As digital continues to disrupt every sector, business — and marketing, in particular — is seeing some of the most significant changes, from day-to-day responsibilities to long-term strategy and implementation. On the one hand, it’s a tenuous, nervy situation, and yet the potential for growth is massive. Managerial roles in marketing, advertising, and promotions employment is expected to expand 9% through 2024, according to the BLS, and several roles are predicted even larger gains. In particular, employers are looking for professionals with at least 4-10 years of experience, per a recent report on marketing trends. Another way of looking at this: in addition to practical “hard skills,” companies need professionals with critical, analytical, and general problem-solving skills. One way to earning these credentials is simply through on-the-job experience, but for those who want a more formalized and résumé-savvy method, a master’s in marketing is an excellent option.
For your convenience, we’ve compiled the 10 most affordable online master’s degrees in marketing. As you’ll note, many are MBA’s with concentrations in marketing, which feature a broad-based business core. Still, for professionals who want a more marketing or management-specific track, the final two degrees may be the better fit. Keep reading to find which of these affordable degrees suits your needs!
The out-of-state tuition per credit hour, weighted for the percentage of the nation who live out-of-state.
The percentage of students in the program receiving financial aid.
1) University of Saint Mary
Founded in 1923, University of Saint Mary is a private Christian institution with a total enrollment of about 1,500, including undergraduate and graduate students. US News ranks it as a Tier 2 national university, and Princeton Review lists among their “Best Value Colleges.” Individualized, personal instruction is a major point of emphasis, and the 8:1 student-to-faculty ratio supports a tight-knit, intimate educational setting. Nearly 70% of classes have fewer than 20 students and less than 1% have 50. Per the university, Saint Mary’s mission is to “to educate students of diverse backgrounds to realize their God-given potential and prepare them for value-centered lives and careers that contribute to the well being of our global society.”
For students interested in a marketing graduate degree, Saint Mary offers a 36-credit MBA with a concentration in Marketing Advertising, which, in addition to 9 core business classes, features three concentration courses in Advertising Industry in the 21st Century, Buyer Behavior and Marketing Research, and Advanced Marketing Strategy and Planning. Designed for maximum flexibility, the program allows for self-paced course work, and students on an accelerated track can complete the degree in as little as 1 year. Additionally, students with previous graduate work may transfer up to 9 credits into the program, and many students are also working professionals. Upon completion, graduates will be prepared to: analyze business issues from a a cross-disciplinary perspective; assess global business influences on strategy; and apply business ethics in all aspects of decision-making. The program is accredited by the International Assembly for Collegiate Business Education (IACBE). GMAT/GRE are not required for admission.
The Marketing Communication master’s concentration prompts you to analyze consumer behavior, conduct market research, and engage the power of brands and messages in order to develop powerful digital marketing strategies. Evaluate various tactics, measure their effectiveness, and explore the intricacies of working with or in complex, multi-functional teams to execute compelling marketing campaigns.
Top 100 university
2) Grand Canyon University
Founded in 1949, Grand Canyon University is a Christian university based in Phoenix with more than 75,000 enrolled, including 61,000 online students. Fortune ranks GCU in the top 5 online schools for entrepreneurs, and U.S. News ranks it among the best schools in the West region. Since 2009, the university has established several corporate and strategic educational alliances and lead the national push into online education to promote flexible, affordable, and customizable degrees. With a 17:1 student-to-faculty ratio, GCU fosters an intimate, tight-knit learning community despite its large size, combining the feel of a liberal arts school with the resources of a large research university. As a Christian school, Grand Canyon integrates religious concepts and values across all its programs and has a nationally recognized community service initiative.
For students pursuing a graduate marketing track, GCU offers an MBA in Marketing that totals 54 credits, including: Leadership and Organizations, Quantitative Methods, Marketing Management, Managerial Finance, Services Marketing, International Marketing, and Strategic Management, among others. Designed to accommodate working professionals and adult learners, career-oriented classes deliver in accelerated 8-week blocks, and Grand Canyon’s generous transfer policy allows up to 12 credits (1/3 of requirement) to be waived. Student services include 24/7 tech support, a learning lounge, library access, and dynamic learning platform and management system. The program holds accreditation from the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs, and applicants with an adequate undergraduate GPA may not have to submit GRE/GMAT scores.
Founded in 1993, Columbia Southern University specializes in online distance education, with over 21,400 students enrolled in associate, bachelor, master, doctorate, certificate, and post-baccalaureate programs. As a subsidiary of the Columbia Southern Education Group, all CSU programs are created for maximum flexibility to accommodate any schedule, whether you are full- or part-time, a working professional, or an adult learner with extra-classroom responsibilities. Despite its large size, CSU works to combine the resources of a large research university with the benefits of a tight-knit educational community, offering tailored instruction and collaborative learning.
Columbia Southern offers a 36-credit MBA in Marketing for students and professionals interested in pursuing a career in marketing, advertising, public relations, or any other business sector. Core classes cover Strategic Management & Business Policy, Management Information Systems, Organizational Research and Theory, International Business, and Human Resource Management Methods, among others. From there, the marketing module consists of Strategic Marketing, Marketing Research, New Product Marketing, and Business-to-Business Marketing. In particular, CSU’s program trains students to anticipate consumer needs, translate those needs into products and services, and develop and manage sales campaigns. Courses are flexible and integrate self-paced work, and average degree completion time is 3 years. CSU is accredited by he Distance Education Accrediting Commission (DEAC).
Saint Leo University, founded in 1889, is a private Benedictine school with a total enrollment of about 6,200, the majority of whom are graduate students. US News ranks Saint Leo in the top 65 schools in the region and 26th for overall value. In recent years, the university has expanded its Center for Online Learning to accommodate working professionals, adult learners, and non-traditional students pursuing flexible and affordable higher education. The university’s 15:1 student-to-faculty ratio helps to support a simultaneously intimate and collaborative environment, promoting personal instruction at every level. As an indicator of student satisfaction, 96% of Saint Leo graduates report they would recommend Saint Leo to friends.
Saint Leo offers a 36-credit MBA in Marketing for students looking to pursue a career (or earn a promotion) in a variety of fields, including sales, promotions, brand management, marketing research, and e-marketing. In addition to a traditional business core, the concentration module includes classes in Global Marketing, Sales Management, Advertising and Promotion, and Marketing Innovations and New Product Development. From there, students can customize the degree through an elective option or gain real-world experience through a for-credit internship. For maximum scheduling flexibility, there are 6 entry dates throughout the year, and ambitious students have the option to concentration in an additional area (e.g., Accounting, Cybersecurity, Data Analytics, Healthcare Management, HR Management, Project Management, Social Media Marketing, Sports Business, or Supply Chain Global Integration Management). The program is accredited by both the International Assembly for Collegiate Business Education (IACBE) and the Accreditation Council for Business Schools & Programs (ACBSP).
As a leader in distance education since 1985, Liberty University is a private Christian school with 100,000 online students, with an additional 14,000 at the Lynchburg, Virginia campus. All 250 online programs are designed for maximum flexibility, accommodating working professionals, adult learners, and non-traditional students with affordable tuition and tailored scheduling options. (Hybrid, intensive, and blended delivery options are available, as well.) The university’s generous transfer policy allows students to waive some course work through previous academic credits, work/life experience, military service, MOOC certifications, examinations, or portfolio work. Finally, Liberty’s low student-to-faculty ratio allows a third of classes to have less than 20 students.
A top-ranked program, Liberty’s 45-credit MBA in Marketing is a great fit for any number of career titles: among them, Market Researcher, Product Manager, Marketing Manager, Brand Manager, Account Executive, Merchandiser, and more. Core requirements include Strategic Marketing Management, Legal Issues in Business, International Business, Organizational Design & Structure, Operations Management, and Policy & Strategy in Global Competition. From there, the marketing cognate features classes in Marketing Promotions, Supply Chain Management, Marketing Research, and Consumer Behavior. Students have access to a variety of services —— library assistance, a writing center, tutoring, advising, career services —— and entry dates are available throughout the year. The program is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP).
Founded in 1958, Walsh University is a private Catholic university in Canton with a total enrollment of about 2,900. (Satellite campuses are located in Akron, Medina, Canfield, and Castel Gandolfo, Italy). US News ranks Walsh among the best regional universities in the Midwest, and The Newman Guide to Choosing a Catholic College endorses it. With a 13:1 student-to-faculty ratio, students benefit from a highly intimate, personalized classroom experience that combines individualized instruction and collaborative learning opportunities. 75% of classes have fewer than 20 students and none have more than 49.
Walsh’s MBA in Marketing is highly-rated program —— for prestige, overall value, and veteran benefits —— and appropriate for students interested in professional roles like Product Marketing Manager, Branding Manager, Public Relations Executive, Advertising Executive, and Sales Professional, among others. In addition to an 18-credit core curriculum, students complete 15 credits in the specialization: Marketing Research, Integrated Marketing Communication, Social Media Marketing, Services Marketing, and one of the following electives: Global Business Conditions, Not-For-Profit Accounting, and Entrepreneurship/Innovation. A capstone course serves to offer a comprehensive overview. Courses deliver in accelerated 8-week blocks, and students can complete the degree in as little as 1 year or on a part-time basis in 2-2.5 years. It is accredited by the AACSB.
