Marketing is a field that transcends sales, and the skills taught in marketing degree programs go beyond the obvious. Being able to highlight benefits and understand what drives consumer behavior can be helpful in a whole range of settings, from promoting public health campaigns to branding a college or university.
Business professionals with marketing skills may be hired to work across a number of industries. They may work alone or as part of a larger team. They may oversee million dollar budgets for established companies or be asked to stretch the shoestring of a start-up.
However, one thing they almost all have in common is the right training. Marketing professionals often have a bachelor's degree although there are also associate and graduate degrees in the field. Online degrees for marketing are also available for those who don't have time to pursue a traditional program. Keep reading to find out more.
Best Colleges for Marketing Degree Programs
You don't necessarily have to go to an expensive business school to get a good degree in marketing. Indeed, many of the top colleges for marketing aren't the biggest names in education. Instead, they are schools that ranked high using a methodology considering factors such as a program's prominence and student support services.
Topping the list of best colleges for marketing degree programs is Western Michigan University. Located in Kalamazoo, this public university was founded in 1903 and enrolls more than 23,000 students.
The marketing program at WMU is among the largest in the nation. Undergraduate students can select from six different majors including specialized concentrations like electronic business marketing. Those interested in earning an MBA can customize their degree in the field of marketing as well. Plus, Western Michigan University offers ten scholarship programs specifically for marketing students, and there are four professional marketing student organizations on-campus.
In addition to its size and degree options, the WMU marketing department also ranks high for providing flexible class schedules, including night and weekend courses, as well as a number of student support services.
Located in Ames, Iowa State University prides itself on providing student-centered education. The school was founded in 1858 and enrolls more than 36,000 students today. ISU has ten schools and colleges, 100 majors and more than 800 student organizations on its campus.
The marketing department regularly has the largest number of majors in the ISU College of Business. Degrees available include a bachelor's degree in marketing, MBA in marketing and Ph.D. in marketing. The ISU Marketing Colloquium Speaker Series invites marketing scholars from across the country to share their research and expertise with students.
While Iowa State University does have a competitive admissions process, it has the second best admissions rate on this list of top colleges for marketing. It also gets high marks for offering numerous support services.
As the pioneer land-grant institution in the nation, Michigan State University was founded in 1855 as the Agricultural College of the State of Michigan. Today, it is one of the world's top research universities and boasts of a diverse student population of more than 50,000 students on its East Lansing campus
The MSU marketing department is notable for having three of the world's top 50 marketing researchers according to a University of Minnesota study. What's more, the school has the second best graduation rate of institutions on this list.
Students at MSU can earn bachelor's, master's or doctoral degrees in marketing. Those interested in online marketing degrees can earn a master's degree in marketing research through a 20 month online program.
Grand Valley State University is the third Michigan public university with a stellar marketing program. With its main campus in Allendale, GVSU was charted in 1960 and has a student population of more than 25,000. The school notes 94 percent of recent graduates are employed or pursing additional education.
The GVSU marketing program ranks highest for prominence among the schools on this list. Students earning a Bachelor of Business Administration can select from three marketing majors. These include a general major, one with an emphasis in sales and another with an emphasis in distribution and logistics.
The marketing curriculum at Grand Valley State University combines aspects of psychology, sociology, technology and anthropology with business principles. Academic advising and career placement are among the student support services provided.
Known to many as Ole Miss, The University of Mississippi ranks fifth among the best colleges for marketing degree programs. It is the flagship institution in the Mississippi public university system and was chartered in 1844. From a first class of 80 students, UM has grown to enroll nearly 25,000 in the fall of 2016.
Within the school's marketing department, bachelor's, master's and doctoral degrees are offered. At the undergraduate level, students can choose from degrees in either marketing or marketing and corporate relations. The faculty at The University of Mississippi includes instructors whose work has been published in more than 50 academic journals over the course of the past five years.
The Ole Miss campus is located in the city of University.
The University of Georgia says it's the birthplace of public higher education in the United States. The school was chartered by the State of Georgia in 1785. Considered one of the "Public Ivies," it is the flagship institution within the state's public university system. UGA enrolls 36,000 students and has its campus in Athens.
Marketing students at UGA have four degree options: Bachelor of Business Administration in marketing, Master of Business Administration in market and customer management, Master of Marketing Research and Ph.D. in marketing. The MBA is a full-time program.
UGA has the best graduation rate of any school on this list of top colleges for marketing. It has the third most prominent program and offers academic advising, career placement and other student support services.
Located in Stillwater, the main campus of Oklahoma State University is another school for marketing majors to consider. The university's roots go back to 1890 when it was founded as the Oklahoma A&M College. It has grown to enroll more than 35,000 students across its five campuses with 24,000 students learning on the combined Stillwater and Tulsa campus.
