20 Best Master’s in Marketing Programs in 2021

If your personal brand is branding, a master’s in marketing can help you to hone that passion into a career. And, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), it’s a pretty lucrative career. The average annual wage for careers in marketing ranged from about $55,000 to $155,000 as of 2020. 

In general, marketing managers tend to make more money each year, while sales-based marketing jobs and associates typically make less. If you’re looking for job security, the market research analyst job field is expected to grow by about 18% through 2029. 

Tuition for a master’s in marketing program also ranges quite a bit, and is usually between $14,000 and $76,000 per academic year, though what you pay in tuition will vary depending on the type of school and program you attend. If you’re looking for the right program for you, we’ve highlighted some of the best master’s in marketing programs below, based on their academic excellence, affordability, and breadth of offerings. 

Accredited Online College Programs

20 Best Master’s Degrees in Marketing in 2021

  1. Columbia University in the City of New York
    Location

    New York, NY

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Columbia University in the City of New York offers a master of science in marketing. This marketing science degree has a STEM-eligible curriculum with a focus on marketing analytics. It is recommended that students develop a foundational understanding of a database programming language and statistical package prior to entry. Course requirements include marketing models, mathematical methods, and multivariate statistics. Elective offerings include digital marketing, pricing strategies, and systematic creativity in business. To culminate the program, students can choose to pursue a master's thesis or take a doctoral course. The intensive degree program takes just two semesters to complete.

    Columbia began in 1754 on funds from the New York state lottery. Columbia is the oldest higher education institution in the state and the fifth-oldest in the nation. It also stands among the nine colonial colleges founded prior to the signing of the Declaration of Independence.

    • Graduation rate: 96%
    • School status: Private
    • City location:  New York, New York
    • Standardized test scores/requirements: Test scores not required, GRE 168 average quantitative score 
    • Contact: msprograms@gsb.columbia.edu 
    • Website 
  2. Texas A&M University-Central Texas
    Location

    Killeen, TX

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Texas A&M University's Mays Business School offers a Master of Science in Marketing. The curriculum includes courses in Analyzing Consumer Behavior, Branding and Marketing Communications, and Product Innovation. All students must complete an internship, and most do in the summer between their first and second years. The university's Career Management Center assists students with internship placement and in their job search. The degree program spans four terms and is generally completed in 16 months.

    Texas A&M was established in 1817 under the Morrill Act. It was the first public higher education institution in Texas and the founding campus of the Texas A&M University System. It opened as the Agricultural and Mechanical College of Texas – hence the A&M and student nickname “Aggies." Today, it is the largest university in the state and the second largest in the nation.;

    • Graduation rate: N/A
    • School status: Public
    • City location:  Killeen, Texas
    • Standardized test scores/requirements: Test scores not required, but recommended. Minimum GRE scores of 152 verbal, 154 quantitative and GMAT score of 600.
    • Contact: ms-mktg@mays.tamu.edu 
    • Website 
  3. University of Maryland, College Park
    Location

    College Park, MD

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    The University of Maryland, College Park offers a master of science in marketing analytics. the program focuses on the mathematical and statistical aspects of customer analysis in marketing. The plan of study includes course requirements in business ethics, data science, and statistical programs. Application courses are offered in market forecasting, retail analytics, and web analytics. The program culminates in an Action Learning Project in which students analyze data, report findings, and provide recommendations. The degree can be completed in 10 or 16 months.

    UMD was chartered in 1856 as the Maryland Agricultural College. Today, UMD is known as the flagship university of the University System of Maryland, and the largest university in Maryland and the Washington metropolitan area. The university's proximity to the U.S. capital has led to research partnerships with the federal government.;

    • Graduation rate: 87%
    • School status: Public
    • City location: College Park, MD
    • Standardized test scores/requirements: Test scores required, av. GRE score 317, av. GMAT score 665
    • Contact: SmithMasters@umd.edu 
    • Website
  4. Johns Hopkins University
    Location

    Baltimore, MD

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Johns Hopkins University's Master of Science in Marketing program offers full- and part-time options. A part-time online option will be available beginning Fall 2019. All students must take 12 credits of foundational business courses. The core curriculum consists of three courses: consumer behavior, marketing research, and marketing strategy. Elective offerings include designing experiments, social media analytics, and strategic market intelligence. The degree can be completed in one full-time year or two part-time years.

    The university was named for Quaker abolitionist and entrepreneur Johns Hopkins. Hopkins bequeathed $7 million of his railroad fortune to establish a hospital and university in Baltimore, MD. The sum is approximately equivalent to $145 million today and was at that time the largest philanthropic gift in U.S. history. JHU has campuses in Maryland and Washington, D.C. and international sites in China, Italy, and Singapore.;

    • Graduation rate: 94%
    • School status: Private
    • City location: Baltimore, MD
    • Standardized test scores/requirements: Test scores required
    • Contact: carey.admissions@jhu.edu 
    • Website
  5. Michigan State University
    Location

    East Lansing, MI

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Michigan State University's master of science in marketing research program offers both full-time and online options. Both program formats feature the same courses taught by the same professors. Both programs use a "lock-step" cohort format, meaning students progress through the same plan of study together. The plan includes courses in consumer insights, data mining, and international marketing research. On-campus students also complete a directed consulting project and a summer project or internship. Online students can choose between two requirements that can be fulfilled through projects and capstone courses.

    MSU was founded in 1855 as one of the nation's first higher education institutions to teach scientific agriculture. Today, MSU is one of the nation's largest universities in terms of student enrollment. In keeping with its scientific roots, the university is home to research facilities including the Abrams Planetarium, the Beal Botanical Garden, and the Facility for Rare Isotope Beams.

    • Graduation rate: 81%
    • School status: Public
    • City location: East Lansing, MI
    • Standardized test scores/requirements: Test scores required
    • Contact: msmr@broad.msu.edu 
    • Website 
  6. The University of Texas at Dallas
    Location

    Richardson, TX

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    The University of Texas at Dallas offers a highly flexible master of science in marketing. The degree can be completed on campus, online, or a combination of both. Students choose between tracks in advertising & branding, business development, customer insights & analytics, digital marketing, marketing management, and product management. Core courses include consumer behavior and statistics and data analysis. Students can choose between capstone courses in competitive marketing strategy and marketing decision making. The degree can be completed in one to two years.

    UT Dallas began as a research arm of Texas Instruments. The institution began in the early 1960s as the Graduate Research Center of the Southwest. Today, the public university is categorized in the top tier of research universities by the Carnegie Foundation.;

    • Graduation rate: 69%
    • School status: Public
    • City location: Richardson, TX 
    • Standardized test scores/requirements: Test scores required
    • Contact: msmarketing@utdallas.edu 
    • Website
  7. University of Southern California
    Location

    Los Angeles, CA

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    The University of Southern California highlights the "personalized and global-focused curriculum" of its master of science in marketing program. Specializations are offered in analytics and consumer behavior. Students discuss their career goals with the program's Associate Director, who helps them customize their plan of study accordingly. These students then take classes alongside students from other specialized master's programs. The program incorporates real-world projects and case studies from global perspectives. Course offerings include advertising and promotions; fashion, luxury and lifestyle marketing; and internet marketing.

    Founded in 1880, USC is the oldest private research university in California. Technologies invented at the university include antivirus software, the Domain Name System, and image compression.;

  8. Georgia State University
    Location

    Atlanta, GA

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Georgia State University offers a master of science in marketing and a dual degree in marketing and big data analytics. The project-based marketing curriculum covers topics including brand management, data-driven marketing, and social media marketing. Four courses – including buyer behavior and data-driven marketing – earn students a graduate certificate of specialization in brand & customer management. Laid out into five "minimesters" with two courses each, the degree program allows students to work full-time.;

    GSU was established in 1913 as the Georgia School of Technology's Evening School of Commerce. It became Georgia State University in 1969. Today, it is Georgia's largest institution of higher education and one of the top 10 largest in the nation. The public university is categorized within the top tier of research universities by the Carnegie Foundation.

    • Graduation rate: 53%
    • School status: Public
    • City location: Atlanta, GA
    • Standardized test scores/requirements: Test scores not required (this fall only)
    • Contact: cwhite141@gsu.edu 
    • Website 
  9. University of Houston
    Location

    Houston, TX

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    The University of Houston offers a customizable master of science in marketing program. The degree can be completed in one year of full-time study or two years of part-time study. Students can select electives from six areas: consulting, digital marketing, entrepreneurship & technology, marketing analytics, product management, and selling & sales management. Students must take foundational courses in financial accounting, practical marketing analysis, and quantitative analysis for business decisions. All students must also complete a professional project. The program offers students opportunities to create marketing campaigns for real clients, to plan and pitch businesses to potential partners, and to learn abroad in Paris.

    UH began as the Houston Junior College in 1927. Since then, it has evolved into the third-largest university in Texas. The Carnegie Foundation categorizes it within the top tier of research universities. UH operates more than 40 research centers on campus and conducts interdisciplinary research in areas such as artificial intelligence, energy and natural resources, and space exploration.;

    • Graduation rate: 62%
    • School status: Public
    • City location: Houston, TX
    • Standardized test scores/requirements: Test scores not required
    • Contact: ms-marketing@bauer.uh.edu 
    • Website
  10. University of South Florida
    Location

    Tampa, FL

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    The University of South Florida offers a research-oriented master of science in marketing program which prepares graduates for careers in the technical aspects of the field. The degree can enhance working professionals' skills, qualify graduates for adjunct teaching roles, or prepare students for doctoral programs. Students can choose from three areas of emphasis: digital marketing and brand management, marketing analytics, and supply chain management. The core curriculum includes courses in creativity in marketing, consumer behavior, and digital marketing. Elective offerings include improvisation in business organizations and negotiating agreements and resolving conflicts.

    USF was the first independent state university of the 20th century. Founded in 1956, the university was built on a former World War II airstrip which was previously the site of part of the world's largest orange grove. Today, the public university has three institutions, in Tampa, Sarasota, and St. Petersburg, FL.


  • Our Methodology, Explained


    Grad School Hub compiles rankings based on public data released from educational, commercial, and government databases. Sources such as the National Center for Education Statistics and the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics play a significant role in how we source our educational data. After collecting insight for each institution, we organize information into five weighted categories.

    Metric Data Used Percentage
    Academic Quality Full-time faculty percentage, student-to-faculty ratio, student retention and graduation rates 30%
    Affordability Tuition rates, median student debt, and financial aid 10%
    Reputation Admission and enrollment rates 30%
    Program Offerings Number of program options 20%
    Online Enrollment Score Portion of learners taking at least one online course 10%

    A more comprehensive evaluation of how each category is determined and scored is accessible on our Ranking Methodology page.


Answering your questions about a master's in marketing

  • What can you do with a master’s in marketing?

    Marketing graduates can pursue careers in marketing, branding, public relations, sales, advertising, and product development. A master’s degree in marketing prepares you for business management, data analysis, brand development, and more. 

  • How much can you make with a master’s in marketing?

    The BLS reports that marketing managers made an annual average wage of about $154,470 in 2020. Your salary, however, will depend on your experience, the employer, where you live, and the specific field you’re in.

  • Can you get a master’s in marketing without a bachelor’s in marketing?

    Yes. Most programs do not require you to have a bachelor’s degree in the same field you’re pursuing a master’s degree in. You will need to have a bachelor’s degree, but it likely doesn’t have to be in marketing.


Master’s in Marketing Overview

A master’s degree in marketing will prepare you to lead marketing departments, branding initiatives, and product development. It’s a diverse major, and each program has different ways you can concentrate your education in a particular part of the field.

Most master’s in marketing programs will take about two years to complete when attending full time. Courses you might take include digital marketing, consumer behavior, data analysis, product development, marketing management, public relations, and brand development.

Admissions Requirements

In order to be admitted to a master’s program in marketing, you will need a bachelor’s degree. Not every program requires that degree to be in a related field, but requirements vary. Many schools will also ask for an undergraduate minimum GPA of about 3.0. 

Most master’s programs ask for GRE or GMAT test scores, but if you have a high GPA, you can often waive that requirement. You’ll also likely need letters of recommendation and a personal essay, in addition to a completed application packet. 

Master’s in Marketing Concentrations

Many master’s in marketing degree programs will allow students to choose a specific concentration to specialize in. By specializing your electives with a concentration, you can better prepare for what you will encounter in real employment situations and apply your learnings to specific types of marketing. A concentration can also allow you to focus on areas you’re passionate about. 

Analytics: overview

An analytics concentration will teach you how to use data and quantitative skills to craft marketing campaigns, offer feedback, and test new initiatives. You’ll take courses like advanced statistics, econometrics, data analysis, database marketing, and sales forecasting. 

Consumer insights: overview

This concentration will focus on analyzing consumer trends, experience, and behavior. Employees in this field may also be responsible for predicting future consumer trends. Courses may include customer intelligence, customer loyalty, consumer experience, trend forecasting, and branding strategy. 

Digital marketing: overview

Digital marketing highlights the ways in which the internet and social media has impacted marketing. This concentration will teach you how to use advanced tools and software necessary to succeed in digital marketing. This typically includes Google Adwords, Watson Analytics, and Adobe. You’ll take courses like search engine marketing, social media marketing, content marketing, internet advertising, and user experience (UX.)

