Best MBAs in Marketing

Nalea J. Ko
Updated January 24, 2024
Edited by
What's the difference between MBAs and MBAs in marketing? This guide covers MBA marketing degrees, including admissions criteria, classes, and expected costs.

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As of the 2020-2021 academic year, the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) reports business majors as the most popular major for graduate students, with colleges awarding more than 202,000 degrees in the subject.

Earning a master’s in business administration (MBA) provides a solid foundation in economics, finance, business communication, and leadership. A marketing concentration, much like a master’s in marketing degree, can deepen your understanding of consumer behavior and marketing strategies.

Are you on the fence about an MBA in marketing? Learn more about popular master’s in marketing programs. Explore tuition costs, common coursework, potential career outcomes, and more with this in-depth guide.

Why Get an MBA in Marketing?

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    Advance Leadership Skills

    Strengthen your abilities in strategic thinking, problem-solving, and communication by earning an MBA in marketing. Business coursework can enhance your ability to handle business situations and solve real problems at companies, while the marketing curriculum fosters skills like project management, consumer behavior, and digital marketing.
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    Boost Earning Potential

    Typically, a graduate-level degree results in higher earning potential compared to associate and bachelor’s degrees. Completing these programs can help business professionals increase their salaries and pursue advanced roles. Oct. 2023 data from Payscale reveals that, on average, individuals with bachelor’s degrees in business earn $71,000 per year, while those with MBAs take home $96,000.
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    Increase Job Security

    Earning any master’s degree can offer greater job security. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, unemployment rates among bachelor’s degree holders stood at 2.2% in 2022, compared to 1.9% for master’s degree holders. Earning an MBA in marketing also offers greater credibility in the marketing and business worlds.

Featured Online MBA Programs

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

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What to Expect From a Marketing MBA Program

Like any MBA program, you’ll gain a foundation in every aspect of business operations in an MBA in marketing. These degrees also cover psychology, digital strategies, and consumer behaviors to teach how to engage modern audiences.

Completing the required 30-40 credits takes about 2-3 years. You can often transfer previously earned graduate-level credits from an accredited college toward your MBA in marketing and graduate more quickly. Colleges and universities receive institutional accreditation from third-party organizations to demonstrate their academic rigor, student outcomes, and available resources.

At the programmatic level, business programs or schools are accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB). Accreditation from the AACSB indicates that a business program has met strict standards and adequately prepares graduates for the workforce.

Admissions Process

To start the admissions process for an MBA in marketing degree, submit an application and any necessary fees. You need at least a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college to qualify for an MBA in marketing program. Each business college maintains distinct admission criteria. For instance, some MBA in marketing programs provide unconditional acceptance to candidates with other master’s degrees.

Schools usually set minimum academic requirements. You may need to submit official transcripts showing at least a 3.0 GPA, for example. GMAT and GRE scores may be required, especially if you have a low GPA, though many schools are test-optional.

Popular Marketing MBA Courses

MBA in marketing programs feature lessons that build business acumen and advanced marketing skills. In addition to the courses listed below, you can take electives from other departments. The program often concludes with a capstone project or thesis incorporating all of your studies. Though curricula vary across institutions, common courses include:

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    Managerial Accounting

    Managerial accounting equips students with the skills to improve internal operations. Students learn to create financial statements and apply accounting data for informed business decisions. Topics may include budgeting, forecasting, and cost management.
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    Luxury Marketing

    Coursework in this niche class teaches you to tackle branding and supply challenges, such as identifying and reaching target audiences and managing customer demands to sell luxury products and services.
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    Consumer Insights

    Gain a deeper insight into how to gather qualitative and quantitative research on consumers through this course. By taking a consumer insights course, you can better understand customer psychology and use it to develop effective marketing strategies. Topics covered in lessons often include customer metrics, customer survey research, and conjoint analysis.
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    Strategic Leadership Capstone

    A final research project in strategic leadership requires you to provide a solution to a real-world business problem. You’ll use the marketing skills and business acumen gathered in the program to complete this capstone, which may require fieldwork.

How Much Does an MBA in Marketing Program Cost?

