Business has been one of the nation's most popular undergraduate fields of study since the 1980s, with 358,000 degrees conferred between 2013 and 2014. Under this broad umbrella, internet (or digital) marketing remains an emerging but important field. Online marketing and advertising continues to outpace traditional marketing as the world becomes increasingly connected and as organizations see more competition on the global marketplace.
An online internet marketing degree can prepare you for both creative and analytical occupations, depending on your career goals. This exciting discipline covers many of the same principles as regular marketing but distinguishes itself by emphasizing online practices, such as social media marketing and search engine optimization (SEO). Read on to learn what to expect from a typical internet marketing degree program and the types of careers available to graduates.
See also: What can I do with a Marketing degree?
Choosing a Program
Internet marketing programs teach students how to create engaging content for a variety of industries, using SEO and analytics to help companies effectively reach customers and sell products or services. When researching online programs, prospective students should look for a digital marketing degree that offers an interdisciplinary curriculum, combining fundamentals in business and marketing with the latest advancements in technology. Depending on the school, internet marketing programs may develop skills in a range of areas, from website programming to graphic design. However, you can expect most programs to share similar core courses, such as those that focus on marketing research, consumer behavior, sales management, and marketing strategy.
Some schools also emphasize local internships to provide distance learners with real-world experiences, giving them an edge over their peers when it comes to securing employment. Other programs require a capstone, although these projects are rare in this field. Additionally, some schools offer concentrations in specific sectors of internet marketing, such as mobile communications, global business, and social media marketing. Pursuing a concentration allows you to further customize your degree to meet your specific academic and professional goals.
For career information, skip down:
Online Bachelor's in Internet Marketing Degree Program Ranking Guidelines
We selected the degree programs based on the quality of program and range of courses provided, as well as school awards, rankings, and reputation.
The Best Online Bachelor's in Internet Marketing Programs
1 Appalachian State University
Boone, North Carolina
This Boone, North Carolina university has built a reputation for its commitment to sustainability, military-friendly atmosphere, and comprehensive, academically rigorous distance learning programs. Appalachian State University's bachelor of science in communication and advertising lets online students explore major concepts in advertising, from sales management to media ethics, without setting foot on campus.
Consisting of six 12-credit semesters offered year-round, Appalachian's 122-credit online internet marketing degree builds fundamental skills required to effectively market and sell products, including market research, communication, marketing strategy, and project management. Students must complete a public speaking course prior to or during program enrollment, and all learners pursuing an online degree in internet marketing are required to choose a minor in either sociology or business. Courses are offered in a mixture of synchronous and asynchronous formats.
Generous credit policies allow remote learners to transfer a maximum of 50 hours towards their internet marketing online degree. While tuition rates differ significantly for in- and out-of-state students, numerous institutional scholarships are available.
Appalachian State University is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACS).
2 Pennsylvania State University
With the growing need for multi-domain design thinkers, Penn State's bachelor's of design in digital multimedia design prepares students for rewarding careers by teaching skills that meet the complex challenges of today's world. Integrating concepts in visual arts and design with information science, communication and technology, Penn State's online internet marketing program has received national recognition for its academic strength.
Requiring a minimum of 120 credits, the online degree in internet marketing curriculum includes 45 general education credits in career-relevant fields such as social and behavioral science and quantification. Major coursework explores high-demand concepts in social media strategies, usability engineering, application development, and digital multimedia design. The program culminates in a multimedia design capstone course, in which students demonstrate their acquired skills through a series of portfolio projects.
Applicants to the online internet marketing program should hold a high school diploma or GED. There is no limit on the number of credits one may transfer to Penn State, but students must earn a minimum number of credits through World Campus to complete their degree. Tuition rates are assessed according to the number of credits being taken each semester, and World Campus students may apply for exclusive scholarships and funding opportunities.
Pennsylvania State University is regionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE).
3 National University
La Jolla, California
Founded in 1971 by a Naval veteran, National University is a private, nonprofit, regionally accredited institution committed to providing flexible educational options for working professionals. NU's numerous fully-online degree programs feature a unique four-week class format and convenient, self-paced coursework. Blending marketing principles and state-of-the-art communications concepts with the latest technology, NU's BA in integrated marketing communications develops the skills necessary to succeed in the realm of professional marketing research. Graduates also go on to pursue careers in sales, advertising, broadcasting, and mobile media.
NU's 180-credit online degree in digital marketing curriculum includes core courses centered upon fundamental marketing and communications concepts. Covering topics from intercultural communication to e-marketing and critical thinking and ethics, coursework offers insight drawn from multiple disciplines to present a broad picture of the digital marketing industry. While many students enrolled in the online digital marketing degree program transfer in credits from other institutions, those who do not may need to complete up to 70.5 hours of general education coursework.
National University is accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission.
4 Granite State College
Concord, New Hampshire
Since 1972, this Concord, New Hampshire institution has offered flexible degree programs created with working professionals in mind. Today, Granite State offers a range of web-based degrees in addition to traditional weekend and night classes, including an online bachelor's in digital media.
Emphasizing both technical skill and creativity, the 120-credit online digital marketing program presents strategic marketing techniques, fundamental digital design skills, and an introduction to consumer behavior. Through major coursework, students learn to manage and employ emerging technology and information in digital environments, express ideas via digital content development, apply theories of communications to individuals, groups, and media, and utilize social media marketing strategies.
