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Most schools have rolling admissions and financial help so you can start your degree in a few weeks!

Students who graduate with a master’s degree in digital marketing are qualified to create, navigate, interpret, and optimize marketing strategies in today’s digital world. They can pursue careers in copywriting, internal marketing, online advertising, social media and email marketing, web development, search engine optimization, and other related fields.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median pay for web developers and digital designers is $80,730, while advertising, promotions, and marketing managers make $138,730. And according to the National Center for Education Statistics, the average annual tuition for graduate school is $12,596 at public universities and $28,017 at private universities. It takes one to two years of full-time study to complete this degree.

How to Choose an Online Master’s in Digital Marketing Program

Choose your area of study

Since graduates of this degree can pursue careers in different areas of digital marketing, it is important to consider your desired career path when choosing an area of study. Programs may offer various concentrations that focus on areas such as online advertising, social media marketing, promotions, analytics, public relations, and others. Not all universities provide the same concentrations, so it’s essential to have an idea of what you want to focus on to help guide your search.

This degree is usually offered in a Master of Science (MS) format, though some schools allow you to earn a Master of Business Administration (MBA) with a concentration in digital marketing.

Research schools and programs

Once you’ve determined your area of study, research the different schools and their programs. You can do much of this online. Some universities include many program details on their websites, while others do not. In the second case, you’ll need to call or write for additional information.

Search for programs that offer courses and specializations specific to your career goals. Also, check to see if internships are a required or optional part of the curriculum. Additionally, if you’d like to do an internship, find out if any are available locally.

Check the program’s admissions page — there may be one specific to the program or just general admissions requirements for the university — to confirm that you’re eligible to apply. Along with academic information, here are some other important factors to consider:

  • Is the school accredited? You should only attend an institution that is accredited by agencies recognized by the U.S. Department of Education. This affects not only the quality of education you receive but also what financial aid you can get and job opportunities after graduation. Additionally, if you want to transfer into another program later, postsecondary institutions usually don’t recognize credits or degrees earned at unaccredited schools.
  • What is the cost of the program? Save time by checking this early in your research process. Before you start, have a general idea of how much you can pay for the degree program. This makes it easier to eliminate programs that don’t fit your budget.
  • Where is the school located? Even for students who plan to study online, the school’s location may be a factor when choosing a program. Proximity to the school means the ability to participate directly in student clubs and organizations, in-person orientations, meet-and-greets, career days, and other on-campus events. Additionally, some universities offer a hybrid format for online programs, which means students can attend some classes on campus if they wish.

To learn more about any schools that you’re interested in, you can follow the school on social media or attend an in-person or virtual open house.

Prepare for tests and applications

Admissions requirements vary depending on the institution, so check the school’s website or contact an admissions counselor for details. Some schools offer rolling admissions, while others require that applications and supporting documentation be submitted by a specific date. Online programs don’t always start at the same time as on-campus courses, so admission requirements in this regard may differ.

Whatever the case, be sure to check admissions deadlines and submit all material on time. Entrance exams aren’t generally needed for graduate programs, but some universities require GRE scores. You may also need to send in transcripts, letters of recommendation, personal statements, and other materials. Before submitting an application, always contact an admissions counselor to ensure you have the most accurate information regarding requirements and deadlines.

Select your program

Once your research is complete and you have all the necessary information, use it to select a program.

Before making your final decision, review your needs and goals again. Do you plan to attend school full-time or part-time? Are you only interested in 100% online programs, or are you fine with a hybrid program that has some in-person requirements? Some programs offer asynchronous courses, which can be completed at your own pace, while others only offer synchronous courses, which involve remotely attending lectures and completing assignments at the same time as other students — which of these two online learning formats do you prefer?

Decide which factors are most important to you. You may find a program that ticks all the boxes, but since there’s no guarantee you’ll be accepted to that one, look at other options as well. Make a list, in order of preference, of all the programs you’d want to enroll in, and then apply to all the schools on the list. If you receive more than one acceptance letter, choose the school that’s highest on your list.

Determine how you’ll pay for your degree

The U.S. government offers financial aid through loans, grants, and work-study programs, so it’s important to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

Also, check to see what scholarships you’re eligible for through the university or other organizations. Previously earned graduate-level college credits may be transferable, which will save money on courses you don’t have to take. Discounted tuition rates are often available to veterans or those currently serving in the military. And if your schedule allows, you can get a part-time job to help pay for the program. Those who already work in the field should see if their employer offers tuition assistance benefits as well.

Be sure to speak to financial aid counselors at the schools you’re interested in for the most accurate and specific information about program cost.

Best 50 Accredited Online Master’s in Digital Marketing Programs

Best Online Master's in Digital Marketing Degree Programs

University of Florida

Liberty University

Temple University

Southern New Hampshire University

Fairleigh Dickinson University

Brandeis University

East Tennessee State University

Northern Illinois University

The University of Alabama

Johns Hopkins Carey Business School

Yeshiva University

Rutgers Business School

Santa Clara University

Wake Forest University

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How We Rank Schools

We concentrated our research on master’s-level programs in digital marketing. The two most common degrees in this field are a Master of Science (MS) or a Master of Business Administration (MBA) with a concentration in digital marketing.

We sought programs that are primarily or entirely delivered online to guarantee accessibility for the greatest number of students. Some programs are also available on campus, and students may be able to complete the program with a mixture of in-person and online classes.