Founded in 1890, Post University is a private university in Waterbury, Connecticut, with a total enrollment of 7,700. With a recent major push into distance and online education, US News has ranked Post among the top online education centers in the country. In 2015, the university joined the American Council on Education (ACE) Alternative Credit Consortium in 2015. The 21:1 student-to-faculty ratio allows Post to combine the intimacy of a liberal arts school with the vibrant, collaborative atmosphere of a larger research university. Still, over 70% of classes have less than 20 students and none have more than 49.
For students and working professionals interested in managerial roles in marketing, Post offers an MBA in Marketing that requires 36 credits: for the major business core, Strategic Integrated Marketing Communications, Organizational Dynamics and Effectiveness, Business Analytics for Managers, Quantitative Analysis for Decision Making, Business Strategy and Planning, and more; for the specialization, Consumer Psychology and Buying Motivations, Advanced Marketing Research and Analytics, and Strategic Brand Management. In particular, the curriculum trains students to develop essential skills like writing marketing plans, developing new products and services, matching value propositions to buyers and organizations. Graduates have gone on to careers as sales supervisors or managers, business development managers, product researchers, directors, and executives. The program is nationally accredited by the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP).
Bellevue University, founded in 1966, is a private Christian school that specializes in flexible, affordable online education for adult learners, working professionals, and non-traditional students through multiple delivery options, including accelerated cohorts, flex paths, MOOCs, certificates of completion, and course clusters. The school’s dynamic learning platform gives students access to course material 24/7, live chat rooms, and group discussion boards, promoting a collaborative learning environment. Further, even with an enrollment of 10,000, Bellevue maintains an impressive 11:1 student-to-faculty ratio, ensuring personal attention from instructors.
A top-ranked program, Bellevue offers a 36-credit MBA in Marketing that features 9 concentration credits: Internet Marketing, International Consumer Behavior, Sales Management, Global Brand Marketing, and Marketing Research. The program is designed for new and emerging business professionals, and course work is built for maximum flexibility to fit students’ unique schedules. Hands-on and applied learning opportunities are integrated throughout the curriculum, in consultation with business experts. Upon completion, graduates will be prepared to: assess business performance in an international context; enhance employee productivity, collaboration, and innovation through human capital and management tactics; and apply analytical and ethical practices to business decisions. Applicants with an adequate undergraduate GPA are not required to submit GRE/GMAT scores. The program is accredited by the International Accreditation Council for Business Education (IACBE).
Founded in 1858, St. Bonaventure University is private Christian school with a total enrollment of 2,050 students, the majority of whom are undergraduates. US News ranks the university among the top 20 in the North region and 5th for overall value. Balancing rigorous academics with career-oriented, practical learning, 96% of St. Bonaventure’s graduates are employed or pursuing further education within 6 months of graduation, and the university’s graduation rates are routinely 20% higher than the national average. The 11:1 student-to-faulty ratio promotes a tight-knit community, and over 60% of classes have fewer than 20 students, ensuring personalized instruction.
One of the few programs of its kind in the country, St. Bonaventure’s 33-credit MA in Integrated Marketing Communications prepares students for work in advertising, public relations, business communications, promotions, direct marketing, package design, and e-commerce. Core requirements include IMC Principles and Practices, Financial Tools for IMC and the International Economy, Strategic Marketing Management for IMC, Marketing Communications Research, Practice of Public Relations, and more. To provide a hands-on component to the track, several field work credits are required, and two elective options allow students to customize the curriculum to areas of professional interest. With accelerated 7-week block courses, full-time students can complete the degree in as little as 1 year. Applicants aren’t required to submit GRE/GMAT scores, and the program is accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB).
Founded in 1851, Lasell College has an enrollment of about 2,100. US News ranks Lasell as a Tier 1 regional university, and the Chronicle of Higher Education lists it as one of the 10 fastest-growing colleges in the country. The university places a special emphasis on experiential and immersive learning: nearly all students complete an internship, and 90% complete a service-based learning credit. For these efforts, it received a Carnegie Classification for Community Engagement. The 13:1 student-to-faculty ratio helps to foster an intimate educational community, combining peer-to-peer work with individual instruction. Nearly 70% of classes have fewer than 20 students.
For students and working professionals interested in marketing, sales, or product development, Lasell offers an MS in Management with a concentration in Marketing that consists of 36 credits: from the core, 21st Century Global Leadership, Strategic Information Management, Financial Management, Organizational Theory, Marketing Management, and Operations Strategy; and from the concentration, Consumer Behavior, Marketing Research, and Global Marketing. From there, students choose a capstone track, plus two elective courses to tailor the degree to areas of professional interest. Courses are designed for maximum flexibility, and the dynamic Moodle learning platform features group discussion threads, tech support, live chat rooms, and other useful multimedia tools. The program is accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB).