Master's Degrees in Marketing Communications: Online and Campus-Based Programs

A master's degree in marketing communications could prepare you to become a marketing, advertising or public relations manager. Get information about courses offered in these master's degree programs along with the employment outlook for graduates. Schools offering Business Communications degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Can I Expect from a Marketing Communications Master's Degree Program?

Master's degree programs in marketing communications, typically referred to as integrated marketing communications (IMC), usually award Master of Science degrees. It is also possible to study this field through a marketing communications concentration in a Master of Science in Journalism program. Marketing communications involves the coordination of all forms of communication between a company and its consumers, including product packaging, Internet advertising campaigns, posters and TV ads. These programs emphasize organizational skills and can show you how to market a product using an effective and cohesive communications strategy.

Marketing communications programs are often business-oriented, and you may be able to enroll in a dual Master of Science and Master of Business Administration program. Program applicants usually need professional or academic experience in communications, journalism, marketing or business. These programs are available in both online and traditional on-campus formats. While program delivery methods are very different, the content differences between the two formats are generally not dramatic.

Degree Options M.S. in Integrated Marketing Communications or M.S. in Journalism, dual-degree program with a Master of Business Administration
Common Courses Publicity writing, sales management, public relations and media management, marketing research
Career Options Managerial and administrative positions in advertising, promotions, sales, marketing or public relations
Job Outlook (2016-2026)10% growth (for advertising, promotions, and marketing managers)*
Median Salary (2018)$132,620 (for advertising, promotions, and marketing managers)*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

What Is the Coursework Like?

Master's degree classes in integrated marketing communications typically look at real-life marketing case studies to examine a company's communications efforts. Class assignments are often based on potential projects that a client might give an advertising or marketing agency. IMC programs emphasize adaptability and creativity, since you must come up with client pitches quickly and utilize the latest modes of communication, like social media networking. Some typical marketing communications subjects include:

  • Organizational behavior
  • Sales management
  • Marketing research
  • Strategic marketing and sales
  • Public relations and media management
  • Sales promotion
  • Multicultural marketing
  • Publicity writing

What Jobs Can I Find?

With your master's degree in the marketing communications field, you can find managerial positions in advertising, sales, marketing or public relations. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that advertising, marketing, promotions, public relations and sales management jobs were expected to rise 9% from 2016-2026, which was faster than average compared to other job sectors (

The BLS indicates that duties for these different types of managers vary. Advertising managers are in charge of the advertising campaigns created by their firm. This differs from the work of marketing managers, who are more concerned with overall promotions than with advertising in specific. Marketing managers might be involved with analyzing a client's consumer base or determining what markets would be best for particular products. The duties of a sales manager may include overseeing a group of sales representatives and helping organize distribution of products to be sold. Public relations managers work to control the public image of their clients. They might specialize in specific fields of public relations, like crisis management.

According to the BLS, advertising and promotions managers made a median salary of $117,130 as of 2018, while marketing managers made a median salary of $134,290 that year. The BLS also stated that public relations and fundraising managers made a median salary of $114,800 per year, and sales managers made a median salary of $124,220 per year as of 2018.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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