Earning a master's degree in internet marketing provides students with satisfying and lucrative career opportunities that nurture creativity and analytical reasoning. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual income for marketing managers in 2016 was $131,180, while advertising and promotions managers earn approximately $100,000 annually. Not only do graduates from an internet marketing master's degree generally make three times more than the average American's salary, but the BLS also projects that the economy will add 23,600 marketing management jobs over the next eight years.
See also: What can I do with a Marketing degree?
Choosing a Program
A master's in internet marketing features a curriculum consisting of marketing, business, and communication courses. Core coursework includes an introduction to digital marketing communication, strategic online marketing, and channels for online marketing. Students receive overviews of search engine marketing and search engine optimization and learn how to implement what they learn. Examples of business topics frequently incorporated into an internet marketing master's degree include business law, economics, and finance. Students learn how to integrate business strategies with digital environments that target consumers and enhance organizational productivity. Advanced training in research methodology and business mathematics is often included in the required curriculum.
Students who pursue their master's degree in internet marketing frequently enroll in an MBA or communication program that offers a concentration in online marketing. In addition to knowledge of online marketing practices, most programs offer electives that prepare students for careers working with specific types of technology, such as email or mobile marketing. A capstone project is required by most programs. In this final course, students select a research topic and apply appropriate methodology to address the digital marketing issue.
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Online Master'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 Master's in Internet Marketing Programs
1University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
A global research institution, U of I educates more than 47,000 students. The school was founded in 1867 and currently serves as the flagship campus for the University of Illinois system. The Gies College of Business, established in 1915, educates 4,200 students and offers more than 20 programs, including 12 advanced degrees. The iMBA, offered in partnership with Coursera, brings the college's rigorous MBA program to a virtual classroom. The iMBA is a career-curated, first-of-its-kind experience that prepares graduate students for business mastery.
The 24-part iMBA features three optional specializations. The digital marketing specialization explores the potential of data-driven promotion and sales. Students not only learn how to navigate the digital environment, but also how to apply analytics, defend strategies, and use emerging online channels. Core courses, meanwhile, focus on developing leadership skills, investing capital, and assessing markets. Courses in the iMBA blend asynchronous, self-paced video lectures and synchronous, interactive online class sessions. Most students take 23 to 36 months to complete the 72-credit program.
To apply, prospective students must hold a bachelor's degree from an accredited institution with a minimum GPA of 3.0. Applicants submit an essay and three letters of recommendation. U of I recommends submitting GMAT or GRE scores. The admissions office approves applications three times per year.
U of I is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
2 Brandeis University
Brandeis University was founded in 1948 in Waltham, Massachusetts as a nonsectarian institution for research. The school has promoted distance education for more than a decade and currently offers 12 master's degrees and one graduate certificate.
Launched in 2015, Brandeis University's master's degree in digital marketing explores the topics fundamental to digital design. Consisting of 10 courses, this 30-credit program prepares graduates to create online campaigns, brand promotion, and product launches across a variety of digital channels. Students learn the keys to digital marketing strategy, including how to optimize content, recognize marketing gaps, and capitalize on new opportunities. Distance learners also gain skills in advanced media tools and SEO best practices.
Students in the program complete seven required core courses and three electives. Core courses offer a broad overview of digital marketing with topics such as web analytics and writing for digital environments. Electives hone in on the development of marketable skills such as digital imaging, software development, and responsive web design. Courses are asynchronous and generally serve 12 students. All classes cap at 20 students. Part-time students can complete the online digital marketing and design MS at Brandeis in 18 months. Applicants must have taken at least two marketing courses or have two years of relevant work experience. The school does not require GRE or GMAT scores.
Brandeis University is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges.
Established in 1918, the Fox School of Business at Temple University serves more than 9,000 full-time students. Based in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, FSB is the region's second-largest graduate business school. More than 1,300 students are currently enrolled in the school's MBA, Ph.D, and specialized master's programs.
The MS in digital innovation in marketing teaches students how to develop digital marketing strategies, apply the latest innovations, and interpret metrics for maximum impact and informed decision-making. Students in the 30-credit program complete eight core courses, including information systems, business models, and marketing. The program culminates in a six-credit capstone. Courses are synchronous with an emphasis on high levels of engagement among peers and with instructors. There are no on-site requirements. Part-time and full-time options are available. Once matriculation begins, students have two years to complete the program. Part-time students can complete the degree in as little as 16 months.
To apply to Temple's internet marketing master's degree program, prospective students must have a baccalaureate degree, preferably in business. Applicants submit two letters of reference, two essays, and GMAT/GRE scores. Up to six transfer credits are allowed. Prerequisites include enterprise architecture and marketing management and strategy.
Temple University is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education. All FSB graduate programs are accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business.
4 Missouri University of Science and Technology
In 1870, Missouri S&T became one of the first technological institutions west of the Mississippi River. Today, the university serves nearly 9,000 students in 97 programs. Students can customize an advanced degree by adding graduate certificates.
Students in the AACSB-accredited MBA or Master in Information Science and Technology at Missouri S&T can choose from a variety of technology certificates, including: digital marketing, electronic and social commerce, and enterprise resource planning. These certificates teach students how to use technology to streamline production, maximize resources, and inform decisions. A graduate degree with a concentration digital media e-commerce, or ERP prepares students for the business challenges of tomorrow. The programs take two to three years to complete.
The 36-credit online MBA requires seven core courses and five electives. A graduate certificate may account for 12 of the required 15 elective credits. The online MS IST is 30 credits, four core courses and six electives. The digital media certificate focuses on the importance of social and digital networks and their role in modern business planning. Topics covered include big data, business analytics, and marketing strategy.
To be considered, MBA applicants must provide proof of a bachelor's degree. Additionally, they should hold a minimum 3.0 GPA or the last two years of coursework. Prospective students should score a 550 or better for the GMAT or a 290 or better for the GRE.
Missouri S&T has been accredited by the Higher Learning Commission since 1913.
5Saint Mary's University of Minnesota
A Lasallian Catholic university based in Winona, Minnesota, SMU has served the educational needs of the Gopher State since 1912. The school offers 60 programs on-campus, in blended format, and online to accommodate working professionals. SMU's 30-credit MBA consists of 10 courses, split between seven classes in business and three in a chosen concentration. Students may choose from three areas of emphasis: data analytics, social media management and marketing, and sustainability/environmental management.
The master's degree in internet marketing from SMU features courses in digital storytelling, brand strategy, and ethics in social marketing. Learners discover how to create interactive narratives, assemble a brand hierarchy, and articulate media economics. The ethics course, which takes on issues like the concept of privacy and truth in art, prepares MBA candidates for the NISM Social Media Strategist certification exam. Core courses, meanwhile, focus in on developing a strong business acumen and leadership skills.
Asynchronously taught, this accelerated program takes 18 months or less to complete.
The live-case capstone may be completed locally at an approved organization. There are three start dates each year. Application requirements include an undergraduate degree from a regionally accredited institution, a 2.75 GPA, a written statement, and two letters of reference. Upon approval, students may transfer up to six graduate credits.
SMU is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
6 Messiah College
Founded in 1909, Messiah College is a nondenominational Christian college located in Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania. Today, its student body exceeds 3,300. The college offered its first online courses in 2008 and launched its first graduate program in 2009. Messiah College offers over 150 undergraduate programs and 27 graduate degrees and certificates. The 36-credit MBA program features six concentrations, including social entrepreneurship and dietetics.
The MBA with a concentration in digital marketing focuses on navigating the world of online advertising, social media, and big data. Students learn how to ethically target customers and grow business.The MBA curriculum includes nine courses in core topics such as business strategy and innovation. Courses in the digital marketing concentration address logic, strategy, and the power of analytics. Terms last eight weeks, with sessions available year-round. The master's in internet marketing concludes with an integrated capstone bridging theory with practice. The MBA program takes two years to complete.
Prior to applying, prospective MBA candidates must fulfill prerequisites in microeconomics, finance, accounting, and statistics. Applicants must hold a bachelor's or master's degree with a minimum GPA of 3.0 from a regionally accredited institution. All online students pay the same tuition rate. Discounts for graduate degrees and certificates are renewable every year until program completion.
Messiah is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.
7 Southern New Hampshire University
Manchester, New Hampshire
Based in Manchester, New Hampshire, SNHU's enrollment extends far beyond its municipal borders. While more than 3,000 students attend the university campus, over 80,000 are enrolled in distance education. SNHU offers a catalog of 200 online programs, including an MBA with a choice of 27 concentrations. Taught entirely online, the 12-course MBA in social media takes just over a year to complete.
This master's program focuses on creating and implementing effective social media marketing campaigns. Graduates are proficient in conducting market research, unlocking insights via analytics, and leveraging social media for business success. In addition to three courses in the social media concentration, students also complete eight in core business concepts. The program culminates in a capstone. Courses are asynchronous. Students must meet prerequisites in statistics, economics, financial reporting, business law, and human behavior. Oftentimes, SNHU will waive these courses for prior undergraduate coursework.
SNHU makes admissions decisions on a rolling basis so students may apply at any time. There are five terms per academic year. SNHU offers a 25% discount for U.S. service members and spouses of active-duty military personnel.
