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Best MBA Marketing Programs at Top Business Schools

With the advancement of digital technology, marketing – one of the core business disciplines, is no longer a simple concept. In today’s always-online world, companies must have a global audience reach and should be able to operate in a complex and ever-evolving digital environment. With traditional marketing tactics taking a backseat, employers want marketers who can adapt and thrive in this volatile environment. Pursuing an MBA in marketing is one way to develop your marketing skills, and helps in understanding consumer behavior. In this article, we explore the Top Business Schools for Marketing MBA Programs.

10 Best Marketing MBA Programs

Here’s the outline of the article:

Top MBA Marketing programs

Following are the top business schools for Marketing MBA programs:

  1. Northwestern University – Kellogg School of Management
  2.  Duke University – Fuqua School of Business
  3. The University of Michigan – Ross School of Business
  4. University of Pennsylvania – Wharton School of Business
  5. Columbia University – Columbia Business School
  6. Harvard University – Harvard Business School
  7. Stanford University – Stanford Graduate School of Business
  8. New York University – NYU STERN
  9. University of California – Berkeley Haas School of Business
  10. University of Chicago – Booth School of Business
Best MBA Schools for Marketing
Ranking Business School Name %age by Marketing Function Mean/Median Salary Mean/Median Bonus Salary Range
1 Kellogg School of Management 19% $117,000 $25,000 $24,000 -$180,000
2 Fuqua School of Business 18% $121,161/$117,000 N. A. $50,000- $16,300
3 Michigan Ross School of Business 17.8% $116,046/$115,000 $30,000 $50,000 – $154,000
4 Wharton School of Business 13% N. A. N. A. $124,200 – $139,000
5 Columbia Business School 8% $135,000 $25,000 90,000 – 125,000
6 Harvard Business School 13% $135,000 $30,000 $120,000 – $144,500
7 Stanford Graduate School of Business 28% $138,863/$140,000 $33,438/$25,000 $70,000- $210,000
8 NYU STERN 10.9% $120,000 N. A. $85,000 – $178,000
9 Haas School of Business 23.5% $130,825/$130,000 $30,033 N. A.
10 Booth School of Business 5.2% $120,000 $30,000 $102,000 – $145,000

In this article, we cover the first five business schools. Read part 2 of this article for more information about the next set of 5 business schools.

Rankings Methodology: Best MBA Marketing Programs

US News ranks the best MBA schools for marketing by collecting data from all the MBA accredited programs regarding their full – time MBA, based upon the three main weighted average indicators – Quality Assessment, Placement Success, and Student Selectivity:

    1. Quality Assessment: peer and recruiter assessment score are the weighted average indicators for analyzing quality assessment
    2. Placement Success: mean starting salary/bonus and employment rates are the weighted average indicators for analyzing placement success
    3. Student Selectivity: The mean GMAT and GPA score are the weighted average indicators for analyzing student selectivity.

Thus, to determine the best marketing MBA programs, feedback from peer and recruiters are taken into consideration with statistics related to the academic caliber and employment of cohort.

Before highlighting the unique offerings by the best MBA schools in marketing, let us have a look at the career options, salary, and employment statistics after an MBA in marketing.

Scope of MBA in Marketing

If you are interested in the media, promotions, sales, entertainment, and general management field, then earning an MBA in Marketing is appropriate for you. The trends of marketing have changed and augmented with the technological evolution in the world. Thus, an MBA in marketing helps you get a complete picture of the changing trends and helps in developing skills to keep pace with it.

According to GMAC prospective students survey 2019, 28% – 36% of the candidates are interested in pursuing an MBA in marketing for the past six years.

The top marketing MBA programs educate the students about various aspects of marketing, such as sales, executive management skills, leadership skills, market strategies, product management, consumer trends, digital trends, and market research in different industries.

After an MBA in marketing, you can work in many sectors ranging from Banking, FMCG, Tourism, Hospitality, Media, consultancy, market research, etc. Here’s the list of job profiles that a candidate can expect after MBA in marketing:

    1. Marketing Manager
    2. Market research analyst
    3. Brand Manager
    4. Sales Manager
    5. Digital Marketing manager
    6. Product Manager
    7. Media Planning Manager

Apart from the above range of marketing careers, many companies structure and identify their marketing positions in different ways. Some companies have large marketing departments where an individual marketer is assigned to roles specializing in strategy, market research, or advertising. Other firms expect their marketers to have a mastery of each of these roles in addition to taking responsibility for profit/loss, operations, collaboration with supply chain, and more.

