Earning a master’s degree in marketing generally involves several steps. It typically takes a few years from start to finish. The exact time and the requirements involved, however, may vary depending on the area of focus and particular type of degree a person wants to earn.
Typically, the first step in earning a master’s degree in marketing is to successfully finish high school or earn a high school equivalency diploma. Then, a person must apply to and attend an undergraduate program at a four-year college. Many times, people who plan to pursue a master’s in marketing will earn a bachelor’s degree in marketing or a related field, such as communications, accounting or business. Some master’s degree in marketing programs require applicants to have maintained a certain grade point average in their bachelor’s programs, so prospective master’s students often have to pay close attention to keeping their grades up even in their undergraduate years.
In addition to completing a bachelor’s degree, a person looking to get a master’s in marketing may also have to take certain graduate school exams and/or get a certain amount of marketing-related work experience before applying to the master's degree program. Such prerequisites often vary from program to program, and may be waived in some cases. For example, for older applicants who have many years of related work experience beyond the basic prerequisite amount. Once any prerequisites have been met, a person then generally has to complete an application for admission into the chosen degree program and provide references from previous teachers and/or work supervisors.
When choosing a master’s degree in marketing program to apply to, a person generally has to decide what type of degree he or she wants and the area of focus to pursue. There are many different options for master’s programs, such as a Master of Business Administration (MBA) in communications and marketing, and a Master of Science (MS) in internet marketing. Which type of degree a person chooses to pursue generally impacts the amount of time it will take to earn the master’s degree in marketing. For example, in many cases, an MBA typically takes about two years to complete, while an MS may take just over a year to a year and a half.
Regardless of the exact degree program, most generally require students to take a certain number of marketing classes to earn their master’s, with an MS or Master of Arts (MA) in marketing typically requiring fewer classes than an MBA. The classes may vary depending on the area of study, and may be taken in person or online, depending on the program.
For programs that take place in person on a graduate campus, there may be opportunities to work with local businesses to garner real-world experience in the marketing field in addition to classroom study. After all of the required courses have been completed, many master’s programs then require students to complete a master’s project that showcases a grasp of the marketing skills they’ve learned. Once this project is successfully completed, a master’s degree in marketing is generally awarded.