SNHU is regionally accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges.
8Montclair State University
Montclair, New Jersey
Founded in 1908, Montclair State now serves more than 20,000 students through its nine colleges and schools. The AACSB-accredited Feliciano School of Business offers several graduate certificates, two master of science programs, and four MBAs. Students in the online MBA may choose from four concentrations, including digital marketing.
The MBA in digital marketing requires 39 credits and takes 24 to 27 months to complete. Terms run for eight weeks, and there are six start dates per year. The curriculum for this master's degree in internet marketing consists of 24 courses: 18 in core business topics and six in digital marketing. Students study social and mobile media, geotagging, the evolution of social media, digital ad planning, omni-channel retailing, and return on digital marketing investment. All courses are asynchronous and the average class size is 23.
Graduate school applicants must submit official transcripts, an essay, resume, and two letters of reference. The school may waive the GMAT/GRE requirement for students with a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or better.
Montclair State University is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.
9 Fort Hays State University
A leader in distance education, Fort Hays offers over 50 online degrees and nearly 600 online courses per semester. Approximately half the student body enrolls in FHSU's virtual college, which has served busy learners for more than two decades. Today, more than 6,000 students attend FHSU online.
FHSU's online MBA is a flexible, rigorous program intended for working professionals. The 34-credit degree consists of 12 courses: nine in core business topics and three in a chosen concentration. The school offers 12 MBA concentrations, including accounting, human resources management, and leadership studies. The concentration in digital marketing explores the concepts, issues, and strategies that have emerged with the ride of the internet and social media. The core MBA curriculum covers fundamental business topics such as managerial accounting, information systems, and corporate finance. Part-time students can complete this internet marketing master's degree in three years. No campus visits are required and courses are asynchronous. Terms begin three times a year.
To apply, prospective MBA candidates must submit official transcripts, a resume, two letters of recommendation, GMAT/GRE test scores, and a personal statement. Virtual college students receive a tuition discount regardless of state residency. Up to nine graduate credits may transfer into the program upon approval by the MBA committee. Foundational MBA prerequisites may be waived with an undergraduate degree in business.
FHSU is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
10 Benedictine University
Benedictine University in Lisle, Illinois, has provided liberal arts education for more than 130 years. The Roman Catholic university offers 65 undergraduate and graduate degree programs, including 11 online degrees. Benedictine's career-oriented online MBA prepares students to take on leadership roles in their organizations. Seven concentrations allow students to hone their skills in an area of interest. The MBA in internet marketing delves into web analytics, social media, SEO, and conversion optimization. Students analyze online customer behavior to inform decisions on campaign strategy, forecasting, and segmentation.
Benedictine uses quarter hours instead of semester hours. The core curriculum is 52 quarter hours, while each concentration is 12 quarter hours. This master's degree in internet marketing requires no on-campus visits. Distance learners have a choice between two tracks: a traditional path that takes 22 months and an accelerated path that students can complete in as little as a year. Courses are asynchronous.
Students may transfer up to 32 quarter hours for previous graduate courses. Business students may also apply a maximum of 16 undergraduate credits. The school provides six start dates per year, meaning new students can start the program quickly. Graduate applications require transcripts, two letters of recommendation, and a letter of intent. Potential students should have a minimum GPA 2.75 in all postsecondary coursework. Tuition is the same for all online students regardless of state residency. Benedictine participates in the Yellow Ribbon program and grants benefits to military members and their spouses.
Benedictine is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
11 Ohio Christian University
Founded in 1948 as a school for the clergy, OCU is a private, Christian college rooted in the Wesleyan tradition. The school offers degrees in professional studies to more than 4,000 students. The university imparts a biblical worldview in all of its educational offerings. OCU's MBA emphasizes business management skills, ethics, critical thinking, and strategic decision-making. There are six concentrations to choose from, including from accounting, organizational leadership, and digital marketing.
Comprised of 36 credits, the MBA in digital marketing requires eight core courses and four courses in the concentration. The core curriculum offers an overview of business essentials, including finance, management theory, and global business. A course in the psychology of marketing breaks down ways to better understand the customer base. In the product and brand development class, students learn about market research and branding within the e-commerce environment.
Participation is asynchronous. Students go through the program together as a cohort. All courses last six weeks. Residents of Ohio or Georgia have the option to enroll in a blended format which meets once a week. There are two semesters per academic year, and each semester is split into two terms. MBA applicants must hold an undergraduate degree from a regionally accredited institution. Potential students should have at least a 2.5 GPA. OCU offers a discount on tuition for qualified military students, veterans, spouses, and dependents.