Product management: overview

This concentration will prepare students to work with product-based businesses and brands. Beyond marketing a product to consumers, this job type will also involve designing product packaging, conducting consumer testing and research, and crafting a brand. Courses may include brand management, pricing strategy, product development, and product design. 

Career Outlook for Master’s in Marketing Graduates

A marketing graduate can pursue careers in marketing, advertising, sales, public relations, and many other business-related fields. The BLS reports that average annual salaries for these types of jobs ranged from $55,000 to $142,000 per year as of 2020. 

With a master’s degree, graduates will typically be able to enter the workforce at a higher salary level. Most jobs in the marketing field are also projected to grow over the next 10 years. 

CareerAverage Annual SalaryJob Outlook (2019-2029)
Advertising, promotions, and marketing managers$141,4906%
Advertising sales agents$54,940-6%
Market research analysts$65,81018%
Public relations specialists$62,8107%
Public relations and fundraising managers$118,4309%

What Is the ROI for a Master’s in Marketing Degree? 

Tuition costs for a master’s in marketing vary widely depending on the school, your residency, and the program’s reputation or competitiveness. If you live out of state, you may have to pay more in tuition than in-state students. And, attending a school like Harvard, for example,which is a private Ivy League university, will cost more to attend than a public state college. Tuition for our list of programs ranges from about $14,000 to $76,000.

The average annual salary for marketing managers was about $141,490 in 2020, according to the BLS. Given the high average salary in this field, you may expect a fairly quick return on investment, though it will depend on the tuition rate you pay and your salary post-graduation.

Scholarships for Master’s in Marketing Students

AfterCollege Business Student Scholarship

  • This is a scholarship from AfterCollege for students working toward a degree in a business field. Applicants must have a minimum GPA of 3.0 to qualify. 
  • Amount: $500
  • Deadline: June 30 

Berbay Marketing & PR Scholarship Program

  • The Berbay Marketing & Public Relations company awards an annual scholarship to students pursuing a degree in marketing, public relations, or communications. Applicants must demonstrate a high level of writing skill and academic excellence via a 1,000 word essay. 
  • Amount: $1,000
  • Deadline: February 10 

Davis Property Management Scholarship

  • This scholarship is earmarked for students who have an interest in real estate, regardless of their major. Applicants will need to write an essay related to careers in the real estate industry in order to be considered.
  • Amount: $250-$1,500
  • Deadline: June 30th 

OuterBox Scholarship for Digital Marketing Excellence

  • OuterBox awards a scholarship to students who are pursuing degrees related to digital marketing. Applicants must have completed at least one full year at their current school and submit a 500 word essay on the industry. 
  • Amount: $2,000.
  • Deadline: October 31st 

Who can apply for scholarships? 

Scholarships are available to any student wishing to fund their education and supplement other forms of financial aid. Typically, funders will have minimum GPA requirements and ask that you are currently enrolled in a university. Students will have a better chance of winning scholarships if you apply for one targeted at a specific community. That can mean a specific university, degree, location, race, gender, or other demographic. You can also look at scholarships your university offers exclusively for current students.

Why Should I Get a Master’s in Marketing?

Higher Earning Potential

According to the BLS, marketing master’s graduates earn an average of 38% more per year than bachelor’s graduates in the marketing field. An advanced degree can qualify you for a higher starting salary at many companies. If you’re already in the workforce, pursuing a master’s degree can help support requests for a raise and new responsibilities. 

Advance career
Master’s degree graduates can qualify for higher positions and executive-level jobs. You can generally enter your career field at a higher level if you have a master’s degree. For example, you can apply for marketing manager positions as well as marketing associate positions. An advanced degree can also help make the case for promotions and fast-track your career progression.
Increase expertise

The more advanced your education becomes, the deeper you’ll study a subject. A master’s degree can provide you with real-world experience and advanced knowledge on marketing topics. You can also choose a specialty and increase your expertise in a specific marketing niche.

Still Looking for the Right Fit? Explore Similar Programs.

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Danika Miller

HIGHER EDUCATION REPORTER

Danika Miller is an education reporter at Grad School Hub who covers higher education news and trends, as well as paying for college. Her writing has also appeared in Best Value Schools, Affordable Colleges Online, and Her Campus, and her financial expertise has been featured in The Simple Dollar and CreditCards.com.

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Angelica Leicht

Angelica Leicht is an editor for Grad School Hub. A proud University of Houston alum (go Cougs!), she previously served as an education reporter at Kearney Hub, and an editor at the Dallas Observer and Houston Press. Her writing has appeared in Affordable Colleges Online, Bankrate, The Simple Dollar, and elsewhere.

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