Skilled marketers help their employers connect with potential customers by communicating the value of their products and services. Successful professionals carry out this work in virtually every industry that requires sales and advertising, but to qualify job-seekers must first acquire credentials that help them stand out.
Our ranking looks at where you can get those credentials—and how remote learning makes that goal easier to reach. Get our insights on the best online marketing programs for 2023, the resources and flexibility they provide, and the job outlook and salary potential available when you graduate. Discover what an online marketing degree can do for you and stay tuned for our full ranking coming later this year.
Oregon State University
At Oregon State University, students can pursue an online marketing degree that results in either a bachelor of science or a bachelor of arts, depending on the student’s career aims. The course of study builds key skills in marketing management, sales strategy, and consumer insight. Along the way, degree-seekers gain a deeper understanding of market research methods, customer and public relations principles, global marketing, and integrated communications. The school also offers resources for career development and professional success to help degree-seekers zero in on job opportunities following graduation.
This program uses blended learning, which means students complete requirements entirely online or supplement their studies with a hybrid experience. The curriculum begins with lower division instruction that builds knowledge foundations in business administration. In later phases, online marketing degree students turn to more advanced topics in finance, international business, and marketing strategy. Oregon State offers four start dates throughout the year for easy and convenient onboarding.
- Marketing BA or BS
- Credits: 180
- Length: 4 years
- Cost: $370 per credit in-state | $370 per credit out-of-state
- Mode: Fully online; hybrid
- Accreditation: Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NCCU); Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB)
Maryville University of St. Louis
Maryville University’s online bachelor’s degree in marketing prepares students for work as product managers, copywriters, web developers, market researchers, and user experience specialists. The 128-credit program covers core topics in project management, business statistics, and macroeconomics, plus a range of electives that align with popular roles in marketing. Potential offerings include classes in social media, supply chain management, customer relations, and global marketing.
Students in an online marketing bachelor’s degree at Maryville benefit from fully online classes for maximum flexibility. The program has no residential requirements or campus visits and uses asynchronous delivery methods so students can access material at their convenience. In addition to on-demand, around-the-clock technical support, the school also offers an early access program to qualified students. This allows aspiring professionals to earn up to 12 graduate credits, a useful option for those interested in pursuing further study in marketing, public relations, or sales.
- Online Bachelor’s Degree in Marketing
- Credits: 128
- Length: 4 years
- Cost: $525 per credit in-state | $525 per credit out-of-state
- Mode: Fully online
- Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission (HLC); Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP)
University of Arkansas
One of the unique characteristics of the University of Arkansas’s online marketing program is its foundational training in business and management. The course of study leads to a bachelor of science in business administration with an emphasis on marketing. Before learning about applications in marketing research and consumer behavior, students first receive instruction in the principles of organizational structure and behavior that often motivate marketing efforts. Additional courses look at topics in data analysis, macroeconomic and microeconomics, accounting, and finite math.
Most online marketing bachelor’s degree students complete all program requirements in four years or less and graduate fully qualified for roles in brand management, public relations, advertising, and social media strategy. Classes are offered in traditional 15-week semesters with optional summer intensives available (typically five weeks long). Offered by the Sam M. Walton College of Business, the program uses fully online delivery and provides additional financial aid and career readiness resources to all students.
- Bachelor of Science Business Administration in Marketing
- Credits: 120
- Length: 4 years
- Cost: $340 per credit in-state | $340 per credit out-of-state
- Mode: Fully online
- Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission (HLC); Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB)
What You’ll Learn in Your Online Marketing Degree Program
The best online marketing degree programs combine a broad-based general education curriculum with focused study of business and management essentials. By the time you graduate, you’ll have key skills in consumer analysis and market research, along with the specialized knowledge needed to drive sales and advertising efforts. Employers look for these core competencies when hiring professionals tasked with identifying target audiences and developing effective marketing strategies. You’ll also have the freedom to explore new frontiers in marketing that incorporate social media and digital technologies.
