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Best online marketing degrees 2021: Top picks

With a marketing degree, you can use advertising and PR skills to persuade, inspire, and engage. Read on for our top online marketing degree picks.

A marketing degree trains students to effectively and efficiently use advertisements, promotions, and media platforms to reach the public. 

The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects growth in marketing careers. Media and communications jobs are projected to grow 14% by 2030, adding more than 150,000 new positions. 

Marketing involves appealing to people to sell products, services, and ideas. Marketers use research and data methods and strategies to communicate and engage with target audiences. With a degree in marketing, you'll possess the knowledge and skills to enter the expanding and exciting marketing field. 

Here are our top picks for online marketing degrees in 2021. 

The best online bachelor's in marketing degrees

Online bachelor's degrees in marketing vary, and finding the one that meets your needs requires weighing numerous factors. ZDnet's ranking methodology takes into account cost, convenience, and overall quality to help you choose the best online marketing degree. 

Unless otherwise indicated, data is drawn from the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System and College Scorecard.

1. Florida International University

Miami, Florida

About the program: FIU's online bachelor of business administration in marketing emphasizes principles, strategies, and personal selling through 120 credit hours of coursework 

Acceptance rate: 58%

Graduation rate: 64%

Annual net price: $7,296

Years to completion: Four

SAT Range: 1110-1280

Minimum GPA: Not publicly available

Enrollment periods per year: Three

Course delivery methods: Online, asynchronous

Accreditation: Florida International University is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

2. Florida Atlantic University

Boca Raton, Florida

About the program: FAU's online bachelor of business administration in marketing builds technical skills applicable to advertising, personal selling, promotional management, and business analytics.

Acceptance rate: 63%

Graduation rate: 61%

Annual net price: $10,186

Years to completion: Four

SAT Range: 1080-1240

Minimum GPA: 2.5

Enrollment periods per year: Three

Course delivery methods: Online, asynchronous

Accreditation: Florida Atlantic University is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

3. Oklahoma State University

Stillwater, Oklahoma

About the program: OSU's online bachelor of science in business administration with a concentration in marketing includes 120 credit hours of comprehensive coursework. Students can focus their studies on marketing communications.

Acceptance rate: 70%

Graduation rate: 62%

Annual net price: $14,648

Years to completion: Four

SAT Range: 1060-1280

Minimum GPA: 3.0

Enrollment periods per year: Three

Course delivery methods: Online, asynchronous

Accreditation: Oklahoma State University is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

4. University of Louisiana Monroe

Monroe, Louisiana

About the program: ULM's online bachelor of business administration in marketing prepares students for careers in advertising, industrial marketing, professional selling, and purchasing.

Acceptance rate: 80%

Graduation rate: 45%

Annual net price: $10,453

Years to completion: Four

SAT Range: Not publicly available

Minimum GPA: Not publicly available

Enrollment periods per year: Six

Course delivery methods: Online, asynchronous

Accreditation: The University of Louisiana Monroe is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

5. New Mexico State University

Las Cruces, New Mexico

About the program: NMSU's online bachelor of business administration in marketing emphasizes principles and practices of marketing applicable to profit and nonprofit settings alike.

Acceptance rate: 55%

Graduation rate: 52%

Annual net price: $8,659

Years to completion: Four

SAT Range: 950-1150

Minimum GPA: 2.0

Enrollment periods per year: Three

Course delivery methods: Online, asynchronous

Accreditation: New Mexico State University is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

6. University of Wisconsin-Whitewater

Whitewater, Wisconsin

About the program: UW-Whitewater's online bachelor's degree in marketing includes specialization options in digital marketing and professional sales.

Acceptance rate: 79%

Graduation rate: 63%

Annual net price: $15,249

Years to completion: Four

SAT Range: Not publicly available

Minimum GPA: 2.0

Enrollment periods per year: Two

Course delivery methods: Online, asynchronous

Accreditation: The University of Wisconsin-Whitewater is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

7. Penn State World Campus

University Park, Pennsylvania

About the program: Penn State World Campus's online marketing bachelor's degree emphasizes results-oriented strategic marketing through 120 credit hours of coursework.

Acceptance rate: 76%

Graduation rate: 73%

Annual net price: $27,372

Years to completion: Four

SAT Range: 1070-1310

Minimum GPA: 2.0 

Enrollment periods per year: Three

Course delivery methods: Online, asynchronous

Accreditation: Penn State World Campus is regionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE).

8. East Carolina University

Greenville, North Carolina

About the program: ECU's online bachelor's degree in business administration with a marketing concentration includes advanced coursework in marketing intelligence and persuading decision-makers.

