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Completing a bachelor’s degree is a life-changing accomplishment, but many students wonder about the next step. Some of these students choose to apply their undergraduate education to starting a career, but others consider continuing their education at the graduate level, in this case – a digital marketing degree. While a master’s in digital marketing online is often pursued by former business administration, marketing, journalism, or communications majors, this is also a degree path that may be appealing to any student eager to learn more about how the modern marketing landscape has been shaped to fit into the reality of a virtually connected digital world. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)[1], the field of advertising is expected to experience a 6% growth rate from 2022 to 2032, surpassing the average growth rate for all other occupations. Completing a master’s in digital marketing can open the doors to working in diverse settings such as digital marketing, international marketing, business strategy, mobile marketing, consumer behavior, and more. This guide sheds light on a master’s in digital marketing and highlights the many educational opportunities available through this advanced degree.

Digital Marketing

Table Of Contents

Featured Online Programs

Southern New Hampshire University

PROGRAM: Online MS in Marketing – Digital Marketing

Southern New Hampshire University is a private, nonprofit, accredited institution with more than 3,000 on-campus students and over 60,000 online students, making us one of the fastest-growing universities in the country. Founded in 1932, we’ve been relentlessly reinventing higher education ever since and have gained national recognition for our dedication to helping students transform their lives and the lives of those around them.

We’re proud to provide affordable, accessible education that students can pursue on our 300-acre campus in Manchester, NH, over our innovative online platform or at our regional centers in Manchester, Nashua, Portsmouth and Salem, NH, and Brunswick, ME.

SNHU has earned the Best Buy and Best of Business – Best Online Degree awards and is consistently ranked as a top Military Friendly® School by G.I Jobs®.

The Best Master’s in Digital Marketing Online Programs

Several factors determine whether or not a school is good, such as affordability, graduation rates, accreditation, the quality and experience of faculty, the reputation of the institution, etc. The team at OMC conducted an exhaustive school search of digital marketing offerings and trusted partner programs based on all these and other factors to draw up a list of the top ten online master’s degrees in digital marketing available in the United States:

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College Name & AddressTuitionGraduation Rate
Brandeis University
415 South Street, MS 084 Waltham, MA 02453
Temple University
1810 N. 13th St. Philadelphia, PA
East Tennessee State University
1276 Gilbreath Dr., Box 70300, Johnson City, TN 37614
Fairleigh Dickinson University
1000 River Road Teaneck NJ 07666
Southern New Hampshire University
2500 North River Road Manchester NH 03106
Golden Gate University
536 Mission Street San Francisco, CA 94105
Yeshiva University
500 West 185th Street, New York, NY 10033
Full Sail University
3300 University Boulevard Winter Park, FL 32792
Liberty University
1971 University Blvd Lynchburg, VA 24515
Northern Illinois University
1425 W. Lincoln Hwy., DeKalb, IL 60115

Data Source – Integrated Post secondary Education Data System & universities data.
*Tuition rates are for in-state and per year
**NA – data not available

What Master’s in Digital Marketing Online Programs Entail

Enrolling in an online master’s in digital marketing program is an immersive journey that goes beyond acquiring digital expertise. It’s a transformative experience where students not only grasp advanced marketing strategies but also cultivate a versatile skill set applicable across industries. From dissecting social media algorithms to mastering web design and digital strategy, this program sharpens skills crucial in today’s competitive landscape. Various formats, including online, offline, or hybrid options, offer flexibility, with hands-on experiences like internships or capstone projects ensuring a well-rounded educational experience.

Curriculum and Skills You’ll Gain

An online master’s in advertising typically requires 36 credits to complete on average. Credits might differ depending on the curriculum designed by the institution. Students are required to take core courses and pick from different elective courses. They must also complete an end-of-curriculum project and take a comprehensive exam. The curriculum might also vary depending on whether the program includes a thesis or not. Regardless, the advertising master’s program will have some common advertising courses across programs, such as: 

Strategic Principles and Practices: In this course, students delve into the core principles and methodologies of crafting impactful advertising strategies. They gain insights into market dynamics, consumer behavior, and competitive landscapes to develop strategic advertising plans that align with organizational objectives. Through case studies and practical projects, students apply strategic principles in real-world scenarios, honing their skills and understanding of advertising strategy implementation.

Graphic Design Fundamentals: In this course, students are introduced to the principles and methods of graphic design within advertising. They acquire skills in crafting visually captivating and influential designs using various tools and software. The curriculum encompasses essential topics like typography, color theory, layout composition, and image manipulation, establishing a strong base in graphic design specifically for advertising applications.

Advertising and Public Relations Law: This course emphasizes advertising and public relations’s legal and ethical aspects. Students delve into topics such as regulations, intellectual property rights, defamation, privacy, and industry self-regulation. By studying the legal framework governing advertising and public relations practices, students gain a thorough understanding and the necessary skills to navigate legal challenges they may encounter.

Digital Branding and Strategy: This course explores the concepts and techniques of building and managing brand identities in the digital era. Students learn to develop effective digital marketing strategies, optimize brand visibility, engage audiences, and create cohesive brand experiences across various digital platforms.

Quantitative Research in Advertising: This course focuses on applying quantitative research methods in advertising campaigns. Students learn to design and execute research studies, collect and analyze data, and derive insights to inform strategic advertising decisions. The course equips students with skills in data-driven advertising research and evaluation.

Some of the other common courses across various curricula are:

  • Foundations of Advertising 
  • Quantitative Research in Advertising 
  • Advertising And Basics of Planning 
  • Basics of Advertising Theory 
  • Advertising Account Management  
  • Trends in Consumer Behavior 
  • Basic or Advanced Marketing Strategy 
  • Advertising Media Strategy 
  • Advertising Analytics 
  • Applied Research Project 
  • Advertising Proseminar 
  • Brand Communication 
  • Marketing Strategy
  • Strategic Principles and Practices 

Among the many skills, students of this degree program would have gained the ability to:

  • Digital Advertising Strategies: Developing effective strategies to reach target audiences through digital advertising channels.
  • Search Engine Optimization (SEO): Understanding and implementing techniques to improve website visibility in search engine results.
  • Social Media Marketing: Leveraging social media platforms to engage audiences, build brand presence, and drive customer acquisition.
  • Data Analysis and Insights: Utilizing analytics tools to gather and interpret data for informed decision-making and campaign optimization.
  • Digital Campaign Management: Planning, executing, and monitoring digital marketing campaigns across various platforms.
  • Email Marketing: Designing and implementing email marketing campaigns to nurture leads and drive conversions.
  • Mobile Marketing: Optimizing marketing strategies for mobile devices and reaching consumers on the go.
  • Consumer Behavior Analysis: Understanding consumer motivations, preferences, and decision-making processes in the digital landscape.
  • Brand Management: Developing and maintaining a consistent brand identity across digital channels and touchpoints.

Degree Types

Another aspect to consider when looking into an online master’s in digital marketing is the degree’s structure. The most common digital marketing online program formats are a Master of Science (MS), typically offered by advanced collegiate schools, or a Master of Business Administration (MBA), which a business school typically offers. A prospective digital marketing student must always understand and find a program that best suits their professional goals because each program is designed for a different purpose. Trusted partner programs in digital marketing that cater to specific specializations are also good to consider.

Master of Science in Digital Marketing

An MS in digital marketing will strongly emphasize a marketing-specific curriculum and focus less heavily on other areas of business practices, such as leadership and management skills. Some topics emphasized in this advanced degree will be advertising, social media marketing, sales, and consumer relations.

Master of Business Administration, Digital Marketing

The MBA, usually offered by a business school, provides students a more well-rounded approach to learning the business field. While much of the education will emphasize digital marketing, students will also be exposed to curricula involving business management, leadership skills, finance, and economics, among other subjects. Interested students should read about online MBA Marketing Degrees for more information and a quick school search.

Specializations for Digital Marketing Students

A master’s in digital marketing often allows students to gear their coursework towards a specific digital marketing concentration, sub-specialization, or emphasis that helps students fine-tune their schooling to match their long-term goals. Below are a few popular specializations that fall under an online master’s in digital marketing and career outcomes that align with these specializations:

Area of FocusDescriptionCareers
Social Media MarketingSocial media is one of the most powerful marketing platforms for modern companies. This emphasis will train students to analyze marketing trends, utilize social media communication theories, and expand brand visibility to new audiences through social media exposure. Careers include analytics manager, social media strategist, and brand ambassador.Analytics Manager, Social Media Strategist, Brand Ambassador
Information SystemsAn information systems focus is designed to train students to understand the relationship between marketing practices and the computer technology used to facilitate these practices. Students going into the workforce with this degree emphasis will likely be tasked with overseeing the production and management of software systems that allow marketing data gathering and analysis. Possible career titles include computer marketing specialist, database administrator, or systems developer.Computer Marketing Specialist, Database Administrator, Systems Developer
Marketing AnalyticsThis emphasis focuses on training students to gather, analyze, and make decisions regarding big data large companies produce. Many of these programs also emphasize preparing students for executive roles within a company. Possible career titles include marketing research analyst, director of market research, or marketing consultant.Marketing Research Analyst, Director of Market Research, Marketing Consultant
Audience AnalyticsFor students interested in learning about consumer and audience research methods and analytics, a concentration in Audience Analytics is an excellent choice of major. To better understand and serve a wide range of consumers, students learn to apply analytical methods and methodological frameworks to datasets about audiences around the world. Audience Analyst, Consumer Researcher, Data Analyst
Web DesignStudents who pursue a web design concentration will learn to code HTML, JavaScript, and other languages to develop websites. They’ll also learn how to use design software like InDesign and Illustrator. Individuals with these technological skills, paired with content development, marketing, and UX theory courses, can create appealing websites and assist in constructing effective marketing materials.Web Designer, Front-End Developer, Digital Marketing Specialist
Digital StrategyThe master’s concentration in digital strategy is designed to push students to create effective messaging that increases conversions and creates loyal customers. Digital strategy students learn how to generate leads through creative and strategic messaging, write compelling copy for any digital channel, develop meaningful branding, and design websites with an efficient and effective user experience.Digital Strategist, Content Strategist, User Experience Designer

Graduation Timeline

Typical Timeline: 1-2 years

Credits to Completion: 30-36

The graduation timeline for a Master’s in Digital Marketing can vary depending on factors such as program structure and whether a student is enrolled part-time or full-time. Typically, a full-time student can complete the degree in one to two years, while part-time students may take longer. The credit requirements also vary but generally range from 30 to 36 credits. It is important to consult with the specific program to understand the credit distribution, course availability, and any prerequisites or electives offered. The program may offer part-time and full-time options to accommodate different schedules and student preferences.

Accelerated Master’s in Digital Marketing Online Programs

An accelerated master’s in digital marketing online can be completed in a shorter timeframe than traditional master’s programs. Students can graduate faster by utilizing transfer credits, fast-track programs, and taking more classes in a condensed schedule. Additionally, some institutions offer integrated programs that combine bachelor’s and master’s degrees, allowing for quicker completion. The Northern Illinois University College of Business2 is an excellent example of an institution offering an accelerated master’s program in digital marketing.

Admission Requirements for Master’s in Digital Marketing Online Programs

Digital marketing degree programs have different admission requirements that vary by advanced collegiate schools. In general, an online master’s requires incoming digital marketing students to have earned an undergraduate degree. Other prerequisites may also need to be fulfilled before applying for an online master’s in digital marketing. Here are a few common admissions criteria to apply for a digital marketing master’s degree:

  • Grade Point Average (GPA)
    The overall GPA necessary for an online master’s in digital marketing depends on the school. Two common GPA benchmarks seen as criteria for grad school admissions are either 2.75 or 3.0. However, some schools/programs do permit students to use the GPA from their most recent 60 college credits instead of their overall GPA, allowing students to be judged as the students they have become rather than the students they were when they first started college.
  • A Bachelor’s Degree from a Regionally Accredited School
    Holding a bachelor’s degree is required to apply to a graduate-level program, but there may also be stipulations on the type of school this bachelor’s degree comes from. Accreditation typically splits between regional and national. Nationally accredited schools are typically tech, art, music, or fashion institutes, so a student would need to hold a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited school; these are any of the major universities that can be found within the state. More information on accreditation is available in the Accreditation Guide.
  • Pre-Admissions Testing
    Many programs will require students to complete one or more tests before being able to apply. The two most common tests students may come across when looking into grad school will be the GRE and the GMAT, so students should be sure to get these tests scheduled on time.
  • Background in a Business/Marketing-Related Field
    Finishing a bachelor’s degree is required before students can apply to grad school. However, some programs may specifically require students to have a background in a business or marketing-related field. This could mean business majors, communications majors, or journalism majors. Some programs may even accept minors in these subjects.
  • Letters of Recommendation
    Students may be required to submit up to three letters of recommendation with their grad school application. Letters of recommendation should typically come from professors who taught the student in a subject that is in some way related to the master’s degree they are applying to.
  • Additional Requirements
    Some schools may ask the student to also submit a professional resume, personal statement, and/or statement of purpose. International students must usually submit their TOEFL scores as part of their application.

Note: It is always advisable for students to check the digital marketing program overview for specific admissions requirements and exact information.

Online Masters in Digital Marketing No GRE Programs

Typically, students interested in applying to a graduate program must take either the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) or the Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) and provide their scores. However, certain universities may waive this requirement for individuals with a high GPA or significant work experience. Examples of universities offering master’s in leadership with no GRE programs include: 

Rutgers Business School, Newark, and New Brunswick3

Calpolypomona College of Professional and Global Education4

Accredited Programs

When enrolling in an online digital marketing master’s program, it is recommended to choose accredited colleges that specialize in digital marketing. Accreditation indicates that a college has undergone a thorough evaluation by independent accrediting organizations recognized by the U.S. Department of Education (USDE)5 and/or the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA)6. While national agencies grant accreditation, most colleges receive accreditation from one of six regional accrediting bodies:

Free Master’s in Digital Marketing Online Courses

In the Digital Marketing field, students can enroll in free courses to enhance their understanding of the industry. Some of these free courses also provide valuable insights into the practices of professionals in the field. While completing these courses may result in certificates of completion, it’s essential to note that such certificates may not carry the same validity as accredited courses recognized by organizations. Below are listed some of the free Digital Marketing courses:

CourseDescriptionProvided by
Digital Marketing Fundamentals – Beginner to Intermediate13This free course aims to establish a strong groundwork in digital marketing by exploring essential principles, tactics, and resources utilized in digital marketing. Students will acquire the skills to leverage digital channels effectively, boost brand visibility, engage customers, and accomplish business goals. The curriculum covers diverse areas of digital marketing, encompassing SEO, SEM, social media marketing, email marketing, content marketing, web analytics, and beyond.Udemy
Using Digital Marketing to Convert Customers14In this course, participants will discover methods to cultivate a dedicated online community that drives business growth. The course delves into advanced digital marketing tactics that foster online engagement, establish strong connections with the target audience, and convert them into loyal customers through effective strategies and techniques.Alison
Digital Marketing Specialization15This course is a comprehensive program designed to provide learners with in-depth knowledge and practical skills in various aspects of digital marketing. The specialization consists of multiple courses covering topics such as marketing analytics, social media marketing, search engine optimization (SEO), and digital marketing strategy. Participants will gain hands-on experience through real-world projects and case studies, allowing them to develop a well-rounded understanding of digital marketing principles and strategies.Coursera

How to Pay for Your Online Degree

Considering the rising costs of tuition and expenses associated with pursuing a Master’s in Digital Marketing, students are encouraged to explore various funding options available for online programs. These options include scholarships, grants, and government aid such as FAFSA. Since digital marketing programs can be financially demanding, securing external funding can significantly alleviate the burden of student debt.


Scholarships: Scholarships are merit-based funding opportunities for students based on their educational qualifications and other achievements, such as sports or music. Unlike loans, scholarships do not need to be repaid, making them a desirable form of student financial support. For those considering an online master’s in digital marketing, the following scholarships are listed:

ScholarshipDescriptionAward/AmountApplication Deadline
The Lagrant Foundation Marketing Scholarship16Graduate students in advertising or marketing who identify as African American/Black, Asian American/Pacific Islander, Hispanic/Latino, or Native American/Alaska Native are eligible to apply for this scholarship. Applicants must provide recommendation letters from their college professors or internship advisers to be considered for financial aid.$3750February 29, 2024
10x Digital Marketing Scholarships17The 10x Digital Marketing Scholarship offers financial assistance to students pursuing a degree in marketing, advertising, or related fields. Open to undergraduate and graduate students, the scholarship recognizes exceptional talent and dedication. Recipients are awarded a monetary prize that helps support their educational journey and future careers in digital marketing.$2000TBA


Grants: Grants are monetary awards organizations, governments, or foundations provide to individuals, businesses, or nonprofits for specific purposes. They offer financial support for projects, research, education, or community initiatives. Grants typically involve submitting a proposal or application detailing the intended use of funds and often have specific eligibility criteria and reporting obligations.

Student Loans and Financial Aid

Student loans involve borrowing money from banks or financial institutions to cover expenses like tuition fees, housing, books, and more. These loans accrue interest and require repayment in monthly installments. Resources such as Donors for Student Loans and Grants for Student Loans can provide information on loan forgiveness options. To learn more, refer to our financial guide.

Financial assistance for students is available through the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). FAFSA is a government form that determines eligibility for federal grants, work-study programs, and loans based on factors like income and household size. Completing the FAFSA form early is crucial to increase the chances of receiving financial aid. It helps students access various forms of financial assistance to cover educational costs.

Career Paths and Average Salaries for Digital Marketers

Students who graduate with an online master’s degree in digital marketing will likely find themselves in careers with a wide range of titles and benefits. While a degree does not guarantee job placement or a specific salary, here are a few common careers students might pursue after finishing their master’s in digital marketing, as well as some details regarding these careers.

OccupationJob DescriptionMedian Annual SalaryJob Growth (up to 2032)
Digital Marketing Analyst18The Digital Marketing Analyst contributes to the digital marketing strategy by executing initiatives and strategies aimed at boosting product demand, driving sales, exploring new sales channels, attracting website traffic, and establishing a strong online presence. They use SEO analytics and SEM techniques to enhance website traffic. They also develop compelling content to attract and retain visitors, ultimately driving sales while planning and launching effective social media, email, and mobile marketing campaigns.$61,457 per annumNo Data available
Digital Marketing Manager19A Digital Marketing Manager oversees and executes the digital marketing strategy, taking charge of operational activities to drive product demand, boost sales, explore new sales channels, attract website traffic, and establish a strong online presence. By using SEO analytics and SEM techniques, they drive increased website traffic and create, curate, and deploy engaging content to attract, captivate, and retain visitors while driving sales. They also coordinate social media, email, and mobile marketing campaigns.$123,157 per annumNo Data Available
Digital Metrics/Analytics Marketing Analyst 20As a Digital Metrics/Analytics Marketing Analyst V, the role involves leveraging search engine optimization (SEO) analytics and search engine marketing (SEM)  techniques to drive website traffic. This position supports the digital marketing strategy by implementing initiatives and tactics to generate product demand, improve sales, identify new sales channels, attract website traffic, and establish a strong online presence. A Digital Metrics/Analytics Marketing Analyst will also plan and launch effective social media, email, and mobile marketing campaigns.$123,180 per annumNo Data Available
Marketing Manager21The Marketing Manager oversees and directs the implementation of marketing objectives, strategies, programs, and policies for all products and services within the organization. They translate the marketing vision into actionable projects, plans, and tactics. The Marketing Manager oversees key marketing functions, ensuring the efficient delivery of information and support for marketing initiatives. They establish effective data streams and analytical processes to track and identify shifts in customers, competitors, and the business environment, enabling proactive marketing activities.$117,613 per annumNo Data Available
Marketing Director22The Marketing Director is responsible for leading marketing objectives, strategies, programs, and policies for all products and services within the organization. They translate the overall marketing vision into cohesive business plans, tactics, projects, and deliverables. This role oversees vital marketing functions such as market research, communications, and product planning. Using technology and data, the Marketing Director identifies changes in the competitive environment, facilitating responsive marketing activities. They also develop budgets, allocate resources, and build teams to execute short-term and long-term marketing plans.$185,766 per annumNo Data Available

Some other common roles, responsibilities, and work settings for graduates of digital marketing programs include:

  • Digital Marketing Strategy
  • Digital Marketing Analytics
  • Operations Management
  • International Marketing
  • Social Media Marketing Content Creation
  • Online Marketing
  • Search Engine Marketing
  • Mobile Marketing
  • Consumer Behavior & Dynamics
  • Marketing Promotions
  • Digital Storytelling
  • Integrated Marketing Communications
  • Strategic Internet Marketing
  • Search Engine Optimization

Certifications and Licensing for Digital Marketing Graduates

Digital marketing is a dynamic field that requires staying up-to-date with the latest trends and best practices. Obtaining relevant certifications and licensing can enhance the credibility and marketability of digital marketing graduates. Here are seven certifications that can add value to a digital marketing professional’s skill set.

Google Ads Search Certification23

Google Ads Search Certification verifies proficiency in creating and optimizing search ad campaigns on Google’s search engine. It demonstrates knowledge of keyword research, ad copy creation, bidding strategies, and campaign optimization techniques to drive relevant traffic and achieve advertising objectives.

Content Marketing Institute Certification24

The Content Marketing Institute Certification equips professionals with in-depth knowledge and skills in content marketing strategies. It covers content creation, distribution, promotion, and measurement, emphasizing best practices for engaging audiences and driving business results. This certification validates expertise in developing effective content marketing campaigns that resonate with target audiences and achieve marketing objectives.

Digital Marketing Certification25

The Digital Marketing Institute (DMI) Certification offers a comprehensive range of certifications in various areas of digital marketing. Focusing on industry-standard practices, it covers topics such as social media marketing, search engine optimization (SEO), digital advertising, and mobile marketing. DMI Certification validates expertise in digital marketing and demonstrates proficiency in key field areas.

HubSpot Inbound Marketing Certification26

The HubSpot Inbound Marketing Certification provides a thorough understanding of inbound marketing strategies. It covers content creation, lead nurturing, social media promotion, and conversion optimization. This certification validates expertise in attracting, engaging, and delighting customers through inbound marketing techniques, fostering long-term customer relationships and business growth.

Google Data Analytics Certificate27

The Google Data Analytics Certificate is a professional credential demonstrating proficiency in analyzing and interpreting data. The program covers foundational data analytics skills, including data collection, cleaning, analysis, visualization, and data-driven decision-making. This certificate validates expertise in using data to derive insights and make informed business decisions, enhancing career opportunities in the field of data analytics.

Additional Resources for Students

Adding a digital marketing master’s degree to a resume can add much value to one’s career, and graduates can likely further leverage those skills by joining a marketing management organization with other professionals. Networking with other professionals within the same industry can provide individuals with job opportunities and up-to-date information for this fast-changing field and accelerate their learning curve in digital marketing. Here are a few resources for students and professionals of an online master’s in digital marketing to explore:

American Marketing Organization (AMA)28

AMA is an organization for marketing managers, not specifically for digital marketers but for all marketing professionals who undertake digital marketing. AMS members are 30,000 plus, intending to help marketing managers, and have many local chapters that members can use for networking opportunities.

Digital Analytics Association (DAA)29

DAA is an association for digital marketers formed to use data and analytics in marketing. It was founded in 2004 and offers certifications that add value to digital marketing careers.

Internet Marketing Association (IMA)30

IMA is a professional organization for digital marketing professionals with the primary goal of setting up standards for internet-based marketing. Established in 2001, the association provides a platform for professionals to connect and share knowledge.

Social Media Marketing Association (SMANA)31

SMANA is an organization focused on the social media aspect of digital marketing. Their goal is to improve a citizen’s behavior for the overall social good. SMANA was established in 2016 and promotes positive behavior, especially in social media.

FAQs About Master’s in Digital Marketing Online Programs

Can I do a master’s in digital marketing online?

Many universities offer online master’s in digital marketing programs, providing flexibility for working professionals or those unable to attend traditional on-campus classes. These online programs cover the same curriculum as their on-site counterparts, allowing students to earn a master’s degree in digital marketing through remote and accessible learning platforms.

Should you do an MS or MBA in digital marketing?

Do you need to learn coding to do digital marketing?

Can you do a master’s in digital marketing in six months?

Can I collaborate with fellow students and faculty in an online program?

Is a master’s in digital marketing worth it?

Are online master’s in digital marketing programs as reputable as on-campus programs?