Top Online MBA Programs in Marketing

Are you ready to discover your MBA program?

Entry-level business and financial occupations often require related bachelor’s degrees, and earning your online MBA in marketing signals further passion and ambition. Master’s in marketing programs can provide the skills and knowledge necessary for management careers that pay well above the already substantial $68,350 median annual wage for business and financial occupations.

Most companies rely on marketers to generate client or customer interest in company goods or services, so online MBA in marketing graduates can find work in many industries. See below for more information on online marketing MBA career paths, degree types and benefits, and available resources for marketing students.

What Is an MBA in Marketing?

Top online MBAs in marketing cultivate both general business management acumen and advanced marketing, advertising, and public relations skill sets. Students learn to analyze economic trends, markets, and consumers. These professionals also guide other staff in planning and implementing compelling marketing campaigns.

Marketing MBA graduates often hold a competitive edge over bachelor’s graduates when competing for high-paying careers such as marketing manager, sales manager, or public relations manager. Given the 7% growth projected by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) for business positions between 2018 and 2028, an MBA may help to secure your future career advancement.

Online MBA Programs for You

Grow your career, leadership, and business acumen with an accredited online MBA program.

Top Online MBA Programs in Marketing for 2021

Choosing the right school for your MBA is an important decision, but how do you know which is best for you? For 2021, we have rounded up the top five online MBAs in marketing.

Each school on our list is nationally or regionally accredited, and some programs may also hold industry-specific accreditations. An independent review process that dates back to the 1880s, accreditation ensures that an institution provides high academic quality. Accrediting bodies for the schools below include:

  • Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC)
  • Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE)
  • Higher Learning Commission (HLC)
  • Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB)

Our Ranking Methodology

  1. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
    Location

    Chapel Hill, NC

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Among the oldest universities in the United States, UNC-Chapel Hill enrolled its first class in 1795. Now considered a "public Ivy" for its rigorous academics, the university welcomes more than 30,000 students online and on campus annually.

    The UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School offers an online MBA with concentrations in marketing, finance, entrepreneurship, strategy and consulting, or data analytics and decision-making. While students complete all coursework online, they must attend two in-person summits during the program, which may be held on campus or internationally.

    All students complete the same core courses, including analytical tools for decision-making, leading and managing, and marketing: analysis and development. Learners also complete electives or courses in their selected concentration. If desired, students may also take classes on campus or weeklong intensives in Washington, D.C.

    Applying to UNC-Chapel Hill

    Applicants must submit official transcripts, a resume, two letters of recommendation, two essays (with an optional third), and official GMAT or GRE scores (waived for those with at least five years of professional experience and applicants with a remarkable academic and professional background). Applicants must also pass a videoconference interview.

    Program at a Glance

    School Type: Public
    Accreditation: SACSCOC, AACSB
    Tuition: $125,589/program
    Required Credits: 62 credits
    Program Length: 2 years
    Delivery Format: Online with some in-person requirements

  2. University of Maryland, College Park
    Location

    College Park, MD

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    The biggest university in both Maryland and the Washington, D.C. metro area, UMD, established in 1856, enrolls over 41,000 students each year online and on campus.

    UMD's Robert H. Smith School of Business offers an online MBA with optional concentrations in marketing, accounting, finance, information systems and business analytics, or supply chain management. All students must attend two on-campus residencies: an opening residency at the beginning of the program and a capstone residency at the end.

    Sample courses include managerial economics and public policy, the global economic environment, and executive powers and negotiation.

    Applying to UMD

    Applicants must hold a bachelor's degree with a minimum 3.0 GPA and two years of professional experience. Application requirements include official transcripts, a resume, an essay, one letter of recommendation, and GRE or GMAT scores (waivers granted on a case by case basis).

