25 Best Affordable Master’s Degrees in Marketing

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The following is a review of the 25 Best Master's Degrees in Marketing for 2020. Marketing professionals design sales strategies based on their understanding of consumer behavior and demand, and craft advertising campaigns to promote products and services. Positions are available in private companies, government agencies, non-profit organizations, and research institutes. Among the career opportunities are jobs as managers of marketing, advertising, promotions, sales, and public relations departments.

According to the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median salary for such managers was about $130,000 in 2017. The agency predicts a ten percent increase in marketing positions by 2026, which means an additional 23,800 jobs, which is a slightly faster growth rate than the average profession. Typical entrance requirements for admittance to a master's program include a bachelor's degree in marketing or a related field, student transcripts, a minimum undergraduate GPA , letters of recommendation, an essay or personal statement, a resume, an acceptable score on either the Graduate Records Examination or the Graduate Management Admission Test, and payment of an application fee.

Ranking Methodology: "It's science!"

The researchers and writers at Best Master's Degrees don't make recommendations based upon preference– we back our rankings with science. Here's a quick breakdown of how we organize ranking data:

  • Finances (40%)
  • Academic Rigor (35%)
  • Student Gratification (25%)

Nearly half of the data used to score each ranking involves investments and are acquired from sources such as the National Center for Education Statistics, the U.S. Department of Labor, U.S. Department of Education, Glassdoor, and PayScale. Financial data encompasses the cost of tuition, fees, and class supplied; the average price of living; access to financial aid and social services; and lastly, the projected annual salary acquired from degree outcomes and income for loan repayment. The second largest category of information involves the quality of education, how competitive degree applicants should be for consideration, and how exclusive a degree program is overall. The final 25 percent of collected data is dependent on student and alumni reviews from sources such as PayScale, Rate My Professor, and Students Review.

#25 – DePaul University

Master of Science in Marketing

Chicago, IL
Website

Founded in 1898, DePaul is the largest Catholic university in the United States. More than 22,500 students, 40 percent of them non-white, are enrolled. The Driehaus College of Business, established in 1912, was one of the first ten business schools in the country. Its Kellstadt Graduate School of Business has been awarding advanced degrees for more than 70 years. Ninety-five percent of the school's graduates find full-time positions related to their degree within six months. Nearly 2,200 students, representing 30 nations, are in business master's programs. Core courses in the marketing master's curriculum cover marketing strategies and planning, consumer trends and behavior, data analysis, effective and ethical decision making, business communications, decisions in marketing management, and marketing research. A statistics course is required for those who do not take the class at the baccalaureate level. The degree's four primary concentrations include Sales Leadership, Digital Marketing, Marketing Strategy & Planning, or Healthcare.

 

#24 – University of Southern California

Master of Science in Marketing

Los Angeles, CA
Website

A private university established in 1880, USC ranked No. 17 in the Wall Street Journal / Times Higher Education survey of postsecondary institutions. The faculty features five Nobel Prize laureates. The USC School of Business has a global focus that involves studying various industries in international markets. The marketing master's program, on the University Park campus, is a 30-credit-hour curriculum (27 for students who take an introductory marketing course at the baccalaureate level). USC "prefers," but does not require, at least one year of related work experience. The university offers personalized career development services that allow students to customize the curriculum to reflect their career goals. "Practical hands-on projects" are available in areas of interest such as entertainment, sports entertainment, luxury and lifestyle, technology, health care, and marketing start-ups. Students specialize in either analytics or consumer behavior. Core courses in both career tracks include Marketing Management, Marketing Analytics, and Communications for Management.

#23 – American University

Master of Science in Marketing

Washington, D.C.
Website

American University is a private research institution affiliated with the Methodist Church. AU currently boasts an enrollment of nearly 12,000 students. U.S. News & World Report listed AU as the No. 69 best university for its rankings of the best post-secondary institutions in the country for 2019. Eight colleges and schools offer more than 160 programs, including 87 types of master's degrees. Ninety-four percent of alumni of the Kogod School of Business are, either, employed or still pursuing their education soon after graduation. The top employers are EY, Deloitte, KPM, IBM, and Protiviti. The marketing master's program is 30 credit hours, including projects at area event-planning companies that involve marketing research, campaign planning and implementation, and evaluation. The core courses include Managing Digital Brand Industries, Entertainment Marketing, and Research for Marketing Decisions.

#22 – Hofstra University

Master of Science in Marketing

Long Island, NY
Website

Hofstra is a private university just 25 miles outside the heart of New York City, one of the world's leading cultural and business hubs. Students have many internship opportunities with companies headquartered in the metropolitan area. About 11,000 students, including nearly 3,000 at the graduate level, take classes in eight colleges that offer 165 different degree programs. The faculty-to-student ratio is 13:1. The university's Frank G. Zarb School of Business is the 90th-best such college in the country, according to U.S. News & World Report. It has its own financial market trading room; as well as the Merrill Lynch Center, where professors and students explore international financial services and markets. The 30-credit-hour master's in marketing program features core courses such as Marketing Analysis and Management, Research and Analytics For Marketing Decisions, Consumer Behavior In The Global Environment, Advanced Quantitative Analysis For Marketing Managers, and A Research Seminar.

#21 – University of Tampa

Master of Science in Marketing

Tampa, FL
Website

This private university's Sykes College of Business has made the Princeton Review's list of the top 294 such schools in the world for 13 straight years. Ninety-seven percent of the faculty hold doctorate degrees, and 80 percent have business backgrounds. Work experience is advised for students in the marketing master's program. The curriculum totals 30-46 credit hours, depending upon career track. The track options are marketing management, product and brand management, marketing research, and sales management. Students first take business essentials classes, then core Marketing Management courses. The Experiential Learning track provides opportunities for client projects, internships, case studies, consulting, strategic planning, and data collection and analysis.

#20 – Johns Hopkins University

Master of Science in Marketing

Baltimore, MD
Website

Johns Hopkins, a private institution founded in 1876, is renowned for its academic excellence. Faculty and alumni have won 37 Nobel Prizes. A highly selective university, JHU accepts less than one in 10 students who apply for admission. Earning a master's in marketing degree at the Carey Business School involves 36 credit hours, which require one year for a full-time student. Those selected for the program come with a median baccalaureate grade-point average of 3.5 and an average of six months' full-time work experience. The curriculum emphasizes four "business sectors vital to the future economy": financial enterprises, health-care management, enterprise risk management, and real estate and infrastructure. Students gain "practical knowledge" by taking part in case studies, experiential learning, simulations, and civic service.

#19 – Northwestern University

Master of Science in Integrated Marketing Communications

Evanston, IL
Website

Northwestern is the tenth-best university in the country, according to U.S. News & World Report. It is just a short drive from Chicago. Ninety-five percent of graduates have jobs in their fields or are gaining more advanced education, six months after earning their degrees. Northwestern's classes have a spectacular faculty-to-student ratio of 6:1. The Medill Business School, which U.S. News ranks No. 6 nationally, offers a master's program in integrated marketing communications that takes 15 months to complete. Core courses include consumer insight, financial accounting, and marketing management. Additional requirements include ten elective classes. Students choose as their area of interest such as Consumer Insights and Analysis Of Consumer Data, Or Media Channels and Platforms. A statistics class is also necessary for those who do not take it at the baccalaureate level. During a 10-week "immersion" quarter, students conduct projects for business clients. There are also opportunities to study abroad.

#18 – Vanderbilt University

Master of Marketing

Nashville, TN
Website

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A private institution founded in 1873, Vanderbilt consists of 10 schools. The enrollment totals more than 20,000, including 6,000 students pursuing graduate and professional degrees. About 600 are taking classes in the Owen School of Management, which offers a Master of Marketing. The 31-credit-hour curriculum requires ten months to complete. Students begin by taking orientation classes in ethical marketing, how to be at work, business fundamentals for marketers, and marketing fundamentals. The core courses include topics such as Statistics; Communications, New Product Development; Marketing Strategy; and Brand Management. The Career Management Center provides individual coaching to customize two immersion projects based on each student's interests and goals. During the annual Brand Week, program participants work in teams to develop project proposals and marketing plans.

#17 – Temple University

Master of Science in Marketing

Philadelphia, PA
Website

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Temple, a public institution, has roots dating to 1881. It is the nation's 106th-best university, according to U.S. News & World Report. More than 38,000 students representing over 120 countries are enrolled in 10 schools and colleges. About 9,000 of them are taking classes at the Fox School of Business, which employs more than 200 full-time faculty members. The college features 21 research institutes and centers. It is among the top 30 business schools in the country in the Wall Street Journal / Times Higher Education survey. The master's program in marketing is available exclusively online, through Temple's Center City campus. Part-time students may take as long as six years to complete the 30-credit-hour curriculum. The core courses include Marketing Management Strategy, Consumer and Buyer Behavior, and Marketing Strategy. There are three concentrations to choose from, such as Enterprise Marketing Management; Marketing Research and Insight; and Strategic Advertising and Marketing.

#16 – Columbia University 

Master of Science in Marketing Science

New York City, NY 
Website

One of the private universities that make up the Ivy League, Columbia has an illustrious history dating to 1754. It placed in a tie for third in the latest national rankings by U.S. News & World Report. The enrollment of 33,000 includes more than 2,300 students at the Columbia Business School, on the Morningside campus in the nation's largest city. Established in 1916, it is the eighth-best such college in the world, according to U.S. News. CBS accepts fewer than one in five bachelor's degree holders who apply for admittance. The core courses in the Master of Science in Marketing program including mathematical methods, marketing models, and multivariate statistics. There are elective classes in 17 areas of concentration. Additional requirements include either a PhD-level course or a thesis. Students must complete a course in probability and statistics as part of their baccalaureate studies.

#15 – University of Cincinnati

Master of Science in Marketing

Cincinnati, OH
Website

Founded over than 200 years ago, the University of Cincinnati now has an enrollment of more than 44,000. U.S. News & World Report rates the institution "among the top tier of the best national universities" in the country. It has one of the world's most beautiful campuses because of the architecture and landscaping, according to Forbes. The university's Carl H. Lindner College of Business has been awarding degrees since 1906. It boasts a faculty that includes "world-renowned thinkers" in consumer behavior and marketing insights. The marketing master's program entails nine months of coursework for a full-time student. The core classes include Marketing Strategy For Managers, Buyer Behavior, Career Management, and a capstone. Additional required courses for students with non-business baccalaureate degrees are marketing foundations, data analysis, accounting, and economics. There are internship opportunities with corporations such as General Electric, Johnson & Johnson, and P&G.

#14 – University of Alabama

Master of Science in Marketing

Tuscaloosa, AL
Website

The University of Alabama consists of 13 schools and colleges with more than 38,000 students. In the fall of 2018, AU's fairly strict admission standards resulted in the acceptance of applicants with an average ACT score of 27 and a median high school GPA of 3.71. U.S. News & World Report ranks the advanced business degrees at the university's Culverhouse College of Business, a division of the Manderson School of Business, No. 10 in the country. The marketing master's program offers various specializations and areas of study that require 30 to 33 credit hours of study during two semesters. The two specialties involve Marketing Analytics and Digital and Social Media Marketing. Students who choose management as their area of research must take classes in global marketing management and advanced marketing analysis. The core courses in the professional sales area of study are Global Marketing Management, Client-based Marketing Consulting, and Personal Selling and Sales Management.

 

#13 – Texas A&M University

Master of Science in Marketing

College Station, TX
Website

Since its humble beginnings in 1876, Texas A&M has grown into one of the nation's 10 largest universities with an enrollment of about 70,000 in 19 colleges and schools. More than 15,000 students are pursuing graduate and professional degrees. U.S. News ranks this public research institution as the No. 66 best university in the country, and its Mays Business School No. 36. The 36-credit-hour curriculum takes 16 months to complete, or 12 months if a student completes two graduate courses at the baccalaureate level. The school "recommends" a grade-point average of 3.5 or higher in bachelor's degree studies, a quantitative GRE score of 150, and a GMAT score of 609. Additional prerequisites are the successful completion of classes in research statistics, accounting concepts and procedures, and financial management; as well as surveys in marketing and management. Graduate students must perform professional internships through the university's Career Management Center.

#12 – Clemson University

Master of Science in Marketing

Greenville, SC 
Website

Established in 1889, Clemson is a public university that bills itself as a "science- and research-oriented" institution. Clemson is the No. 24 best university in the country, according to U.S. News & World Report. In 2017, the Princeton Review recognized Clemson's quality and affordability by including it on a list of schools with the best investment returns. The university's College of Business maintains partnerships with companies, non-profit groups, community organizations, and government agencies in the region. The Master's of Marketing program, on the Greenville campus, is a 30-credit-hour curriculum that can be completed in one year (two years for most part-time students). Professional work experience is a prerequisite. The core courses are Statistical Methods, Quantitative Marketing Methods, and Buyer Behavior. In addition, each student must attend seminars and perform a research project.

#11 – University of Maryland

Master of Science in Marketing Analytics

College Park, MD
Website

Founded in 1856, UMD is a public research institution near Washington, D.C. It is the No. 63 best university in the country, according to U.S. News & World Report. Another accolade is having been named a "Public Ivy," meaning the institution offers academic programs as good as those at the private universities in the Ivy League. The Robert H. Smith School of Business, established in 1921, placed at No. 24 in The Financial Times' rankings of business programs. The school partners with Amazon, IBM, and other large corporations, as well as government agencies in the nation's capital. An annual Marketing Dynamics Conference has a program committee featuring officials from more than a dozen other U.S. and foreign universities. A student's specialization determines whether the master's program in marketing analytics takes 10 or 16 months to finish. Core courses include Business Ethics, Data Science, and Marketing Research and Analysis.

#10 – Michigan State University

Master's in Marketing Research

East Lansing, MI
Website

MSU began in 1855 as the first scientific agriculture college in the United States. It is the nation's No. 35 best public university, according to U.S. News & World Report; and places in the top 70 worldwide in the Wall Street Journal / Times Higher Education rankings. More than 50,000 students from 142 countries are enrolled at MSU's 18 degree-granting colleges and schools. The Financial Times has rated the Broad College of Business No. 52 worldwide. The master's in marketing research consists of 34 credit hours, which students can complete in one-year full time on campus or 19 months part-time online. Core courses include Marketing Management; Marketing Research For Decision Makers; and Advanced Marketing.

#9 – University of Houston

Master of Science in Marketing

Dallas, TX
Website

In the 92 years since its founding as a junior college, the University of Houston has become the largest postsecondary institution in Texas with more than 95,000 students. Fourteen colleges award about 9,000 degrees every year. UH has placed at No. 91 among the nation's public universities in the latest U.S. News & World Report rankings. The C.T. Bauer College of Business is in the Professional District, just outside the main campus, which is also home to the Calhoun Lofts housing complex for graduate students. Those enrolled at Bauer represent about 140 countries. The master's in marketing is a 36-credit-hour program that takes one year – or two years for part-time students – to complete. Students are asked to finish initial requirements such as financial accounting, marketing administration, and practical marketing analysis. Students then complete in courses in one of six specializations, which include digital marketing, marketing analytics, selling and sales management, product management, or entrepreneurship and technology.

#8 – Georgia State University

Master of Science in Marketing

Atlanta, GA
Website

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This public research university in downtown Atlanta, founded in 1913, is one of the ten largest institutions of higher learning in the country. The University's enrollment for each of its ten departments totals more than 51,000 students and represent 171 different countries. Located in Atlanta, GA, no other U.S. city is home to more Fortune 500 companies. GSU's Career Advancement Center helps students and alumni secure employment with annual jobs fairs and other services. UPS, Coca-Cola, Georgia Pacific, and Home Depot are among the corporations that regularly recruit students in the business college. The master's in marketing curriculum is designed to accommodate working professionals and students engaged in full-time internships. The business college's Social Media Intelligence Lab partners students, faculty, and researchers with companies in the Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce to design and implement digital projects.

#7 – University of California Los Angeles

Master of Business Administration with Marketing Specializations

Los Angeles, CA
Website

UCLA - Top Affordable Online Master's Engineering

The University of California, Los Angeles is the No. 1 public university in the country, according to U.S. News & World Report. UCLA also ranks at No. 1 for Forbes' list of Best Value Colleges. UCLA ensures that all students can afford on-campus housing for three years. With roots going back to 1881, the university has had 24 Nobel Prize laureates among its alumni and faculty. The Anderson School of Management offers a two-year master of business administration programs with 15 specializations, including two directly related to marketing. Marketing analytics students complete core courses such as Marketing Management, Digital Marketing, One-to-one Marketing, Global Marketing Management, and Web Marketing and Analytics. Classes for students specializing in Brand Management include Advertising, Consumer Behavior, and Persuasion and Influence.

#6 – University of Colorado

Master of Science in Marketing

Denver, CO
Website

Founded in 1912, The University of Colorado provides students with access to the cosmopolitan city of Denver, as well as the Rocky Mountains. UC Denver is a leading public research university, with 40 research centers and institutes. About 20,000 students – more than 40 percent of them pursuing graduate degrees – are enrolled in 13 colleges and schools. They may choose from more than 600 internship opportunities with businesses, government agencies, and non-profit organizations. The UC Denver Business School collaborates with 300 companies. The master's in marketing, a 30-credit program, is available on campus and online. The core courses include Marketing Strategies, Consumer Intelligence, and Marketing Intelligence and Metrics. Students may specialize in areas such as Advanced Market Analysis, Brand Communications, and Global Marketing.

#5 – University of Texas at Austin

Master of Science in Marketing

Austin, TX
Website

 

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With a history dating to 1883, the University of Texas Austin now has an enrollment of more than 51,000 students. Eighteen colleges and schools offer 139 graduate degrees, as well as 400 "study abroad" opportunities. The Austin area blends an alternative culture with a thriving business community. U.S. News & World Report ranks UT Austin at No. 15 nationally among public postsecondary institutions, and at No. 1 for programs in accounting with UTA's McCombs School of Business. The school's MBA programs are the 37th-best in the world, according to The Financial Times. College Choice ranks the Masters of Marketing at No. 3 in the country. The program entails 37 credit hours, which takes around ten months to complete. UTA's BMA provides core courses such as Marketing Management, Financial Management, and Statistics For Marketing.

#4 – University of South Florida

Master of Science in Marketing

Tampa, FL
Website

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About 38,000 students, including 11,000 in graduate studies, are enrolled in 14 colleges at the University of South Florida. The student body, which represents 145 countries, is 41 percent non-white. USF is the nation's No. 58th-best postsecondary institution, according to U.S. News & World Report. Reflecting its high standards, the university accepted freshmen in 2018 with an average high school grade-point average of 4.09 and a median SAT score of 1283. The Best Schools ranks the Muma College of Business No. 29 in the country. The marketing master's program entails 30-34 credit hours of coursework crafted for employed professionals. The core courses are Creativity In Marketing, Marketing Analytics, Consumer Behavior Insights, Digital Marketing, and Marketing Strategy. The college also requires classes in managerial decision analysis and marketing management for students who do not study statistics and marketing at the baccalaureate level. The three options for degree concentrations include Marketing Analytics, Digital Marketing & Brand Management, and Supply Chain Management.

#3 – University of Texas at Dallas

Master of Science in Marketing

Richardson, TX
Website

The University of Texas at Dallas resides in a suburban community about 20 miles north of Dallas; a city in which Forbes magazine has rated as the nation's Best City for Jobs. About 30,000 students take classes in eight colleges, including the Jindal School of Management. The school has the best student-to-date ratio of any such college in the country, according to U.S. News & World Report. The 100 students in the marketing master's program posted an average baccalaureate grade-point average of 3.5 and a median GMAT score of 604. Ninety-five percent of the program's graduates obtain employment within six months. The curriculum, which takes one to two years to complete, consists of 36 semester hours. The core courses include Marketing Management, Consumer Behavior, and Statistics and Data Analysis. Students have six specializations to choose from and include Advertising and Branding, Digital Advertising and Marketing, and Marketing Management.

#2 – University of Wisconsin

Master of Science in Marketing

Madison, WI
Website

The University of Wisconsin traces its history to 1848 when it was called the University of the Territory of Wisconsin. The school began admitting women during the Civil War. The Wall Street Journal / Times Higher Education rankings have listed UW-Madison No. 45 in the world. Alumni and faculty have won 25 Nobels and 39 Pulitzer Prizes. Fourteen graduates are CEOs of Fortune 500 companies. The Graduate School, established in 1904, awards 154 master's degrees and 109 doctorates The Wisconsin School of Business became one of the first five such colleges in the country with its founding in 1900. UW-Madison's Master's of Science in Marketing consists of 30-credits. The business school also offers a Master of Business Administration with specializations in Brand and Product Management, Marketing Research, and Supply Chain Management; as well as a Ph.D. in Marketing.

#1 – CUNY Baruch College

Master of Science in Marketing

New York City, NY
Website

Baruch has been educating business students since 1847. Forbes ranks it as the 51st-best public college, and the No. 12 "best value" postsecondary school, in the United States. Only 31 percent of students who apply for admission are accepted. Their SAT scores average between 1150 and 1330. Racial minorities make up 70 percent of the student body, which comes from more than 170 countries. The Field Center for Entrepreneurship sponsors technology workshops and provides various student services. The Zicklin School of Business, one of Baruch's three schools, offers 10 master's programs. The Master's of Science in Marketing is a 30-credit program requiring three to four semesters to complete. Prospective students have an average undergraduate GPA of 3.5, and around two years of relative work experience. Students select one of four specialized concentrations, which include Digital Marketing, International Business, Marketing Analysis, Or Marketing Management. The core courses in each specialization include Business Communications, Marketing Research, Marketing Management, and Consumer Behavior; and a Plus A Marketing Consulting Practicum.