Acceptance rate: 79%

Graduation rate: 66%

Annual net price: $15844

Years to completion: Four

SAT Range: 1040-1190

Minimum GPA: 2.0

Enrollment periods per year: Three

Course delivery methods: Online, asynchronous

Accreditation: East Carolina University is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

9. University of Minnesota Crookston

Crookston, Minnesota

About the program: UMC's online bachelor's degree in marketing integrates an internship requirement with 120 credit hours of comprehensive coursework.

Acceptance rate: 68%

Graduation rate: 56%

Annual net price: $10,952

Years to completion: Four

SAT Range: Not publicly available

Minimum GPA: Not publicly available

Enrollment periods per year: Two

Course delivery methods: Online, asynchronous

Accreditation: The University of Minnesota Crookston is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

10. Washington State University

Pullman, Washington

About the program: WSU's online bachelor's degree in business administration with a major in marketing includes elective coursework in advanced professional sales and new product marketing.

Acceptance rate: 76%

Graduation rate: 67%

Annual net price: $16,358

Years to completion: Four

SAT Range: 1020-1230

Minimum GPA: 2.5

Enrollment periods per year: Three

Course delivery methods: Online, asynchronous

Accreditation: Washington State University is regionally accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU).

11. Northwest Missouri State University

Maryville, Missouri

About the program: With an experiential learning format, Northwest's online bachelor's degree in marketing allows students to apply marketing theories and practices to real-life contexts.

Acceptance rate: 74%

Graduation rate: 51%

Annual net price: $12,354

Years to completion: Four

SAT Range: 998-1140

Minimum GPA: 2.0

Enrollment periods per year: Six

Course delivery methods: Online, asynchronous

Accreditation: Northwest Missouri State University is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

12. University of Alabama at Birmingham

Birmingham, Alabama

About the program: Enrollees in UAB's comprehensive online marketing bachelor's degree learn the fundamentals of marketing communications, e-commerce, and digital media. 

Acceptance rate: 74%

Graduation rate: 55%

Annual net price: $16,953

Years to completion: Four

SAT Range: 1090-1365

Minimum GPA: 2.0

Enrollment periods per year: Three

Course delivery methods: Online, asynchronous

Accreditation: The University of Alabama at Birmingham is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

13. Southeastern Oklahoma State University

Durant, Oklahoma

About the program: Southeastern's online bachelor of business administration in marketing provides opportunities for students to explore contemporary issues in marketing as part of its 124-credit-hour curriculum.

Acceptance rate: 74%

Graduation rate: 33%

Annual net price: $8,237

Years to completion: Four

SAT Range: Not publicly available

Minimum GPA: 2.0

Enrollment periods per year: Four

Course delivery methods: Online, asynchronous

Accreditation: Southeastern Oklahoma State University is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

14. University of Northwestern Ohio

Lima, Ohio

About the program: UNOH offers an online bachelor's degree in marketing and a bachelor's in business administration with a marketing concentration. 

Acceptance rate: Not publicly available

Graduation rate: 42%

Annual net price: $19,055

Years to completion: Four

SAT Range: Not publicly available

Minimum GPA: Not publicly available

Enrollment periods per year: Four

Course delivery methods: Online, asynchronous

Accreditation: The University of Northwestern Ohio is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

15. Mount Mercy University

Cedar Rapids, Iowa

About the program: With an emphasis on marketing communication and data analysis, MMU's online marketing degree is grounded in the institution's Catholic beliefs and traditions. 

Acceptance rate: 66%

Graduation rate: 69%

Annual net price: $20,857

Years to completion: Four; accelerated two-year option available

SAT Range: Not publicly available

Minimum GPA: 2.5

Enrollment periods per year: Nine

Course delivery methods: Online, asynchronous

Accreditation: Mount Mercy University is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

16. University of Mary

Bismarck, South Dakota

About the program: Steeped in Catholic Benedictine tradition, Mary offers an online bachelor's in marketing designed to accommodate working adults. 

Acceptance rate: 74%

Graduation rate: 55%

Annual net price: $17,410

Years to completion: Four

SAT Range: 1048-1280

Minimum GPA: 2.0

Enrollment periods per year: Rolling

Course delivery methods: Online, asynchronous

Accreditation: The University of Mary is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

17. Louisiana State University Shreveport

Shreveport, Louisiana

About the program: LSUS's online bachelor's degree in marketing builds a comprehensive understanding of business, finance, and marketing essentials.

Acceptance rate: 84%

Graduation rate: 35%

Annual net price: $8,952

Years to completion: Four

SAT Range: 1006-1173

Minimum GPA: 2.0

Enrollment periods per year: Six

Course delivery methods: Online, asynchronous

Accreditation: Louisiana State University Shreveport is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

18. Temple University

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

About the program: Temple's online bachelor of business administration in marketing provides specialization course sequence options in consumer insights, digital marketing, retailing, and sales force effectiveness.

Acceptance rate: 60%

Graduation rate: 72%

Annual net price: $23,521

Years to completion: Four

SAT Range: Not publicly available

Minimum GPA: Not publicly available

Enrollment periods per year: Two

Course delivery methods: Online, asynchronous

Accreditation:

Temple University is regionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE).

19. Dallas Baptist University

Dallas, Texas

About the program: A Christ-centered institution of higher education, DBU offers an online bachelor of business administration in marketing that integrates theory and practice with a focus on serving others.

Acceptance rate: 90%

Graduation rate: 58%

Annual net price: $26,387

Years to completion: Four

SAT Range: 1030-1250

Minimum GPA: Not publicly available

Enrollment periods per year: Four

Course delivery methods: Online, asynchronous

Accreditation:

Dallas Baptist University is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC). 

20. Minot State University

Minot, North Dakota

About the program: MSU's online marketing bachelor's degree provides opportunities to participate in internships and travel excursions throughout the United States.

Acceptance rate: 67%

Graduation rate: 44%

Annual net price: $11,898

Years to completion: Four

SAT Range: 910-1140

Minimum GPA: Not publicly available

Enrollment periods per year: Three

Course delivery methods: Online, asynchronous

Accreditation: Minot State University is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

21. Fort Hays State University

Hays, Kansas

About the program: FHSU's online applied business administration bachelor's degree with a major in marketing includes specialized coursework in strategic selling and social media marketing. 

Acceptance rate: 91%

Graduation rate: 58%

Annual net price: $12,053

Years to completion: Four

SAT Range: Not publicly available

Minimum GPA: 2.0

Enrollment periods per year: Rolling

Course delivery methods: Online, asynchronous

Accreditation: Fort Hays State University is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

22. Indiana State University

Terre Haute, Indiana

About the program: ISU's online marketing bachelor's degree includes unique elective course offerings in motorsports marketing, nonprofit and services marketing, and retail management.

Acceptance rate: 90%

Graduation rate: 42%

Annual net price: $13,896

Years to completion: Four

SAT Range: Not publicly available

Minimum GPA: 2.0

Enrollment periods per year: Three

Course delivery methods: Online, asynchronous 

Accreditation: Indiana State University is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

23. Concordia University, St. Paul

St. Paul, Minnesota

About the program: A university of the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod, CSP offers a Christ-centered, project-oriented online bachelor's degree in digital marketing

Acceptance rate: 98%

Graduation rate: 61%

Annual net price: $16,245

Years to completion: Four

SAT Range: Not publicly available

Minimum GPA: 2.0

Enrollment periods per year: Two

Course delivery methods: Online, asynchronous

Accreditation: Concordia University, St. Paul is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

24. University of Toledo

Toledo, Ohio

About the program: UT's online bachelor of business administration in marketing builds comprehensive skills in advertising, branding, product promotion, and international marketing.

Acceptance rate: 96%

Graduation rate: 43%

Annual net price: $17,630

Years to completion: Four

SAT Range: 1000-1240

Minimum GPA: 2.0

Enrollment periods per year: Three

Course delivery methods: Online, asynchronous

Accreditation: The University of Toledo is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC). 

25. Western Governors University

Salt Lake City, Utah

About the program: Designed for optimal convenience and flexibility, WGU's online business administration bachelor's in marketing focuses on traditional and emerging theories plus methods of marketing. 

Acceptance rate: Not publicly available

Graduation rate: 49%

Annual net price: $9,805

Years to completion: Four

SAT Range: Not publicly available

Minimum GPA: Not publicly available

Enrollment periods per year: 12

Course delivery methods: Online, asynchronous

Accreditation: Western Governors University is regionally accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU).

Insights from a marketing graduate

With a background in integrated marketing, Kent Lewis left a public relations agency in 1996 to start his internet marketing career at a Portland, Oregon web development firm. 

As president and founder of Anvil Media, Inc., Lewis is responsible for managing operations, marketing, and business development. The company's purpose: Creating meaningful impact for Anvil's clients, community, and employees through creative problem-solving, educating, and making and leveraging connections.

ZDNet: What are the most rewarding aspects of your career? What are the most challenging aspects of your career?

Kent Lewis: Rewarding aspects of my career include control of my schedule and destiny (as an agency owner), educating the public as well as helping grow businesses via digital marketing. The most challenging aspects include recruiting and retaining employees and keeping clients happy.

ZDNet: What were the greatest takeaways from your marketing degree that helped you to be successful in your career?

KL: The most valuable insights I received from my marketing degree revolved around sales strategies (which were essential in helping me build my career) as well as the painful, but important, financial and accounting classes. I dislike math, but the foundational learning has been invaluable as a business owner.

ZDNet: What misconceptions do people have about this degree, and what would you tell them?

KL: I believe the greatest misconception around a marketing degree (or any other for that matter) is the fact that it guarantees a successful career and/or hire (in our case). I've hired MBAs, high school graduates (no degree), interns out of college, and 10+-year veterans, and there was no correlation between education/degree and success at Anvil. 

The greatest predictor of success is whether or not their talents map to the role and if their values match ours.

What to expect in an online bachelor's in marketing degree program

During a bachelor's degree in marketing, students learn communication skills and how to effectively plan, manage, and implement marketing and media campaigns. Research coursework trains learners to obtain and assess data. 

Classes in media technologies teach successful marketing in an increasingly technology-focused world. Elective courses give students the opportunity to explore subsets of marketing such as search engine optimization, global marketing, and new product design.

Coursework blends classroom learning with collaborative projects, presentations, and practical learning experiences. By working with instructors and classmates alike, marketing students also practice teamwork.

Marketing courses

The core curriculum of a marketing bachelor's degree emphasizes communication, research methods, business fundamentals, and marketing management. Marketing students can also expect to explore consumer behavior, finance and economics, and marketing and society.

Marketing research

By introducing students to qualitative and quantitative research methods and tools, marketing research coursework prepares students to conduct, analyze, and act upon market data. Topics covered include branding, pricing, and consumer decision-making. 

Public relations

A course in public relations introduces learners to the principles and practices of the field. Students explore theories and trends in public relations, using and presenting information to specific groups, and appropriate forms in public relations.

Marketing strategies

Marketing strategies courses introduce students to the functions, purposes, and goals of strategies in marketing. By looking at topics like cause, relationship, scarcity, and undercover marketing, learners gain insight into when and how to use different techniques to engage consumers.

Marketing project management

A course in marketing project management teaches learners to carry out the whole of a marketing project lifecycle. Students participate in the planning, development, and implementation of a marketing project with attention paid to budgets, schedules, teamwork, and time management.

Marketing degree levels

Marketing degree levels accommodate students with different personal and professional goals. Undergraduate marketing degrees lead to entry-level positions in marketing, while graduate programs facilitate advancement to managerial and leadership roles. 

Associate in marketing

Length: Two years

Cost: $2,000 to $10,000

Post-grad careers: Data entry specialist, marketing assistant, consumer support specialist

An associate degree in marketing introduces students to the financial, business, and communication fundamentals of marketing. Learners study principles and practices of marketing, advertising and promotions, and consumer engagement. 

Associate degrees in marketing may emphasize retail marketing, digital media, or data analysis. With an associate degree in marketing, individuals can find entry-level positions or continue onto a bachelor's degree in marketing or a related discipline. 

Bachelor's in marketing

Length: Four years

Cost: $8,000 to $10,000

Post-grad careers: Marketing researcher, market data analyst, public relations specialist

A bachelor's degree in marketing includes four years of coursework. Students complete general education requirements alongside major classes in advertising, communications, consumer behavior, and market strategy. 

Classes like market data research methods, marketing project management, and trends in marketing prepare learners for a cumulative capstone requirement. Many marketing bachelor's degrees integrate an internship or practicum component. 

A marketing bachelor's degree opens opportunities for entry- and mid-level marketing roles. Marketing bachelor's programs also provide the foundation for graduate study. 

Master's in marketing

Length: Two years

Cost: $20,000 to $120,000

Post-grad careers: Marketing manager, senior market researcher, marketing project manager

Marketing master's degrees enhance existing knowledge and skills, preparing students to lead and manage in marketing roles. Core coursework emphasizes advertising and marketing communications, consumer decision science, and marketing strategies. Specialization options include fashion marketing, international marketing, social media marketing, and digital marketing.

During a master's degree in marketing, students take part in individual and group projects. Many marketing master's degrees require students to complete a marketing campaign as part of a comprehensive assessment. 

Doctorate in marketing

Length: Three to seven

Cost: $30,000 to $150,000

Post-grad careers: Chief marketing officer, university professor, marketing consultant, campaign manager

A doctorate in marketing emphasizes research, consumer behavior, and innovation. Designed for individuals with a background in marketing, business, or a related field, a doctoral program in marketing includes coursework in research methods, marketing theory, economics, and sociology. 

Upon completion of assessment exams, learners undertake an in-depth research project on an issue or challenge related to marketing before producing a dissertation. 

In conclusion

Earning a marketing degree provides the foundation for rewarding and exciting marketing positions. Finding the right degree is part of that journey. With these top picks, you can explore paths to a marketing degree.