OCU is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
12Fairleigh Dickinson University-Metropolitan Campus
Teaneck, New Jersey
Located in Teaneck, New Jersey, FDU serves 12,000 students. The school offers over 100 programs, including four business master's degrees. The MS in digital marketing, launched in spring 2017, is a 30-credit program that prepares current and aspiring marketing professionals for work in the online environment. Students gain skills such as analytics, SEO, and digital engagement.
The digital marketing degree requires two marketing courses, seven digital strategy courses, four enrichment courses, and a capstone. Topics include marketing strategy, social media, and consumer behavior. Students learn as part of a cohort and participate in teams to simulate work in the real world. Classes are limited to 25 students so that each learner can receive individual attention. Asynchronous courses allow students to access lectures whenever is most convenient. The program concludes with a choice of either an internship or thesis project. Part-time students can finish the degree in two years.
Applicants submit official transcripts, GRE or GMAT scores, and letters of recommendation. Potential students also must be available for personal interviews, which are not mandatory but may be used to determine final admission decisions. Students without a business background must complete additional foundational courses. FDU has been educating veterans since 1946 and is a proud Yellow Ribbon university.
FDU is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.
13 Excelsior College
Albany, New York
Excelsior College, a distance-learning institution based in Albany, New York, offers more than 30 online undergraduate and graduate degree programs to more than 32,000 students. Founded in 1971 by the New York State Board of Regents, Excelsior was developed to serve the educational needs of adult learners and working professionals. Excelsior's associate, bachelor's, and advanced business programs focus in on high-growth industries. The MBA in social media management was one of the first programs in the specialization offered online.
This master's degree in internet marketing teaches students how to navigate digital space and apply data-driven strategies. The program integrates traditional marketing with social media. Students learn how to cultivate customer relationships, launch social media marketing campaigns, build brand awareness, and generate buzz.
The 36-credit MBA features 27 credits in core business topics and nine in the concentration. Depending on prior learning, students may have to complete an additional nine credits in economics, organizational behavior, and quantitative analysis. These business prerequisites may be waived upon approval of undergraduate courses earned with a grade B or better. Students may transfer up to 24 approved credits. To apply, prospective MBA candidates must hold a baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited institution. The school does not require GMAT or GRE scores. Tuition assistance is available for active military and veteran students.
Excelsior is regionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.
14 National University
La Jolla, California
Founded in 1971, National University is located in La Jolla, California. The school offers more than 100 programs on-campus and online. Its unique four-week class format means students have 12 windows per year to start, resume, or complete their degrees. The MBA program at NU is available in nine concentrations, including financial management, international business, and mobile marketing and social media.
The MBA in mobile marketing and social media prepares students for marketing in an online environment. Learning outcomes include energizing a customer base, evaluating marketing plans in a digital economy, and establishing a web presence. Comprised of a minimum 63 quarter units, this internet marketing master's degree explores topics such as analytics, customer insights, branding, and tracking return on investment. The curriculum breaks down into five core requirements, four electives, and five courses in the social media concentration.
To apply, students must hold a bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited college or university and have a 2.5 GPA or better. Students may transfer up to 13.5 quarter units of prior graduate coursework in which they earned a "B" or better. Students without a business background may have to take three additional foundational courses. For waiver consideration, students take exams that test their knowledge.
National University is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges.
Online Master's in Internet Marketing Careers
Whether seeking employment as press secretaries or as art directors, a master's in internet marketing prepares graduates for success in the communication space. Communicators learn strategies to reach more consumers. In addition to communication skills, people with successful careers in this field are creative, organized, and analytical.
Advertising, Promotions, and Marketing Managers: These professionals develop programs that reach consumer audiences and engage in campaign development, internet market research analysis, and strategic product pricing. A master's in internet marketing prepares graduates for management positions with duties that include hiring and training staff, meeting with clients, and collaborating with sales agents.
- Median Annual Salary: 127,560$
- Projected Growth Rate: 9%
Market Research Analysts: Market research analysts determine how to target consumers. They develop surveys that gather consumer data and often collaborate with graphic designers to present their findings. While a bachelor's degree is often the minimum requirement for entry-level positions, many corporations seek market research analysts with a master's degree in internet marketing.
- Median Annual Salary: $62,560
- Projected Growth Rate: 23%
Public Relations Specialists: Public relations specialists communicate a corporation's goals with consumers, stakeholders, and reporters. Earning an internet marketing master's degree equips public relations specialists with the skills required to maintain an organization's positive identity, develop internet polls to assess public perceptions, and supervise an organization's social media presence.
- Median Annual Salary: $58,020
- Projected Growth Rate: 9%
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics
See also: What can I do with a Marketing degree?