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An online MBA in marketing combines the dynamic, creative field of marketing with the business acumen developed in a master's in business administration. Students learn about business fundamentals, such as accounting, management, and finance. They also delve into marketing strategies like branding and consumer behavior.
According to PayScale, graduates with an MBA in marketing earn an average annual salary of $93,670.
These programs often attract working professionals looking to advance their careers, with many schools requiring at least two years of professional work experience for admission. With the many online learning formats, most students can find a program that suits their schedule.
Graduates with an MBA experience high demand in the workforce. A poll conducted by Statista found that 83% of companies surveyed expected to hire these professionals in 2021. These graduates can go on to pursue careers as marketing managers and marketing research analysts. According to PayScale, graduates with an MBA in marketing earn an average annual salary of $93,670.
What Are the Best Online MBA in Marketing Programs of 2021? Here Are Our Top 10:
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|Rank||School||Cost per Credit|
|1||University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill||$2,025.63|
|2||Johns Hopkins University||$1,650|
|3||University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign||$302|
|5||University of Maryland - College Park||$1,644|
|6||Pennsylvania State University||$1,236|
|8||The University of Texas at Dallas||n/a|
|9||University of Massachusetts - Amherst||
|10||Florida Atlantic University||$800|
Still unsure about your MBA college choice? Check out our overall Best Online MBA Programs.
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What Is an MBA in Marketing?
Unlike a master's in marketing, an MBA in marketing provides students with a business-centric education. This degree provides opportunities for professionals with a few years of work experience looking to advance into managerial roles. Many large corporations seek MBA graduates for manager-level positions in their marketing department.
While an on-campus format provides face-to-face networking, an online program offers flexible scheduling and appeals to working professionals or those with additional responsibilities. Both types of programs range from about 36-62 credits, with completion times that vary from 16-36 months.
Some schools offer fully online asynchronous coursework, while other programs offer some synchronous elements, such as weekly online collaborative class sessions. Additionally, many programs require some in-person learning, such as an on-campus orientation, immersive residency courses, or on-campus capstone projects.
What Can I Expect From an Online MBA in Marketing Program?
An online MBA in marketing program teaches students the skills required to promote businesses and implement marketing strategies. Students learn about market research, product design and pricing, marketing campaign techniques, and global marketing strategies.
Additionally, learners develop a solid foundation in business fundamentals like finance, management, and economics.
Because of the broad nature of marketing, an MBA program may focus on specific areas, such as digital marketing, product and brand management, or market analytics. This makes it important for students to research concentrations when choosing a school.
Most programs offer several opportunities for online students to engage with their peers and other professionals in the field. Whether through group online interaction or in-person residencies, these learning formats can prove invaluable in furthering careers and developing long-term contacts.
Example MBA in Marketing Courses
- Sales Management
- Digital Marketing
- Marketing Research
- Corporate Branding
- Financial Management
What are Admission Requirements for an MBA in Marketing Program?
While applicants must hold a bachelor's degree, most schools do not require an undergraduate major in business or marketing. Students with a degree in other fields, however, may need to complete prerequisite courses in business.
- Test Scores
Many MBA in marketing programs require applicants to submit their GMAT or GRE test scores, with most preferring the GMAT. While some schools do not mandate a fixed minimum, average student scores on the GMAT range from 440-730, with full-time students averaging 621, according to U.S. News & World Report.
While some programs consider these tests optional, students who want to strengthen their applications may consider including these scores. Some programs waive this requirement for individuals with significant professional experience.
International students may need to submit their TOEFL or IELTS scores, which demonstrate proficiency in the English language.
- Letters of Recommendation
Most schools require 2-3 letters of recommendation. Ideally, these letters come from current or former employers, whether in employment settings or internships. For applicants without work experience, acceptable alternatives include academic recommendations from undergraduate professors or school advisors. Make sure to request these letters at least two months in advance.
Many programs require applicants to possess two or more years of relevant career experience. Some institutions consider internships, co-ops, military experience, and nontraditional backgrounds. A professional resume should include this information with start and end dates and a description of duties. Related academic training and leadership qualifications also strengthen an applicant's resume.
Most schools require 1-2 essays. These documents let applicants tell the admissions committee why they should be considered for an MBA in marketing. Don't reiterate the resume, but do discuss short-term and long-term career goals and how the program fits into those plans.
- Official Transcripts
Students must submit official transcripts from each postsecondary school they have attended. Most online MBA in marketing programs require a minimum 3.0 GPA. Some schools also accept transfer credits from an accredited institution for graduate-level courses. Some restrictions include a minimum grade and a maximum number of transferable credits.
What Can I Do With an MBA in Marketing Degree?
Because an MBA in marketing blends marketing skills with business knowledge, many graduates pursue positions in management and consulting. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects 5% job growth in management occupations from 2019-2029, which accounts for approximately 505,000 new jobs.
Graduates may work in digital marketing, brand management, or consumer packaged goods marketing in numerous industries. According to U.S. News & World Report, industry can significantly impact an MBA graduate's salary. For example, graduates who went into consulting made nearly $72,000 more annually than those entering government.
An MBA in marketing leads to positions like marketing manager, advertising manager, and market research analyst. The BLS projects 18% job growth for market research analysts between 2019 and 2029, well above the average 4% growth rate for all occupations.
- Marketing Manager
Marketing managers may develop a brand's identity, determine the target group for a company's products or services, and create a marketing campaign. Marketing managers also develop pricing strategies and suggest product development.
Median Annual Salary: $141,490
- Market Research Analyst
Market research analysts collect and analyze data to predict sales, consumer trends, and emerging markets. They gather this data through surveys, questionnaires, and the latest technology and compile it in graphs, infographics, and other types of visual and written reports.
Median Annual Salary: $65,810
- Sales Manager
Sales managers supervise a sales team, providing training, setting goals, and assigning territories. They analyze statistics and projected sales and determine pricing and sales plans based on this information.
Median Annual Salary: $132,290
- Fundraising Manager
Fundraising managers develop strategies for raising awareness and funds for a particular organization. They may use social media, special events, and different types of campaigns to raise capital for an organization or a specific cause.
Median Annual Salary: $118,430
- Public Relations Manager
Public relations managers develop or improve a client's image and may supervise staff. They achieve this through advertisements, public announcements, media, and interviews. They may represent individuals or organizations.
Median Annual Salary: $70,240
Marketing Not for You? Check Out These Related Careers.
Is an MBA in Marketing Worth It?
Measuring the worth of an MBA in marketing requires looking at the return on investment (ROI) as well as individual career goals. Many colleges share their graduates' hiring and salary rates, which helps determine the merit of an MBA in marketing.
For example, Arizona State University's Carey School of Business, with specializations in digital and entrepreneurial marketing, reports that 58% of their part-time and online MBA students received a raise in salary while still in school. Graduates also earned an average starting salary of $109,020.
Additionally, MBA graduates commonly receive sign-on bonuses. The Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC) determined that 56% of U.S. companies offer a median sign-on bonus of $10,500.
While an MBA in marketing prepares graduates for management careers, students with time and money constraints interested in specific areas of marketing may consider a certification course or a mini MBA. A few options include a one-week mini MBA in digital marketing or a 12-week mini marketing MBA.
Why Get an MBA in Marketing Instead of a Master's in Marketing?
MBA and master of marketing students learn many of the same marketing principles. The difference lies in the business studies found in an MBA. An MBA in marketing is a well-respected educational credential in business and serves as a gateway to management positions.
Students should also consider potential earnings. PayScale reports that those with a master's in marketing earn an annual average salary of $67,850, while individuals with an MBA in marketing earn $93,670 per year.
Learners also have the option of earning both a dual MBA and master's in marketing degree. Graduates with these two degrees become strong competitors for top senior positions in business and marketing. The downsides include longer completion times and higher tuition costs.
Still Looking for the Right Fit? Discover Similar Programs.
How Do I Choose an MBA in Marketing Program?
The typical tuition for an MBA costs $19,650-$125,600. Several factors determine the actual cost within this wide range, including the program, the type of school, and residency factors.
Many online MBA in marketing programs charge the same tuition for both in-state and out-of-state students. These programs also offer savings on costs associated with housing, meals, on-campus fees, and transportation.
- Program Format
Some schools offer flexible, part-time, asynchronous programs that appeal to busy professionals. Other schools use a combination of synchronous and asynchronous learning and full- and part-time formats. Synchronous programs include weekly class sessions at specified times.
A hybrid marketing MBA consists of one or more residential immersion sessions. These on-campus learning experiences help online students build connections, a valued asset among MBA students. While most MBA in marketing programs require two years of full-time study, accelerated programs often take 12-18 months.
Many online MBA marketing programs require on-campus residencies. These experiences vary in length from as little as one three-day orientation to several three-day immersion courses. Additionally, online programs generally offer optional opportunities to meet with classmates and faculty, attend seminars, and work with local companies.
Students who have little time to travel may want to consider schools closer to home. On the other hand, students who hope to work in a particular city after graduation may want to look at schools in that area.
- Career Opportunities
The best online MBA in marketing programs offer resources like access to corporate recruiters, career counseling, and networking opportunities. According to a U.S. News & World Report survey of 138 full-time MBA programs, 78% of graduates found employment within three months. School employment rates varied dramatically, however, with three-month employment rates ranging from 25-100%.
- Programmatic Accreditation
Accreditation means that a school and program have met certain educational standards as determined by a third-party agency. To assure a quality education and receive a degree recognized by employers, school and program accreditation is key. Make sure the school received regional accreditation from the Council for Higher Education Accreditation's approved agencies.
Additionally, respected business schools and MBA programs hold accreditation from one of three organizations. These include the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business, the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs, and the International Accreditation Council for Business Education.
2021 Best Accredited Online MBA in Marketing Programs
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University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
|Chapel Hill, NC||
A public university, UNC-Chapel Hill offers an online MBA in marketing. Courses cover topics like customer and product management, market analysis, global marketing strategies, and services marketing. The program also requires students to participate in two in-person immersion events in cities around the world.
The application requires transcripts, a resume, two letters of recommendation, at least two essays, and GMAT/GRE scores. Applicants with sufficient professional experience can apply for a GMAT/GRE waiver. UNC-Chapel Hill's Kenan-Flagler Business School is accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business.
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill is accredited by Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
Johns Hopkins University
Located in Baltimore, Maryland, Johns Hopkins offers an online master of business administration in marketing. Courses include consumer behavior, marketing research, customer analytics, and integrated digital marketing. Although most coursework occurs online, students must complete at least three courses with on-campus components.
To apply, applicants need to submit their transcripts, a resume, one letter of recommendation, essays, and GMAT/GRE scores. Johns Hopkins' Carey Business School is accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business.
Johns Hopkins University is accredited by Middle States Commission on Higher Education.
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
A public university founded in 1867, U of I offers an entirely online master of business administration in digital marketing. Courses cover topics like everyday leadership, digital analytics, strategic management, and designing and managing organizations. The degree program culminates in a capstone project.
Candidates must submit transcripts, a resume, three letters of recommendation, and an essay. Applicants should have at least three years of professional experience at an operational or managerial level. U of I's Gies College of Business is accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business.
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign is accredited by Higher Learning Commission.
Located in Wellesley, Massachusetts, Babson offers an online MBA in marketing to students residing in every U.S. state except California. Courses cover topics like market analysis, consumer behavior, social media and advertising strategy, and retailing strategy.
The application requires transcripts, a resume, one letter of recommendation, short answer questions, and a video interview. Applicants may choose to submit essays and GRE/GMAT scores to supplement the other documents. The program holds accreditation from the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business.
Babson College is accredited by New England Commission on Higher Education.
University of Maryland - College Park
|College Park, MD||
A public university established in 1856, UMD offers an online master of business administration in marketing. Courses cover topics like customer equity management, consumer behavior, marketing analytics, and ethical leadership. The program also includes two three-day residencies.
Applicants should submit their transcripts, a resume, one letter of recommendation, an essay, and GMAT/GRE scores. The program prefers applicants with at least two years of professional work experience. UMD's Robert H. Smith School of Business is accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business.
University of Maryland - College Park is accredited by Middle States Commission on Higher Education.
Pennsylvania State University
|University Park, PA||
Located in University Park, Penn State World Campus offers an online master of business administration in marketing analytics. Courses cover topics such as evaluating marketing communications in the digital world, data-driven customer acquisition and retention, and analytics for brand management and customer experience. The program includes a virtual residency for 2021.
The application requires transcripts, a resume, two references, six short answer essays, and GMAT/GRE scores. Experienced applicants can apply for a GMAT/GRE waiver. MBA programs at Penn State World Campus hold accreditation from the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business.
Pennsylvania State University is accredited by Middle States Commission on Higher Education.
|West Lafayette, IN||
Located in West Lafayette, Indiana, Purdue offers an online master of business administration in marketing through its Purdue Global program. Students complete the general MBA degree and then take four additional courses in the marketing concentration. Specialized courses cover topics like advertising, market research, salesforce management, and consumer behavior.
The admissions process requires an interview, transcripts, and resume. Business programs at Purdue are accredited by the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs.
Purdue University is accredited by Higher Learning Commission.
The University of Texas at Dallas
Located in Richardson, UT Dallas offers an online master of business administration in marketing. Marketing courses delve into topics like digital sales strategies, database marketing, and brand management. Students gain experience through internships, a simulation capstone, and other marketing projects. The program does not require on-campus visits.
To apply, candidates must turn in transcripts, a resume, one letter of recommendation, one essay, and GMAT/GRE scores. Applicants can apply for a GMAT/GRE waiver. The Naveen Jindal School of Management at UT Dallas is accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business.
The University of Texas at Dallas is accredited by Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
University of Massachusetts - Amherst
UMass Amherst offers an entirely online MBA in marketing degree program. Courses cover topics like web analytics for digital marketing, fundamentals of product marketing, e-commerce logistics, and salesforce for marketing and sales.
The application requires transcripts, a resume showing at least three years of professional work experience, two letters of recommendation, a personal essay, and GMAT/GRE scores. Applicants with sufficient professional experience can apply for a GMAT/GRE waiver. The Isenberg School of Management at UMass Amherst is accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business.
University of Massachusetts - Amherst is accredited by New England Commission on Higher Education.
Florida Atlantic University
|Boca Raton, FL||
Located in Boca Raton, FAU offers a fully online master of business administration in marketing. Students take classes like brand reputation management, global marketing, advertising and personal selling, and B2B marketing strategy.
To apply, candidates must submit transcripts, a resume, three references, and GMAT/GRE scores. Applicants with ample experience can apply for a GMAT/GRE waiver. FAU's School of Business is accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business.
Florida Atlantic University is accredited by Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
Frequently Asked Questions About MBA in Marketing Programs
- Is an MBA in marketing program hard to get into?
Depending on the program, applicants can face stiff competition, particularly for top business schools. Most programs require a minimum undergraduate GPA of 3.0 and at least two years of relevant work experience. Some programs, however, admit the majority of applicants.
- What can I do with an MBA in marketing?
An MBA in marketing propels graduates to careers in both marketing and business, with many going on to pursue positions in management. A few top careers include marketing manager, market research analyst, sales manager, and advertising manager.
- Is marketing a good career?
Almost every business and industry requires skilled marketers to help them succeed. Those interested in studying market trends and consumer preferences and developing brand awareness through marketing and advertising campaigns often find marketing careers exciting and lucrative.
- How much money can I make with an MBA in marketing?
Salaries for individuals with an MBA in marketing vary based on industry, location, position, and the size of an organization. For instance, while market research analysts earn a median annual salary of $65,810, those in the publishing industries boast a salary of $79,040, while those in finance and insurance earn $73,800, according to the BLS.
- What are the highest-paying jobs I can get with an MBA in marketing?