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Best Master’s Programs in Marketing Management

marketing management schools

Earning a degree in marketing can be a great idea, particularly if you don’t have a particular job or position you want to pursue for your career. Degrees in marketing are versatile and are needed by virtually every company or business. But those who hold basic marketing credentials may want to proceed into higher positions or take on more responsibilities for higher salaries.

In that case, earning a master’s degree in marketing management is an excellent decision. What’s the big difference between a degree in marketing and marketing management? That largely depends on the type of degree you receive.

As an example, many master’s degrees in marketing management are actually MBAs, or Masters of Business Administration, with a marketing management concentration. MBAs are a perfect fit for a marketing management focus because they already focus on how to be a better leader in the business arena and how to manage others, in addition to going over solid business concepts. Those who hold MBAs are well-positioned to become administrators, chief executives, or any other kind of managing position at a business or organization. MBAs with this focus will include coursework and training that prepares graduates to head marketing departments or spearhead broad marketing campaigns that can lead to great profits for their employing company.

However, master’s degrees in marketing management come in other flavors, as well. Some schools offer a pure Master of Marketing Management degree. These are best thought of as an offshoot of an MBA or a related degree program, as they’ll cover many of the same concepts and ideas while focusing on marketing as it pertains to modern economics.

Some degrees can also come as either a Master of Science or Master of Arts. Marketing management degrees of the former type might be more theoretical, leaning more into economics in the broader abstract concepts that drive business decisions every day. Marketing management degrees of the latter type will be more appropriate for those looking to join nonprofits or focus their marketing efforts on areas other than pure profit boosting.

Overall, marketing management degrees that include some element of business administration, either through their curricula or by being part of an MBA, will be better for immediate practical application of your acquired knowledge. These degrees are perfect for those who want to enter the business sphere right after graduation. Meanwhile, an M.S. in marketing management degree is better for those who want to pursue research or higher academic achievements.

Either way, marketing management degrees at the master’s level are incredibly valuable and will teach any student lots about marketing, business, and how to manage or lead others. They usually feature a highly interdisciplinary curriculum that encompasses a broad variety of courses and concepts. A sampling of the classes you can expect from this degree include:

  • Communication
  • Marketing
  • Business
  • Management
  • Psychology
  • English
  • Statistics
  • History

Ultimately, the exact focus of a given master’s degree in marketing management will depend on the individual program. But all programs will prepare graduates to attain leadership positions in marketing departments or at the head of companies, providing them with enough expertise to create and follow through with marketing campaigns or efforts that can benefit their company.

As you might imagine, these positions are broadly sought out by almost any company or organization you can imagine. Purely profit-driven enterprises always need marketing leaders to head up teams and manage individuals within a marketing department, as well as people to come up with marketing strategies in the first place. Nonprofits or other organizations also need their own marketing managers for similar reasons.

Perhaps the biggest strength of this degree is its wide applicability to almost any industry. With a degree of this type, you’ll be able to pursue a top position in almost any company and in any field that requires marketing.

See Also: 10 Best Master’s in Industrial Engineering

Common Application and Admission Questions

Just because this degree isn’t part of the STEM umbrella doesn’t mean that it’s particularly easy to get into a program providing this credential. Like almost any master’s program, getting into a marketing management program requires excellent grades and a specific portfolio for each school you plan to apply to.

Generally speaking, almost any master’s degree program you choose to submit an application with will require a bachelor’s degree first and foremost. It is a little less rigid for many to apply to a marketing management degree in this regard, as just about any bachelor’s degree will be enough for most schools; you don’t have to have a degree in business or a related field, necessarily. That being said, students who have bachelor’s degrees in business or something at least tangentially related to marketing will be given priority when it comes time for the admissions team to select approved applicants.

You’ll also need decent grades from all of your prior schooling, so full transcripts will be required for each application you submit. The minimum GPA from your Bachelor’s is usually 2.5 or so, with most applicants averaging 3.0 GPA or above. You’ll definitely want to make this number as high as possible if you’re still in your bachelor’s studies, or by taking additional classes after the fact to bolster your score.

