Earning an online digital marketing degree teaches graduates to harness the power of the internet to attract new customers and retain existing clients through online advertising, social media, blog posts, and websites. These professionals analyze return–on–investment data for marketing, bring a creative vision to their work, and must stay up–to–date on changes in search engine ranking methodologies. The best affordable digital marketing online bachelor’s degrees prepare graduates to work in many internet marketing sectors and may offer electives and concentrations to focus specialized skills.
Competition for new customers remains fierce. Companies continue to invest heavily to reach potential buyers, often looking for comprehensive marketing plans that make use of the new technology available. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects a 10% increase in employment for advertising, promotions, and marketing managers through 2026, mostly driven by the rise in internet and digital marketing campaigns. Related careers in market research analysis, public relations, and sales also show continued job growth in the coming years, all utilizing the skills gained from a digital marketing degree.
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 Degree 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 (SACSCOC).
2. Pennsylvania State University
University Park, Pennsylvania
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 regionally accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC).
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 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 regionally accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE), formerly known as the New England Association of Schools and Colleges Commission on Higher Education (NEASC-CIHE).
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 regionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE).
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 Commission of Higher Education (NECHE), formerly known as the New England Association of Schools and Colleges Commission on Higher Education (NEASC-CIHE).
7. Savannah 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 (SACSCOC).
The Advantages of an Internet Marketing Education
Earning your bachelor’s degree in digital marketing online ensures that you bring a comprehensive understanding of business principles to your career. Digital marketing professionals can use technology and content to help businesses meet their goals, such as increased sales, improved brand reputation, or enhanced customer loyalty.
Many employers require bachelor’s degrees for entry–level jobs and expect their new hires to be able to complete a variety of tasks to properly manage a comprehensive digital campaign. Internships and professional projects supply graduates with portfolios to demonstrate their skills and abilities to potential employers.
A bachelor’s degree also includes courses that develop communication talents, problem–solving capabilities, and decision–making skills. These courses prepare learners to launch their careers in marketing, public relations, website management, or market research. An undergraduate degree also helps qualify a student to continue their education with a master’s degree in marketing or business administration, which can lead to supervisory positions or allow for greater specialization within the internet marketing field.
Internet Marketing Degree Salary Information
A digital marketing degree can lead to employment and 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. Read on for a list of occupations where you can apply your digital marketing skills.
- Digital Marketing Manager
- These professionals lead the development of marketing projects in digital platforms to promote products or services and oversee project management. They need an understanding of current trends in digital marketing, such as search engine optimization (SEO), e–commerce, and emerging digital platforms.
Salary based on experience:
- Entry Level: $46,000
- Mid-Career: $56,000
- Experienced: $67,000
- Late Career: $75,000
- Marketing Director
- Marketing directors oversee overall marketing plans for traditional and digital media. They often work with clients or company executives to determine project scope and ensure a consistent message across all channels.
Salary based on experience:
- Entry Level: $44,000
- Mid-Career: $56,000
- Experienced: $80,000
- Late Career: $101,000
- Market Research Analyst
- Analysts use market data to determine the products that consumers want and potential cost. They help companies forecast sales and use data to track the effectiveness of marketing campaigns. These analysts design databases to track consumer data and may organize consumer focus groups.
Salary based on experience:
- Entry Level: $45,000
- Mid-Career: $52,000
- Experienced: $57,000
- Late Career: $77,000
- Public Relations Specialist
- Public relations specialists advance a brand through different forms of media including traditional outlets, such as newspapers and television, and new channels on social media and the internet. They work to establish their company and leadership team as experts in their field and to maintain a positive public opinion.
Salary based on experience:
- Entry Level: $39,000
- Mid-Career: $44,000
- Experienced: $55,000
- Late Career: $61,000
- Sales Manager
- Sales managers lead sales teams to meet company revenue goals. They often resolve customer complaints and approve special incentives or discounts. They help companies forecast revenue, coordinate training programs, and assign sales territories.
Salary based on experience:
- Entry Level: $51,000
- Mid-Career: $60,000
- Experienced: $68,000
- Late Career:
Choosing an Online Internet Marketing Degree Program
Earning your digital marketing degree online can propel your career, but you should carefully evaluate potential schools to ensure the program you choose meets your needs and aligns with your career and educational goals.
Consider in–state schools, which may offer savings over out–of–state colleges. Some schools may welcome transfer credits or offer credit for your professional or military experience. If you plan to continue working or have significant familial responsibilities, consider the flexibility of the curriculum, accelerated course offerings, and student support services. Examine the following points to determine which school can provide the best affordable digital marketing online bachelor’s degree for your needs.
