical and legal issues in marketing. Degree-seekers who select a concentration take advanced coursework in an area such as digital marketing or social media marketing.

The following sample curriculum highlights five courses common to many online master’s in making programs. Course titles and academic requirements vary by school, so learners should contact their prospective institution for details about course availability and requirements. Some schools also post course syllabi online.

  • Marketing Strategies

    This course examines various methods that companies use to determine and satisfy customers’ needs and wants. Students learn how to identify a market, perform research, and develop an appropriate product. Degree-seekers also explore steps for setting prices, creating advertisements, and handling distribution.

  • Consumer Behavior and Marketing

    Marketing professionals need in-depth knowledge of human psychology, sociology, and economics. This course explores topics that influence consumers’ purchasing decisions. Graduates can apply knowledge and skills from this class to develop effective marketing campaigns and advertisements.

  • Ethical and Legal Issues in Marketing

    Because marketing professionals influence people’s purchasing decisions, individuals in the field must follow the rules and regulations governing advertising, market research, and product liability. Degree-seekers in this class create a personal ethical framework that they can follow throughout their career.

  • Digital Marketing

    This class prepares students to create the marketing campaigns people see while browsing the internet. Course topics include funnel analysis, digital marketing trends, and lead generation. Degree-seekers also become proficient with the software that marketing managers use, which can make graduates more attractive job candidates.

  • Social Media Marketing

    Marketing managers often use social media to reach potential customers. This course explores the relationships between social media and marketing, brand communities, and audience engagement. Students learn how to analyze metrics and use the results to hone future social media marketing campaigns.

Scholarships for Marketing

Even students in the most affordable marketing master’s online programs can benefit from scholarships. Awards, such as those below, provide funding to degree-seekers in the field. Scholarship application materials typically include official transcripts and an essay. Learners should research each scholarship opportunity’s requirements and deadline before applying.

AfterCollege Business Student Scholarship

Who Can Apply: AfterCollege, Inc. awards this competitive scholarship to undergraduate and graduate students earning a business-related degree. Applicants submit transcripts and must hold a minimum 3.0 GPA. Interested learners should apply by March 31.

Amount: $500

Advancement of Women in Sports & Entertainment Scholarship

Who Can Apply: The Floyd Mayweather Jr. Foundation offers this scholarship to women preparing for a career in the sports or entertainment field. Applicants must be enrolled full time and need a minimum 2.75 undergraduate or graduate GPA.

Amount: $1,000

Graduate and Ph.D. Scholarships

Who Can Apply: The LAGRANT Foundation delivers these awards to members of minority groups who are studying marketing or a related subject. Applicants submit a resume, unofficial transcripts, and one recommendation letter. Scholarship winners also receive a free trip to New York City.

Amount: $3,750

Best Online Master’s in Marketing Degrees 2021

This section highlights the best online master’s in marketing degrees for 2021. The following ranking includes information about each program’s course and graduation requirements, admissions procedures, and financial aid opportunities. For more details, students can contact academic and admissions advisors at prospective schools.

  1. Florida International University

    Miami, FL



    Florida International University is located in sunny Miami. This is the city's first and only public research university, offering bachelor's, master's, and doctoral degrees. Degree programs are available both on campus and online. The university opened in 1972 with 5,667 students, making it the largest opening enrollment in U.S. collegiate history. Today, an annual student body of nearly 54,000 places FIU among the top 10 largest universities in the country.

    The master of science in marketing program in the FIU business school focuses on three key strategic areas: digital marketing, brand development, and marketing analytics. When started in August, the program takes just 10 months to complete.

    Students can also participate in a 16-month version of the program that begins in January. The program is composed of weekday evening or Saturday-only classes to meet working professionals' needs. Program faculty are marketing industry leaders with current, real-world experience.

    The FIU business school is accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business International. FIU is also regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

  2. Liberty University

    Lynchburg, VA



    Located in Lynchburg, Virginia, Liberty University was founded in 1971 and now enrolls over 100,000 students. Lynchburg sits on the edge of the Blue Ridge Mountains, about 180 miles southwest of Washington, D.C. The university offers over 700 programs and more than 450 online programs across its 15 colleges and schools.

    Liberty's master's in marketing degree is 100% online and comprises 36 credit hours. Students can personalize their marketing degree with specializations including project management, public relations, and social media management. Liberty University is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, and its school of business is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs.

  3. Regent University

    Virginia Beach, VA



    Regent University is a Christian university located in Virginia Beach, Virginia. The campus sits just 16 miles from the Atlantic Ocean, near Norfolk. Regent offers over 150 areas of study on campus and online. Founded in 1978, the university now enrolls more than 11,000 students annually.

    Regent's master of arts in campaigns and political leadership with a concentration in marketing and communication serves students with a passion for politics and marketing. Award-winning faculty with extensive field experience teach this program. At 33 credit hours, the program takes place fully online or online with some face-to-face components at the Virginia Beach campus.

    Students can also pursue a master of arts in campaigns and political leadership. This master's offers concentrations in information studies and data analytics, leadership and ethics, and policy studies. The university is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, and its school of business is accredited by the Advance Collegiate Schools of Business International.

  4. Union College

    Barbourville, KY



    Founded in 1879, Union College is located in Barbourville, Kentucky, and affiliated with the United Methodist Church. Barbourville is known for its rich history and extensive outdoor recreation options. The university is home to more than 25 clubs and organizations that help students develop their personal and professional passions.

    Union offers several online undergraduate and graduate degree programs with eight-week courses and six starting points each year. The university's master of science in digital marketing and communications takes less than two years to complete. The 30-credit program is 100% online, including 12 credits of core management classes and 18 credits of discipline-specific management coursework.

    Union College is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges and the Kentucky Education Professional Standards Board.

  5. Concordia University Wisconsin

    Mequon, WI



    Concordia University Wisconsin is part of the Concordia University System, a nationwide network of colleges and universities affiliated with The Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod. The university was founded in Mequon in 1881, now enrolling over 8,000 students across more than 70 majors and programs. Mequon is situated along Lake Michigan, about 40 miles north of the Illinois border.

    CUW offers an online master of business administration in strategic marketing with a schedule developed for working professionals' needs. In addition to its main Mequon and online campuses, CUW also has center locations that offer in-person, accelerated versions of the program.

    This MBA curriculum familiarizes students with the modern tools, applications, and platforms used by marketing industry professionals, comprising 36 credits. Concordia University Wisconsin is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

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