Marketing is a deceptively diverse discipline, and those of you who are looking to pursue your education at the doctorate level are likely to have a lot of experience with this. Marketing professionals are tasked with managing brands at various stages starting from the very creation of them. Marketing as a field encompasses advertising, public relations, sales strategies, brand enhancement, media planning, and more. Courses you’ll encounter in a marketing program could include topics like microeconomics, psychology, consumer behavior, understanding culture, and so much more. At the PhD level, those courses are going to be more in depth, and a lot of programs are going to delve into research methods, statistics, and other advanced topics.

A PhD in Marketing

There is a lot that you can do with a PhD in Marketing. You could work in education, market research, and analysis, as well as a range of other high-level careers in the field. Taking a step this big can be concerning because you may be wondering if it is indeed worth it. The core coursework will likely include business administration, behavior and psychology, economic theory, and other advanced concepts that fall under the marketing umbrella. You will be able to build on that with electives, personal research, and working with an advisor to tailor your program of study to your particular goals. The main objective of a doctoral program in marketing is to equip you with all the skills you need to collect, analyze, and apply data as it applies to market strategies. What you do with it beyond that is entirely up to you, which is part of what makes doctoral programs so great.

You may find yourself drawn to the technical things that make consumers tick, or diving deeply into your research and teaching at a university. You may simply want to achieve the highest academic honor you can in your field. Regardless of your reasons for wanting to earn your PhD, we think it’s very worth it, and we’re here to help.

There are also other doctoral programs in marketing which include the DBA or Doctor of Business Administration and the DPS or Doctor of Professional Studies.

Can You Earn a PhD in Marketing Online?

Studying online has a lot of advantages. Online degree programs are flexible, convenient, affordable, and they make education more accessible which is something we’re very passionate about. Unfortunately, there were not any online PhDs in Marketing that fit our research criteria. In light of that, we’ve ranked the top five best online doctorates in marketing that we could find.

These degree programs cover a similar curriculum as a PhD in Marketing; the primary difference is that these degree programs are going to be more applied in nature rather than theoretical. If you want a career in academia, a PhD program is likely the best option for you. If you’d like to expand your professional horizons within the industry, these degree programs will give you all of the skills and tools that you need in order to do so.

Methodology

In order to create this ranking, we began by searching for the best PhD programs in Marketing that were offered online. Schools were required to meet a few essential criteria in order to be eligible to be ranked. Schools must be based in the United States, hold proper accreditation, and they must not operate on a for-profit basis. However, there were not any programs we could find that met those important standards. We expanded our search to encompass all doctoral programs in marketing and compiled a list. We then scored each school out of a possible 300 points based on the following factors.

  • Freshman Retention Rate (⅓ final score)
  • Graduation Rate (⅓ final score)
  • Affordability (⅓ final score)

Once those schools were scored, we put them in order accordingly. All of the information gathered to create this ranking was drawn from the schools’ websites whenever possible. We also used the additional resources of the National Center for Education Statistics, U.S. News & World Report, Collegedata.com, and Niche.com.

It is important to note that some schools may be omitted due to incomplete information available or according to their own request. No schools are ever given preferential treatment of any kind, and we’re confident that these same results could be repeated by following the methodology described here.

  1. MERIT: 215
    View Profile Average Cost: $45,752

    Doctor of Business Administration with a Concentration in Marketing

    George Fox University offers an online Doctor of Business Administration with a Concentration in Marketing. It is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Business Schools & Programs. The program consists of 56 credit hours and is projected to take four years to complete. This includes three years of coursework and then one year to complete your dissertation. Of course, some students may take longer.

    The university describes this as a hybrid program; however, it only requires two in-person sessions per year. You’ll move through this online marketing doctorate program in a cohort model. The on-campus meetings take place in Newburg, Oregon and typically last for four days in late May and in late July/early August. Some of your core courses include Foundations of Management and Leadership, Conceptual Foundations of Economics, and Ethics and Moral Decision-Making in Business.

    This program also includes an education core so it could prepare you for an academic career. It has a variety of research courses and even consists of a business teaching practicum. The marketing specialization classes account for nine of the total credits in the program. Some of the courses you’ll take are Research Design in Marketing, Seminar in Consumer Behavior, and Advanced Topics in Marketing.

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  2. MERIT: 196
    View Profile Average Cost: $41,112

    Doctor of Business Administration in Marketing

    Liberty University offers a Doctor of Business Administration in Marketing online. This is one of the most flexible programs in this ranking, which is something we often commend Liberty for. This DBA in Marketing can be completed entirely online. There are no visits to campus required, but you’re welcome to take part in optional intensives if you so choose. The program consists of 60 credits and takes the average student just three years to complete.

    You may be able to pursue the program more aggressively and accelerate your graduation. This is also possible because of the generous transfer policy offered at the university; you can bring up to 15 credits in with you. In order to be eligible to enroll in this program, you must have completed an MBA program. This is a practical program that is focused on building you into a stronger marketing professional. You’re going to study a broad range of topics in this program like market research, advertising, promotions, and consumer behavior.

    There are courses in supply chain management, strategic marketing management, research, and more. This is a very in-depth program with a lot to offer. There are several start dates throughout the year, short eight-week classes, and a tuition guarantee that your prices won’t go up for the duration of your study. All of the courses in this program are presented asynchronously too, so you can access your course materials 24/7 whenever it is convenient for you.

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  3. MERIT: 192
    View Profile Average Cost: $20,912

    Doctor Of Business Administration with an emphasis in Marketing

    Grand Canyon University Online DBA

    Grand Canyon University has an online Doctor of Business Administration in Marketing program. The program is made up of 60 credits, and GCU allows you to transfer in as many as nine of them. It’s preferred that you hold an MBA, but the university does consider applicants that hold a master’s degree in a related field. You will have to meet additional requirements, such as work experience in business.

    The program website states that there are “two or three” on-campus visits required throughout the duration of the program, each of which lasts for five days. These residencies are centered on preparing you to complete the necessary dissertation. Classes in this program last for just eight weeks each, and they are presented in an asynchronous format. You’ll cover critical concepts from foundational courses in statistics, research, and economics along with your marketing classes.

    The curriculum of the program covers marketing from all angles, which is excellent preparation for you to take the next step in your career. Marketing topics you’ll study in this online marketing doctorate include consumer behaviors, data-driven marketing management, digital technology, and more.

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  4. MERIT: 174
    View Profile Average Cost: $67,474

    Doctor of Professional Studies in Business with a concentration in Marketing

    The Doctor of Professional Studies in Business with a concentration in Marketing at Pace University is a true hybrid program. You will have the benefit of online coursework, but it does require you to meet on campus once a month in New York. The purpose of this program is to build on the skills you have as a business professional. It will help you to gain the knowledge and credentials you need in order to advance your career. You will also be equipped to work in academia or consultancy.

    The DPS degree program consists of a minimum of 57 credits. A number of those credits come from foundational seminars that introduce you to broader concepts in business, methodology seminars that prepare you to conduct research, and publishing tutorials. Then, you’ll take 15 credits in your chosen concentration of marketing.

    The concentration in marketing includes two doctoral concentration seminars which will cover consumer research and marketing management, respectively. The three marketing classes that you’ll take are entirely up to you. There are close to 20 electives for you to choose from. Some of your options include Customer Relationship Marketing, Advertising Campaign and Media Strategy, Market Measurement and Forecasting, New Product Planning and Development, Consumer and Organization Buying Behavior, and more.

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  5. MERIT: 153
    View Profile Average Cost: $13,200

    Doctor of Business Administration with a Specialization in Marketing

    Baker College DBA

    Baker College is home to an online Doctor of Business Administration with a Specialization in Marketing program that consists of 60 credits total. It will take just three and a half years to complete. This program is structured in a unique way in comparison to the others we’ve featured here. You’ll complete what Baker calls prescribed content in the first year, which includes courses that cover the basics of business, conducting your own research, and doctoral writing.

    From there, you move on to supervised scholarly activities. You will take a few seminars in marketing; you are also required to attend at least one professional conference within the first two years of study. The third year of the program is dedicated to independent research catered to the goals that you have for your professional life. This program has been accredited by the International Assembly for Collegiate Business Education.

    You will also have to complete various papers at different milestones throughout the program, which culminates in a dissertation. Baker College doesn’t state that you have to defend your dissertation in person. Upon graduation, you’ll have added depth to your skills in not only marketing, but also corporate ethics, management, leadership, and information systems.

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What is a Marketing Degree?

Marketing is the process of promoting and selling a business or service, and it’s a huge component of the business field. Marketing includes market research, advertising, and so much more. To approach the subject from a more technical standpoint, marketing is a study of relationships. As a marketer, you are responsible for establishing and maintaining positive relationships between customers and a business. A marketing degree is a program that is designed to prepare you for all of that. Marketing is a fast-paced field because consumers are always changing; it takes creativity, flexibility, and strong skills in problem-solving. When you earn a marketing degree, you’ll develop those crucial skills and gain so much more along the way.

There are different types of a marketing degree. You can study marketing at the graduate or undergraduate level. You can also pursue a degree in a related field to lay the groundwork for graduate study in marketing. There are associates programs in marketing; however, the majority of entry-level marketing jobs will require you to have at least a bachelor’s degree.

At the graduate level, you’ll have the MBA program as your primary option. You can take a Master of Business Administration with a concentration in marketing. Some schools may also offer a Master of Science in Marketing, but the MBA is more widely available. There are also PhDs in Marketing, but again, the business administration degree seems to be offered at more institutions. A Doctor of Business Administration in Marketing would prepare you for advanced careers in marketing.

What Does a Marketing Degree Teach You?

Since marketing is actually a vast field, a marketing degree has a lot to teach you. In an undergraduate marketing program, the curriculum is designed to give you a basic understanding of the field of business, prepare you in business communication, and cover the core principles of marketing. You can use this degree to find an entry-level marketing position or as the foundation for graduate study depending on what your professional aspirations may be.

Some of the core classes you may encounter include:

  • Business to Business Marketing
  • Consumer Behavior
  • Macroeconomics
  • Managerial Communications
  • Marketing Research
  • Principles of Finance
  • Principles of International Business
  • Principles of Management
  • Principles of Marketing

As you advance academically, the courses are going to become more in depth and, of course, more tailored to your specific needs. Topics in marketing you may encounter at the graduate level of study include psychology, sociology, statistics, qualitative and quantitative research, and more.

How to Get a Marketing Degree:

Getting a marketing degree can be easy for you because there are plenty of online programs in marketing available. Most students begin with an undergraduate degree in marketing, management, business, finance, or accounting. Thorough research is the key to finding the perfect school for you.

What Can You Do With a Marketing Degree?

Marketing is all about promoting products and services, and a lot of things fall under that umbrella such as managing brands’ images, managing customer relationships, designing advertisements, and more. There are hundreds of different jobs you could get if you chose to get a degree in marketing. These degree programs are going to equip you with skills that are attractive across a range of industries. You’ll develop strong research skills, become a stronger communicator, grow as a leader, and become an organized planner.

Additionally, the job you can hold will also depend on where you decide to focus your studies with electives, internships, projects, research, and so on. No matter the industry or size of a business, they all need people who are skilled in various areas of marketing. Some common job titles in the field include the following.

  • Brand Manager
  • Copywriter
  • Marketing Manager
  • Research Analyst
  • Media Planner
  • Promotions Coordinator

Whatever job you hold, your core responsibilities are going to center around the same things. You’ll be tasked with building brand awareness, boosting customer engagement, driving performance in the company, influencing and promoting certain purchasing behaviors, and retaining customers.

There are also a ton of titles in digital marketing as well. Digital marketing has exploded in the past few years. You could find work as an SEO Manager, Director of Internet Marketing, Social Media Coordinator, Digital Marketing Specialist, Director of Web Analytics, and more. Marketing as a whole is a huge industry that is projected to grow as much as 17% by the year 2025, as reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

There are also jobs in consulting. You could build up your skills in one particular area of marketing and enter into your own business as a consultant. You would evaluate the strategies of different companies and provide them feedback on how they can improve those strategies.

Marketing is very technical when you dive deeply into it, but there are plenty of creative positions if you’re a more visual or artistic person. Designing advertisements, packaging, websites, is all part of marketing. The last thing we’re going to touch on that you can do with your marketing degree is to enter into academia. You could do research and, of course, become a professor. It typically takes a DBA or PhD in Marketing in order to be a teacher. Each individual state is also going to have a variety of licensure requirements.

What Can I Do With a Doctorate or PhD in Marketing?

A PhD in Marketing is the academic apex, and it is a sign of years of dedicated study and professional experience. Having a doctorate in marketing opens you up to an incredible range of options because you hold the highest education one can obtain; you’re essentially an expert. The majority of those who have earned their PhD in Marketing opt to work in an educational setting.

While it is true that most higher education institutions require their tenure-track professors to hold PhDs in their respective fields, there are other avenues you could pursue in academia. With that said, it’s worth noting that marketing professors are some of the highest paid in education because the field is continually evolving and growing, so education plays a massive role in that. You could also get an even higher level job at a university as the leader of a department, the director of a program, or a leader of cutting edge research.

If you’re not interested in working in education, there are still opportunities. The business world is incredibly vast and constantly evolving, and experts are very desirable to a lot of employers because the skills you have can put them ahead of the curve. A common position in the field of business for those who have a PhD in Marketing is that of a Market Research Analyst. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that this career is going to expand as much as 23% over the next decade. That’s three times the national average! No matter the industry, market research analysts are critical. As an analyst, you would see yourself gathering data about specific populations and their purchasing behavior and habits. You would use the information you found to provide industry guidance. Engineering, medicine, management, finance, national defense, and so many more fields rely heavily on research, and the demand is growing for those who are well-equipped to handle this role.

With a doctorate in marketing, you could also land yourself a position as a top executive. Chief Marketing Officers lead broad marketing and sales teams. It is their responsibility to oversee all the marketing, sales, advertising, and outreach in a particular business and use their expertise to develop effective teams and strategies in order to impact the organization they work for positively. Earning a terminal degree in the field of marketing is the perfect way to propel yourself into high-level leadership roles; however, keep in mind that this type of job is very hands-on so it’s likely that an employer would expect you to have extensive marketing experience.

While those are some of the standard career options with a doctorate in marketing, there is a vast amount of opportunities out there. Companies across all industries are looking for highly-skilled individuals to work as content marketing producers, brand strategists, directors of marketing and client strategy, data scientists, product marketing managers, directors of global strategic marketing, and more.

The best way to ensure that you’re prepared for the professional role you’d like to step into once you’ve earned your doctorate or PhD in Marketing is to tailor your academic journey to those goals. Work closely with an advisor to select appropriate plans of study, explore different electives to bolster your skills, do research relevant to the job, consider taking internships that give you direct field experience. Marketing is crucial to the survival and the thriving of any business so the more equipped you are to handle the challenge of steering them towards success, the more desirable you’ll be as a candidate.

How Long Does it Take to Get a Marketing Degree?

There is no concise way to answer this question because there are several levels of degree program in marketing and, of course, each student is going to have a unique situation. If you’re just looking to get your feet wet when it comes to marketing, you may opt for an associate’s degree. This is the shortest option; however, most entry-level positions in marketing require candidates to hold at least a bachelor’s degree to be eligible for hire. Most associate’s degrees take just two years to complete.

Bachelor’s degrees in marketing, business, finance, accounting, and other related fields could all meet your needs if you’re looking to land a career in marketing. This is the typical requirement for entry-level marketing jobs like event planner, public relations representative, brand managers, and even admissions representatives for colleges and universities. The average student takes four years to complete a bachelor’s program. But, thanks to the option to earn a marketing degree online, you could see that time cut in half. Accelerated bachelor’s degrees are offered at several major schools, and there are even opportunities to earn credits for work or life experience. Some students might be able to earn a bachelors in two or three years.

As you progress in your studies, the amount of time it can take to earn your marketing degree continues to vary. A masters program typically takes two or three years. Some schools offer accelerated masters programs, though. With year-round terms, condensed classes, and generous transfer credit policies, schools do what they can to help you get where you’re going faster. Online MBA programs are very popular and offer marketing concentrations, and some of those are as short as just one year.

Doctorate degrees tend to take the longest, and the requirements are going to vary significantly from school to school, program to program, and even student to student. Liberty University currently offers the fastest online doctorate in marketing, and it takes the average student three years to graduate.

How Much Can You Make With a Marketing Degree?

Marketing is a field that is known to pay very well. It is essential to keep in mind that there are a lot of different factors that contribute to your salary. These can include your level of education, level of work experience, and geographic location, among other things.

If you hold a bachelor’s degree, here are the average salaries of some typical marketing jobs you could hold.

  • Account Director: $91,229
  • Account Executive: $48,600
  • Marketing Director: $89,900
  • Marketing Manager: $67,400
  • Sales Manager: $82,200

Here are the average salaries of some commonly-held positions for those who hold a masters degree in marketing, such as an MBA in Marketing.

  • Marketing Director: $102,200
  • Marketing Manager: $72,300
  • Product Marketing Manager: $97,100
  • Senior Marketing Manager: $115,000
  • Vice President of Marketing: $167,000

The higher your education is, the higher your salary tends to be. For those who hold a doctorate degree in marketing, you have the skills and the experience you need to hold higher-level positions. One of the most common career options for a PhD in Marketing is that of a professor. Marketing professors are some of the highest paid in the field of education, with an average salary that camps out around $100,000 per year.

Here’s a list of some of the highest paying careers you could hold with a marketing degree and their salary ranges.

  • Account Management Executive: $115K – $240K
  • Chief Marketing Officer: $120K – $300K
  • Sales Channel Development Managers: $115K – $270K