A master’s in marketing offers a versatile and valuable credential for professionals who want to work in business, advertising, and related fields. Graduates with marketing degrees can pursue roles in sales management, public relations, market research, and marketing management. A master’s in marketing also qualifies individuals to work in advertising, fundraising, media planning, and brand management. Many of these jobs boast high earning potential.
Quick Look: Best Master’s in Marketing Degrees
|1||University of Pennsylvania||$31,068|
|2||Texas A&M University||$15,125|
|3||University of Texas at Austin||$20,762|
|4||Carnegie Mellon University||$40,625|
|5||University of Texas at Dallas||$22,282|
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), advertising, promotions, and marketing managers earned an annual median salary of $132,620 in 2018. This pay rate more than doubles the nationwide median salary for all professions. The BLS projects jobs for marketing professionals to grow 8% between 2018 and 2028, which is faster than average.
What Are the Top Marketing Degrees?
All reputable marketing master’s programs share one crucial feature: accreditation. National and regional accrediting bodies conduct thorough, independent evaluations of a school or program’s academic quality. Accreditation is a must-have endorsement which guarantees that employers and other schools will recognize your degree.
Institutions with national accreditation usually feature for-profit structures or target their programs on practical or vocational training. Regional accreditation typically applies to nonprofit schools, state-run public colleges, and schools that focus on conventional academic fields. While both accreditation types are valid, many educators, employers, and students prefer scholastically oriented regional endorsements.
Programmatic accreditation is a third endorsement type. These credentials apply to specific programs or departments rather than the entire institution. Agencies such as the Digital Marketing Institute endorse marketing graduate programs. Some departments may also hold credentials from prestigious accreditors of business programs, including the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business or the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs.
Best Master’s in Marketing Degree Programs for 2020
School rankings help prospective students choose the right marketing master’s program. By reviewing rankings, learners can explore program options, entry requirements, sample curricula, tuition costs, and graduation requirements. Most of all, degree-seekers can use rankings to choose a master’s in marketing program that matches their goals and expectations.
See our rankings methodology page.
University of Pennsylvania
CC Score: 100
Annual Tuition: $31,068
The University of Pennsylvania’s prestigious Wharton School – billed by the institution as the first business school in the world – formed in 1881. Since that time, the department has made a name for itself by educating some of the finest business minds in the country. The school offers an MBA with a concentration in marketing management for students wanting to combine their business smarts with cutting-edge marketing techniques. A marketing and operations management concentration also exists. Wharton maintains a 9% acceptance rate. Once at the school, learners can take part in the Wharton Marketing Club or the annual student awards which recognize exceptional talent.
Texas A&M University
CC Score: 94.14
Annual Tuition: $15,125
TAMU’s Mays Business School provides a master’s in marketing degree for learners looking to gained nuanced skills required in future careers. Comprising 36 credits, most learners complete the program in 16 months of campus-based learning, but an accelerated 12-month option also exists. To receive admissions consideration, applicants need to have taken a number of prerequisites. They must also supply GMAT/GRE scores and show a GPA of 3.5 or higher on their final 60 undergraduate credits. Learners must complete an internship to gain real-world experience; the Career Management Center provides assistance with this. The department maintains active Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and LinkedIn pages for learners wanting more info.
University of Texas at Austin
CC Score: 93.57
Annual Tuition: $20,762
Developed for learners who want to earn their M.S. in marketing quickly, the program at the University of Texas at Austin’s McCombs School of Business takes just 10 months. Learners begin the master’s in marketing in July as a cohort and complete a capstone program in the spring to demonstrate their skills to the school’s numerous corporate partners. While moving through the curriculum, degree seekers receive one-to-one career coaching to prepare them for the next step. Applicants must provide GRE/GMAT scores and show a strong aptitude for mathematics. When they apply, each student automatically receives consideration for the numerous merit-based scholarships offered by the department.