Thus, it’s essential to know the top marketing MBA programs that are keeping pace with the volatile marketing environment and what unique offerings are provided by the best MBA schools for marketing.

Salary and Employment Statistics after MBA in marketing

According to the GMAC Alumni Perspective survey 2019, where 10,882 alumni from 274 institutions responded, 18% of them were working in marketing/ sales job function. When it comes to job activity, most of the recent alumni were more likely to work on virtual teams, followed by managing a budget, leading vendors and suppliers, supervising employees, and making hiring decisions.

The same report points out the percentage of business – school alumni placed in marketing/sales job function and their median base salary:

GMAC Alumni Perspective Survey 2019
Industry % of Alumni in Marketing/Sales Job Function Median – Base Salary (Per year)
Product/services 25% $105,000
Technology 25% $125,000
Finance/Accounting 11% $125,000
Government/Non – Profit 11% $75,000
Manufacturing 22% $115,000
Consulting 8% $90,000
Health care 20% $125,000
Energy/Utilities 12% $145,000

Source: GMAC Alumni Perspective Survey 2019

According to the GMAC Corporate Recruiters survey 2019, 21% of the employers plan to hire MBA in marketing graduates with 36% of companies from the Asia Pacific, 27% from Europe, and 18% from the U.S.

The same report also points out that 27% of the graduates in marketing will be working in the Public sector industry, followed by 26% in Fortune Global 500 companies, 25% in a start-up company, 23% in Fortune Global 100, and 17% in private sector.

Best Marketing MBA Programs #1: Kellogg School of Management

With 19% of its 2018 batch placed in the marketing function, Kellogg school of management is ranked number #1 for the best marketing MBA programs. Sixty-nine students from the class of 2018 reported having sales or marketing jobs with a salary range of $24,000 – $180,000.



Kellogg is known for its outstanding innovators in the field of marketing – in particular, marketing guru Philip Kotler, who wrote the book Marketing management. Kotler’s work has attracted even more outstanding marketing faculty to the school and has increased the industry interest. The marketing department at Kellogg is made up of 50 tenure, affiliated, clinical, and emeritus faculty members with diverse perspectives and backgrounds – ranging from data analytics to neuroscience to psychology and cultural anthropology.

With a world-class faculty and a significant dedication to the marketing field, many people tend to refer to Kellogg as a “marketing school.”

Marketing Major Curriculum

Kellogg’s Marketing major – helps the students to understand customer behavior with the help of marketing analytics tools needed to create lasting customer advantage. As stated on Kellogg’s website, “Students who complete the marketing major understand how to deliver superior customer experiences to gain competitive advantage and drive sustainable growth.”

The marketing students at Kellogg’s need to choose one course from a list of four:

    1. Retail analytics
    2. Marketing research and analytics
    3. Digital marketing analytics
    4. Customer analytics.

Apart from this, the students choose one-course credit from the list of six courses, which includes advertising strategy, strategic brand management, and many more. In addition, two-course credit from the list of eleven more modules (which includes service marketing and management, customer loyalty, etc.) needs to be selected.

Kellogg’s offers various pathways to students who are interested in building expertise in evolving industries and emerging areas of marketing. For instance, a Kellogg MBA student with a marketing major can choose the data analytics pathway, which offers courses such as customer analytics and digital marketing analytics.

Marketing Club and Kellogg Super Bowl Ad Review

The Kellogg marketing club’s mission is to prepare the Kellogg community to be the best marketers across the industry by offering resources and opportunities.  The marketing club conference is a marketing extravaganza that attracts more than 600 students, marketing professionals, and alumni.

The conference focuses on offering keynote speeches from the marketing industry leaders and hosts various events. For Instance, the 2015 conference featured a creative lab session, were a team of students solve a marketing challenge presented by Google, while representatives of Google served as session judges and leaders.

Apart from the conferences, the marketing club also hosts competitions and events such as job shadow day, Lunch and Learn a mentorship program, and career treks.

The annual Kellogg’s super bowl Ad review is a unique event where the students watch and evaluate the ads following Kellogg ADPLAN (Attention, Distinction, Positioning, Linkage, Amplification, and Net equity) after which the students release grades for each advertiser. These evaluations tend to generate more and more press each year. For instance, in 2019, Kellogg’s Super Bowl, the students ranked Microsoft’s “We All Win” as a Winner, whereas Ads from companies like Amazon, Google, and Pepsi earned an ‘A’ rating.

Major Recruiters

Some of the major recruiters of Kellogg’s are 3M, Accenture Strategy, Agoda, Amazon, Citi, EY, Google, H&M, KPMG Strategy, McDonald’s, and many more.

Learn more about The Kellogg School MBA Program – Class Profile, Employment Report, and Notable Alumni.

Best Marketing MBA Programs #2: Duke Fuqua School of Business

With 18% of its 2018 batch placed in the marketing function, the Duke Fuqua School of Business ranks #2 for the best marketing MBA programs. Sixty students from the class of 2018 reported having sales or marketing jobs with a salary range of $50,000- $16,300.



The Fuqua Marketing department consists of 22 professors, who are world-renowned leaders in the field of marketing. For Instance, one of the alumni described Professor Devavrat Debu Purohit’s class as “a real favorite and incredibly applicable to the first job” – An Alumni.

Marketing Major Curriculum

Students who wish to pursue Marketing as a major have two options – Product Management and Market Analysis and Strategy. Product management is for students who are interested in the topics related to consumer durables, packaged goods, high – tech markets, pharmaceuticals, and services. Whereas marketing analysis and strategy are for students who want to pursue consulting, corporate strategy, marketing strategy, sales, and general management.

Besides, the students are required to opt for market research for both the above courses. And that’s not all. Students opting for product management must also take a strategic brand management course with four other electives from the list of 16. Similarly, students opting for market strategy, and analysis must also consider the marketing strategy and choose four other electives from the list of 18.

Marketing Club and Research Centre

In 2011, Fuqua school of business announced a partnership with Synovate, a global marketing research firm, to create the Duke/Synovate Center for Shopper Insights. The center brings together research leaders from the FMCG market such as ABInBev, Coca-Cola, Kelloggs, etc. to determine what we know and what we don’t know about the science of shopper marketing.

The key mission of the center is to identify and fund key research initiatives related to the consumer’s store experience.

The Duke Fuqua MBA marketing club helps the students to prepare for post-MBA marketing career through various offerings and events. Every year it organizes the ‘Marketing Symposium event’ where the panels and presentations are about the role of brand manager, interview and internship preparation, case study presentations by recruiting companies, and mock interviews with alumni.

The marketing club also hosts conferences where they invite other MBA programs students and faculty members. The conference held in 2006 attracted many industry leaders from across the country and involved networking opportunities, case study presentations, and a keynote speech by Johnson & Johnson.

Apart from the above, the club is also responsible for organizing industrial trips to companies such as Google, American Express, and Pepperidge Farm.

Marketing Integrated Learning Experience (MILE)

The MILE initiative helps the students to prepare for different types of marketing interviews. The program consists of four sessions that focus on what kind of interview questions to expect and provides a framework to answer them. The sessions are held twice a week for six weeks and cover various topics such as – Crafting your story, New Product Launch, and Innovation.

Major Recruiters

The top employers for the class of 2018 are Amazon, McKinsey & Company, Deloitte, Accenture LLP, Google, Nike, PepsiCo, BCG, and many more.

Learn more about Duke Fuqua MBA Program – Class Profile, Employment Report, and Notable Alumni.

Best Marketing MBA Programs #3: Michigan Ross School of Business

With 17% of its 2019 batch placed in the marketing function, the Michigan Ross School of Business ranks #2 (Tie) with Duke Fuqua and Wharton School of Business. The mean salary for the batch was $ 116,046, with a salary range of $50,000 – $154,000.


Faculty and Curriculum

The faculty of marketing at Michigan Ross uses concepts from economics, statistics, psychology, neuroscience, and engineering to tackle the crucial issues of the market. The marketing faculty consists of 32 members who are world-class professors and who know how to put their ideas into action. Michigan Ross faculty are among the top researchers in the world, and Ross focuses on melding these experts’ research with classroom stimulations.

The marketing curriculum at Ross combines a strong research base with the school’s hands-on approach to learning. It offers 18 courses, the majority of which requires work outside the classroom.

Marketing Club and Research Center

The Michigan Ross marketing club is one of the largest student organizations on campus with 300 members. The club offers students tools and coaching to excel in interviewing and networking. The club is also responsible for organizing mock interviews, case study preparations, and industrial visits for the students.

The club also hosts the two – day Marketing Symposium, which includes panel discussions led by industry experts, mock interviews, networking, and career fair. Some of the well – known companies that have participated in the symposium include Johnson & Johnson, General Mills, Nestle, and American Express.

Apart from the marketing club, two other clubs might interest students who want to pursue a career in marketing, i.e., Retail and Luxury Goods Club and the Entertainment and Media Club.  The “retail and luxury goods club” hosts events by companies that interview on campus and organizes ‘New York retail trek’ where the students visit organizations such as Saks and L’Oréal. Similarly, the Entertainment and media club offers networking opportunities and career treks to New York and Los Angeles with professional development workshops on media-related topics.

The Yaffe Center for Persuasive Communication focuses on education and research in the field of persuasive communication. The establishment helps to educate and prepare students for marketing careers and sponsors specific marketing courses towards the same. It also organizes case studies, industry speaker events, and occasionally hosts industrial conferences that attract marketing practitioners from around the world.

Major Recruiters

The major recruiters at Ross include multinational packaged companies like Procter & Gamble, Johnson & Johnson, General Mills, and PepsiCo.

Learn more about the Michigan Ross MBA Program – Class Profile, Employment Report, and Notable Alumni.

Best Marketing MBA Programs #4: Wharton School of Business

With 13% of its 2019 batch placed in the marketing function, the Wharton School of Business ranks #2 (Tie) with Duke Fuqua and Michigan Ross School of Business. The salary range for the students who are working in the marketing/ sales role is $50,000 – $154,000.


Faculty and Curriculum

According to the university website, the Wharton department of marketing is the largest, most published, and cited department in the world. Wharton is the first business school to offer conjoint analysis – a tool that has helped shape 20th-century marketing practices – developed by a Wharton professor. The marketing department has 28 professors who teach approximately 35 courses, including popular classes on pricing policy and consumer behavior that attracts students across majors.

Wharton offers a joint major in marketing and operations, which is a cross-functional approach that incorporates information and operations management. Besides, the students may choose between two formats for their marketing management course: traditional lecture and case version or a marketing strategy computer stimulation.

The marketing electives include subjects like consumer behavior, new product management, consumer neuroscience, and many more.

Marketing Club and Center

The marketing club at Wharton offers learning and networking opportunities outside the classroom. The club hosts seminars and interview preparation classes to help students learn more about the industry.  The annual marketing conference held by the club brings together 300 students, faculty members, and alumni to explore and discuss various issues related to the marketing industry.

Apart from the above, the club organizes industry trek, mock interviews, buddy program ( in which first-year students interacts with second-year students for mentoring), produces an annual Battle of the Bands shows, and external case competitions.

The students who are interested in retail and luxury goods can join Wharton’s Graduate Retail Club. The club hosts career treks, annual conferences, and speakers’ panels. The keynote speaker for the Retail Conference held in February 2019, where the co-founder and co-CEO of Harry’s. There was a panel discussion were various topics such as Partnership and strategic alliance, health and wellness, and retail brand – building.

Wharton has a variety of research centers and programs to help faculty and students understand the latest trends in the marketing field. Wharton Customer Analytics Initiative and the Jay H.Baker Retailing Center offers initiatives in different marketing subfields.

Major Recruiters

Some of the major recruiters for the Wharton MBA batch are Lilly Pulitzer, Bloomingdale’s, Tiffany & Co., Michael Kors, and many more.

Learn more about the Wharton MBA Program – Class Profile, Employment Report, and Notable Alumni.

Best Marketing MBA Programs #5: Columbia Business School

With 8% of its 2019 batch placed in the marketing function, the Columbia Business School ranks #5 for the best marketing MBA programs. The salary range for the students who are working in marketing roles is 90,000 – 125,000, with a mean salary of $ 135,000.


Faculty and Curriculum

The marketing department includes 25 faculty members with 32 adjunct members. The first half of the semester consists of a marketing course that helps in developing a basic understanding of marketing theories. In the second half of the semester, students can choose from 30 – 45 electives that range from product branding to retail, technology, and financial services.

Marketing is a broadly defines department at Columbia University, and the students who are interested in marketing can choose the classes that fit best to their needs. The Columbia business school offers traditional courses such as digital marketing and pricing strategy and several courses related to retail, in addition to less traditional classes such as the psychology and economics of consumer finance, behavioral economics and decision making, strategic consumer insights, and many more.

Marketing Association of Columbia (MAC)

Columbia business school has an active professional organization on campus known as MAC. The organization sponsors speakers and organizes the MAC conference every year. The topics for each year vary, and various companies present their views. For instance, the 2018 MAC conference theme was “Fueling brand growth through disruption,” where representatives from companies such as Facebook and Nielsen represented.

Major Recruiters

Some of the major recruiters for the Columbia MBA batch are IBM, Google, Facebook, KPMG, Morgan Stanley, Citi, Samsung, and many more.

Learn more about the Columbia Business School – Class Profile, Employment Report, and Notable Alumni.

Aspiring to pursue a career in marketing from the above-mentioned business schools? A GMAT score of 740+ can boost your MBA application. Kickstart your GMAT preparation by signing up for our free Trail.

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