Best Master’s in Digital Marketing Online Degrees

Learn how an online master’s in digital marketing can help you stay on top of the latest strategies and where to find the best program for your career goals.

Marketing is an ever-changing profession, pivoting daily to reflect cultural, political, and technological changes in our society. The explosion of connected devices, social media, and the internet, is changing how marketers learn about and reach target markets. For these reasons, many marketing programs have added online digital marketing master’s programs to help current and budding marketers advance their professional careers.

This guide examines the details of a master’s in digital marketing online degree and answers common questions that future digital marketing students have. Read on to learn why an online digital marketing master’s degree may be good for your future and how to take that first step in earning it.

College Spotlights: Best Digital Marketing Master’s Degrees Online in 2021

The good news for prospective digital marketing online master’s degree students is there are plenty of schools. With so many options, however, choosing the best one can be difficult. We’ve identified three top-rated schools that excel in their quality of education and convenient learning options to help in your search, and we’ll be releasing a complete rankings list later this year.

East Tennessee State University

The East Tennessee State University’s online Master of Science in Digital Science degree program offers a comprehensive and upper-level marketing education focusing on the digital marketing strategies prevalent in today’s world.

The AACSB-accredited program requires 36 credit hours, can be completed in two years, and consists of five total semesters. Topics covered include:

  • Search engine optimization marketing techniques
  • Internet analytics
  • Web metrics
  • Digital marketing research
  • Consumer behavior of individuals online

Part-time pacing provides maximum flexibility, allowing students to complete courses on their own schedule in an asynchronous manner. Most importantly, 100% of coursework and curriculum requirements are completed online. There is no residency, practicum, or other in-person requirements necessary to graduate with a master’s degree in digital marketing.

Northern Illinois University

Students attending Northern Illinois University’s Master of Science in Digital Marketing program join one of the leaders in digital marketing education. NIU was the first Illinois-based school to offer a fully online, AACSB-accredited digital marketing program.

The curriculum consists of 30 credits, but some students may need to take additional classes. During Phase One of the curriculum, certain students take prerequisite courses to establish the basic knowledge necessary for understanding subsequent marketing and business-oriented classes. Phase Two is made up of 12 classes totaling 30 credits and covers the substantive content of the digital marketing education. Toward the end of studies, graduate students complete either a capstone application or capstone project.

Rutgers University

Rutgers University is among the elite schools offering a master’s in digital marketing online degree. Its programs rank among the top 20 business schools according to the Financial Times and U.S. News and World Report. Students enrolled in the Master of Science in Digital Marketing online program at Rutgers University know they are getting one of the best digital marketing educational opportunities.

The AACSB-accredited curriculum offers convenient and flexible learning options that give students the option of graduating anywhere from nine months to four and a half years. Students earn their entire degree 100% online or complement their online learning with in-person instruction by attending an optional residency. Students also can apply up to six transfer credits toward their master’s in digital marketing online degree.

Advantages of Earning an Online Master’s in Digital Marketing

The master’s in digital marketing online degree offers convenient learning and the ability to take the next step in a marketing career. Below are some of the advantages of enrolling in a master’s in digital marketing online degree.

  1. Self-paced learning

    A flexible learning format allows most students to take classes any time during the day and to complete classes on their own timetables, which is perfect for students also working full-time.

  2. Opportunities to network

    Even though many online digital marketing master’s programs are 100% online, there are still ample opportunities for students to meet and connect with professors and classmates. Students can also take advantage of marketing groups like Mu Kappa Tau National Marketing Honor Society for networking.

  3. Cutting-edge knowledge

    Digital marketing is at the forefront of the most recent changes and developments in marketing strategy, theory, and practices. Students interested in learning about the newest marketing methods relating to research and analytics are well-served earning a master’s degree in digital marketing.

Curriculum Overview for Digital Marketing Master’s Degrees Online

In addition to more traditional marketing concepts and theories, the curriculum in a digital marketing master’s degree program places a heavy focus on how technology has changed the marketing world and on the underlying principles behind those changes. With this foundation, students apply their knowledge to make use of new digital marketing tools as well as to anticipate where marketing is heading. The topic of digital marketing research and analytics is also covered. Most programs will not require a thesis or capstone project.

Popular Courses

  • Digital Marketing Strategy

    This is a foundational course for most students regardless of specialization. Students learn about the historical stages of marketing and about the future, which involves marketing to businesses and making use of influencers and social media platforms.

  • Online Consumer Behavior

    Many of the changes in digital marketing have come from the massive growth in consumer access to the internet and connective devices like tablets, laptops, and smartphones. This class compares how consumer behavior differs between online and offline contexts and explores the basis for those differences.

  • Strategic Communication Campaigns for the Digital Age

    Marketing campaigns are nothing new, but they have changed thanks to the internet. This class takes a big-picture view of these changes in a variety of contexts, from public relations to advertising to community service.

  • Social and Mobile Marketing

    This course looks at how marketers use social media to reach an intended audience and learn about consumer behavior. It also covers how using mobile devices alters the ways individuals consume media and advertising.