Carnegie Mellon University
CC Score: 92.37
Annual Tuition: $40,625
From its home base in Pittsburgh, Carnegie Mellon University has provided degrees since 1900. The Tepper School of Business offers an MBA program with a concentration in marketing for individuals wanting to learn about the analytical side of the industry. In order to ensure learners participate in effective teaching and learning, the department operates mini-semesters that allow them to study a topic in-depth. Tepper also maintains a student-to-faculty ratio of 8-1, ensuring all degree seekers receive substantial support throughout their time there. Options exist for both full-time (21 months) and part-time (32 months) learning. Regardless of format, students complete a summer internship and can receive scholarship funds.
University of Texas at Dallas
CC Score: 89.24
Annual Tuition: $22,282
First opened in 1975, the AACSB-accredited Jindal School of Management at UT-Dallas plays home to a M.S. in marketing for students looking for flexibility and customization options. In addition to 15 credits related to core topics, students take 21 credits in their chosen specialty. Options currently include advertising and branding, business development and sales, digital advertising and marketing, marketing analytics and customer insights, product management, and marketing management. This masters’s in marketing program takes 12-24 months depending on a student’s schedule. The school requires GMAT/GRE scores and expects GPAs of 3.0 or higher. 70% of students receive financial aid and graduates command average starting salaries of $76,000.
CC Score: 88.4
Annual Tuition: $48,624
Located in the Chicago suburb of Evanston, Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism, Media, and Integrated Marketing Communications offers an M.S. in integrated marketing communications for students interested in connecting analytical decision making to cutting-edge communication theories. Offered only as a full-time program, degree seekers move through five quarters of coursework in approximately 15 months. A specialization in brand strategy also exists. The program as a whole usually has around 128 students enrolled with an average age of 24.6. During the immersion quarter, learners spend 10 weeks completing an internship. They also have the chance to study marketing in action in Asia or at NU’s San Francisco campus.
University of Wisconsin–Madison
CC Score: 86.62
Annual Tuition: $24,054
Offering a different take on the topic, the University of Wisconsin at Madison’s School of Business provides an MBA with a concentration in marketing research. This path frequently appeals to individuals interested in understanding why consumers behave as they do and how to improve marketing strategies. UWM’s program takes approximately two years of full-time study. In addition to core topics, learners can select a number of electives from the A.C. Nielsen Center for Marketing Research. During the final semester, students take part in a consumer insights consulting practicum. Upon leaving UWM, graduates earn average base salaries of $103,045 and work for companies like PepsiCo, General Mills, and Adobe.
CC Score: 86.19
Annual Tuition: $42,280
A great option for students wanting to study and live in New York City, Columbia University offers an M.S. in marketing science. Structured as a STEM-eligible curriculum, the overarching goal of the degree is to help students understand marketing analytics fully. Upon graduation, students take up competitive roles, but the degree also prepares them for Ph.D. programs. In 2017, the degree maintained a 6% acceptance rate with a class size of 10 learners. After leaving Columbia, graduates went on to roles in media (21%), analytics consulting (21%), tech (16%), consumer products (12%) and healthcare (7%). Learners should budget $96,346 for the first year of studies; the department does not provide financial aid.
University of Washington
CC Score: 85.28
Annual Tuition: $27,255
As one of the older business schools in the country, the AACSB-accredited Foster School of Business has existed since 1917 at the University of Washington. The department provides full-time, evening, and executive MBA programs with specializations available in marketing analytics and product marketing. After taking a marketing strategy course, degree seekers select from a broad spectrum of marketing topics to fit their unique goals. Those hoping to learn outside the classroom can take part in an international study tour. Applicants to the program have at minimum two years of work experience and GMAT scores in the mid-80th percentiles. Once enrolled, the program provides 80 executives offering mentoring services throughout the degree. The class of 2017 saw a 98% job placement rate.
University of Maryland–College Park
CC Score: 84.25
Annual Tuition: $24,534
Students seeking a M.S. in marketing analytics can find this and more at the University of Maryland’s Robert H. Smith School of Business. With a focus on using tech and big data to drive cutting-edge analytical methods, students at UMCP learn from experienced and knowledgeable faculty and receive mentorship from executive partners at Amazon, Deloitte, IBM, and Merkle to name a few. The program requires 30 credits and offers both 10-month and 16-month campus-based plans of study. The school requires GRE/GMAT scores but sets no minimum number. Once accepted, the department provides a number of program-specific merit scholarships to offset the programmatic tuition of $49,892 (resident) or $62,762 (nonresident).
