Best online graduate certificate in marketing 2021: Top picks

    Marketing professionals research competitors, evaluate the demand for new products or services, and increase their company’s market share. Decision-making roles in marketing require strong analytical and research skills. A marketing graduate certificate strengthens these in-demand abilities.

    During an online graduate certificate, marketing students complete three to five graduate-level courses in marketing. The focused curriculum emphasizes key marketing techniques necessary for career advancement. After earning a certificate, students can sometimes transfer their credits toward a master’s degree, including an MBA.

    Our list ranks the best online graduate certificate programs in marketing. Prospective students can use the rankings to find the right fit for their schedule, budget, and career goals.

    The best online graduate certificate in marketing degrees

    Our list draws on ZDnet’s ranking methodology to showcase the best online graduate certificate programs with a marketing focus. By weighing reputable data on academic rigor and cost, our ranking prioritizes the factors that matter most to students.

    Unless otherwise indicated, data is drawn from the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System, College Scorecard, and each program’s website.

    1. Oklahoma State University

    Stillwater, Oklahoma

    About the program: The fully online 12-credit marketing graduate certificate focuses on marketing analytics. The credits transfer toward online MBA programs.

    • Acceptance rate: 70%
    • Graduation rate: 62%
    • Avg. annual net price: $14,648
    • Time to completion: 12-18 months
    • Minimum GPA: 3.0
    • Enrollment periods per year: Two
    • Course delivery methods: Online

    Accreditation: Oklahoma State University is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

    2. Colorado State University

    Fort Collins, Colorado

    About the program: This nine-credit marketing management graduate certificate covers core topics in strategy, consumer behavior, services marketing, and market research.

    • Acceptance rate: 81%
    • Graduation rate: 69%
    • Avg. annual net price: $18,668
    • Time to completion: Two semesters
    • Minimum GPA: 3.0
    • Enrollment periods per year: Two
    • Course delivery methods: Online

    Accreditation: Colorado State University is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

    3. Davenport University

    Grand Rapids, Michigan

    About the program: The 12-15 credit graduate certificate lets learners take MBA marketing courses for a stand-alone certificate. The credits may transfer toward an MBA degree.

    • Acceptance rate: 82%
    • Graduation rate: 27%
    • Avg. annual net price: $16,098
    • Time to completion: Two semesters
    • Minimum GPA: 3.0
    • Enrollment periods per year: Three
    • Course delivery methods: Online

    Accreditation: Davenport University is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

    4. Brenau University

    Gainesville, Georgia

    About the program: Learners in the 15-credit graduate certificate in marketing take five courses from the program’s graduate curriculum. Topics include new media and marketing communication, consumer behavior and marketing strategy, and more.

    • Acceptance rate: 58%
    • Graduation rate: 46%
    • Avg. annual net price: $21,745
    • Time to completion: One year
    • Minimum GPA: 3.0
    • Enrollment periods per year: Six
    • Course delivery methods: Online

    Accreditation: Brenau University is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

    5. Golden Gate University

    San Francisco, California

    About the program: This nine-credit marketing graduate certificate offers a focused curriculum designed for professionals in marketing, management, and data analytics.

    • Acceptance rate: Not publicly available
    • Graduation rate: 45%
    • Avg. annual net price: Not publicly available
    • Time to completion: Under one year
    • Minimum GPA: Not publicly available
    • Enrollment periods per year: Three
    • Course delivery methods: Online

    Accreditation: Golden Gate University is regionally accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges Senior Colleges and University Commission (WSCUC).

    What to expect in an online graduate certificate in marketing degree program

    Graduate-level marketing courses train learners in data analytics, marketing research, digital marketing, and competitor research.

    During a graduate certificate, learners complete a focused curriculum of graduate courses in marketing. Many certificate programs let students specialize in areas like marketing analytics or digital marketing.

    Certificate students can expect to complete a mix of projects, presentations, and research papers. These assignments build career-focused skills while strengthening communication, teamwork, and leadership.

    An online learning format makes it easier for working professionals to balance courses with their careers. Many online marketing graduate certificate programs are designed for busy adults.

    Graduate certificate in marketing courses

    During a graduate certificate in marketing, learners strengthen their analytical and research skills through specialized courses. While each program sets its own curriculum, many offer the following options.

    Advanced marketing research

    Marketing professionals rely on research. Graduate-level courses in marketing research cover methodological approaches, research tools, and experimental methods. Learners also strengthen their interpretive skills.

    Digital marketing

    Digital marketing changed the industry. This course covers advanced digital marketing skills, mobile marketing, and search engine optimization. Learners explore digital marketing for business-to-business and business-to-consumer organizations.

    Marketing data analytics

    Learners master data analytics with a focus on marketing. Topics include identifying data sources, analyzing information, and making decisions based on analytics. Students also learn about data visualization.

    Social media marketing

    A growing number of companies rely on social media marketing to reach consumers and shape their brand identity. This course covers key principles and strategies in social media marketing, including messaging, product marketing, and consumer behavior.

    Marketing degree levels

    Colleges and universities offer marketing programs at different levels. A bachelor’s degree in marketing trains graduates for many marketing roles, while a graduate degree provides advanced and specialized knowledge.

    A certificate provides a shorter, non-degree route to marketing training. Prospective students should consider which best meets their needs and career goals.

    Certificate in marketing

    Length:One year


    Post-grad careers: Market research analyst; marketing director; marketing manager

    A certificate in marketing provides a focused course of study at the undergraduate or graduate level. Undergraduate certificates, designed for those with no prior college experience, introduce core marketing principles.

    A graduate certificate provides advanced training for students with a bachelor’s degree. Many graduate certificate programs offer specializations like marketing analytics, social media marketing, or digital marketing. With a marketing certificate, professionals can launch or advance a career in marketing.

    Associate in marketing

    Length:Two years


    Post-grad careers: Advertising sales agent; sales representative; account specialist

    A marketing associate degree introduces learners to foundational concepts in marketing. In addition to business courses, degree-seekers study market research, brand strategy, and customer analytics. The degree emphasizes analytical and communication skills.

    An associate degree in marketing prepares graduates for sales and customer service roles. Many marketing careers require a bachelor’s degree. After earning an associate degree, graduates can transfer into a four-year college to complete their bachelor’s in marketing.

    Bachelor’s in marketing

    Length:Four years


    Post-grad careers: Market research analyst; account executive; media planner

    A bachelor’s in marketing meets educational requirements for entry-level roles in marketing. During a marketing degree, majors complete core business classes in finance, management, and accounting. The marketing curriculum covers consumer behavior, market research, competitor analysis, and marketing decision-making.

    While earning a marketing degree, undergraduates often complete projects. Many programs incorporate experiential learning opportunities such as internships to build career-ready skills.

    Master’s in marketing

    Length:Two years


    Post-grad careers: Marketing manager; brand manager; marketing director

    A marketing master’s degree provides graduate-level training in digital marketing, market research, marketing strategy, and marketing analytics. During a master’s program, learners take advanced coursework. Many programs also offer specializations and optional internships for hands-on experience.

    In addition to a master’s in marketing, graduate students can earn an MBA with a specialization in marketing. The MBA route offers more coursework in business than a marketing master’s. Both degrees prepare graduates for managerial roles like marketing manager.

    Doctorate in marketing

    Length:Three to seven years


    Post-grad careers: Marketing director; marketing professor; marketing manager

    A doctorate in marketing is the field’s terminal degree. During a doctoral program, graduate students strengthen their analytical and research skills. Marketing doctoral programs include graduate coursework, doctoral examinations, and a research-based dissertation. Doctoral candidates defend their dissertation to earn a doctorate in marketing.

    With a doctorate, marketing professionals may pursue top roles in the field or research and academic roles such as marketing professor.

    In conclusion

    A graduate certificate in marketing provides specialized training in high-demand areas. With a certificate in digital marketing, marketing analytics, or marketing strategy, professionals can advance their careers or enter the marketing field.

    Ready to take the next step? Contact the program that caught your eye to learn more about their schedule, total cost, and specialization options.

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