Graduate Certificate Programs in Marketing - Online and Campus
Updated: February 25, 2022
Graduate certificate programs in marketing are academic training programs that offer instruction in the principles and practices of marketing. These programs are designed for recent college graduates and mid-career professionals who hold a minimum of a bachelor’s degree and who would like to learn about marketing without the time commitment and resources required to earn a master’s degree in marketing.
Marketing graduate certificate programs generally consist of three to six courses and many programs are designed to accommodate students who are working full- or part-time. These programs can typically be completed in less than one year, although some programs have flexible enrollment policies that allow students to take more time to complete the required coursework. While course requirements vary by program, the curriculum for marketing graduate certificates often covers topics in managerial marketing, marketing analytics, strategic marketing, marketing communication, and/or marketing specializations like digital marketing and e-commerce, global marketing and international business, and service and business-to-business (B2B) marketing.
Marketing is a core business function and a key area of concern for companies and other organizations that offer goods and services of all types. It involves analyzing and understanding consumer behavior, company or brand image, and market demand for particular products or services, and using this information to coordinate and implement strategies for increasing sales, ensuring customer satisfaction, cultivating brand loyalty, and/or managing perceptions about a company and its products.
Work in the field of marketing requires a multidisciplinary skillset that includes a knowledge of business, economics, analytics tools, and communication technologies, as well as an understanding of how marketing research is conducted, interpreted, and deployed as part of a business plan or strategy. For example, marketing professionals may use quantitative and/or qualitative research methods to measure consumer preferences and demand in a particular economic sector and then work with others in a company to market a product that meets that demand. They use Internet assets, including websites and social media platforms, to mine data about consumer behavior and generate awareness about and increased demand for goods and services. Marketing is also integral to the research and development efforts that go into creating new goods and services and bringing them to market. Finally, many companies employ marketing professionals to coordinate integrated marketing communication (IMC) strategies designed to maximize the effectiveness of a company’s advertising and public relations efforts.
Identifying and Classifying Marketing Graduate Certificate Programs
Many business schools and accredited public and private non-profit colleges and universities with business and management departments offer graduate certificate programs in marketing. These programs may also be offered through other academic divisions, including analytics, communication, economics, and information science/digital media departments. They are generally designated as graduate certificate programs in marketing, marketing management, digital/internet marketing, or global/international marketing, and may also be referred to as post-baccalaureate certificate programs in marketing, as they are designed for students who have already completed a bachelor’s degree program.
A typical graduate certificate program in marketing consists of a cluster of four, five, or six graduate-level courses in marketing, some or all of which may be offered as part of a school’s master’s program in marketing. These courses generally total 12 to 18 graduate credits, as opposed to the 30 or more credits typically required to earn a master’s degree. Thus, marketing graduate certificate programs require an average of less than half the number of credits or courses as a master’s program and take roughly half as long to complete – one or two semesters as opposed to the three or four semesters required for a typical master’s program.
It is also important to note that graduate certificate programs in marketing are distinct from post-secondary certificate and diploma programs in marketing. Graduate certificate programs consist of graduate-level coursework intended for bachelor’s program graduates; post-secondary certificate programs consist of undergraduate-level coursework designed for high school graduates who have not yet completed an undergraduate degree.
In addition to requiring applicants to hold a bachelor’s degree, marketing graduate certificate programs may require students to have taken one or more undergraduate prerequisites, such as an introductory business course, an economics course, and/or a statistics course. And some programs require one or two years of prior professional experience or prefer applicants who have worked in a business field for one or more years.
Note: In addition to graduate certificates in marketing, there are graduate certificate programs that provide more focused training and instruction in the principles and practices of digital/internet marketing, and social media marketing and management. For information on these types of programs, refer to our Graduate Certificates in Digital Marketing and Graduate Certificates in Social Media Marketing and Management pages.
Marketing Graduate Certificate Coursework
As previously noted, curricula for graduate certificates in marketing vary by program. Some programs offer a set curriculum consisting of a cluster of courses that address various aspects of the marketing profession, while others have one or two required courses and then allow students to choose from among a range of electives in specific areas of marketing. However, most programs have at least one core course that covers theories and principles of marketing and their practical applications.
Other common courses in marketing graduate certificate programs include:
- Strategic Marketing – An examination of how businesses identify consumers, communicate with those consumers, determine their needs and wants, and align products and services to satisfy demand and compete effectively.
- Marketing Analytics – How marketing professionals mine data and translate that data into meaningful insights that inform business decision-making.
- Integrated Marketing Communication (IMC) – The coordination of various marketing and communication functions, including advertising, public relations, and internal corporate communications, into cohesive and comprehensive marketing strategies.
- Consumer Behavior – Understanding the psychology of consumers and consumer decision-making processes in order to effectively market goods and services.
- Digital Marketing – The tools of digital marketing, including websites, email, social media platforms, mobile applications, and other existing and emerging Internet-based technologies that are relevant to marketing operations.
Online Marketing Graduate Certificate Programs
Many colleges and universities offer graduate certificate programs online in order to make these programs available to a broader range of students, including recent college graduates who have entered the workforce and mid-career professionals who intend to continue working while taking classes. Leveraging technological and pedagogical advances in online instruction has the additional benefit of extending the reach of a graduate certificate program to students who live and work beyond commuting range of the school offering the program.
Online graduate certificate programs in marketing provide all or most of their instruction using distance education platforms that stream live and recorded lectures, instructional modules, and other course materials to students located anywhere with a secure internet connection. A number of schools offer 100% online programs, which can be completed without having to attend any in-person, campus-based sessions. There are also programs that provide most of their coursework via online instruction but that require students to attend a limited number of campus visits. GraduateCertificates.com classifies programs as online programs based on the number of campus visits they require. Programs that require three or less campus visits per year are classified as online programs, whereas programs that utilize online instruction but that require more than three campus visits per year are classified as blended or hybrid programs. While blended/hybrid programs represent a more convenient and flexible alternative to fully campus-based programs, these programs may not be practical for students who do not live or work near the school offering such a program.
Another relevant factor for students considering an online marketing graduate certificate program is the method of online instruction. There are two primary modes of online instruction: asynchronous instruction, which involves the use of pre-recorded lectures and instructional sessions that students can view at their own convenience; and synchronous instruction, which is analogous to traditional classroom learning in that it requires student to view and participate in real-time virtual classes. While asynchronous instruction provides students with greater flexibility in terms of when they can view lectures, review course materials, and submit assignments, it requires more independent learning and self-motivation to keep up with coursework in the absence of regularly scheduled classes. Conversely, while synchronous instruction offers less scheduling flexibility as students must be online at specific times during the week (typically once or twice per week in the evening), it provides a more structured learning experience, which may be preferable for some students.
Examples of Online Graduate Certificate Programs in Marketing
Boston University (BU) offers a Global Marketing Graduate Management Certificate program that can be completed entirely online, or by attending some or all of the program’s classes on BU’s campus. The program, which is offered through BU’s Metropolitan College initiative, has two required courses: E-Commerce, and Innovative Marketing Techniques. Students then choose two electives in topics that include cultural tourism, corporate responsibility, and developing markets. To learn more, visit Boston University’s Metropolitan College at www.bu.edu/met/.
The University of Cincinnati offers an online Graduate Certificate in Marketing that requires students to complete 12 credits of graduate coursework, including one core requirement (Marketing Strategy for Managers) and four or five electives in advertising, marketing communication, marketing innovations, and other relevant topics. The program is designed for students who hold a bachelor’s degree and who have some prior experience and/or training in marketing. Students who do not have a marketing background are eligible for the program but must first complete a marketing foundations course. All of the graduate credits earned in the certificate program can be applied toward the Master of Business Administration (MBA) program or the Master of Science (MS) in Marketing program offered by the University of Cincinnati’s Linder College of Business. For more information on the certificate program, visit the University of Cincinnati Online at online.uc.edu/.
North Carolina State University (NC State) offers an online Graduate Certificate in Marketing through its Jenkins Graduate School of Management and Poole College of Management. The 12-credit program consists of a three-course marketing core, one marketing research course, and one elective. Students can complete all of the program’s requirements without having to attend any campus visits. The program is designed for students who hold a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university. For additional details on the program, visit NC State’s division on online and distance education at online-distance.ncsu.edu/.
More Graduate Certificates in Marketing
|Boston University||Online; Boston, MA||Global Marketing Management Graduate Certificate|
|City University of Seattle||Online||Graduate Certificate in Marketing|
|Colorado State University||Online||Marketing Management Graduate Certificate|
|East Carolina University||Online; Greenville, NC||Graduate Certificate in Marketing|
|Harvard Extension School||Online; Cambridge, MA||Marketing Management and Digital Strategy Certificate|
|Missouri State University||Springfield, MO||Marketing Graduate Certificate|
|North Carolina State University||Online||Graduate Certificate in Marketing|
|Northeastern University||Online; Boston, MA||Graduate Certificate in Marketing|
|Southern New Hampshire University||Online||Graduate Certificate in Marketing|
|Suffolk University||Boston, MA||Graduate Certificate in Marketing|
|University of Cincinnati||Online||Graduate Certificate in Marketing|
|University of Denver||Online; Denver, CO||Graduate Certificate in Marketing Communication|
|University of Massachusetts Dartmouth||Online; Dartmouth, MA||Marketing Graduate Certificate|
|University of South Dakota||Online||Marketing Graduate Certificate|
|University of Southern California||Los Angeles, CA||Graduate Certificate in Marketing|
|Wilmington University||Online; New Castle, DE||Graduate Certificate in Marketing Management|
Additional Graduate Certificates in Business
Transparency and accuracy form the foundation of all the resources we create. For more details on our sources of data, program classifications, and other important information, please review our Sources and Disclaimers page.