  • Websites and Search Engine Marketing/Search Engine Optimization

    Much of internet marketing revolves around search engines and tailoring results and ads to specific user groups. This class dives into principles of both search engine marketing and search engine optimization.

Accreditation for Master’s in Digital Marketing Online Programs

Accreditation refers to an independent organization’s review of a school or academic program to verify it meets basic standards of quality. Accreditation ensures students receive educational instruction that leads to an academic credential recognized by employers, other schools, and financial aid providers. The two primary types of accreditation are institutional and programmatic.

Institutional accreditation covers the whole educational institution and comes from a regional or national accrediting body. Programmatic accreditation focuses on a specific program. For online digital marketing master’s programs, the primary accrediting body is the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB). However, a digital marketing master’s program may not be accredited by AACSB International if it is not a part of an institution’s business school and instead resides with another college or department, like journalism or communications.

What You Can Do with a Digital Marketing Master’s Degree

With the ubiquity of digital media and content, an online master’s degree in digital marketing is used by many occupations, especially those working or collaborating with marketers. Many of the skills learned in a master’s program in digital marketing are so advanced they are not typically taught at the bachelor’s level. Below is a sampling of some of the careers available to digital marketing master’s degree graduates.

Market Research Analyst

As the title implies, market research analysts analyze marketing relating to a particular product or service. They help clients learn more about what customers are thinking. The online master’s degree in digital marketing enhances professional prospects by providing the knowledge and skill set necessary to make these analyses in light of recent changes in digital communications.

10th Percentile Median Annual Pay 90th Percentile

$34,350

$63,790 $122,630

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2019

Marketing Manager

Marketing managers oversee a company’s marketing activities. This often involves developing a new marketing strategy or completing marketing research to identify future customers or learn more about the prices a target market is willing to pay for a particular product or service. A marketing manager with a digital marketing master’s degree has the most advanced training in marketing operations and concepts that are evolving in the digital media realm.

10th Percentile Median Annual Pay 90th Percentile
$71,010 $136,850 $208,000+

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2019

Graphic Designer

Graphic designers use tools to create images and other graphics that convey an idea or message for a client. This usually requires a bachelor’s degree in graphic design or art. However, this training is more technically oriented and lacks the in-depth marketing principles and theories gained in a digital marketing master’s degree program.

10th Percentile Median Annual Pay 90th Percentile
$30,810 $52,110 $89,210

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2019

Art Director

Art directors oversee the physical and visual appearance of various types of media, including magazines, advertisements, and television. Much of what art directors do directly relates to advertising or other forms of media designed to catch people’s attention. Most art directors are self-employed, and earning a master’s degree in digital marketing bridges the gap between an art director’s artistic ability and their marketing skills and expertise.

10th Percentile Median Annual Pay 90th Percentile
$53,240 $94,220 $188,750

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2019

Desktop Publisher

Desktop publishers use computers and software to create the visual designs used in media published online or in print. An online master’s degree in digital marketing is ideal for desktop publishers wanting to add marketing responsibilities to their resume, especially given how much of their desktop publishing work is used in advertising and marketing.

10th Percentile Median Annual Pay 90th Percentile
$23,850 $45,390 $78,190

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2019

Costs and Financial Aid for Online Master’s Degrees in Digital Marketing

Earning an online digital marketing master’s degree can be expensive. Depending on where you work and your current financial situation, you may have access to low-interest student loans, grants, fellowships, scholarships, or even employer tuition assistance. Tuition assistance is often a possibility for students already working in the marketing or digital marketing field and who have an employer that encourages its employees to advance their education. This employment benefit often requires a promise to work for that employer for a set period following graduation. To find out more about the financial options available, visit our financial aid page.

What Your Online Master’s in Digital Marketing Could Cost

School Name No. of Credits Cost/Credit Total Tuition Cost

University of Florida

36

$910.36 (estimate)

$32,773

Brandeis University

30

$933.33

$28,000

Liberty University

36

$565.00

$20,340

Frequently Asked Questions About Online Digital Marketing Master’s Degrees

What are the admissions requirements for an online master’s in digital marketing?

Each online digital marketing master’s degree program differs in what they require, but most ask for the following:

  • Application
  • Application fee
  • Official transcripts evidencing a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution with a minimum GPA
  • Letters of recommendation
  • Statement of purpose
  • Resume or curriculum vitae
  • Application

Admissions requirements sometimes differ regarding GRE or GMAT test scores and prior relevant work experience. Most schools do not require GRE or GMAT test scores but may recommend them, especially for students with weak academic records. Most schools also want applicants to have prior academic or professional experience in marketing.

How long will it take to finish my master’s in digital marketing online?

Most master’s in digital marketing online degree programs consist of 30 to 36 credits. Full-time students can earn their degrees in as few as nine months while part-time students may take up to 4.5 years to graduate. The master’s in digital marketing program at Rutgers University is one example with these timelines. Most online master’s degree students in digital marketing take 15 to 24 months.

Can I earn a master’s in digital marketing 100% online or do I need to visit campus?

Most digital marketing master’s degree online programs are offered 100% online. Some schools have a residency or on-campus requirement, or they make the in-person requirement optional.