In addition, many master’s programs for marketing management will require that you take and submit scores from the GRE, or the Graduate Record Examinations. These tests are taken over the computer and measure several aspects of your intelligence, ranging from your critical thinking and quantitative reasoning to your verbal and mathematical skills. Different tests will be prioritized by different universities, with each school having a certain threshold score to be considered for admission. The good news is you’ll have a full year to take these tests once you apply for them, and you’ll be able to take them up to five times within that year. So there are plenty of opportunities to get a better score if your first attempt doesn’t reflect your actual abilities.

After all of that has been gathered, you’ll need to consider ancillary requirements or application boosters. As an example, many master’s programs, including those of marketing management, will require a history of your work experience or a professional resume to even consider you for admission. Resumes that have work experience related to the degree are, of course, preferred over resumes that don’t showcase your experience in the marketing or business fields thus far.

After that, you should consider letters of recommendation. The vast majority of all master’s programs regardless of focus or subject will require at least one letter of recommendation from a superior or boss, like the boss of your current workplace or your former teachers from your bachelor’s years. Many programs require three letters, so it’s a good idea to email your former faculty and ask about the letters as soon as possible.

Last but not least, pay attention to the application deadlines for each university you want to try for. Some schools are flexible and have multiple application deadlines throughout the year. Others only admit a single class for a program once per year.

What About Financial Aid & Scholarships?

Of course, paying for graduate school of any kind is expensive for most of us. But the good news is that there are multiple ways you can seek out financial assistance, some of which are specific to master’s degrees for marketing management.

For starters, everyone should fill out a FAFSA at the beginning of every academic year. This is the Federal Application for Student Aid, and it tells the government all it needs to know about your economic situation so they can determine whether you qualify for certain subsidized and unsubsidized government loans and grants. These loans and grants are some of the most valuable in the entire student financial aid sphere, so it’s well worth it to fill out the FAFSA each year. Most universities require that you do this before applying for other paths to financial aid, anyway.

After this basic step, you should next always check the financial aid page of both your university and the college or school specifically handling the master’s program for marketing management. There are usually two separate pages, and you should check out both because the former page normally has more general financial aid opportunities and is more inundated with applicants, as undergraduates can take advantage of these offers as well. Naturally, these financial aid packages aren’t as big or life-changing.

But the pages of your program’s financial aid scholarships or opportunities are oftentimes much more specific and are also sometimes more achievable since fewer students apply to them.

Even more important are the teaching assistantships or internships you can find on these pages. Not everyone gets access to one of these opportunities, of course, but they’re extremely valuable and you should always attempt for one if you have the chance and time in your schedule. Teaching assistantships will see you working for one of the faculty in your department or college, helping them by grading papers or doing other busywork in exchange for knocking off some or all of your tuition costs. This does take time out of your week that you could otherwise use for studying, but it’s a great choice if you can manage a work/life balance effectively.

Internships may not pay you a salary, but many of them offered through your school will result in a net reduction of your overall tuition if you complete the internship successfully. Internships provide additional benefits and that they grant you valuable work experience and networking opportunities that will continue to pay dividends after you graduate. Ultimately, assistantships and internships are financial aid opportunities best used by those who don’t also need to work while completing their graduate education.

Most students will find themselves using a mixture of financial aid options to cover their bills. Check out all that you can to avoid paying full tuition.

How Much Can I Make With a Master’s in Marketing Management? 

Once you complete your education and graduate from the university of your choice, you’ll be faced with finding a job that provides you with a salary worthy of your experience and education. So how much can you expect to make with a master’s degree in marketing management?

Like almost every business or marketing degree, your actual salary will largely depend on the position you hold within a company or organization. Marketing managers who are higher in the overall hierarchy of their company will be paid more than a marketing manager of a smaller organization. This doesn’t mean you can’t negotiate for a higher salary with any potential employer, of course.

Overall, marketing managers can expect to make an average salary of about $132,620 per year according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. However, marketing managers can make much less than this median pay, with the lowest-paid earning just $69,840 last year. At the same time, the highest salaries were around $208,000 for the exact same position with presumably the same responsibilities.

All this means that your salary will depend on how long you have been with the company, how profitable your company is, and where exactly on the salary totem pole your position lies. Marketing managers that are in charge of more people and who deliver more profitable results can expect to see higher salaries than marketing managers who work for nonprofits or for smaller companies. This is all very similar to almost any other business or management executive occupation regardless of industry, however. 