- Program Cost
- The cost of attending a school often adds up to more than the cost per credit. Consider any fees you must pay, like purchasing technology or equipment, plus traveling to campus for special events or meetings. Explore the discounts you may qualify for, as well. Schools may offer reduced tuition for members of the armed services and their families or students living in designated geographic regions. Also, research the financial aid and scholarships a school may offer.
- Transfer Policies
- If you have already earned college credits, applying those credits toward your digital marketing degree can reduce your total cost and shorten your attendance time. Some schools offer online tools to show which courses they will accept for transfer credit. Usually, colleges require students to have earned a grade of C or higher in the class. Many schools accept transfer credits only from regionally accredited institutions.
- School Size and Type
- The type of school you choose can impact the cost of your degree. Public universities commonly offer discounted tuition for in-state students, while private colleges typically have one tuition rate for all students. Consider the type of learning environment that best suits your needs. Schools can provide information on the average number of learners in each class and an overall student-to-teacher ratio.
- Program Length
- Most online digital marketing bachelor's degrees require about 120 credits to graduate, typically taking full-time students around four years. Some schools now offer accelerated formats that allow enrollees to earn more credits during an academic year. Part-time students may benefit from reducing the number of classes they enroll in each semester.
- On–Campus Requirements
- While online programs allow students to complete the bulk of their credits through distance learning, some schools may require on-campus sessions. These could be short summer sessions, on-campus meetings with advisors, or weekend networking opportunities. Consider your ability to fulfill these on-campus requirements and the cost of travel when selecting a school.
Accreditation for Online Internet Marketing Degrees
Your school’s accreditation status can impact your ability to qualify for federal financial aid, transfer to other schools, or continue your education. This status may also affect your employment opportunities after graduation. Accreditation serves as a voluntary quality assurance for schools. Independent agencies grant institutional and specialized accreditation by evaluating curriculums, improvement plans, student outcomes, and academic resources.
Institutional accreditation covers all academic programs at a college or university. While national accrediting agencies have formed in recent years, regional accreditation remains the gold standard for postsecondary schools. These agencies, such as the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, work with degree–granting institutions in specific geographic areas. Attending a regionally accredited school ensures other regionally accredited schools will recognize your transfer credits and degrees.
Academic colleges or programs may also seek accreditation from agencies that specialize in certain areas. Internet marketing degrees often fall under the college of business. Accrediting agencies in this field include the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business, the Accreditation Council for Collegiate Business Schools and Programs, and the International Accreditation Council for Business Education. Each agency develops its own accreditation standards. Schools must complete self–evaluations, submit documentation of outcomes and measures, and successfully pass a site visit.
The U.S. Department of Education (ED) does not accredit individual schools. Instead, it recognizes accrediting agencies that they deem to be reliable authorities on academic quality standards. Schools must achieve accreditation from one of the recognized agencies before they can participate in federal financial aid programs, such as the Pell Grant or student loan borrowing.
The Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) also evaluates accrediting agencies, both institutional and program–specific organizations. The council represents more than 3,000 degree–granting colleges and universities, reviewing agencies and consistently enforcing its rules to ensure the accrediting bodies maintain high standards. Currently, CHEA recognizes 60 accreditors for postsecondary degrees and vocational certifications. You can find a list of accrediting agencies on the CHEA and ED websites.
Internet Marketing Concentrations
Your online digital marketing degree should prepare you to develop marketing plans and introduce you to the tools and technology available to implement those plans. Concentrations allow you to dive into specific areas of digital marketing, such as search engine optimization or digital analytics, and gain an advanced understanding of a field, qualifying you for more advanced positions.
- Search Engine Optimization
- Search engines use complex algorithms that analyze website content and return relevant search results. Companies compete for top spots on these search results, which often increases website visitors. Search engine optimization examines the various ways sites can improve their search rankings, such as using high-quality links, incorporating specific keywords, and providing accurate website metadata.
- Careers This Concentration Prepares For: Digital Marketing Specialist, Website Administrator
- Social Media Marketing
- Social media marketing strives to build a community around a brand, using a variety of posts, links, and ads. The best practices for social media vary according to the platform, so social media marketers need to understand how potential customers use each service. These sites also allow paid advertising to reach specific users, such as individuals in a defined geographic area or with interests.
- Careers This Concentration Prepares For: Social Media Manager, Digital Marketing Specialist
- Marketing Research
- Companies collect data on what their customers and potential customers search for, purchase, and use. This information may come from website analytics, focus group interviews, or customer surveys. Market analysts use this information to determine the return on investment for marketing campaigns, forecast market conditions, and develop new marketing plans.