University of Florida
CC Score: 83.28
Annual Tuition: $27,335
The University of Florida’s Warrington College of Business provides a full-time MBA at the Gainesville campus with an available concentration in marketing. Aside from business coursework, learners select five electives from the comprehensive marketing class list. Coursework is designed to instill nuanced understandings of topics such as consumer behavior, web-based marketing, and relationship management. This program takes two years and requires 48 credits in total. Classes are taught in seven week modules and followed by a week of final exams. The school does not set specific admissions requirements, but recent classes maintained incoming GPAs of 3.4 and scored 680 on the GMAT.
CC Score: 81.18
Annual Tuition: $43,620
Nashville, Tennessee’s Vanderbilt University provides a masters in marketing for students who want to gain skills needed to take on executive marketing roles in a variety of industries. Provided through the Owen Graduate School of Management, this 10-month program is divided into smaller modules so students can focus intently on specific aspects of marketing. In the final semester, they complete a marketing strategy capstone. Along the way, experienced career mentors provide insight and guidance about next steps after graduation. Accepted applicants hold average GPAs of 3.56 and GRE scores of 306.
Ohio State University
CC Score: 81.06
Annual Tuition: $31,032
The Fisher College of Business, first opened in 1916, operates as part of The Ohio State University campus and provides a master’s in marketing as part of the full-time MBA program. The program focuses heavily on providing experiential learning opportunities in the form of field-based coursework, business plan competitions, the Fisher Board Fellows, and case competitions. After completing 27 credits in core requirements, degree seekers take 12 hours of marketing courses and 18 elective credits based on career goals. Each incoming class consists of approximately 100 students, with 96% finding employment within three months of graduating.
CC Score: 80.73
Annual Tuition: $21,042
Located in Philadelphia, Temple University began providing higher educations in 1884. 34 years later, in 1918, the Fox School of Business and Management opened. The department offers a master’s in marketing for marketers with existing experience who want to further grow their knowledge. The M.S. in marketing devotes 15 credits towards core courses and allows learners to choose from 15-credit specializations in enterprise marketing management or market research and insights. Applicants can start in August or January; those enrolled full-time finish in three semesters while part-time students need 2.5 years. Merit-based departmental scholarships exist to help offset costs.
University of Southern California
CC Score: 78.14
Annual Tuition: $39,984
Many students see the value in completing advanced education related to their careers but need a program that can be completed quickly and flexibly. Enter the master’s in marketing at the University of California’s Marshall School of Business. This new program can be completed in one year of full-time study or two years of part-time study. Unlike other programs that cater to recent undergraduates, USC looks for applicants with at least two to three years of experience who want to deepen their marketing knowledge and use it in their current industry. This M.S. in marketing offers a unique element by combining USC coursework alongside cross-disciplinary classes offered by other schools within the university.
Michigan State University
CC Score: 78.02
Annual Tuition: $31,674
Students seeking a master’s in marketing at Michigan State University enroll through the Eli Borad College of Business, a part of the campus that started in 1953. Comprising 34 credits, the M.S. in marketing research requires one year of full-time study. Each incoming group of students acts as a cohort and move through their classes together to create community and lasting professional bonds. At the end of their time together, learners participate in a culminating team-based project or an internship. The program maintains an acceptance rate of 33% and usually accepts 20 students. The 2018 average GMAT score sat at 670.
CC Score: 75.8
Annual Tuition: $17,904
DePaul University in Chicago offers an M.S in marketing that focuses on instilling knowledge of marketing strategy, consumer trends, data analysis, communications, and effective/ethical decision-making. Classes take place in the heart of the city’s business district, providing an exhilirating atmosphere at the doorstep of national headquarters for some of the country’s biggest corporations. Degree seekers can start at four different times throughout the year and do not need to provide GMAT/GRE scores. After completing eight marketing core courses, learners take four more courses in an emphasis area. Options include sales leadership, digital marketing, marketing strategy and planning, or healthcare.
