For an organization to succeed, it needs to make people aware of its products or services. Obtaining a degree in marketing provides the foundation necessary to solve this problem for yourself and for companies.
For their talents, marketing majors often fare very well in terms of salary. Marketing managers earned a median salary of $141,490 in 2020, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Job prospects look promising too as companies continue to implement measures to stand out in the increasingly crowded global marketplace. The BLS projects overall employment of marketing managers to grow 10 percent between 2020 and 2030.
What is Marketing?
Marketing is getting your name out there – letting customers know all about your products or services. This involves building a brand that conveys who you are, what you do, how you’re different from competitors, and why someone should pay attention.
Since organizations typically have a limited amount of money for marketing, it’s best to hire trained marketing professionals to find the most effective marketing channels. Marketers think about who to target, which mediums to use, and what will drive sales.
The best marketing schools realize the complexities of today’s buying and selling environment. They continue to draw from disciplines such as psychology, sociology, and economics to teach about human behavior and influences on spending. They also develop expertise in modern marketing tactics such as search engine optimization (SEO), social media, and data analysis.
What Different Types of Marketing Are There?
Because marketing encompasses so many different aspects of business, students sometimes choose to concentrate on certain marketing specializations. A few of the many different types of marketing niches include:
- Advertising – drawing attention to your brand through crafted messages in chosen mediums
- Public relations – defining your brand and building a good rapport with potential customers
- Market research – studying consumer behavior and collecting data to make educated marketing decisions
- Marketing management – crafting a marketing plan and overseeing the different elements necessary for implementation
- Sales – examining what actions lead to actual purchases
- Digital marketing – using online technology and platforms for marketing purposes
- Luxury marketing – developing interest in expensive, high-end products or services
- Sports marketing – promoting athletic teams and events
- Global retail marketing – focusing on consumers in other countries
- Pharmaceutical and healthcare marketing – creating awareness of different drug and treatment plans among practitioners and consumers
- Food marketing – understanding how people choose what they eat
- Entertainment marketing – generating buzz for movies, TV shows, celebrities, or special events
- Nonprofits – using marketing tactics to draw attention to a mission or cause
The 10 Best Marketing Schools in the U.S. 2022
Marketing is a popular major offered at many institutions. In coming up with our list of the best marketing schools in the U.S., we used a data-first approach with the goal of creating an objective list based on sound criteria. For a closer look at our methodology, click here.
10. Clemson University
Through the Wilbur O. and Ann Powers College of Business, Clemson offers a Bachelor of Science in Marketing and a Master of Science in Marketing. Both programs put a premium on immersive educational experiences inside and outside of the classroom. A highlight for many undergrads is Maymester in New York City, which provides interaction with industry professionals in the Big Apple.
Clemson itself is a pretty exciting place, too. Every Friday, everyone on campus displays their school spirit by wearing orange. Weekends bring many students and alumni together to support the Division I Clemson Tigers. Others head to the Brooks Center for Performing Arts or create their own outdoor adventure at Lake Hartwell. While roughly half of the students at this public institution are South Carolina residents, there’s too much to do to think about heading home!
9. University of Oklahoma-Norman Campus
As legend has it, when OU’s first president stepped off the train in Norman in 1892 and saw the barren expanse of prairie, his only remark was “What possibilities!” Indeed, Norman today is a lively college town centered around OU and its 170+ academic programs, active Greek system, and plenty of Big 12 athletic competitions.
The Michael F. Price College of Business offers aspiring marketing professionals the opportunity to earn a Bachelor of Business Administration degree through its Division of Marketing and Supply Chain Management. The program puts a strong emphasis on marketing in the global economy, and some students choose to spend a semester in the university’s Study in Italy program. For students who wish to continue honing their marketing skills, OU conducts doctoral studies in marketing.
8. Arizona State University-Tempe
If the prospect of studying at one of the largest educational institutions in the U.S. excites you, vibrant ASU could be your dream place. The internationally known W.P. Carey School of Business alone enrolls more than 16,000 students from over 100 countries. And with 100,000+ Carey alumni worldwide, networking opportunities abound when you’re ready to start your marketing career.
If heading to perpetually sunny Tempe isn’t your thing, consider earning a Bachelor of Science in Marketing through ASU Online. The 100% remote program features a mixture of general education requirements and marketing courses for a total of 120 credit hours. ASU is known for its innovation in online education and for substantial bang for the buck. You can even join more than 35 extracurricular clubs to build a sense of community with other remote Sun Devils.
7. George Washington University
Situated in Washington, D.C., a city with more than 1,000 internationally owned companies (many under a mile from campus), GW School of Business is another institution that takes full advantage of its location for internships and other learning opportunities. The business school itself was founded nearly a century ago on the new-for-its-time idea that business and government might become partners in promoting national prosperity and international development.
Today, GW offers a Bachelor of Science in Marketing, a Bachelor of Science in Business with a concentration in marketing strategy and analytics, a Graduate Certificate in Digital Marketing and Analytics, and a Graduate Certificate in Marketing and Brand Management. And despite being the largest institution of higher learning in our nation’s capital, more than half of GW’s undergraduate classes have fewer than 20 students.
6. DePaul University
Undergrads at this private institution choose from one of three concentrations: digital marketing, standard marketing, or sales leadership. Whichever you select, a plethora of nearby internship possibilities await. DePaul’s location in the heart of downtown Chicago should not be wasted!
Are you a particularly ambitious marketing major? DePaul’s honors sequence, known as Integrated Marketing Education, provides a select group of students with a hands-on opportunity to develop skills in marketing management. The year-long program involves working with different area businesses each quarter to address real-life marketing issues. Participants leave with practical knowledge, many connections, and a portfolio of consulting projects to show prospective employers.