Marketing managers can also become advertising or promotion managers, which have median annual salaries of about $132,000 per year. It’s a very similar position to a general marketing manager, although advertising or promotion managers are more focused on a particular aspect of marketing campaigns rather than marketing as a whole for a company.

Either way, those who pursue a position as a marketing manager will enjoy an 8% job growth rate projected over the next 10 years. This is faster than the national average compared to most other professions across industries. In other words, companies are expected to need more marketing managers in the near future, and in high numbers. The time is perfect for graduates just emerging into the job market.

Because a master’s degree for marketing management is such a versatile and broad credential, you can also use it to pivot into a management position in many industry organizations. Simply having experience with managing people and leading teams to achieve great results will enable you to take leadership roles outside the marketing sphere in many scenarios, especially if you have experience within a particular industry.

Management occupations, in general, earn a median salary of about $104,240, making them a viable alternative if you can’t find a pure marketing manager position that suits your needs or interests. These jobs have titles like administrative service managers, compensation and benefits managers, financial managers, and human resources managers.

Our Ranking Criteria 

We have a time-tested four-part formula designed for ranking the best colleges in the nation that we’d love to share with you. We prioritize four major factors: Earnings Potential, Affordability, Student Satisfaction, and Selectivity. Reliable research and well-harvested data are the main ingredients in our recipe for success. We don’t make recommendations based on personal opinions, or financial incentives. Our revenue and content are completely separate, and sponsored schools have no impact on our rankings. The only way to make it onto one of our lists is to have an incredible academic program!

What Are the Best Master’s Programs in Marketing Management?

We know that you have educational goals that you’re itching to pursue, but you may not know where to start. The editors of Master’s Programs Guide utilize a unique ranking methodology based on the following three aspects:

40% Potential Salary After Graduation: Average mid-career salary of school alumni 

30% Institutional Accreditation: Regional and National Accreditation for the 2019-2020 school year 

30% Overall Degree Affordability: Average cost of undergraduate and graduate tuition per school

At Master’s Program’s Guide, we strive to do our best to guide you and your family toward a fruitful academic career. The pursuit of knowledge is a noble one, and we want to help you reach your goals. 

Check out our ranking of the Best Master’s Programs in Marketing Management! 

#1. Texas A&M University-College Station

Master of Science in Marketing

marketing management schools

Many of Texas A&M’s programs are well-known for their rigor and overall value, and their M.S. in marketing is no different. It’s ranked No. 2 for the best Master of Science in marketing programs across the entire United States from and College Choice. This school boasts an incredibly comprehensive program that is perfect for both students with business experience or a related degree already or for those who have an unrelated bachelor’s degree and want to make a career change.

Indeed, there are very few specific prerequisites for any applicants wishing to apply for this program. You need good grades and certain GRE scores, of course, but other than that, anyone can apply. This is a recent change, as the program used to have much more stringent application requirements. Consider this program if you are at all interested, as every student accepted into will be automatically considered for both a departmental scholarship and a graduate assistantship. Both of these financial aid opportunities combined can easily knock off most or all of your tuition costs, not to mention provide you with valuable work experience through the assistantship.

In terms of curriculum, students will focus on the fundamentals and specifics of marketing in a variety of circumstances. They’ll take classes that discuss and teach about marketing for business and for other organizations, showcasing the different skillsets and mindsets needed to effectively market in a variety of situations and consumer bases. All students will also have plenty of opportunities to complete professional internships over the course of their program, allowing them to use some of those experiences as academic credit.

Another valuable advantage to this program is that it can be completed in as little as 10.5 months. It’s one of the fastest master’s programs you can find through and through, across all disciplines, so it’s an ideal fit for students that have plenty of free time that they can use to focus on their studies. However, there aren’t any opportunities to slow down, so it’s not a very flexible program or appropriate for those who can only commit to school part-time.

Still, its plethora of benefits shouldn’t be understated. There’s only a single application deadline on April 7 for every academic year, so students should get a jumpstart on their applications if they plan to give this program a shot. If they get accepted, they’ll benefit from the broad “Aggie Network”: the collection of alumni that spans many countries across the globe. In truth, Texas A&M’s alumni network is one of the school’s most valuable advantages considering the breadth of professions they encompass and the doors they can open into major companies. For students of any business, networking is just as important as your academic training.