To earn a digital marketing degree online Granite State's transfer pathway maximizes credits earned previously at regionally accredited schools, which lets students skip some or all of the program's general education requirements and begin online digital marketing degree coursework immediately. A minimum of 30 credit hours must be taken through Granite State, and most full-time students earn their online digital marketing degree in around four years. Applicants to the online degree in digital marketing program who do not hold a high school diploma must submit GED, HiSET, or TASC scores.
Granite State College is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges.
5 University of Maryland-University College
As part of the University System of Maryland, University of Maryland-University College is a renowned, regionally accredited institution that enjoys a reputation for offering strong, career-focused academic programs. Committed to convenience and flexibility, UMUC's distance learning programs are presented in an asynchronous format, with multiple start dates and rolling admissions; making it possible for busy individuals to pursue higher education.
Distance learners must complete 120 credit hours, 15 of which must be earned through upper-level courses, and may transfer up to 90 credits toward a degree in digital marketing.
While no SAT, ACT, GRE, or GMAT scores are required, prospective students must submit a high school transcript or GED scores along with their application. Applicants who do not meet academic standards may be accepted on provisional status.
University of Maryland University College is accredited by the Middle State Commission on Higher Education.
6 Southern New Hampshire University
Manchester, New Hampshire
Southern New Hampshire University got its start in 1932 as a two-room business school located above a storefront. It has since expanded in size and scope, becoming one of the nation's leading nonprofit providers of online education. Known for its military-friendly policies and flexible web-based programs, over 40% of SNHU's distance students are also members of the U.S. Armed Forces.
Professionals seeking a comprehensive online internet marketing program can gain an edge on the ever-evolving social media marketing environment with SNHU's online bachelor's in marketing with a social media concentration. Combining social media theory with traditional marketing practices, this 120-credit curriculum examines principles of integrated marketing communications and their applications in the ever-evolving digital environment. In addition to fulfilling major and general education requirements, students must complete 30 credits of core business coursework in finance, accounting, and other fundamental areas.
Students pursuing an internet marketing degree online have 24/7 access to class materials, and may complete coursework at their desired pace, over six eight-week terms per year. SNHU's academic calendar consists of three annual trimesters, with each trimester consisting of two terms. Applicants must hold a high school diploma or a GED, and may submit up to 90 transfer credits towards an online degree in internet marketing.
Southern New Hampshire University is regionally accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC-CIHE).
7Savannah College of Art and Design
Savannah College of Art and Design has earned numerous awards for its top-notch eLearning programs and innovative course delivery methods. A member of the eLearning Guild, Online Learning Consortium, and U.S. Distance Learning Association, SCAD offers 15 fully-online undergraduate and graduate-level degrees in art, writing, design, and management.
SCAD's online bachelor's degree in digital media is unique among online digital marketing programs for offering concentrations in game development and interactive design. Learners who focus on game development examine core principles in programming, digital art development, and digital design aesthetics such as form and space. A concentration in interactive design covers similar aesthetic concepts, exploring their impact on typography, social media application development, and web design. Over the course of 180 credit hours, students pursuing an online degree in internet marketing build a strong foundation in the basic skills and ideas needed to design, develop, and market digital products.
Courses are offered in a mixture of asynchronous and synchronous formats, with students completing 10 units of coursework each 10-week quarter. Applicants must hold a minimum GPA of 3.0 and SAT score of 1000 or better. Prospective students who do not meet these requirements are encouraged to submit supplementary materials, such as a portfolio, professional or academic recommendations, or a resume. SCAD awards a maximum of two years worth of transfer credits towards its online degree in digital marketing program.
Savannah College of Art and Design is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACS).
Online Bachelor's in Internet Marketing Careers
A digital marketing degree can lead to employment and/or entrepreneurship opportunities. You can apply to work at any number of organizations that utilize next-generation marketing practices, assume a management position, or even start your own online business or consulting firm. The list below contains three occupations where digital marketing skills are useful.
Public Relations (PR) Specialist: PR specialists maintain an organization's corporate image through press releases, social media programs, speeches and interviews, and media partnerships. The role requires a bachelor's degree, and potential employers may ask to see a portfolio of your published work.
- Median Annual Salary: $58,020
- Projected Growth Rate: 9%
Market Research Analyst: Market research analysts study markets to identify business opportunities. This involves monitoring marketing and sales trends, gathering and analyzing market data, preparing reports, and evaluating the effectiveness of marketing strategies. This position requires at least a bachelor's degree with some experience in communications, consumer behavior, and research methods.
- Median Annual Salary: $62,560
- Projected Growth Rate: 23%
Advertising, Promotions, and Marketing Managers: At the top of marketing operations are three main types of managers: advertising managers, who oversee and generate ideas for advertising campaigns; promotions managers, who direct programs that combine advertising and buyer incentives; and marketing managers, who identify demand for an organization's products or services in new markets. A bachelor's degree is a sufficient credential for these roles, but most managers also have prior experience in the field.
- Median Annual Salary: $127,560
- Projected Growth Rate: 9%
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics
See also: What can I do with a Marketing degree?