Best Online Graduate Certificate in Marketing Programs

We've ranked the top online graduate certificate in marketing programs. Compare schools by cost and convenience. Earn your graduate certificate online.

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by Tessa Cooper

Published on June 10, 2020 · Updated on June 20, 2022

Edited by Jared McMasters
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Best practices in the business field change rapidly. Earning an online graduate certificate in marketing may help aspiring marketing leaders keep up. These programs usually teach up-to-date information in the evolving field.

A marketing certificate program usually takes less than one year to finish. Students who enroll in accelerated online marketing programs may earn certificates faster.

A graduate certificate program can prepare learners to work in marketing management positions. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects management positions will grow 9% between 2020 and 2030. In 2021, managers earned a median annual wage of $102,450.

Finding just the right graduate certificate in marketing takes time and research. This guide can help you navigate the decision process. Keep reading to learn about the top programs, benefits of earning this certificate, and average costs.

What Is an Online Graduate Certificate in Marketing Program?

An online graduate certificate in marketing is a short-term program. People with a bachelor's degree in a related subject often pursue a marketing certificate. This program allows people with foundational marketing knowledge to further their education without committing to a master's degree program. People who work full time often pursue this option.

Unlike an undergraduate certificate in marketing, a graduate certificate goes beyond surface-level information. Learners discover the theories and research that influence the marketing field.

Graduate certificates vary from certifications and licenses. Colleges offer graduate certificates as academic programs. Companies and professional organizations provide certifications and licenses. Certifications and licenses show professional expertise and qualifications. A certificate demonstrates academic knowledge.

What Can I Expect From an Online Graduate Certificate in Marketing Program?

Creative thinkers who like problem solving and communication often enjoy working in marketing. Throughout their studies, marketing certificate students often learn about marketing theories and tactics.

Many programs also highlight leadership skills. People who want to further their marketing carees in a low-commitment way often pursue a certificate rather than a master's degree.

It usually takes students less than a year to finish a certificate. A graduate certificate includes around 21 credits. Each class counts for three credits, so most programs include about seven courses.

These classes usually include lectures, essays, and course discussions. Course discussions follow various formats. For example, asynchronous online courses let learners post on virtual discussion boards. Their classmates reply by posting comments. Online learners in synchronous programs typically discuss their thoughts during class sessions.

Some marketing certificates focus on one marketing niche. For example, learners who want to work as social media managers can look for a certificate in social media marketing.

A certificate in marketing may require students to complete a project component, such as designing a marketing campaign for a real business. This helps students create material for a portfolio.

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Popular Online Graduate Certificate in Marketing Programs

Learn about start dates, transferring credits, availability of financial aid, and more by contacting the universities below.

What Courses Will I Take in an Online Graduate Certificate in Marketing Program?

Strategic Planning in Marketing

This course teaches students how to design marketing campaigns. Learners also discover how to set realistic campaign goals. The course discusses best practices for delegating and providing instructions. Students read case studies about successful marketing campaigns.

Understanding Target Audiences

This class goes over creating marketing materials for target audiences. Students learn how to identify target audiences and create materials that align with their core values. Part of the class encourages learners to create customer demographic profiles.

Visual Marketing

A visual marketing class highlights the effective use of photographs and graphic design in marketing. They learn how copy and imagery work together to draw attention to a product. Students also learn how to use design software like Adobe Illustrator.

Brand Identity

In a brand identity class, learners discover how to design and protect a company trademark. The course covers the psychology behind brand recognition. Students learn how copywriting voice also plays a role in brand identity.

Social Media Management

A social media management class teaches people how to create effective marketing materials. Learners discover how social media best practices have evolved on certain platforms. Part of the course highlights how to form brand partnerships with influencers.

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What Are the Admission Requirements for an Online Graduate Certificate in Marketing Program?

Applicants must first earn a bachelor's degree before applying to a graduate certificate program. Some marketing certificate programs may require a related undergraduate degree or prerequisite courses.

Many schools consider public relations, advertising, and communications related majors. Some programs set minimum GPA requirements for enrollment. In general, accredited schools require applicants to possess undergraduate degrees from other accredited schools.

Learners should begin collecting their application materials several months before enrollment starts. Certificate programs may require prospective students to submit the following materials:

What Can I Do With an Online Graduate Certificate in Marketing Degree?

Career Outlook

The BLS projects positions for advertising, promotions, and marketing managers to increase by 10% between 2020 and 2030. The organization projects this growth will result in about 31,100 new marketing manager openings. These jobs may come from people retiring or switching occupations.

Graduates should keep in mind that job availability may vary depending on their marketing niche and location. People who apply for remote jobs may qualify for more positions. However, they may face more competition due to the wide application reach.