University of Utah
CC Score: 74.88
Annual Tuition: $21,991
The David Eccles School of Business at the University of Utah offers a full-time MBA with a concentration in marketing for learners wanting to blend business and marketing skills seamlessly. The program requires 21 months of study, with specific emphasis on real-world experience gained through study trips, case competitions, consulting, and experiential learning. Students can use up to 40% of the required hours to take electives. The majority of degree seekers receive scholarships to lower costs. This program requires learners to have an average of four years work experience and GMAT scores ranging from 600-750.
Southern Methodist University
CC Score: 74.02
Annual Tuition: $40,896
Operating as a mid-sized private institution, Southern Methodist University’s Cox School of Business serves approximately 600 students per academic year. The institution’s two-year MBA program offers a concentration in marketing that consists of 16 specialized credits. In addition to a variety of hands-on learning opportunities such as student venture funds and energy investments, the school maintains a large number of student clubs. Some of these include women in business and the marketing club. The class of 2017 consisted of 123 students who averaged five years of work experience, GPAs of 3.33, GMAT scores of 661 and GRE scores of 313.
University of Alabama
CC Score: 73.39
Annual Tuition: $25,950
Located in Tuscaloosa, the University of Alabama serves nearly 40,000 learners annually, including 621 graduate students within the Culverhouse College of Business. The MBA offers a concentration in strategic management and marketing for students who want to gain multidisciplinary skills while in school. The school encourages involvement while enrolled and offers an MBA case team, the MBA Association, and school chapters of the National Association of Women MBAs and National Black MBA Association. When deciding whether to apply, interested students should know that the average GPA of accepted students hovers around 3.57. GMAT scores average 674 and GRE scores average 306.
University of Cincinnati
CC Score: 73.34
Annual Tuition: $25,532
A member of the University System of Ohio, the University of Cincinnati educates nearly 45,000 learners annually from the Queen City campus. Students wanting to be near a large number of Fortune 500 companies find the M.S. in marketing attractive as it allows them to network with top-tier executives and find meaningful internships and/or jobs. Employers of recent graduates include Aramark, Fifth Third Bank, DHL, Neilsen, Kroger, and Proctor & Gamble It also attracts learners wanting to graduate quickly, as the full-time version can be completed in nine months. Learners hoping to lessen their financial burden should apply for the $10,000 Proctor & Gamble Marketing Scholarship.
West Texas A&M University
CC Score: 73.33
Annual Tuition: $4,852
Located on the outskirts of Amarillo, West Texas A&M University meets the needs of students interested in marketing trends by providing an AACSB-accredited MBA with a nine-credit emphasis in marketing. All told, students complete up to 46 credits depending on the path they take. Most graduate in two years. Outside of core and specialty credits, students also take a one-credit capstone class requiring them to put together a comprehensive MBA portfolio. In addition to scholarships, the department provides research assistantships to learners showing talent and dedication. Applicants with GPAs of 3.0 or higher do not need to take the GMAT or GRE to receive consideration.
University of Georgia
CC Score: 73.32
Annual Tuition: $24,090
As one of the oldest institutions in the country, the University of Georgia has existed since 1785. The Terry School of Business formed in 1912 and today educates approximately 500 postgrad students each year. The master’s in marketing research was the first such program in the U.S. and continues to set standards for best practices in education. Students complete 40 credits over 11 months, with a focus on building tools and techniques while also gaining an understanding of business acumen and context. Though nonresident students pay higher tuition, the department offers out-of-state waivers to those demonstrating academic excellence. A small number of graduate assistantships also exist.
Oklahoma State University
CC Score: 70.78
Annual Tuition: $18,858
Oklahoma State University’s Stillwater campus offers an MBA with a concentration in marketing analytics for individuals interested in the more quantitative side of the discipline. The specialization requires 12 credits, six of which are required and six of which exist as electives. After completing those requirements, learners qualify to receive OSU’s certificate in marketing analytics in addition to MBA qualifications. Individuals hoping to get involved on campus can join the MBA Student Association, while those looking for off-campus involvement can take part in a number of global learning experiences. The department manages more than two dozen scholarships offered exclusively to MBA students and awarded based on financial need and/or academic merit.
University of Connecticut
CC Score: 70.06
Annual Tuition: $33,812
Offering a unique angle, the University of Connecticut provides a two-year MBA program with a concentration in digital marketing strategy. This program especially appeals to those who want to leverage the ever-evolving world of social and digital media in their marketing strategies. In addition to required classes in digital marketing and marketing/digital analytics, students choose two more classes to round out the concentration. Individuals looking to learn more can take part in regularly scheduled in-person or virtual preview events. Graduates average starting base salaries in excess of $100,000 and go on to work for companies such as Amazon, Cigna, Deloitte, Dell, Google, and NASDAQ.
Why Are More Students Choosing College Online?
Online marketing master’s programs offer a level of flexibility and convenience that on-campus programs cannot provide. Most online programs feature asynchronous structures, meaning that you can complete coursework at your own pace. This makes it easy to balance your educational goals with family and professional commitments.
Studying online also saves students money. Some schools offer tuition rebates to those in fully online programs. Online learners also avoid room-and-board and commuting expenses. Another benefit of pursuing an MS in marketing online is time savings. Asynchronous learning often includes acceleration options that can reduce your degree completion timeline and get you on the path to a high-paying career sooner. Many online students graduate with less debt than peers who attend traditional in-class programs, in part because the flexibility allows them to continue working while earning their degree.
These factors speak to the soaring popularity of online learning. A 2019 Ruffalo Noel Levitz study found that online learners report high satisfaction rates. Poll data covering the 2016-2019 period found that 72% of fully online learners were happy with their educational experience — the highest mark of all polled groups, including graduate students, adult undergraduates, community college students, and learners at four-year public and private colleges.
What Are the Requirements for a Master’s Degree in Marketing?
Each MS in marketing program maintains its own entry requirements, and schools consider applicants on an individual basis. However, some universal considerations apply. First, you need a bachelor’s degree. Some institutions prefer candidates with educational backgrounds in marketing, business, or another related field. Others impose no restrictions and accept applicants with a bachelor’s degree in any subject.
Most master’s in marketing programs require applicants to meet minimum academic performance standards in their undergraduate studies. For instance, you may need a cumulative 3.0 GPA in some or all of your bachelor’s coursework, confirmed through your academic transcripts.
Additionally, schools often ask for GMAT or GRE scores earned within the past 3-5 years. Marketing programs also commonly request 1-2 recommendation letters from qualified individuals, along with a personal statement explaining your background and detailing your educational and professional goals.
What Can I Do With a Marketing Degree?
A marketing master’s allows you to pursue multiple exciting careers in various fields related to business, advertising, brand management, and market research. Learning outcomes deliver versatile, high-value skills with cross-disciplinary applications, opening multiple professional pathways.
Many graduates pursue professional opportunities leading to marketing manager positions, but you can also become a sales manager, social media manager, public relations specialist, market research analyst, or advertising sales agent. A master’s in marketing also provides an excellent academic framework to those considering careers in financial management. Creatively minded individuals can combine their marketing education with creative skills development to pursue jobs in graphic design, editing, copywriting, and art direction.
Beyond looking for positions with established companies, marketing graduates can start their own businesses. Their acute understanding of market analysis, market research, product positioning, branding, and the sales process translate well to entrepreneurship. For these reasons, educators widely consider marketing one of the best degrees a career-minded student can earn.
How Much Money Will I Make With a Degree in Marketing?
A marketing master’s can pave the way to a potentially lucrative career. Some of the highest-paying paths for those with graduate marketing degrees include sales management, public relations management, and financial management. According to BLS statistics from 2018, sales managers earn median annual salaries of $124,220, while PR managers make a median annual of $114,800. Financial managers typically bring home nearly $128,000.
You can further accelerate your earnings and growth potential by adding optional professional certifications to your resume. Digital marketing credentials represent a particularly appealing option, given the amount of money advertisers now commit to online channels. Many employers seek candidates with skills gained through Google Analytics IQ Certification, Google Ads Certification, Hootsuite Social Marketing Certification, and HubSpot Content Marketing Certification.