Tuition for an MBA in marketing may cost between $14,370-$87,370. Several factors influence the cost of tuition, such as the school’s private vs. public status. More prestigious schools may offer stronger alumni networks but typically charge higher tuition costs.

Public schools may offer reduced tuition for in-state learners, though some feature flat-rate costs for all online students, regardless of their location. Fortunately, aid from federal loans, grants, and marketing scholarships can help lower the financial burden of higher education.

Should You Get Your Degree Online?

NCES reports that in the fall of 2021, 9.4 million students, or 61%, enrolled in fully online degrees. Roughly 4.4 million learners, or 28% in the fall 2021 semester, took at least one online course.

Online MBA in marketing degrees often allow professionals to keep their day jobs while pursuing advanced degrees. However, online learning requires strong organization, time management, and motivation to stay on top of assignments.

MBA in Marketing Programs

We have compiled a list of institutions that offer this degree program. Use the table below to compare student population size and graduation rate.

Marketing MBAs
SchoolStudent Population SizeGraduation Rate
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill20,21091%
Johns Hopkins University64,09893%
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign56,60785%
Babson College2,76193%
University of Maryland, College Park30,35374%
Purdue University100,68882%
The University of Texas at Dallas31,57070%
University of Massachusetts Amherst24,39182%
Florida Atlantic University60,31055%
Source: NCES

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

UNC-Chapel Hill’s Kenan-Flagler Business School features an MBA in marketing degree with available focuses in brand management and consumer packaged goods, technology-intensive markets, or services and retailing. You’ll complete 62 credits and graduate within 18-36 months.

Through actual market cases for companies like Hershey and Procter & Gamble, you’ll use data-driven methods to understand consumer behavior. Part of the program includes career and professional development with the employer engagement team, helping you to communicate with potential employers and access career workshops. Courses are online, but you can network in person at summits on the school’s Chapel Hill, North Carolina, campus.

Johns Hopkins University

Johns Hopkins’ Carey Business School, accredited by the AACSB, offers an MBA in digital marketing that you can complete through part-time enrollment in 2-3 years. The 54-credit program costs about $1,800 per credit.

You can design the program to suit your schedule with the option of asynchronous coursework. The digital marketing concentration requires a course in consumer behavior with electives in customer analytics, customer relation management, and marketing research.

The primarily online program includes in-person requirements and online experiential learning. Opportunities for in-person experience come from campus residencies, global immersions in Peru and Germany, and leadership development expeditions in Norway and Belize.

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

U of I’s MBA in marketing program, offered through the Gies College of Business, welcomes business professionals with at least three years of experience. You’ll study in virtual teams in this 72-credit program. The core courses cover managing organizations, managerial accounting, and corporate finance.

Additional courses include digital marketing analytics, digital media, and marketing in the new digital world. A culminating project tasks students with completing a final case presentation. The program lets you set your own schedule, picking from a selection of live lectures to graduate in 24-60 months. There are no on-campus requirements. Tuition and fees cost $23,904 in total.

Common Questions About MBAs in Marketing

What can you do with a marketing MBA?

Businesses across sectors need marketing professionals. With an MBA in marketing degree, you can pursue careers like director in marketing, market research analyst, and brand manager.

What’s the difference between a master’s and an MBA in marketing?

A master’s in marketing focuses on marketing coursework and theories, while an MBA in marketing focuses more on leadership topics in the subject. An MBA in marketing also explores more business disciplines, such as finance, accounting, and business.

How much does an MBA in marketing cost?

Costs depend on several factors, including the type of school. NCES data for the 2020-2021 school year indicates that a graduate degree from a public college costs $12,394 in annual tuition and fees. Among private institutions, for-profit schools charge an average of $14,301 in yearly tuition and fees, while nonprofit schools cost $28,445.

Can you get an MBA in marketing online?

Yes. Online MBA in marketing programs allow students to complete their studies remotely or through hybrid models, which include some in-person courses. Depending on the school, you may study asynchronously without set class times or synchronously by attending live online lectures and discussions.

Take the next step toward your future with online learning.

Discover schools with the programs and courses you’re interested in, and start learning today.

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