California Marketing Master's Degree Programs

Benefits of Marketing Masters Degree Programs

Marketing masters degree programs may help business and marketing professionals pursue the skills and knowledge they need to jumpstart or enhance their careers in marketing. Whether you are pursuing a career as a marketing manager, public relations specialist, market research analyst, or simply interested in developing your general knowledge in the field of marketing, a masters in marketing degree program may help you learn important theories, concepts, methodologies, and practical applications in business, marketing, and management. 

What Are My Options for Pursuing a Masters in Marketing?

There are three common types of master’s degrees in marketing: the Master of Science in Marketing, the Master of Arts in Marketing, and the Master of Business Administration in Marketing.  

The Master of Art and the Master of Science in Marketing Degrees

Masters of art and masters of science in marketing (M.A. or M.S. in marketing) degrees typically help students jump-start careers in marketing or enhance their skills for their current positions. These degree programs may help students learn advanced knowledge of time-tested and innovative marketing tools, theories, and techniques. Many programs provide students with opportunities to apply marketing theory to common and complex problems. Additionally, students may pursue careers in high demand fields or highly specialized fields through elective coursework. You can read more about potential specializations below.

In many cases, students earn an M.S. or M.A. degree in marketing by attending part time or fulltime. Some programs offer accelerated paths to course and program completion. Students often complete M.S. and M.A. degree programs in one to two years through a combination of core and elective coursework. Depending on the program, students may conclude their schooling by writing and defending a thesis, taking a comprehensive exam, or participating in an internship. Of course, every program is different, so check with your selected school for specific requirements.

You can find M.A. and M.S. in marketing degree programs in online, hybrid, and on-campus formats. These different formats are designed to help different students pursue their academic and career goals, according to their individual location or needs.

The Master of Business Administration in Marketing

The Master of Business Administration in marketing degree, or M.B.A. in marketing degree, typically helps business students pursue or enhance their careers in business, with an emphasis on the area of marketing. In many cases, students complete core coursework in business and pursue a marketing emphasis or concentration through elective coursework. Students might emerge from their programs with the most current and needed knowledge and skillsets in business and marketing.

Marketing M.B.A. programs commonly require one to two years of part time, fulltime, or intensive study. Students might complete their programs by writing and defending a thesis, taking a comprehensive exam, or participating in an internship. Students may also engage with mentors over the course of their programs. In some cases, applicants to M.B.A. marketing programs must have one or more years of experience in business to apply. However, every school is different so be sure to check with your selected program to learn more.

You can find M.B.A. degree programs that emphasize marketing in online or on-campus formats. Carefully consider your goals and needs to choose a perfect program for you.

What Might I Study in Marketing Masters Degree Programs?

M.S., M.A., and M.B.A. marketing programs typically require students to complete a combination of core and elective coursework.

In M.S. and M.A. programs, coursework typically comprises core topics in the field of marketing such as marketing management, business and marketing analytics, digital marketing, marketing theory and models, marketing metrics and assessment, marketing research, consumer behavior and insights, ethics in marketing, and marketing strategy. In M.B.A. programs, foundational coursework typically emphasizes business and management subjects such as financial accounting, managerial accounting, managerial finance, microeconomics for managers, operations management, business law, business ethics, and marketing management. These and other subjects may help students gain knowledge in marketing and business management.

The elective coursework in M.S. and M.A. programs typically helps students pursue their passions, their interests, and their program-designated concentrations. Some common areas for concentration include marketing communication, marketing strategy, digital marketing, customer experience management, and sports marketing. Some subjects of general elective courses might include:

  • Product development
  • Branding strategy
  • Pricing strategy
  • Global marketing
  • Digital marketing
  • Entertainment marketing (for celebrities, sports, or events, for example)
  • Visual storytelling
  • Business intelligence and big data
  • Marketing management
  • Marketing and public policy or politics
  • Organizing and mobilizing communities
  • Promotions

These are just some of many areas students might elect to study as they pursue an M.A. or M.S. in marketing.

The elective coursework in marketing M.B.A. programs enables students to study areas of marketing in greater depth. Students might choose from subjects such as:

  • Social and nonprofit marketing
  • International marketing
  • Product management
  • Data analysis
  • Brand management
  • Marketing communications
  • Music, sports, or retail marketing
  • Marketing analytics
  • Visual marketing
  • Digital marketing
  • Multicultural marketing

These are just some of many areas of marketing students might study as they pursue their M.B.A. with an emphasis in marketing.

In M.A., M.S., or M.B.A. marketing classes, students might do group work, study cases in the field, work on individual and group projects, be mentored by faculty and business leaders, engage with students from PhD or other M.B.A. programs, and participate in other learning activities to develop their knowledge and skills in marketing.

What Skills Might I Develop in Marketing Masters Degree Programs?

Depending on the masters in marketing program, students in marketing master’s degree programs may develop their abilities to identify target audiences, determine their audiences’ needs, shape product development, and create marketing strategies to influence consumer behavior. They may also learn how to develop effective marketing plans that include pricing and then advertising, promoting, selling, and distributing products. They’ll likely learn about key marketing tools, frameworks, concepts, and theories as well as practical marketing strategies. In certain programs, they may develop the skills to analyze data (small and big) to evaluate effectiveness and outcomes of marketing campaigns. Through elective work, they may develop their skills to market digitally, domestically, globally, or to a particular (or broad and diverse) market. They’ll likely develop new skills, knowledge, and techniques and bolster their existing skills, knowledge, and methodologies.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Advertising, Promotions, or Marketing Managers should have analytical skills, communication skills, decision-making skills, interpersonal skills, and organizational skills. They should also be creative.[i] Market Research Analysts should have similar skills and also be critical-thinkers and detail-oriented.[ii] Public Relations Specialists” should have some of the above mentioned skills and also be adept at problem-solving, speaking, and writing.[iii] This should give you a sense of the skills you may want to develop as you go to graduate school for marketing. As you engage in your program, take advantage of every opportunity to develop your skills in these and other areas.

How Can I Search For Marketing Masters Degree Programs?

Gradschools.com puts a host of graduate programs in marketing at your fingertips. Just below you’ll find a list of master’s degree programs in marketing including M.S., M.A., and M.B.A. options. You might also find Marketing Masters Degree Programs in fields closely related to marketing such as communications and public relations. You can click on masters in marketing program names to find more information or you can request info directly from the programs of your choice. In the list below, you might find online marketing masters degree programs, on-campus marketing masters degree schools, or hybrid program options. If you want to refine your masters in marketing search—say to do so by program format (online, on-campus, or hybrid) or location (city, state, or country)—you can do so using our search tool on the left. We wish you luck as you pursue your advanced education!


Sources: [i] bls.gov/ooh/management/advertising-promotions-and-marketing-managers.htm#tab-4 | [ii] bls.gov/ooh/business-and-financial/market-research-analysts.htm#tab-4 | [iii] bls.gov/ooh/media-and-communication/public-relations-specialists.htm#tab-4

Learn More About Masters in Business

Find Schools