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. Liberty University

    Lynchburg, VA

    A private Christian university located in Lynchburg, Virginia, Liberty offers an online master of science in marketing. The school's generous transfer policy and accelerated, eight-week course terms allow students to graduate sooner. Students can complete the program in about 1.5 years.

    Students begin the 36-credit program with marketing core courses such as strategic marketing management, marketing research, and brand management. The program allows students to further specialize in five concentrations: project management, public relations, social media management, sports marketing and media, and digital marketing and advertising.

    Applicants must possess an undergraduate degree with a minimum GPA of 3.0. The business school requires at least 27 credits of business prerequisites for program eligibility. Students without the credit requirement must take a three-credit business common professional components course. Students may transfer in up to 50% of degree requirements.

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

  2. Florida International University

    Miami, FL

    A public research university based in Miami, FIU offers an online master of science in marketing. Students can complete the program in 10-16 months.

    Courses include marketing management in the global environment, consumer behavior, and digital marketing strategies. Students participate in special topics seminars, as well as internships in their local area. All courses incorporate analytics training and digital branding within the course material.

    Students choose from two start dates per year. Applicants must possess an undergraduate degree with a minimum GPA of 3.0 to qualify for admission. The school also requires students to possess a minimum GMAT score of 500 (or the GRE equivalent) or three years of work experience.

    FIU is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

  3. Regis University

    Denver, CO

    A private Jesuit university located in Denver, Colorado, Regis offers an online master of science in marketing for students in both entry-level and mid-career marketing positions.

    Students complete the 30-credit curriculum in accelerated eight-week blocks. Core courses include leading in a new era, business intelligence and analytics, and marketing opportunity assessment. Notable elective choices include entrepreneurial innovation, global marketing, and digital marketing and promotion. The final course is a capstone experience in product management, allowing students to demonstrate their full range of skills mastery.

    Regis offers a holistic approach to online admissions. Applicants must possess an undergraduate degree, but they do not need a minimum GPA or standardized test scores to apply. The school follows a rolling admissions process, with start dates offered in January, March, July, August, and October. Regis is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

  4. Regent University

    Virginia Beach, VA

    A private university located in Virginia Beach, Virginia, Regent offers an online master of arts in campaigns and political leadership with a concentration in marketing and communication. The program prepares students to work in political campaign marketing.

    The 33-credit curriculum helps students run effective campaigns with courses like viral marketing, multi-platform writing, and crisis communication and organizational image. Students begin coursework with two prerequisite courses: graduate foundations for government and either career management or information research and resources. Students also take politics core courses such as American politics and political communication.

    Applicants must hold a bachelor's degree with a minimum GPA of 3.0. Students do not need to submit standardized test scores but may use them to strengthen an application. The program offers eight yearly start dates.

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

  5. Union College

    Barbourville, KY

    Founded in 1870 and located in Barbourville, Kentucky, Union offers an online master of science in digital marketing and communications. Students can focus on one or two courses per term and finish in as little as one year.

    Students complete the 30-credit program in eight-week terms and can transfer in up to six credits. Course topics include business ethics and social responsibility, organizational behavior and teamwork, and managerial and leadership analysis. Students also take electives such as brand management, internet consumer behavior, and market research. The program also offers training in social media marketing.

    Applicants must hold a bachelor's degree from an accredited university with a minimum GPA of 2.5 GPA to qualify for admission. The school does not require students to submit GMAT or GRE test scores.

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

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