5. University of Minnesota-Twin Cities
Does a presentation titled “How to Sell Alcohol, for Breakfast” pique your curiosity? Through its Brand Matters series, the Carlson School of Management regularly brings speakers to campus to offer insight on how real companies build their brands. Such events compliment this university’s marketing program in which students can earn one of three marketing degrees:
- Bachelor of Science in Business
- MBA with a specialization in marketing
- PhD in Business Management with a concentration in marketing
While winter in the Twin Cities sometimes proves challenging, the campus nonetheless bustles in all seasons. A favorite activity is cheering on the Gophers in Big 10 athletic competition. And forget the notion of “dumb jocks” – student athletes here boast an average GPA of 3.3, first among public institutions.
4. Boston University
Studying marketing through BU’s Questrom School of Business involves commitment to an interdisciplinary approach. The program uses insights and methods from psychology, anthropology, economics, and computer science to understand and predict consumer behavior. The university is so confident in its method that it claims “by the end of freshman year, you’ll know more than most juniors in other programs.”
Outside of class, 450+ student organizations make BU a hopping place. Intramural and club sports alone attract more than 7,000 participants. And with its location in the heart of Boston, there’s plenty more to explore beyond campus.
3. University of Connecticut
Ask marketing majors at UConn to name the department’s greatest strength and, you’re sure to hear “the faculty” as one of the most common responses. Instructors at this public research university are known internationally for expertise in digital marketing and analytics, consumer decision making, branding, marketing strategy, and cross-cultural consumer behavior.
UConn Business School grads have their share of accomplishments, too. An impressive 94% of business undergrads from the class of 2020 found employment by December, and those with a marketing degree started with a median base pay of $53,500.
2. University of Maryland-College Park
If hanging out with other aspiring marketing professionals outside of the classroom sounds like fun, check out the University of Maryland’s chapter of the American Marketing Association. Known as terpAMA (the school’s mascot is the terrapin), this student group loves activity – case competitions, annual trips to the AMA collegiate conference, keynote speakers brought to campus, on-site visits to marketing firms and corporate headquarters.
What goes on in the classroom is pretty exciting, too. The Robert H. Smith School of Business prides itself on providing marketing majors with a solid understanding of basic principles as well as up-to-the-minute instruction on current practices in our ever-changing world. The school even operates its own behavioral laboratory to conduct groundbreaking research on human behavior.
1. Tulane University of Louisiana
Tulane offers its marketing degree through the well-known Freeman School of Business. Here are the basic, fundamental courses offered, though there are also a variety of electives tailored to student interest:
- Research and analytics
- Advanced marketing strategy
- Sales management
- Social and online marketing
- Consumer behavior
Here you’ll learn what’s involved in marketing new products. You’ll also learn how to identify key constituencies and how to use those relationships to promote a brand. Some students opt to study abroad and take classes under Freeman-affiliated faculty in order to immerse themselves in international marketing. Others prefer staying in the U.S. where Freeman’s Career Management Center can help you find real-world internships near the New Orleans campus and beyond.
Now don’t let the price tag of this private university scare you away from applying. Extensive merit-based and need-based scholarship programs result in Tulane paying on average 40 percent of the actual cost of tuition and fees for each student.
If you’re looking for other schools that offer Marketing degree programs, check out the Find Your Perfect “U” tool. You can search over 6,000 colleges and universities with 11 different filters to find the perfect school for you!
How Do I Pay for My Marketing Degree?
Many people find paying for higher education challenging. Seeing it as a career investment that increases future earning potential might take some of the sting out of tuition bills.
The good news is that a variety of ways exist to reduce costs now. Make filling out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) a top priority. The U.S. Department of Education uses the information you input to determine eligibility for federal aid. State programs and individual colleges also look at the document. Grants, student loans, and work-study jobs are all potential outcomes.
Other possible ways to pay for college or save money include:
- Holding a part-time job while going to school
- Working during the summer
- Becoming a teaching assistant (offered to some graduate students)
- Living at home while going to school in order to reduce room, board, and transportation expenses
- Exploring accelerated online programs
- If employed, seeing if your employer offers tuition reimbursement
Scholarships are perhaps the most preferable source of college money since they do not require repayment. A variety of organizations offer this free money to deserving students. Some scholarship competitions are open to anyone. Others set specific criteria on who can apply. Our scholarships tool can help students learn about opportunities relevant to them.
Scholarships for Marketing Students
Students studying marketing may find the following three scholarships particular interesting:
AMA EBSCO Marketing Scholar Award
The American Marketing Association Foundation helps promising up-and-comers in the industry through these scholarships ranging from $2,000-$5,000. Candidates must be full-time undergraduates and members of an active AMA collegiate chapter. Application material includes a transcript, essay, resume, and references.
Mr. Marketing Scholarship
Do you have a way with words? Write a strong essay on the importance of search engine optimization (SEO) and you could win $1,000 in a competition conducted by the marketing automation firm Mr. Marketing.
Digital Marketing Scholarship
Sponsored by the company 10x digital, this scholarship supports high school seniors and current undergrads in their pursuit of a degree in digital marketing or related subject. Applicants for this $2,000 award should plan on writing a 500-word essay on digital marketing trends as well as a separate piece on why they believe they deserve this scholarship.
Beth Braccio Hering is an honors graduate of Northwestern University and has been a freelance writer for more than 25 years. In addition to extensive contributions to various Encyclopaedia Britannica products, her work has been published by outlets such as Business Management Daily, CareerBuilder, Walt Disney Internet Group, and Chicken Soup for the Soul.