Main Topics You’ll Cover
- Sales and marketing principles
- Consumer behavior and market segmentation
- Brand management and messaging
- Economics and managerial accounting
- Promotions and advertising campaigns
- Business communications
- Qualitative and quantitative research methods
Lower Division Curriculum (Years 1 and 2)
Most schools offering an online marketing degree require successful completion of lower division courses before moving into the core curriculum. These classes develop key knowledge foundations in areas such as business administration, finance, data analysis, management, and economics. They give students a working understanding of the main tools and methods marketing professionals rely on and offer a wide-ranging introduction to the field and its many applications. Here are a few common courses you may encounter during your first few years of study.
- Introduction to Marketing: Degree-seekers in this class receive a high-level survey of the practices and principles of marketing and explore how to develop effective strategies that reach key target audiences. Topics include product development and market research methods, promotion, and distribution.
- Business Communications: This course builds core communication skills with business goals and procedures in mind. Students look at methods of audience analysis and brand messaging and learn how to optimize communications for public, interpersonal, and organizational contexts.
- Finance and Managerial Accounting: Learners in this class explore how marketers and other business professional use financial data to make informed business decisions. The course looks at core accounting practices and focuses on cost analysis, budgeting, and management of holdings.
- Economic Principles in Sales and Marketing: This class covers the history and development of economics as a discipline, including its traditional division into macroeconomics and microeconomics. Students assess contemporary economic theories and evaluate how they inform effective marketing campaigns.
- Management Fundamentals: This course offers an introduction to key management techniques along with their applications in organizational behavior analysis, strategic leadership, and human resource administration. Students learn to develop their own management style by evaluating real-world case studies.
Upper Division Curriculum (Years 3 and 4)
Upper division courses build on knowledge foundations developed during the first several semesters of study and bring them into sharper focus. The best online marketing degrees provide you with more opportunities to explore your own interests and gain new insights into the specialized tools and skills professionals use to plan, coordinate, and implement successful marketing efforts. You will also complete electives and core courses similar to the ones listed below.
- Digital Marketing: This class looks at how to use digital technologies to seek out new customers and reach or engage existing ones. Students explore topics such as mobile marketing and email campaigns, search engine optimization, and social media marketing.
- Consumer Behavior: Drawing on insights from sociology and psychology, this course examines the cultural, economic, and political factors that impact target audiences. Degree-seekers analyze methods of researching and influencing consumer decision-making.
- Brand Management: This course combines marketing principles with insights from business and management with a focus on organizational culture and messaging. Topics include brand identity and equity, competitor research, and product differentiation.
- Marketing Research Methods: A core requirement in most programs, this class gives students a deeper understanding of the qualitative and quantitative methods used to research markets and consumers. Learners analyze key market studies and develop their own.
- Customer Relationship Management: Degree-seekers in this course develop proficiency in the tools and technologies used to manage customer data, loyalty programs, and feedback platforms. Students look at methods of customer segmentation along with strategies for retention.
Admissions: Getting into a Top Online Marketing Degree Program
Like other programs, many schools with an online bachelor’s degree in marketing have streamlined their process in recent years to reduce barriers to admission. This doesn’t necessarily mean admission is easier, but that applications require fewer components. Putting your best foot forward is vital, however, and it’s important to fully understand the requirements so you can submit an application that reflects your qualifications and potential.
Although procedures and deadlines vary by school, prospective first-time students should be prepared to submit:
- A professional resume or CV
- Official academic transcripts for any college credits earned
- Evidence of successful completion of a high school diploma or GED
- SAT/ACT test scores (waived in some cases)
Beyond this, some schools require letters of reference from former teachers or mentors and a short admissions essay detailing your professional aims and fit for the program.
Transfer students with some college experience will also need to submit official academic transcripts showing a GPA of 2.0 or higher.
Most schools don’t stipulate GPA thresholds for new applicants, but a competitive GPA in the 2.5-3.0 range certainly improves your standing, especially for programs at bigger schools that see a larger applicant pool. Consult admissions officers at the schools you’re considering for further clarification on this and other requirements.