Texas A&M has plenty of other wonderful aspects that make it worth your while, including the largest student body in the state of Texas and a beautiful campus that spans 5200 acres. All students will be able to take advantage of a huge swath of recreational facilities and a vibrant Greek life; this university is home to 58 Greek letter organizations, so there’s something for everyone. Don’t forget the school’s emphasis on sports excellence, either. Each game is a treat, even if you’re just a casual fan.

#2. Georgia Institute of Technology-Main Campus

Master of Business Administration

This MBA program may only seem tangentially related to marketing management at first. But a closer look reveals that students can choose to focus on marketing management through their class selection. All students of this MBA program must complete a series of core business and administration courses, which go over things like the principles of finance, how to lead people and organizations, strategic management, and more. But you’ll also be able to pick classes specific to marketing management as well as tailor your electives to reflect this strategic focus. The resulting MBA is both broad and specific enough to provide you with the marketing management knowledge you need to succeed in those positions.

This program has other benefits that make it an excellent choice for most. It’s offered in several formats: full-time, evening, and weekend exclusive. This means that both focused or flexible students will be able to complete this MBA on a schedule that works best for their personal or work lives. The curriculum is exactly the same between all three pathways; the only thing that differs is how long it takes to complete the program. In addition, there are multiple starting opportunities for the evening program, so you don’t need to worry too much if you miss one of the application deadlines.

Additionally, Georgia Tech provides small class sizes for all of its programs, and this mindset is reflected in the MBA as well. You’ll be able to get more personal attention from your faculty and won’t feel smothered by the other students in your class as a result. You’ll also be able to more effectively network with individuals rather than be lost in the crowd.

Even better, the college through which the program is administered, Scheller College, is located right in the middle of the Georgia Tech Square innovation ecosystem. This is the heart of most entrepreneurial and business activity within both the university and much of the surrounding city. Any students with the drive to begin projects and the desire to make a name for themselves will feel right at home and have lots of chances to begin startups or join companies that can make use of their talents.

But that’s not all! In addition to all of the above aspects, any full-time MBA students of this program will have opportunities to intern with Fortune 500 companies and several major consulting and financing firms. To say that you’ll get plenty of work experience and networking under your belt by the end of your academics would be a gross understatement.

Then there’s the school itself to consider. It was founded in 1885 and has since bloomed into six separate colleges with 31 departments. It’s a highly ranked university in every regard and has a beautiful campus located slightly north of downtown Atlanta. In fact, most of the campus is filled with greenery, making it feel almost suburban compared to the metropolitan area just a few miles away.

#3. Liberty University

Master of Business Administration in Marketing

Liberty University also provides an MBA for aspiring students that want to become business executives over the course of their careers, although this MBA has an explicit focus on marketing. While marketing management is not strictly covered per se, the classes covered by the standard MBA core curriculum will handle the management and administration side of things while the marketing specialty courses give you the more focused education you need to hold marketing manager positions in any company.

This program is entirely online, and it includes a curriculum that focuses on contemporary issues in the marketing culture of today’s companies and the economic environment. This is actually a great thing for many young graduates since succeeding with modern marketing takes different skills and information than marketers used in decades past. You’ll also take courses that look at consumer behaviors and trends and how they have evolved over previous years, allowing you to understand and predict where consumer behavior might take companies in the near or far future.

The core MBA classes are also great, prioritizing leadership and communication skills to let you succeed in virtually any managerial position. This program also emphasizes the importance of applying ethics to all of your marketing practices so you can feel good about your career and your impact on the world. Liberty University is a Christian-focused school so that ethical framework is in many of the courses throughout this program.

You’ll complete the online program over the course of two years, and it features 45 credits in total. The entire program is online, and each class lasts for eight weeks to facilitate a fast-paced schedule. It also has one of the most generous transfer credit policies in a major university; you can bring up to 50% of the credits needed for your graduation from another university. When you are accepted by this school, you’ll find that all the classes are taught asynchronously. This just means that you don’t need to attend virtual lectures at any point in the process. Instead, you’ll be given assignments, usually at the beginning of the week, and just need to complete them by a predetermined point without “attending” class. Thus, it’s a great university and program for those who need a flexible graduate schedule to accommodate their work or family lives.