Students can take measures to present themselves as competitive job candidates. If learners perform well in marketing certificate classes, they can list their cumulative GPA on their resumes. Students can also use projects they completed during their studies in a portfolio.

A marketing certificate can prepare students to apply for roles in the field. See where a graduate certificate in marketing can take you.

Learn More About Marketing Careers

Career Paths

Marketing Manager

These managers coordinate marketing efforts for an organization. They collaborate with creative professionals like writers and photographers. Together, they create impactful messages for target audiences.

Marketing managers must possess strategic planning and delegation skills. They use empathetic thinking to create messages that inspire people to buy products and services.

Average Annual Salary (May 2022): $67,800

Public Relations Managers

These professionals oversee communication with an organization's stakeholders. Unlike marketing and advertising managers, they utilize unpaid promotions to motivate audiences.

They send press releases, coordinate events, and spread awareness through social media.

Public relations managers create strategic communication plans, conduct media interviews, and write community newsletters.

Median Annual Salary (May 2021): $119,860

Market Research Analysts

These professionals study market trends and analyze the viability of a product or service. They gather data on target audiences, including their spending habits and motivations. Market research analysts often host focus groups and gather feedback from product testers. They must know how to use software to illustrate their findings in graphs. They prepare reports for clients.

Median Annual Salary (May 2021): $63,920

Survey Researchers

These researchers create and conduct surveys. Marketing professionals use their findings to create advertisements and communication materials. They select study participants based on background research.

Survey researchers summarize their findings and evaluate their credibility. These professionals sometimes work for politicians and conduct public opinion surveys.

Median Annual Salary (May 2021): $59,740

Advertising Manager

People working in this profession direct videographers, graphic designers, and photographers on advertisement creation. They oversee the messaging and overall look of the print and digital advertisements. These managers must know how to take market research data and create successful advertising campaigns.

Median Annual Salary (April 2022): $65,350

Marketing Not For You? Check Out These Related Careers.

Communications Careers Public Relations Careers Writing Careers

Continuing Education

Each year, consumers grow savvier, and social media continues to evolve. Marketing professionals must commit to life-long learning to stay current.

The marketing profession does not require a certification or license. However, earning one of these accolades can help professionals grow in their careers and earn higher wages. These awards may also demonstrate expertise to potential employers.

Completing a certificate in marketing may inspire some students to pursue a master's degree in the field. A master's program offers a more comprehensive curriculum than a certificate program.

How Do I Choose an Online Graduate Certificate in Marketing Program?

Cost

Before committing to a marketing program, learners should consider the attendance cost. In addition to tuition, applicants should keep in mind the price of room and board, books, and extra fees and expenses. Some schools charge different tuition rates for online vs. in-person classes. Students who participate in accelerated programs may also save money by earning their certificate more quickly.

Program Format

An online graduate certificate in marketing follows either a synchronous or asynchronous format. Synchronous programs include live virtual class sessions. Asynchronous programs allow learners to watch recorded lectures at any time.

Program pace is another factor to consider. Students who want to finish their certificates quickly can look into accelerated programs. Learners can also earn their certificates part time or full time.

Location

Location still matters when choosing an online graduate certificate in marketing program. Certain schools charge reduced tuition for in-state residents.

Additionally, some programs may appear to take place fully online, but they may require an on-campus seminar. Living near the online program's physical campus may come with other benefits, like access to the campus library.

Accreditation

Prospective students should note institutional and programmatic accreditation before enrolling in a program. When a school or program earns accreditation, it regularly receives quality assessments from a third-party organization.

The Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs oversees accreditation for marketing programs. Learners can verify a school's status by using the Database of Postsecondary Institutions and Programs.

Student Support

Aspiring marketing certificate holders should also note the level of support learners receive.

Most colleges advertise what type of student services they offer. Some institutions provide free tutoring centers. Others offer career support and facilitate mentorship and internship programs. Some online programs provide 24/7 technical support. Many quality schools also help alumni stay connected through a network and events.

Best Accredited Online Graduate Certificate in Marketing Programs

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Best Online Graduate Certificate in Marketing Programs

  1. Harvard University
    Location

    Cambridge, MA

    Tuition

    $17590

    Harvard Extension School offers a graduate certificate in marketing management and digitalstrategy that prepares students to drive the sales and marketing efforts of diverse businesses and organizations.

    The four-course, 16-credit program explores subjects like market research, identifying buyer personas, product and service planning, and competitive brand positioning. Students also learn how to use social media and data analytics to maximize marketing dollars and earn new customers.

    Students must receive a B or better in each course to earn the graduate certificate in marketing. All learning occurs online using an asynchronous format. Most students finish the certificate within 18 months.

    All learners pay the same per-credit rate for the certificate program. Prospective students do not need to apply; they simply register for classes in fall, spring, or summer. Harvard holds regional accreditation from the New England Commission of Higher Education.

  2. University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
    Location

    Champaign, IL

    Tuition

    $15829

    U of I's graduate certificate in digital marketing gives students the skills and techniques they need to truly engage customers online. Courses examine topics like targeted promotional campaigns, consumer behaviors, brand positioning, and strategic decision-making.

    The program features five online courses, with each running between two and eight weeks. Students also complete a digital marketing capstone, through which they create and present a final project based on what they learned in the program.

    All students pursuing this graduate certificate in marketing pay the same tuition, along with Coursera fees. Students may take only one class at a time, and most finish out the program in about seven months. All online learning uses an asynchronous format, with no set log-in times.

    U of I is located in Champaign, Illinois and is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

  3. Pennsylvania State University
    Location

    University Park, PA

    Tuition

    $21678

    Penn State delivers a 12-credit online graduate certificate in marketing analytics that focuses on using data for product and service development, fostering customer loyalty, and expanding into markets.

    Students take a total of four courses, all delivered asynchronously. The classes focus on leveraging data to drive business success, evaluate marketing communications, acquire new customers, and maximize the customer experience. Most students finish the program within 12 months.

    Eligible applicants must hold a bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited postsecondary institution. Prospective students also submit a resume and statement of purpose.

    Penn State's Smeal College of Business is accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business. Students enrolled in the graduate certificate in marketing program pay the same tuition, even if they live outside Pennsylvania.

  4. Oklahoma State University-Main Campus
    Location

    Stillwater, OK

    Tuition

    $6707

    With accelerated courses delivered asynchronously, the OSU online graduate certificate in marketing analytics offers a path for established professionals to advance their knowledge and drive positive change within their businesses and organizations.

    The 12-credit program features classes on advanced marketing analytics, business intelligence tools and techniques, prescriptive analytics, and base SAS programming. Most students complete the certificate in 12-18 months and later apply the credits toward an MBA at OSU.

    Applicants must submit their official college transcripts and a current resume. Incoming students must possess at least a bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited college or university. Students may begin the program in the fall or spring.

    OSU is located in Stillwater, Oklahoma and is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. The universitys online learners pay a discounted tuition rate.

  5. Boston University
    Location

    Boston, MA

    Tuition

    $29154

    BU's Metropolitan College offers an online global marketing management graduate certificate that allows students to learn about modern digital business strategies; operating in a global business environment; and best practices in SEO, social media, and online advertising.

    Students may complete the entire 16-credit program online, although the university also offers some on-campus courses. Most students finish the graduate certificate in marketing within nine months.

    The program's curriculum includes classes on e-commerce and innovative marketing techniques. Students may then choose two additional electives to finish out the program.

    Qualified students must hold a bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited college or university. Applicants also submit a resume, a personal statement, and three recommendation letters.

    All distance learners pay the same tuition, even if they live out of state. BU holds regional accreditation from the New England Commission of Higher Education.

  6. Liberty University
    Location

    Lynchburg, VA

    Tuition

    $27432

    Located in Lynchburg, Virginia, Liberty offers an online graduate certificate in marketing that features accelerated, eight-week classes. Most students finish the certificate in six months, although the program allows for part-time study.

    The nine-credit program's curriculum includes courses on strategic marketing management, marketing promotions, and marketing research. Students must maintain a 2.0 GPA in all three courses and complete the certificate within three years.

    All learning takes place online using an asynchronous format, with no set log-in times.

    Eligible students must possess a bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited institution with a minimum 2.0 GPA. All distance learners pay the same tuition and the school offers discounts for military members.

    As a private faith-based institution, Liberty delivers instruction based on a christian worldview. Liberty University holds regional accreditation from The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

  7. Colorado State University-Fort Collins
    Location

    Fort Collins, CO

    Tuition

    $17914

    Students seeking a CSU graduate certificate in marketing management learn key concepts in service marketing, market research, planning and strategy, and consumer behavior.

    The nine-credit program features a variety of electives from which students can choose, including SEO marketing, digital marketing, and marketing research methods.

    Students can take the classes online or at the school's Fort Collins campus. Most graduate within 2-3 semesters. Students may also apply the credits they earn toward an MBA program at CSU.Applicants to the certificate program must hold a bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited postsecondary institution with a minimum 3.0 GPA. Accepted students may begin the program in the fall or spring.

    All students pay the same tuition, even if they do not reside in Colorado. CSU is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

  8. East Carolina University
    Location

    Greenville, NC

    Tuition

    $13746

    ECU's online graduate certificate in marketing focuses on identifying marketing opportunities, creating a sound strategy, and executing that strategy with fidelity. Students learn about supply chains, delivering value to customers, and how businesses and organizations make purchasing decisions.

    The program's design allows students to complete all requirements in 30 weeks of courses, which they typically finish in about a year. Students take four total courses, including one required class and three electives based on their interests and career goals.

    Prospective students must possess a bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited institution with a minimum 2.7 GPA. The program also accepts individuals with at least five years of professional experience and those currently enrolled in an ECU graduate degree program.

    ECU is located in Greenville, North Carolina and holds regional accreditation from The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

  9. University of South Dakota
    Location

    Vermillion, SD

    Tuition

    $17354

    USD's Beacom School of Business delivers an online graduate certificate in marketing focused on analyzing consumer behavior, forming strong brand identities, and developing and launching new products and services.

    Through their coursework, students explore product development from conception and prototyping through the production and launch phases. Students also learn how to identify customer personas and market products to diverse audiences.

    All learning takes place online using an asynchronous format. Students may also apply the credits they earn toward an MBA with a marketing specialization from USD.

    Eligible applicants must hold a bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university with at least a 2.7 GPA. Prospective students also submit their official college transcripts and a personal essay.

    USD is located in Vermillion, South Dakota and holds accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission.

  10. City University of Seattle
    Location

    Seattle, WA

    Tuition

    $20567

    Located in Seattle, CityU offers a graduate certificate in marketing that emphasizes sustainability principles, allowing students to market products with an eye on long-term viability.

    The 15-credit program prepares individuals for the american marketing association professional certified marketer certification, which includes specialties in content marketing, digital marketing, and marketing management.

    The curriculum features classes on applied marketing, consumer behavior, marketing metrics, and strategic brand creation. All learning takes place online asynchronously, allowing students to complete course requirements on their own schedules.

    Throughout the program, students complete projects they can add to a portfolio to share with potential employers.

    In-state and out-of-state residents pay the same tuition. Most students complete the program within 18 months. Students may also apply the credits they earn toward a CityU MBA program. CityU is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.

Frequently Asked Questions About Graduate Certificate in Marketing Programs

Is a graduate certificate in marketing worth it? true

The answer to this question depends on an individual student's needs and goals. However, learners who enjoy leading strategic marketing efforts often find pursuing a graduate certificate worth it. This certificate allows students to further their education without committing to a two-year graduate program. Some employers may offer raises to employees who earn additional certificates.

Before committing to a graduate certificate in marketing program, learners should conduct research. Looking up marketing jobs on the BLS website can help. This resource describes marketing career paths and the education requirements. A graduate certificate in marketing may help marketing professionals fill their knowledge gaps.

What can you do with a graduate certificate in marketing? true

A graduate certificate in marketing prepares learners to succeed in leadership roles in the marketing, advertising, and communication fields. Graduates can become marketing directors, public relations managers, and event planners. This certificate program can teach learners how to provide feedback to creatives. Learners discover how to work with photographers, copywriters, and graphic designers to implement successful campaigns.

This degree may also prepare learners to lead marketing efforts for their own businesses. Entrepreneurs must possess strong marketing skills to attract new customers and clients. This versatile certificate may open many doors. It may even allow learners to switch from an unrelated career path to marketing.

Is a marketing graduate certificate program hard? true

Program difficulty varies depending on the school and instructors, as well as on a student's preexisting knowledge.

Learners can gain an understanding of a program's difficulty level by asking program alumni. They can also ask an academic advisor about the average graduation rate.

The level of difficulty also often depends on the program's pace. For example, accelerated programs usually require quick memorization and optimal time-management skills. Some learners may find online graduate certificates in marketing easier due to the extra flexibility. However, other students may find it difficult to focus without in-person accountability.

How long does it take to get a graduate certificate in marketing?

Students spend varying amounts of time completing this certificate program. However, most learners complete the requirements in less than a year. For reference, a master's degree usually takes about two years to finish. Most schools list the average time length in the program description.

Completing a certificate while working full-time usually takes longer. People who commit to full-time study in an accelerated program may finish in as few as six months. The exact length of time depends on a learner's availability and the certificate requirements. Schools usually set time-limit requirements on how long learners can spend on a certificate.

What's the highest-paying job you can get with a graduate certificate in marketing?

According to the BLS, marketing managers earn some of the highest earners in the marketing field. These professionals earned a median income of $135,030 in May 2021. The BLS also breaks down how much advertising, marketing, and promotions professionals make by industry. These professionals who work in the information industry earn the most, with a median income of $163,360 in May 2021.

Location also influences salary. For example, marketing managers in New York earned an average income of $190,760. The same professionals in Texas earned a mean wage of $141,550.

Years of experience can also influence earning potential. Keep in mind entry-level marketing professionals usually earn less than seasoned professionals.

BestColleges.com is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

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