The School of Marketing and International Business is one of the most prominent at OSU, and marketing is one of its most popular majors. The undergraduate program takes a three-pronged approach to the subject, using a liberal arts foundation to build business knowledge and marketing competency. Graduate students can earn a Ph.D. in business administration and marketing or a master's degree in business analytics.
Oklahoma State University is a public institution.
Northwest Missouri State University is one of the schools where you can find online degrees for marketing. The university's Bachelor of Science in marketing can be earned by either taking classes on Northwest's Maryville campus or online. What's more, the school has an online MBA in marketing.
The marketing program at Northwest offers the opportunity to participate in profession-based learning experiences that have students working in teams to create marketing campaigns for real-world clients. According to Northwest, 95 percent of their graduates are hired or pursue more education within six months of earning their degree.
Textbooks and a laptop are included in tuition at Northwest Missouri State University. Plus, some Missouri residents may be eligible for free tuition through the American Dream Grant program.
Based in Boone, North Carolina, Appalachian State University made this list of best colleges for marketing degree programs for good reason. The school has the third best graduation rate among the schools on this list as well as the lowest student-faculty ratio at 16-1.
Founded in 1899, Appalachian saw nearly 19,000 students enroll in its undergraduate, graduate and distance education programs in the fall of 2017. While it offers some business programs via distance education, there are no online marketing degrees. Instead, marketing students can choose from two on-campus concentrations within the undergraduate degree program: general marketing or sales.
Appalachian State University is part of the University of North Carolina System of Higher Learning.
With more than 20,000 undergraduate and graduate students, The University of Toledo rounds out this ranking of top schools for marketing. UT was founded in 1872 and draws students from 46 states and 82 countries.
Marketing is the most popular major within The University of Toledo College of Business and Innovation. More than 800 students are enrolled in the programs offered by the Department of Marketing and International Business. Its bachelor's degree in marketing is available on-campus, online or as a minor. Students may also be able to take night and weekend classes.
The University of Toledo has the best admissions rate and the second most prominent program among the schools on this list.
Marketing Degree Programs and Common Career Paths
While an MBA or other advanced degree in marketing can help existing professionals move up in the field, most entry level positions require only a bachelor's degree.
Career Outlook for Marketing Majors
Businesses are always looking for an edge on the competition, and marketing professionals can be key to driving sales. However, that doesn't mean all professions in the field will be equally in demand. Here's a look at expected job growth for common marketing occupations.
PROJECTED JOB GROWTH(%)
|Market Research Analysts and Marketing Specialists||$71,570||678,500||20.4%|
|Advertising and Promotions Managers||$141,890||25,100||3.2%|
Financial Aid and Scholarships for Marketing Degree Programs
Whether you're interested in traditional or online marketing degrees, you'll likely need some help paying for your education. While the government offers loans and grants, there are scholarships available elsewhere. Many college marketing departments have their own awards plus there are private scholarships through organizations such as Marketing EDGE and the American Marketing Association.
Recipient must be enrolled in broadcasting, broadcast technology, marketing, or journalism program.
Based on continued positive academic performance
To be included in these rankings, all schools must meet the following initial criteria for the specific subject being ranked.
- Offer an undergraduate degree (either associate or bachelor’s) in that subject.
- Have awarded at least one degree or certificate in that subject in the most recent year of IPEDS data available.
Based on those criteria, we ranked all 2-year and 4-year schools in IPEDS that reported data for all of the following points. Ratings are calculated on a 10-point scale, using the weights specified.
- In-state undergraduate tuition & fees, National Center for Education Statistics, 2015
- Graduation rate, National Center for Education Statistics, 2015
- Accessibility, based on admissions rate, National Center for Education Statistics, 2015
- Institutional spending, based on two equally weighted factors, National Center for Education Statistics, 2015
- Instructional and academic support expenses per full-time enrolled student
- Instructional and academic support spending as a percentage of all expenses
- Student-to-faculty ratio, National Center for Education Statistics, 2015
- Flexibility, based on the following factors, National Center for Education Statistics, 2015
- Percent of students enrolled fully or partly in distance education
- Whether the school offers programs that can be completed entirely in the evenings and on weekends
- Whether the school offers academic and career counseling
- Whether the school offers job placement services for students who complete their programs
- Whether the school offers any alternative tuition plans, such as a payment plan or guaranteed rate
- Size of program, based on how many of the degrees and certificates awarded in 2014-15 were in this particular subject, National Center for Education Statistics, 2015
- Related subjects, based on the number of similar topics for programs in relevant CIP codes that are offered at any level, National Center for Education Statistics, 2015