As a school, LU is one of the largest private nonprofit universities in the entire country according to student enrollment. It features a student body heavily centered around Christian teachings and the Republican political party, making it a great fit if you already have those ethical inclinations. Though online students may not necessarily be there to enjoy it, LU features a beautiful and old-fashioned campus with a 17-story Freedom Tower that was just recently completed in 2018. A national Civil War Museum is also included within the campus borders.

#4. California Polytechnic State University-San Luis Obispo

Master of Business Administration

Cal Poly is one of the most recognized universities in the entire state of California, so it’s no surprise that they offer one of the best MBAs in the country. This MBA features a specific set of classes that focus on marketing management and similar concepts to let you tailor the degree. It also has a broad core of business administration classes that can provide you with the leadership and administrative knowledge you need to effectively hold any higher position within an organization.

Specifically, the program’s curriculum focuses on ensuring that every graduate understands core competencies in all aspects of management. The curriculum, therefore, covers the essentials of accounting, marketing, strategy, operations management, economics, and even organizational behavior. The electives available to every admitted student are similarly diverse, focusing on subjects like entrepreneurship or negotiations.

All students will also be able to make use of Cal Poly’s Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (CIE). This center is not only one of the best networking places for all young innovators and future business leaders, but it also provides you with the technical tools necessary to broaden your social network and develop your business skills. It’s an excellent place for self-starters to meet others like them or network with peers. Cal Poly San Luis Obispo also provides several opportunities for professional certificates associated with business management and marketing. These aren’t necessary for graduation but can make you more attractive to employers and help you land more specific or niche jobs that require special skills.

There’s even more that makes this choice great for many. Because the university focuses on treating each student as an individual, most students will benefit from an extremely low 3:1 student to faculty ratio. This is astoundingly small compared to virtually every other college in the country, and it allows students to have more face-to-face time with their professors than most other college programs. Every student will also benefit from hands-on field trips that take place a few times over the course of the program; each trip heads to a different business environment so students can get a real sense of what actual business leaders deal with in their day-to-day routines. Even with all of these experiences packed in with a rigorous curriculum, this program only lasts 10 months. As a result, students can be accepted into the program and graduate within the same year in some cases. In the modern fast-paced business environment, this is an excellent advantage for graduates who want to hit the ground running when it comes to their careers.

Of course, this university is also located in sunny coastal California, where the weather is excellent year-round. Not surprisingly, many decide to take advantage of the beautiful environment and bike to school. There are over 6,500 bike rack spaces on the campus, potentially the largest in any university in the world. Should you own a bike, you can tour one of the largest college campuses in the United States, measuring in at 9,178 acres.

#5. Gonzaga University

Master of Business Administration

Gonzaga University provides a Master of Business Administration program that has been successfully turning out business leaders for over 50 years, building an effective alumni network all the while. This university focuses on Jesuit values, so it’s curriculum reflects this ethical focus while also providing broad business concepts and foundational knowledge for future business leaders across industries. The curriculum includes classes on marketing theory and managing, making this an effective degree choice if you want to become the leader of a marketing department or understand how marketing affects the success or failure of businesses in more detail. A capstone course in strategic management emphasizes the degree’s focus on leadership and successfully managing a business venture.

You’ll also be able to create your own specialization that shows up on your MBA by personalizing your program when it comes time to choose your electives. A preset finance concentration is available as well, although students of marketing management are not likely to follow this elective path. 

It’s also one of the more flexible MBA programs you can find these days. There are four main schedule options to complete the program: traditional classes on campus that take place in the afternoons and evenings, weekend intensive courses, online courses that are available for the summer, or a hybrid combination of any of the above paths. Whether you need an extremely flexible MBA program or can complete something more rigid, Gonzaga will be able to meet you every step of the way.

In total, you can complete this MBA program in as little as one year if you take accelerated courses and buckle down on the rigor of your academic schedule. This is a perfect choice if you want to get into the business environment ASAP. But you can alternatively pursue the degree at a part-time pace and complete it in between 2 to 4 years, which is what most of the student body does. Class sizes aren’t too large, averaging between 20 and 30 students and providing ample opportunity to meet with your professors or network with your peers.

As a university in general, GU is both private and primarily Roman Catholic in terms of its student body and faculty.  It opened in 1887 and has expanded to 105 buildings over 152 acres. Of particular note are the two large libraries centered within the campus, as well as several unique pieces of artwork that display famous historical figures and prominent Catholics.

The student body of this university is rapidly expanding, necessitating the construction of a new center of the campus’ building that fits a variety of student services inside its aesthetically pleasing all-glass exterior. Despite the faith focus of many of its classes, over 20 faiths are represented on this campus, so it’s not a university just for Catholics.

#6. California State Polytechnic University-Pomona

Master of Business Administration

Cal Poly returns to our list once again, although this time it’s Pomona campus has the MBA we want to show you. While this is a generalized Master of Business Administration program, like all the other MBAs we’ve provided, it offers the opportunity for you to specialize in marketing management through your class selections.

Regardless of concentration, all students of this MBA program will start with a broad core curriculum that focuses on all the major aspects of business and leadership. This provides you with the foundational knowledge you need to succeed in almost any business environment. All of these courses will roughly take up the first year of your studies or more, with most of the concentrated or specialized coursework occurring in the second year of your studies. All students take a full-time course load through this program, with three classes per semester, in order to facilitate a consistent structure and ensure that everyone graduates within two years.

However, students can enjoy a little flexibility in how they take those courses. Cal Poly Pomona offers courses for this program through a variety of formats, including traditional evening classes, weekend intensive classes for those who have less free time, and a hybrid course load that combines the two types. As a result, it’s actually a more flexible program than you might initially anticipate. The weekend intensive scheduling is particularly good for working professionals that can’t afford to take time off work while they finish their education.

In addition to this benefit, applicants will also want to pay attention to the financial aid page of this university. There are valuable scholarships and other financial aid opportunities available for almost every graduate student at this school, with a few specific offers for students of the business administration college in particular. You should also check out the 40,000-plus alumni network, which provides you with lots of opportunities to connect with your peers or faculty or get your foot in the door for employment after graduation by connecting with those who experienced the same MBA program that you will.

The classes offered by this program are rigorous and detailed, but they’re also supplemented by real-world projects and case studies to apply your learned knowledge practically. In a nutshell, this program does a great job of preparing you for real-world business scenarios so when you actually get hired by a company you won’t be confused as you try to apply your learning to actual issues. For marketing managers, this can be almost as valuable as the tailored curriculum itself.

The Pomona campus is the second of the two Polytechnic universities within the CSU system, and it was founded in 1938. These days, it offers multitudes of degrees and programs across multiple subjects and industries. It’s situated very close to downtown Los Angeles, enabling all of its students to take advantage of the sunny Southern California lifestyle and the plethora of metropolitan distractions and leisure available. It also has a big main campus measuring 1,725 acres: the second largest in the entire California State University system.

#7. Colorado State University-Fort Collins

Online MBA, Marketing Data Analytics

Colorado State University Fort Collins provides a relatively unique MBA pathway that future marketing managers will be able to pursue to their advantage. It’s an online MBA program with a niche specialization in marketing data analytics. As you can imagine from the complete title of the program, it features a curriculum that combines standard business administration and managerial classes with particularly in-depth marketing data analytics classes at the same time. The resulting graduate should be able to lead marketing teams quite capably while also understanding marketing data to a greater degree than many other MBA graduates.

The courses included within this curriculum are unlike any others you can find across most other universities. Specifically, you’ll take classes that teach you how to use some of the best digital data collection tools in the business industry and the skills to filter that data through a business focus lens. Some of these classes are quite similar to the skill sets you would learn within statistics programs, so students with some experience in this area will find themselves right at home.

The curriculum has advanced courses in data mining and analytics, database concepts, and information management. The MBA side of things provides lots of classes on marketing management and research methods, leadership in teams, and even marketing strategy and planning. It’s quite a comprehensive class list for any position even slightly related to marketing managing as a profession.

All of the required classes are offered online, with 42 credits of study in total. Each class is taught by a world-renowned faculty that has business experience already. This program is also quite flexible in terms of scheduling; students who pursue it at maximum pace can expect to complete everything within 21 months. You can alternatively take up to five years to complete all of the program requirements before you need to reapply. Every semester at the school is divided into twin eight-week sessions, providing a relatively accelerated format for every class regardless of your overall schedule system. Altogether, this program is ranked No. 15 by the Financial Times on its list of the best online MBA programs. It’s arguably one of the best MBAs for those students wanting to specialize in marketing management because of its class emphasis on data analytics and implementation.

CSU is worth visiting for its campus alone—even if you plan to take advantage of the online program. It’s located very close to the southern tip of the Rocky Mountains and has a 583-acre campus that provides astounding views throughout most months of the year. The campus is dominated by an expensive green oval lined with beautiful trees and several recreational centers for its students. The university is a mere two hours away from many major ski resorts and 45 minutes away from Rocky Mountain National Park. Active students or those who like to exercise in the outdoors will find this campus’ location especially suitable for their lifestyles.

#8. Texas Tech University

Master of Science in Marketing Research and Analytics

Texas Tech University is one of the few schools that offers a specialized M.S. in marketing research and analytics. It’s a 30-hour program with a curriculum that encompasses qualitative and quantitative marketing data gathering and analytical skills, teaching students to collect data effectively and filter them through a marketing and business-oriented lens. In a nutshell, it combines a lot of the basic concepts from statistics classes with excellent courses that can refine that knowledge into useful business practices and solutions. 

Indeed, several of the classes deal with cutting-edge statistical techniques and how to best apply their results to your current business problem. Other classes are broader, detailing marketing concepts and strategies both in a historical and modern context. There’s a very useful class that focuses on marketing forecasting and analytics. This course will teach you how to interpret current marketing trends and predict, to a limited extent, how marketing might change in the future. Such skills will be necessary for any marketing manager worth his or her salt. 

It’s a great program if you are in need of a flexible scheduling system, as it’s 100% online and you can jump into the program during any semester of the year. You’ll be able to jump in and out of the program as well, provided that you take at least one class for the entirety of your studies. This enables you to take certain semesters where you load up on coursework and other semesters where you coast by with just a single class depending on your home or work life. You’ll be able to earn the degree in as little as two years even if you only follow a part-time schedule. Of course, students that can devote more time and energy to the program can complete everything in as little as a single year.

To make things even better, all students who apply are automatically considered for a competitive scholarship that knocks off a significant part of their tuition. Anyone admitted to this program may find that it’s much cheaper than initially planned for because of this fantastic financial aid opportunity. Texas residents will find that they have even more scholarship opportunities. Admission is a bit more intense than several other programs on our list so far, however; Texas Tech requires a detailed and extensive professional resume and three letters of recommendation. On the flip side, this is also one of the few schools that don’t require GRE scores. 

The rest of Texas Tech boasts other major qualities to prove its worth. It’s a relatively new school, having been founded in 1923, yet it features the seventh-largest student body in the entire state and offers over 150 courses of study. It’s all centered around a Spanish Renaissance-themed campus, with many of the buildings and appliances being powered by wind energy. A public art collection ranked among the 10 best in the United States is also present, reflecting the university’s rich culture and storied history.

#9. California State University-Chico

Master of Business Administration

The CSU system has many phenomenal schools, but California State University at Chico’s program is worthwhile to any aspiring marketing manager. It offers an MBA that, like most other degrees of this type, provides you an opportunity to specialize the degree in marketing managing or another related business field depending on your preference. It features a relatively common core list of classes to tackle the major foundational business administration sides of the degree, but it also incorporates a mathematics class that goes over the statistics of business and economics specifically.

This class, and others like it, are added to classes focusing on managing and marketing to provide a comprehensive and interdisciplinary education. It’s also available to students of any undergraduate degree major; you don’t have to have a background in business to successfully apply and be admitted to this program.

In fact, it has one of the most comprehensive prerequisite equivalency systems you can find in universities these days. You’ll meet with an advisor upon being accepted into the program, who will go over the prerequisites you do or do not have. Some prerequisites are needed to achieve the core competencies of the program from the beginning. CSU Chico’s system enables many classes that are at least partially related to the prerequisites to count for the appropriate amount of credits. You’ll also be able to take quick catch-up mini-courses or skip the prerequisites entirely based on your work experience and the degree that you bring to the table upon application. It’s ultimately an extremely flexible system and is one of the most accessible for students of disciplines other than business or marketing.

Once you’re accepted, you’ll complete the curriculum that consists of 30 to 33 units depending on the classes selected. You must complete the degree within five years of your enrollment in the program, although most students will complete everything within two years or less. This is partially because of the flexible scheduling systems available. Most students are able to take summer classes if they want to accelerate their graduation timeline.

Unlike many MBAs, all students must complete a master’s project or thesis in order to graduate. The project is better for those who want to prove their practical mastery of their skills while the thesis is a great choice for graduates more interested in the academic side of their material. An additional independent study class is available for those who have to work while they complete their education. Depending on what your advisor recommends, your existing work experience may even count for course credit toward this requirement.

CSU Chico is the second oldest of the 23 campuses in the CSU system, with an average enrollment of over 17,000 students. It was founded in 1887 and now ranks as No. 9 by U.S. News and World Report on its list of the best western regional public universities. It has a beautiful 119-acre main campus and is the site of 2330 acres of ecological reserves. It’s a perfect school, therefore, for environmentally-minded business students. 

#10. University of Houston

Master of Science in Marketing

The University of Houston offers an M.S. in a marketing program that is suitable for both part-time and full-time students alike. It requires 36 credit hours in total for graduation, but those 36 credit hours can be completed in 12 months if you commit to the program full-time, or in 24 months if a part-time schedule suits your lifestyle better.

Whichever path you choose, you’ll enjoy the program’s cutting-edge curriculum, which incorporates classes in digital marketing, customer relationship management, social media marketing, and other modern subjects of concern to any business operating in the digital era. The curriculum also provides many niche electives to let you specialize the degree even further or pursue topics that are of personal interest. Some of the electives on offer include Product Management, Digital Analytics, and Entrepreneurship and Technology. A few extra electives focusing on sales leadership will be particularly good choices for future marketing managers, as these classes will give you the skills you need to effectively lead teams in companies and organizations. All students must complete a professional project in order to graduate, which will serve not only as proof of your understanding of the material but also be a great example of your skills for future employers.

Many of the classes are also offered between 6 and 9 PM on one evening a week. This is great for working professionals that need to balance their work schedule with their schooling.

This school is appropriate for future marketing managers beyond its curriculum, however. UH is intrinsically connected to the Houston business community. As a result, students admitted to this program will have lots of opportunities to network and complete real-life projects with Houston business leaders. Internships are not only available but plentiful, especially if you’ve already lived in Houston for some time.

This school also has a high-ranking faculty collection that is world-renowned for its research and awards. Two-semester application deadlines give you multiple opportunities for application and admission, removing some stress as you put your portfolio together. To make things better, students that don’t have their tuition covered by FAFSA-related offerings can take advantage of specific scholarships provided by UH. These scholarships are quite diverse and expansive and may do a lot to drive down the overall cost of your tuition. 

The University of Houston is a great college through and through, as well. It was only founded in 1927 but is already the third-largest university in all of Texas and is the site of a huge amount of research activity. But it also features a selection of high-quality varsity athletic teams; the football team regularly makes appearances at the college level bowl games, and UH’s men’s golf team has won 16 national championships, making them the most successful NCAA team in history. Clearly, both sports and academics are held in high regard here.

Other Notable Programs

#11. McDaniel College

Location: Westminster, Maryland

Degree: MBA

In/Out-of-State Tuition: $9150/9150


#12. Washington & Jefferson College 

Location: Washington, Pennsylvania

Degree: MBA

In/Out-of-State Tuition: $2300/2300


#13. Furman University

Location: Greenville, South Carolina

Degree: MS in Marketing

In/Out-of-State Tuition: $9720/9720


#14. The College of New Jersey

Location: Ewing Township, New Jersey

Degree: Marketing and Interdisciplinary Business BSBA

In/Out-of-State Tuition: $16707/24445


#15. East Carolina University

Location: Greenville, North Carolina

Degree: Marketing BSBA

In/Out-of-State Tuition: $7485/20634


#16. California State University-East Bay

Location: Hayward, California

Degree: MBA, Marketing Management

In/Out-of-State Tuition: $17848/17848


#17. California Lutheran University

Location: Thousand Oaks, California

Degree: MBA, Marketing Concentration

In/Out-of-State Tuition: $19215/19215


#18. University of Florida

Location: Gainesville, Florida

Degree: MS in Marketing

In/Out-of-State Tuition: $12737/30130


#19. California State University-Northridge

Location: Los Angeles, California

Degree: MBA

In/Out-of-State Tuition: $8327/17831


#20. University of California-Riverside

Location: Riverside, California

Degree: MBA

In/Out-of-State Tuition: $13584/28686



Michael Templeton
Managing Editor

Kacey Reynolds Schedler
Contributing Editor