    Program at a Glance

    School Type: Public
    Accreditation: MSCHE, AACSB
    Tuition: $1,708/credit (in state); $2,098/credit (out of state)
    Required Credits: 54 credits
    Program Length: 2 years
    Delivery Format: Online with some in-person requirements

  3. Florida Atlantic University
    Location

    Boca Raton, FL

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Established in Boca Raton in 1961 at the abandoned Boca Raton Army Airfield, FAU, a member of the State University System of Florida, now serves more than 30,000 students online and across its six campuses.

    The university's College of Business offers an online MBA with several concentrations, including marketing, hospitality and tourism management, health administration, or business analytics. Regardless of concentration, all students take the same core courses, including communication strategies for business professionals, management of information systems and technology, and global business strategy.

    Applying to FAU

    Admissions requirements include a bachelor's degree with a minimum 3.0 GPA, plus four years of work experience and a minimum 500 GMAT score or minimum GRE scores of 143 verbal, 144 quantitative, and 4 writing. The department may grant test waivers based on the strength of the application. Applicants must also submit two letters of recommendation, and the department may request a personal interview.

    Program at a Glance

    School Type: Public
    Accreditation: SACSCOC, AACSB
    Tuition: $800/credit
    Required Credits: 40-46 credits
    Program Length: 16-23 months
    Delivery Format: 100% online

  4. University of Nebraska-Lincoln
    Location

    Lincoln, NE

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Chartered in 1869, two years after Nebraska gained statehood, UNL evolved into the flagship school in the University of Nebraska system. Today, the university's student body includes nearly 26,000 campus-based and online students each year.

    The Nebraska College of Business offers a fully online MBA with six different specializations, including marketing, human resource management, and supply chain management. Courses provide real-time synchronous discussions, which students may join live or review later in a recorded format.

    Students in all specializations take the same core courses, such as introduction to business strategy, managerial finance, and strategic human resource management, followed by courses in their chosen specialization.

    Applying to UNL

    Applicants must submit official undergraduate transcripts reflecting a minimum 3.0 GPA, three references, a personal statement, a current resume, and GMAT or GRE scores (waived for those with at least seven years of relevant work experience and a strong GPA, current medical or law students, or doctoral degree-holders in any field).

    Program at a Glance

    School Type: Public
    Accreditation: HLC, AACSB
    Tuition: $650/credit
    Required Credits: 48 credits
    Program Length: 3 years
    Delivery Format: 100% online, optional synchronous or asynchronous

  5. Colorado State University-Fort Collins
    Location

    Fort Collins, CO

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Opened in 1879 as the Colorado Agricultural College, CSU evolved into a strong research university, taking its current name in 1957. Today, the university welcomes more than 34,000 online and campus-based students every year.

    CSU's College of Business offers an online MBA in marketing data analytics. The program prepares students for managerial positions in areas such as data science, brand management, or marketing analysis.

    All students take a strong blend of foundational MBA courses and specialization courses and complete a marketing practicum. Courses include business systems and processes, applied data mining and analytics in business, and qualitative marketing research methods.

    Applying to CSU

    Applicants need a bachelor's degree with a minimum 3.0 GPA and at least two years of relevant work experience. Submission materials include a resume, a statement of purpose, and three recommendations.

    Program at a Glance

    School Type: Public
    Accreditation: HLC, AACSB
    Tuition: $998/credit
    Required Credits: 42 credits
    Program Length: 21 months
    Delivery Format: 100% online

Why Should You Get an Online MBA in Marketing?

As rigorous as their on-campus equivalents, many of the top online MBA programs feature evening or asynchronous class attendance options, which allow students to advance their career while maintaining their current day job. Online tuition sometimes costs less than on-campus tuition, and online students also save on residency and commuting costs.

Online MBA programs in marketing develop the analytical and creative skills marketing professionals need as they assess markets and design marketing campaigns for various public, private, and government sector employers. The best online MBA in marketing programs also require capstone research projects and/or internships that allow students to apply new knowledge and hone their marketing skills.

Professionals from other career backgrounds sometimes use top online MBA programs to transition into careers in marketing. Earning an advanced degree also can help marketing professionals to obtain lucrative promotions. BLS salary data suggests that marketing manager salaries typically range from $69,840-$181,780.

What Can You Do With an MBA in Marketing?

  • Marketing Manager

    Marketing managers direct the creation and implementation of marketing campaigns. Both analytical and creative, these professionals may conduct market analyses and influence design elements. Marketers also benefit from communications and project management skills, as they manage marketing staff and collaborate with design, sales, and finance teams.

    According to the BLS, advertising, promotions, and marketing managers earned a $132,620 median salary in 2018. The BLS also projects 8% growth in marketing manager positions between 2018 and 2018.

  • Marketing Communications Director

    Marketing communications directors lead marketing and communications departments. These professionals analyze market reports, generate marketing goals and strategies, and oversee staff in implementing marketing and communications plans. Marketing communications directors communicate with accounting, sales, and other departments involved in marketing budgets and campaigns.

    These professionals require market research skills and advanced skills in personnel and project management. PayScale reports the median salary for this career is $81,000.

  • Marketing Events Manager

    Marketing events managers design, plan, and coordinate marketing events. These professionals need strong organization and communication skills as they integrate diverse aspects of event planning, work on budgets, and make arrangements with vendors.

    PayScale reports median marketing event manager salaries are $63,000 annually.

  • Public Relations Specialist

    Sometimes called media or communications specialists, PR specialists manage their organizations’ public image by creating media content such as press releases, speeches, and promotional programs. PR specialists may also generate materials or programs designed to increase public awareness of organizational missions and activities. These professionals also use various social media and other tools to assess and respond to public opinion.

    PR specialists need advanced management, marketing, and social analysis skills. PR specialists earned a $60,000 median annual salary in 2018, and the BLS projects a job growth rate of 6% for this career during 2018-2028.

  • Market Research Analyst

    Market research analysts conduct the market research and evaluations needed to create data-driven marketing campaigns. These analysts assess, analyze, and synthesize diverse data regarding customer demographics, competitors, sales trends, and market fluctuations. These professionals need advanced reporting and data visualization skills, as they communicate their findings to marketing managers and executives.

    These professionals earned a median annual salary of $63,120 in 2018, and the BLS projects an extremely promising job growth outlook of 20% for market research analyst positions between 2018 and 2028.

Online MBA in Marketing Curriculum

Online MBA programs combine advanced marketing coursework with general business skills in management, budgeting, and communications. However, curricula differ by school, and some MBA programs concentrate more heavily on marketing than others. See below for marketing courses that often appear in online marketing MBA programs.

  • Data Analysis

    Students in this course learn how to make data-driven marketing decisions by using data analysis strategies and tools such as statistical analysis and data mining.

  • Branding

    This course focuses on communications and advertising strategies for cultivating brand name recognition and trust.

  • Digital Marketing and Social Media Management

    This course teaches students how to strategize, plan, and create engaging marketing content for online contexts. Students also learn advertising performance evaluation methods and may create and evaluate their own social media marketing campaign.

See More Top MBA Programs

How to Choose the Right Online MBA in Marketing Program

Choosing the right online marketing MBA program requires careful consideration of many factors, including degree type, curriculum focus, and school and program accreditation. Marketing master’s degrees come in a few varieties. A master’s in public relations emphasizes branding and communications skills-building, while a master’s in marketing and communications focuses on customer service and experience improvement tools. An online MBA in marketing cultivates more general and diverse business management and marketing skills. This skill set supports MBA graduates as they pursue lucrative management roles such as marketing or sales manager.

Also consider program and school quality as you choose where to apply. Respected schools usually boast regional accreditation from the Council for Higher Education Accreditation’s approved agencies, and many top MBA schools also hold accreditation from the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business.

Prospective MBA students should also consider practical factors such as cost, schedule constraints, program timelines, extracurricular requirements, and location. MBA price tags vary significantly; top online MBA programs often cost more, but can lead to higher-paying careers in marketing. Also note that some programs allow part-time attendance, which extends graduation timeline, but enables you to maintain your current job and income while advancing your career.

Before applying, check each program’s extracurricular and on-campus requirements to ensure that your time and finances allow for any required travel. Attending well-respected local MBA programs can increase your access to networking, mentorship, internship, and employment opportunities.

Scholarships for Marketing MBA Programs

Many private foundations, schools, and governmental and professional organizations offer undergraduate and graduate scholarships based on financial need, academic merit, or identity. The sample scholarships described below can help eligible online marketing MBA students reduce their financial burden, so take the time to consider these and other available scholarships.

  • Lagrant Foundation Graduate Scholarships

    Who Can Apply: The Lagrant Foundation awards scholarships to Black, Asian, Hispanic, and Native American U.S. citizens, permanent residents, and DACA recipients enrolled full time in advertising-related graduate programs at accredited U.S. schools. Candidates must demonstrate a 3.2 minimum GPA and provide a resume, transcripts, essays, and a letter of recommendation.

    Amount: $3,750

    Apply for Scholarship

  • International Foodservice Editorial Council Scholarship

    Who Can Apply: Students enrolled full time in a degree-granting programs at accredited colleges or universities may apply for the IFEC scholarship if their education and experience prepare them for writing or public relations careers in food services. Students must demonstrate academic merit, financial need, and good character.

    Amount: $1,500-$6,000

    Apply for Scholarship

  • Special Equipment Market Association

    Who Can Apply: SEMA grants scholarships to qualified U.S. students pursuing careers in the automotive industry. Students from any discipline may apply, but they need to write a statement of purpose that indicates their career plans. Applications must include a letter of recommendation and official transcripts demonstrating a 2.5 minimum GPA.

    Amount: Up to $5,000

    Apply for Scholarship

  • SE Ranking Scholarship Program

    Who Can Apply: The SE Ranking SEO Software company awards scholarships to eligible marketing students enrolled in or accepted to accredited schools. Application materials include a 1,000-word essay.

    Amount: $1,000

    Apply for Scholarship

  • Association of Latino Professionals for America Scholarship

    Who Can Apply: ALPFA awards scholarships to eligible Hispanic U.S. citizens or permanent residents enrolled full time in business-related programs at accredited four-year higher education institutions. Applicants need a 3.3 minimum GPA.

    Amount: Varies

    Apply for Scholarship

Professional Organizations for Marketing

Many marketing students and professionals join professional organizations that provide education, networking, and leadership opportunities. Educational opportunities typically include training, online courses, and certification programs. Networking resources include job boards, online discussion boards, and events such as annual conferences. Members can bolster their resumes by volunteering for and leading committees, projects, and events. Some organizations also provide mentorship and discounted membership for students.

American Marketing Association

Since 1953, AMA has advocated for marketing professionals. AMA provides professional development through training, networking events, and leadership opportunities. Other AMA benefits include academic journals, marketing toolkits, and discounted subscription rates on industry publications.

Search Engine Marketing Professional Organization

A nonprofit focused on advancing the SEO marketing industry and its professionals, SEMPO provides a job board and hosts networking events, training, and webinars. As part of the Digital Analytics Association, SEMPO offers heavily discounted student memberships.

Sales and Marketing Executives International

This international nonprofit supports marketing professionals by facilitating knowledge exchange, professional certification, and networking opportunities. SMEI also offers career resources and student mentorship.

Society for Marketing Professional Services

This society helps marketing professionals stay current by providing relevant career resources, events, publications, and an online marketing center.

Association of National Advertisers

The oldest U.S. advertising association, the ANA provides training, advocacy, and leadership for marketing professionals. The ANA also runs conferences and other networking events.

Accredited Online College Programs

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