Paying for Your Online Marketing Degree: Costs and Financial Aid
Clear-sighted financial planning will put you in a better position to earn your online marketing degree. This process begins by fully understanding all the costs involved. Tuition is a key factor, and while marketing programs are relatively inexpensive in comparison to other disciplines, rates vary widely. These variations depend on factors such as where you’ll live during study and the type of school you plan to attend.
Private institutions typically charger higher rates than most other school. The public colleges and universities listed in the table below use flat-rate tuition for online programming, but individual policies vary. Some schools use different rates for state residents and nonresidents.
|Southern New Hampshire University
|Louisiana State University
|University of North Dakota
Beyond tuition itself, seeking out and securing financial aid is another key step in the planning process. Most schools offer scholarships and grants to new and returning students, including those pursuing an online marketing bachelor’s degree. For example, Penn State World Campus gives equal consideration to Pennsylvania residents and nonresidents for scholarships and awards. Another great example is Indiana State, where approximately 76% of students receive aid annually. Discipline-specific organizations such as the American Marketing Association offer academic awards. See our guide for more information on how to secure financial aid.
FAQs About Earning Your Bachelor’s Degree in Marketing Online
Are online marketing degree programs offered 100% online?
These programs offer optimal flexibility, which means you’ll only travel to campus if you want to. Further, most online marketing degrees are fully asynchronous. This allows you to move through requirements and assignments at your own pace and at your convenience. For those interested in synchronous or more immersive learning experiences, many of the best online marketing degree programs have hybrid options as well.
What can you do with a bachelor’s degree in marketing?
The career landscape for professionals with an online marketing degree is wide-ranging. During your studies you’ll develop a versatile and transferable set of core skills. Virtually any industry that deals with public relations or consumer experience calls upon qualified marketing professionals for support. Job titles and descriptions may vary depending on the organization, but here are a few roles you may qualify for when you graduate.
- Marketing Communications Specialist
- Brand Ambassador
- Social Media Specialist
- Product Manager
- Marketing Coordinator
Is earning a marketing degree worth it?
Yes, pursuing an online marketing degree offers a great deal of value and benefit. According to Forbes magazine, the skills and knowledge you’ll gain will make you eligible for work in nearly every level of business and commerce. Organizations in a number of industries rely on marketing professionals to conduct research and develop advertising and sales campaigns. See the job outlook and earnings section later in this guide for more information.
What accreditation should I look for in a marketing degree program?
Any online marketing degree you consider should come from a school with proper institutional accreditation. This credential is conferred by independent agencies recognized by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council for Higher Education Accreditation and acts as a quality assurance measure. Additionally, specialized programs sometimes hold programmatic accreditation, which adds extra backing. In marketing, this form of accreditation typically comes from business-oriented agencies like the AACSB or the ACBSP.
How long does it take to earn a bachelor’s degree in marketing?
Most students graduate from their online marketing program in four years or so, but there are a few caveats. For instance, working professionals looking to balance job responsibilities with part-time study take a bit longer, while transfer students with a significant number of credits graduate faster. Specific timelines fluctuate by school and depend on factors including your enrollment status, program pacing, and method of online delivery.
Employment Outlook with a Marketing Bachelor’s Degree
Employment outlook and salary potential for graduates with an online marketing degree appear favorable and reflect broader industry demands. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the current job growth rate for all occupations in the U.S. is 5% and the median annual wage is $45,760. As you can see below, career paths in marketing exceed these national averages by quite a bit. Prospective market researchers benefit from especially high job growth projections (nearly four times the average), while roles in marketing and sales management see more lucrative earning power (more than double the average).
|Median Annual Earnings (2021)
|Job Growth (2020-2030)
|Market Research Analysts
|Advertising, Promotions, and Marketing Managers
|Public Relations Specialists
|Writers and Authors
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics