The Master of Business Administration degree, commonly referred to as the MBA, is becoming even more important for business professionals to compete in today’s job market. Earn an MBA and you will have a significant competitive advantage over those who have an undergraduate degree in business. After all, business is the most popular undergraduate degree in the United States. The MBA provides business professionals with a means of distinguishing their skills, talents and knowledge from those of other professionals.
The National Center for Education Statistics reports around 200,000 MBAs are awarded on a yearly basis in the United States alone. Those who specialize with a certain academic focus enjoy a meaningful competitive advantage over those who have a general MBA. Marketing is one of the most common MBA specializations. Below, we provide a look at the top MBA programs with an emphasis on those that prepare aspiring professionals to succeed in the field of marketing.
1. Harvard University’s Business School
It simply does not get any better than Harvard. Study business at Harvard University’s Business School, specialize in marketing and you will have no shortage of career options at or near the time of graduation. Harvard University’s business school is consistently ranked in the top five, year-in, year-out. Program graduates who specialize in marketing earn an average salary of $136,495. In excess of 120 graduating students from Harvard University’s Business School’s class of 2019 report obtaining a marketing or sales position. Harvard’s close proximity to Boston and Cambridge makes it that much easier for program graduates to find lucrative employment. Add in the fact that Harvard’s campus is visually striking and you have all the more reason to attend this ivy league university for your MBA.
2. University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business
The Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania has churned out one executive after another including the current president of the United States, Donald J. Trump. Located in Philadelphia, the Wharton School feeds graduates to Pennsylvania businesses as well as companies throughout the entirety of the northeast including those located in New York City. The Wharton School is ranked in the top three to five business schools year after year. The average annual salary for Wharton School graduates who narrow their focus on marketing is an impressive $133,934.
3. Cornell University’s Samuel Curtis Johnson Graduate School of Management
Ask anyone who has graduated from the Samuel Curtis Johnson Graduate School of Management at Cornell University about their experience and you will find they are more than happy with the experience as well as their career progression. Cornell’s campus is quite eye-popping to say the least. Take a tour of the campus and you will be smitten with its undulating terrain, fall foliage and surrounding greenery. Add in the fact that you will be studying at an ivy league university and you have all the more reason to pursue your MBA at this world-class academic institution. You should have no trouble finding full-time employment after graduating from Cornell University’s Johnson Graduate School of Management.
4. Yale University’s School of Management
Graduate from Yale University’s School of Management with a concentration in marketing and you will have no shortage of employment options. Yale’s MBA program is consistently ranked in the top 10 in the country. Located in gorgeous New Haven, Connecticut, Yale’s School of Management provides a peaceful campus chock full of eye candy that creates the perfect setting for learning.
5. New York University Stern School of Business
Perfectly positioned in New York City, the Stern School of Business feeds graduates to Wall Street trading firms, multinational corporations and other enterprises. Stern is consistently ranked in the top 10 of MBA programs with a focus on marketing. The average salary for Stern graduates who specialize in marketing is $120,559. Slightly over 85% of the programs graduates are employed at the time of graduation. It is particularly interesting to note Stern MBA students are segmented into groups of 60 before beginning their studies. The logic in using such a grouping system is to facilitate camaraderie, learning and general cohesion. Stern residents are permitted to live in university housing located by campus or in the Manhattan area.
6. Columbia University – Columbia Business School
Columbia University MBA in marketing graduates are perfectly positioned for success considering the university’s location. Columbia feeds graduates directly to banks, businesses and other employers throughout New York City and surrounding areas. This ivy league university certainly costs a pretty penny yet the average salary for its MBA program graduates who specialize in marketing is a whopping $128,979.
7. University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business
Earn your MBA at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business and you will be well on your way toward a rewarding career. Studying at this university is a shrewd move considering its location in the windy city. Booth School of Business graduates who specialized in marketing earn an average salary of $127,948.
8. Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business
The Fuqua School of Business at Duke University regularly ranks in the top 10 of schools offering MBAs. The Fuqua school is located in beautiful Durham, North Carolina, providing graduates with easy access to the top cities in North Carolina including Charlotte, Raleigh and beyond. Fuqua School of Business MBA graduates who specialize in marketing earn an average salary of $120,772.
9. Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business
The Stanford Graduate School of Business is a component of a university known for its liberal arts graduates. Specialize in marketing while pursuing your MBA at Stanford and you will likely be able to choose between several lucrative job offers. The average annual salary for Stanford University MBA graduates who specialize in marketing is $142,033. Add in the fact that Stanford’s campus is a sight for sore eyes and you have all the more reason to attend this highly selective institution.
10. University of Michigan— Stephen M. Ross School of Business
The University of Michigan’s Stephen M. Ross School of Business is located in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Though the location of this school is certainly a drawback considering the area’s climate and the lack of nearby employers, Ross School graduates are coveted by companies across the United States and the rest of the world. The average salary for Ross School graduates who specialize in marketing is $116,046.
Tuition: $66,048 in-state $71,048 out-of-state
11. Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Business
The Kellogg School of Business is consistently ranked in the top 10 business schools. Kellogg graduates who specialize in marketing earn an average annual salary of $122,930. More than 50 graduates from the business school’s class of 2019 reported obtaining a job in marketing. It certainly helps that Kellogg is located in Evanston, a mere 30 minute drive from Chicago’s central business district.
12. University of North Carolina Chapel Hill Kenan-Flagler School of Business
The Kenan-Flagler School of Business at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill doesn’t have the same recognition as the Whartons of the world yet its MBA graduates who specialize in marketing enjoy considerable success. A mere 523 students attend Kenan-Flagler so don’t anticipate you will be admitted even if your grades are spectacular. You’ll need a high GMAT score, two personal essays, two letters of recommendation, a rock-solid resume and a fantastic interview performance to earn admission to Kenan-Flagler.
Tuition: $48,051 in- state $63,174 out-of-state
13. The University of California – Berkeley’s Haas School of Business
If you want to learn the ins and outs of the business world while having some fun in the sun in your spare time, look no further than UC Berkeley’s Haas School of Business. Though Cal Berkeley is known for its far left politics on campus, the university’s business school has a fantastic reputation sure to impress recruiters from multinational and regional corporations.
Tuition: $62,450 in-state $64,656 out-of-state
14. University of California—Los Angeles Anderson School of Management
Located in the bustling metropolis of Los Angeles, the UCLA Anderson School of Management is revered across the country as one of the top academic institutions in the land. In particular, those who earn an MBA from the Anderson school with an emphasis in marketing find they are coveted by employers. Anderson school graduates who specialize in marketing earn an average salary of $126,202. All in all, 40 countries are represented in Anderson’s class of 2022. These aspiring business professionals hail from 157 undergraduate institutions. The average GMAT score of students admitted to the Anderson school is 706. Exactly 23% of those admitted to the school’s MBA program studied business as an undergraduate major.
15. McCombs School of Business at the University of Texas – Austin
You could not ask for a better place to study business than Austin, Texas. Austin is a shining example of capitalism’s success. Graduate from UT Austin’s McCombs School of Business with a specialization in marketing and local employers will be knocking down your door to interview and hire you.
Tuition: $49,534 per year in-state $54,924 per year out-of-state
16. Fordham University’s Gabelli School of Business
New York City is the perfect place to study business at a high level with an emphasis on marketing. At graduation, nearly 50% of the school’s graduates are employed. Perhaps the best part about studying at the Fordham University Gabelli School of Business is you will take classes throughout the entire city of New York. Fordham has campuses near Manhattan’s Central Park and also in the Bronx. Furthermore, Fordham has more than 20 student clubs, ensuring you can socialize, expand your network and have a blast while earning your MBA.
17. Carnegie Mellon’s Tepper School of Business
Carnegie Mellon is consistently ranked in the top tier of universities. Its Tepper School of Business is no exception. Study business with a focus in marketing at Tepper and you will be in close proximity to prospective employers in Pittsburgh and Philadelphia.
18. University of Rochester – Simon Graduate School of Business Administration
Around 22% of Simon Graduate School of Business Administration graduates are placed in marketing positions. Though Rochester is not exactly a burgeoning metropolis, the city is within close proximity to Buffalo, Syracuse, Toronto and New York City. The program’s average graduate salary is an impressive $122,000.
19. University of Minnesota – Carlson School of Management
Carlson School graduates are marketing whizzes. In fact, 35% of the program’s graduates find full-time, salaried positions in marketing. This is by far the most common specialization of Carlson School graduates, nearly 10% higher than the next most common focus of consulting. The school’s graduates typically find work in the health care / pharmaceuticals industry (23%), retail & consumer goods industry (21%) and consulting (16%).
20. The Kelly School of Business at Indiana University
The Kelly School of Business is consistently ranked as one of the best MBA marketing programs in the country. The school offers both in-person and online MBA programs. Kelly School of Business students are particularly happy with the quality of the school’s instructors. The professors who teach on-site MBA courses are the same as those who teach the MBA marketing online program. Ask Kelly School of Business students about their learning experience in the Indiana University MBA program and you will find they love the fact that the instruction focuses on real-world examples of business that help students solve problems they are likely to face as professionals.
Tuition: State resident $27,864 Out of State resident $51,454
21. Arizona State University’s W.P. Carey School of Business
Most business schools have graduating classes with more than 162 full-time students. The administrators at the ASU W.P. Carey School of Business have intentionally limited attendance to this small group of students to ensure each is provided with individualized instruction. Students’ first term at the business school involves creating an Individual Development Plan that establishes a roadmap to develop their leadership qualities. This roadmap is referenced throughout the first and second year along with the ensuing summer internship for analysis and updates. Furthermore, the business school offers joint degrees with the School of Architecture and the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law.
Tuition: $28,720 in-state $48,400 out-of-state
22. The Warrington College of Business at University of Florida
Can you imagine taking MBA classes in the morning and heading to the beach in the afternoon? This dream-like scenario can be your reality if you study business at The Warrington College of Business at University of Florida. Florida’s blazing hot economy is sure to help you launch a successful career. Graduate from The Warrington College of Business at University of Florida and you will have plenty of local employers in Tampa Bay, Orlando, Miami and Jacksonville ready and willing to add you to their team.
Tuition: $12,737 in-state $30,130 out-of-state
23. The Darden School of Business at the University of Virginia
Located in lovely Charlottesville, VA, The University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business provides you with the opportunity to study business in an idyllic setting. Darden’s leaders insist their program generates business superstars prepared to engage in global business and ultimately transform society. The school’s signature approach to learning and teaching provides students with a purpose and the “holistic leadership skills” necessary to excel regardless of what the future brings.
Tuition: $64,494 in-state $66,812 out-of-state
24. The University of Wisconsin’s Wisconsin School of Business
Study business at the University of Wisconsin’s Wisconsin School of Business with a focus in marketing and you will be prepared to excel in outbound marketing, inbound marketing and beyond. More than 76% of the program’s full-time students were employed at graduation.
Tuition: $21,166 in-state $42,703 out-of-state
25. The Williams College of Business at Xavier University
With a full-time student enrollment of 33, you are sure to receive plenty of one-on-one attention at The Williams College of Business at Xavier University. Xavier is a private university that provides an education in the Jesuit tradition. In fact, Xavier is the sixth-oldest Catholic post-secondary learning institution in the entire country. The school’s centers of excellence facilitate opportunities for students to learn outside of their specific major and department.
Our rankings of the best MBA marketing programs are based on a number of factors ranging from university prestige to graduates’ success, class size, affordability, selectivity and more. To determine the rankings of the premier MBA marketing programs in the nation, we analyzed the factors noted above, ensuring each comprised an equal weight of the learning institution’s overall score. However, above all, the merit of the program’s marketing concentration matters the most. Universities with truly elite MBA marketing programs are that much more worthy of your money than learning institutions that provide MBA programs without a widely lauded marketing specialization.
If you are considering a MBA program with a specialty in marketing, any of the universities listed above will help you learn the nuances of professional marketing and ultimately reach your true potential. Each of these learning institutions is revered across the nation for elite instruction and top-notch graduates.
We understand selecting the optimal university for your specific needs requires extensive research and careful consideration. Our team has tirelessly worked on your behalf to complete a list of the best MBA marketing programs to help you find the university best for you and your career. If you would like to learn more about our ranking analytics or if you would like more information about universities and colleges that meet your nuanced criteria, contact us today or check out our methodology page.
Alternatively, if you work for a college or university that is not listed above and insist your academic institution warrants a spot on the list of best MBA marketing programs, contact us. Our team is always on the prowl for the nation’s best universities and colleges to help those looking to advance their intellect and skillset obtain the information necessary to choose an academic institution that serves as a launching pad for professional success.