- Careers This Concentration Prepares For: Market Research Analysts
- Content Marketing
- Content marketing focuses on providing useful content to customers, often through a company's website or social media channels. This new approach to marketing focuses less on sales and more on building relationships and brand awareness. The concentration includes writing and storytelling through infographics and video production.
- Careers This Concentration Prepares For: Digital Marketing Specialist, Copywriter, Public Relations Specialist
- Integrated Communications
- Integrated marketing works to provide a consistent message across all marketing channels. Courses ensure students understand the different facets of marketing plans, including paid advertising, social media posts, and blog posts, to work together and provide customers a unified experience.
- Careers This Concentration Prepares For: Marketing Director
How Long Does It Take to Get a Degree in Internet Marketing?
Most schools require 120 credits to earn a bachelor’s degree in digital marketing. Students attending school full time can earn 30–36 credits each year and graduate in four years. Many schools allow students flexibility in course scheduling, though they offer a suggested sequence of courses. Some will set maximum tuition levels for full–time students, providing savings if students can complete a few additional credits each term. Some schools use learning cohorts in which learners move through their major coursework as a group.
Part–time students often need to attend school longer than their full–time counterparts. However, colleges have developed innovative programs to help part–time students accelerate their education while balancing personal and professional obligations. These programs include accelerated course formats and year–round scheduling, allowing students to earn more credits during a year. Some schools have also developed competency–based courses. These self–paced classes enable learners to quickly advance to the next level once they’ve mastered the current material.
Courses in an Online Bachelor’s in Internet Marketing Program
Internet marketing programs teach learners how to create engaging content for many industries by using SEO and analytics to help companies effectively reach customers and sell products or services. When researching online programs, prospective students should look for digital marketing degrees that offer interdisciplinary curriculums, combining fundamentals in business and marketing with the latest advancements in technology.
Depending on the school, internet marketing programs may develop skills in many areas, including website programming and graphic design. However, you can expect most programs to share similar core courses focusing 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 may require a capstone, but 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.
- Students can explore various theories and creative processes used in developing marketing messages for multiple audiences. These messages may include short statements used in print advertising or longer written pieces, such as blog posts or video scripts. While the class emphasizes the writing skills necessary for marketing and advertising, learners also consider visual and graphic design elements.
- Students can explore effective advertising methods for print, broadcast, and digital media. They study elements of design, use of keywords, and the basics of copywriting. Learners can also discuss media buying and how to manage advertising budgets and track return on investment.
- Professional Ethics
- Professional ethics courses ensure that students practice ethical marketing behavior and understand the ways it may affect a brand's reputation. While many digital marketing channels lack regulation, internet service providers and platforms do have terms and conditions that marketers must follow. As technology evolves, new ethical challenges arise, such as the collection of personal information and how marketers reach out to consumers.
- Media Planning
- Marketing plans often include multiple disciplines. Media planning examines how to build an effective marketing campaign through various media forms. The course also prepares students to gather audience data to determine message reach and return on investment. Many courses prepare students for industry certifications in analytics and digital marketing.
- Learners discuss theories of influence and evaluate various forms of persuasive writing, such as editorial pieces, political campaigns, and marketing texts. The course draws on psychology and sociology with practical application in the fields of media, politics, and entertainment. Assignments may include case studies, discussion questions, and persuasive projects.
Internet Marketing Membership Associations
- Internet Marketing Association
- Launched in 2001, this association includes sales, marketing, programming, and creative professionals. It works to identify and share best practices in internet marketing and provide ongoing learning opportunities for members. Individuals may join for free, while premium memberships feature additional networking opportunities and invitations to conferences.
- American Marketing Association
- Marketing professionals can gain access to industry research and trends from scholarly journals and subscriptions to Marketing News. Members can receive access to a library of industry data and information, professional development opportunities, and discounts on products and event registrations. More than 70 local chapters offer networking opportunities throughout North America.
- American Association of Advertising Agencies
- The 4A's serve more than 600 member agencies and offer individual memberships as well. The association provides access to data and analytics tools, connects firms to creative specialists, and provides members-only research databases. Benefits include the opportunity to attend conferences, network with fellow professionals, and develop new skills through seminars.
- Association of National Advertisers
- ANA formed in 1910 to promote the marketing profession and now hosts national industry conferences, training workshops, and webinars. Committees focus on specialized disciplines within the marketing industry, such as analytics and data science, brand management, content marketing, and relationship marketing.
- Branded Content Marketing Association
- This membership organization promotes best practices in branded content. Its Institute of Branded Content in London provides experiential learning and research opportunities. The association hosts networking and educational conferences and events around the world, and members can gain exclusive access to global content marketing tool case studies.