All of the schools on our list are regionally accredited. We evaluated each program based on cost, outcomes, flexibility, faculty, and reputation. Then, we calculated the Intelligent Score of each program on a scale from 0 to 100. For a more extensive explanation, check out Our Ranking Methodology.

What Can You Expect from an Online Master’s in Digital Marketing Program?

For this degree, students learn how to make data-driven decisions and leverage websites, social media, mobile phones, and other digital platforms to target specific audiences and promote services and products. Topics such as web analytics, social media strategy, and search engine optimization are covered in detail. Coursework includes both business and marketing subjects, along with classes that deal with IT. Students can expect their program to require 30-45 credits.

Coursework is usually delivered to students via an online learning platform such as Moodle, Canvas, or Blackboard. Some universities have their own proprietary platform. Students log on and receive course material such as the program syllabus, schedules, assignments, reading and audio-video material, recorded lectures, announcements, grades, and more. The student portal also provides access to chats and message boards so students can communicate with instructors and one another. Many programs are available fully online, while others are available in a hybrid format.

Potential courses you’ll take in an online master’s in digital marketing degree program

  • Social media marketing. This course teaches social media from a business perspective, and students learn how to use it to build brand awareness, forge relationships with both current and potential customers, and increase a company’s client base. Students also learn how to create strategies that can be used across various social media platforms to target specific audiences and generate leads.
  • User experience design. More and more, user interfaces for digital platforms are a determining factor in whether potential customers interact with a business or not. People want something that is simple and eye-catching. This course teaches students both design principles and technical aspects so they can create interfaces that maximize the user experience.
  • Marketing communications and storytelling. Students learn how to create narratives that evoke emotions and tie those feelings to a brand or product. Media channels, messages, timelines, campaign types, and market development considerations are among the topics considered.
  • Product management. In this course, students learn what tools and concepts are used by market, product, and brand managers in today’s business environment. It covers policy formulation as well as how to choose market strategies, formulate new product development, and various organizational models.

What Can You Do With an Online Master’s in Digital Marketing Degree?

Career outlook

With the rise of social media marketing and online shopping, digital marketing has become more and more important to all types of businesses. Indeed, many of the occupations in this field are growing at a fast rate, and some offer particularly high salaries.

Every industry relies on marketing to some degree, which means graduates with a master’s in digital marketing have many career options. They can work directly in marketing as managers or focus more on brand design and development. Most digital marketing professionals work at advertising agencies, but many choose entrepreneurship. Here are some of the specific career options open for graduates with a master’s in digital marketing degree:

  • Advertising, promotions, or marketing manager — Conduct market research, plan advertising and promotional campaigns, and supervise marketing staff.
    • Median annual salary: $138,730
    • Projected employment growth (through 2032): 6%
    • New job openings projected: 34,000 annually
  • Web developer or digital designer — Create and test websites, web applications, and user interfaces.
    • Median annual salary: $80,730
    • Projected employment growth (through 2032): 16%
    • New job openings projected: 19,000 annually
  • Graphic designer — Create visual elements such as logos, charts, and illustrations, often using digital illustration tools and photo editing software.
    • Median annual salary: $57,990
    • Projected employment growth (through 2032): 3%
    • New job openings projected: 22,800 annually

Online Master’s in Digital Marketing Degree Frequently Asked Questions

How do I apply to an online master’s in digital marketing degree program?

Applications can usually be filled out and submitted through the university’s website. Students must have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution, although it may or may not have to be in a related field. Transcripts should be submitted, and there is usually a minimum GPA requirement, but this varies by institution. You’ll likely be required to submit, along with the application and transcripts, your resume, a personal statement or writing sample, and one or more letters of recommendation.

Many universities also require proof of U.S. citizenship or residency, and if English is not the applicant’s first language, they should submit test scores proving English proficiency.

Each university has its own admissions requirements, so applicants should always speak with an admissions counselor before applying.

How much does an online master’s in digital marketing degree cost?

The average annual tuition for graduate school is $12,596 at public institutions and $28,017 at private institutions. There will likely be additional fees involving technology and software resources. University services and books may add additional expenses. The tuition for out-of-state students is often higher than it is for in-state residents at public universities, but this doesn’t always apply to online students.

How long does it take to earn an online master’s in digital marketing degree?

Since the program requires 30-36 credits, a traditional on-campus master’s in digital marketing for a full-time student can take up to two years to complete, and online programs can take that long as well. However, accelerated programs are offered that can be completed in as little as 12-15 months. If a part-time study option is offered, this can increase the time required, but there is usually a limit to the time allowed to complete the program.

Is an online master's in digital marketing degree worth it?

If you’re interested in management-level positions, an online master’s degree in digital marketing can give you the skills and training you need. These programs are designed for those who want to advance in their field, and students can choose from concentrations such as online advertising, analytics, or social media marketing, depending on their interests.

Choosing an online master’s in digital marketing degree program also provides greater flexibility in instruction, with many classes happening asynchronously. This makes it easier to advance your education and invest in your career while continuing to work full-time. These programs also give you the opportunity to interact and network with other students and instructors from all over the globe.

Digital marketing professionals often have the option of choosing to work remotely. Having an online master’s degree in digital marketing shows a potential employer that you’re already comfortable with a digital work environment.

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