10 Best Online MBA in Advertising Schools

advertising mba

With hundreds of millions of products and services vying for a place in the market, advertising is indeed a complex, competitive, and fast-paced world. It’s one of the reasons why the advertising industry needs people driven by creativeness and a strong desire to excel – in addition to a strong educational background in marketing and advertising.

If you love competition and challenges, are adept at solving problems, and are driven by a strong desire for continuous improvement, a career in advertising would suit you best. But your innate abilities may not be enough. You need to fortify those with an MBA in Advertising degree to ensure professional success.

If work, family, or other responsibilities prevent you from attending traditional on-campus classes, find an MBA in Advertising program online. It’s the only way a working professional can pursue graduate education without compromising their job and other commitments.

At a Glance

Many US companies put a premium on candidates with an MBA degree in advertising or marketing. It’s because employers see them as someone with a thorough understanding of important marketing elements including marketing strategies, advertising mediums, and buyer behavior. Most importantly, holders of MBA degrees are equipped with management skills that automatically make them eligible for leadership and management roles within the organization.

Advertising professionals are basically responsible for the creation, sales, analysis, and measurement of the effectiveness of advertising campaigns. An online MBA in Advertising program prepares you to take on several of these exciting jobs.

A typical online MBA in Advertising curriculum consists of courses that help you learn different marketing and advertising techniques, including effective management of brands, facilitation and administration of market research, and successful planning of advertising campaigns. As an MBA in Advertising online student, you will also learn essential business management competencies including accounting, human resource management, finance, and operations management.

While careers in the advertising field including promotions, marketing, and advertising managers are expected to garner a 10 percent growth from 2021 to 2031, the MBA in Advertising program is hardly offered in US colleges and universities.

We have scoured the entire internet universe for US schools that offer MBA in Advertising programs both online and on-campus but found nothing but one school that offers the degree online. The primary results of searches for online MBA in Advertising programs in the US are about online MBA in Marketing programs.

A few schools are offering MA or MS degrees in Advertising, but only a handful of them are offering the degree online.

For this reason, we have decided to include the online MA and MS in Advertising programs in this list to provide you with an alternative to the MBA in Advertising degree should you find the sole MBA in Advertising online program not aligned with your career goals.

After completing a master’s in advertising degree, you may pursue an online MBA in Marketing program as it offers a broad range of business management courses that makes you eligible for high-level careers and qualify for management roles in your organization.

Choosing an Online MBA or Master’s in Advertising

If you are a professional pursuing a graduate degree or someone prevented from attending traditional on-campus classes by distance or relocation constraints, your best and only option would be to seek the program you want online and apply for admission.

But selecting an online school for your desired degree can be challenging if not daunting. It can be the defining moment for your future as a professional. Besides, there are several factors that you need to consider when choosing what’s right for you.

To make your task easier, we conceived nine suggestions that can help you identify an online university that meets your educational goals.

  • Know what you want. Your desire to pursue graduate education springs from an aspiration to get something out of it. Use it as a basis for the next step.
  • Decide on your major and identify online schools offering it. This will signify the degree you want and what you want to do with it Be sure to see that your major is offered online.
  • Verify the program to ensure that its classes are delivered fully online. If you are a student who can’t travel, you won’t be able to attend some classes if the program you chose is hybrid or a combination of on-campus and online classes. Thus you must ensure that the graduate program you intend to enroll in is a total fit for your schedule and lifestyle.
  • Check the admission requirements and verify if it honors relevant credits earned from other schools.
  • Check program costs and including tuition, textbooks, and course fees.
  • Check the availability of financial assistance options.
  • Verify the credentials of the faculty. It can help in determining the quality of advanced education you’ll get from the program.
  • Ask if the school is offering online student services. It is difficult for online students to walk into campus to seek help. For this reason, make sure that the school you intend to enroll in is offering online student services like academic advising, tutoring, technical support, and library services.

The 10 Best Online MBA in Advertising Schools

University of Saint Mary

University of St. Mary

Leavenworth, KS

Online MBA with a concentration in Marketing and Advertising

  • Tuition per credit: $615.00
  • Units Required: 33 credit hours
  • Program Length: 12 months
  • Financial Assistance Options:
    • Payment Plans
    • Scholarships
    • External Loans

The University of St. Mary offers an online MBA with a Concentration in Marketing and Advertising to equip online students with knowledge and skills to motivate them to conceive ideas and apply them in the market.

St. Mary’s online MBA in marketing and advertising curriculum consists of courses delivered by professors who are experts in their respective fields. It allows you to gain knowledge and experience in leading a team tasked to create and implement marketing and advertising strategies for different audiences.

Core Courses:

  • Organizational Management
  • Marketing Management
  • Managerial Economics
  • Global Management
  • Legal Environment & Commercial Transactions
  • Managerial Accounting
  • Managerial Finance
  • Strategic Management and Ethics

St. Mary’s online MBA in marketing and advertising program is also dedicated to providing you with the knowledge and skills you need to develop sound marketing strategies, identify effective advertising mediums, perform consumer studies, and formulate competitive pricing techniques. It grooms you to be a leader in the marketing and advertising fields.

St. Mary’s University is a Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges-accredited school.

Academy Of Art University


San Francisco, CA

Master of Arts – Advertising & Branded Media Technology

  • Tuition per credit: $982.00
  • Units Required: 36 credit hours
  • Program Length: 16 – 24 months
  • Financial Assistance Options:
  • Federal and State Aid
    • Federal Loans
    • Alternative Loans
    • Federal Work-Study

The MA in Advertising & Branded Media Technology at the Academy of Art University is designed to provide you with an avenue to acquire the technical knowledge and skills you’ll need to make a career in advertising. It immerses you in courses taught by accomplished advertising professionals to make you ready to face the challenges of the real world of advertising.

Core Courses:

  • Digital Graphics
  • Type Forms
  • Copywriting
  • Visual Storytelling: Editing for Short-Form Video Content
  • Motion Graphics and Video
  • Digital Branding and Advertising

Through its MA in Advertising and Media Technology, the Academy of Art University will transform you into an advertising professional equipped with the skills you need to stand out in the global marketplace of art and design.  

All the onsite and online degree programs at the Academy of Art University are accredited by the Western Association of Schools & Colleges Senior College and University Commission.

Liberty University

Liberty University

Lynchburg, VA

Master of Science in Marketing – Digital Marketing &Advertising 

  • Tuition per credit: $565.00
  • Units Required: 36 credit hours
  • Program Length: 18 – 24 months
  • Financial Assistance Options:
    • Direct Unsubsidized Loans
    • Graduate PLUS Loans

Liberty University’s online MS in Marketing with a Specialization in Digital Marketing and Advertising is designed to change the digital marketing playing field. It is dedicated to providing you with knowledge of contemporary digital and traditional media platforms and giving you valuable insights into the development and execution of advertising campaigns.

Core Courses: 

  • Consumer Behavior
  • Brand Management
  • Media Technologies & Communication Strategies
  • Strategic Communication Campaigns for the Digital Age

LU’s online MS in Digital Marketing and Advertising program immerses you in the study of the most important elements of marketing and advertising including strategic communication, supply chain management, marketing promotions, and the latest trends in strategic marketing management.  

One of the highlights of LU’s online master’s in digital marketing and advertising program is the presence of digital marketing expert professors who impart to you their knowledge, skills, and personal techniques learned from years of marketing experience.  

Liberty University is SACSCOC-approved.

Marist University

Marist University

Poughkeepsie, NY

MA in Integrated Marketing Communication

  • Tuition per credit: $890.00
  • Units Required: 30 credit hours
  • Program Length: 18 – 24 months
  • Financial Assistance Options:
  • Graduate Scholarships
    • Grants
    • Loans

Marist University’s fully online MA degree program in Integrated Marketing Communication is designed for working professionals who aspire to take their careers to a higher level. Its curriculum focuses on providing you with a deep understanding of interactive marketing and strategic communication methods. It also gives you an opportunity to apply these in the real business world.

Core Courses:

  • Principles of Integrated Marketing Communication
  • Public Relations Management
  • Marketing Foundations
  • Brand Management
  • Global Consumer Insights
  • Advertising Management
  • Social Media Strategies & Tactics

Earning an MA in Integrated Marketing Communication program at Marist will open doors for you to several career opportunities, including a promotion or career switch that you wanted.   

Purdue University

Purdue University - Brian Lamb School of Communication

West Lafayette, IN

Master of Science in Communication – Branding and Marketing Communication Concentration

  • Tuition per credit: Indiana Residents: $520.00; Out-of-State Residents: $820.00
  • Units Required: 30 credit hours
  • Program Length: 12 – 20 months
  • Financial Assistance Options:
    • Stafford Loans
    • Graduate PLUS Loans
    • Military Programs
    • Loans from Private Lenders

Purdue University’s online Master of Science in Communication with a Specialization in Branding and Marketing Communication is designed for professionals and taught by award-winning professors with years of experience in their respective fields. It focuses on developing and honing your communications strategies to allow you to thrive in the local, national, and global business environment.

Core Courses:

  • Seminar in Strategic Communication
  • Seminar in Communication Research Media
  • Strategic Communications and Ethics
  • Seminar in Advertising
  • Strategic Communication and Social Media

Purdue University’s online MA in Communications program provides a thorough understanding of the need of business enterprises to develop effective messaging strategies and branding initiatives.

The institutions within the Purdue University system are accredited by The Higher Learning Commission.

Savannah College of Art and Design

Savannah College of Art and Design

Savannah, GA

Master of Arts in Advertising

  • Tuition per credit: $834.00
  • Units Required: 45 credit hours
  • Program Length: 18 – 24 months
  • Financial Assistance Options:
    • Grants
    • Loans
    • Scholarships
    • Alternative Funding Options

The online Master of Arts in Advertising at Savannah College is designed to develop you into an expert in all aspects of advertising, art direction, copywriting, digital production, and integrated brand marketing.

Core Courses:

  • Typography for Advertising Designers
  • Advertising Studio I: Creative Strategies
  • Digital Production Strategies for Advertising
  • Advertising Studio II: Branding Solutions
  • Art Direction
  • Creative Copywriting for Advertising
  • Digital Media for Advertising

As an art and design academy, SCAD provides a collaborative environment that allows students to perfect their craft. It allows students to sharpen their creative vision, hone their technical skills, and strengthen their enthusiasm to work in a team environment.

SCAD maintains an office for alumni success. It is intended to provide students and graduates with career-building services including assistance in finding internships and employment opportunities.

Savannah College of Art & Design is a SACSCOC-approved school.

Syracuse University

Syracuse University

Syracuse, NY

Online Master’s in Communication with a Specialization in Advertising

  • Tuition per credit: $1890.00
  • Units Required: 33 credit hours
  • Program Length: 15 months
  • Financial Assistance Options:
    • Federal Unsubsidized Loans
    • Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loans

Syracuse University’s online master’s degree program in communications with a specialization in advertising is designed to equip you with solid knowledge and skills in strategizing, creating, and managing advertising campaigns for integrated communications in the modern digital era.

Core Courses:

  • Strategic Principles and Practices
  • Communications Planning
  • Digital Branding and Strategy
  • Advertising and Public Relations Research Design

Syracuse University’s online advertising specialization is manned by a faculty of accomplished advertising practitioners. They provide the knowledge, skills, and professional expertise you need to build a rewarding career.

Syracuse University’s academic programs are recognized by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

University of Alabama

University of Alabama - Online

Tuscaloosa, AL

Master of Arts in Advertising & Public Relations, Concentration in Marketing Communication Management Online

  • Tuition per credit: $440.00
  • Units Required: 30 credit hours
  • Program Length: 24 months
  • Financial Assistance Options:
    • Scholarships
    • Grants

The University of Alabama offers an online MA in Advertising and PR with a Concentration in Marketing Communications Management designed to equip you with strategic marketing communication and leadership skills to thrive in the modern advertising world.

Core Courses:

  • Foundations of Integrated Communication
  • Global Market Management
  • Advanced Marketing Analysis
  • Ethics and Professional Development
  • Introduction to Digital and Social Media Marketing
  • Brand Communication Strategy

UA’s online Master of Arts in Advertising and Public Relations curriculum consists of faculty members with decades of experience in marketing, advertising, and public relations. Its major courses are aimed at providing you with advanced knowledge in marketing, communication, and public relations to prepare you for success in these fields – without causing disruption to your work, family, or other commitments.

The University of Alabama is SACSCOC-recognized.

University College – University of Denver

University of Denver

Denver, CO

MA in Communication Management with a Concentration in Marketing Communication

  • Tuition per credit: $806.00
  • Units Required: 48 credit hours
  • Program Length: 18 months
  • Financial Assistance Options:
    • Grants and Scholarships
    • Work-Study
    • Loans
    • Summer Aid
    • Aid for Undocumented Students

The online MA in Communication Management with a Concentration in Marketing Communication at the University of Denver is designed to provide you with knowledge and skills to accomplish specific objectives including the creation of strategy-driven integrated marketing campaigns, reaching targeted audiences, delivering desired results, and measuring campaign performances.

Core Courses:

  • Applied Critical Thinking in Communication
  • Communication Inquiry, Analysis, and Trends
  • Storytelling through Research and Measurement
  • Portfolio Capstone

To ensure your complete understanding of the applicability of its specialization courses, the university gets you through hands-on experience in evaluating several marketing communication strategies including email, social media, search, and mobile.

University of Denver’s academic programs in business Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business-approved.

University of West Alabama

University of West Alabama - Online

Livingston, AL

Master of Arts in Integrated Marketing Communication

  • Tuition per credit: $429.00
  • Units Required: 30 credit hours
  • Program Length: 12 months
  • Financial Assistance Options:
    • Grants
    • Scholarships
    • Loans
    • Part-time Employment

Enrolling in the online Master of Arts in Integrated Marketing Communication at the University of West Alabama will allow you to gain the knowledge and skills you need to make a career in business, marketing, and advertising. The program prepares you for work in various business settings including advertising, communications, market research, and audience engagement through multimedia.

Core Courses:

  • Exploration of Mass Media
  • Portfolio Design
  • IMC Thesis Project
  • Professional Media Internship

Taught by experts, UWA’s fully online MA in Integrated Communications program is designed to address the academic and career advancement aspirations of working professionals. It prepares you for leadership roles in business including marketing, advertising, public relations, social media, and many more.

The University of West Alabama is SACSCOC-approved.

Online MBA in Marketing Program – What You Need to Know

If you wish to pursue another MBA program as an alternative to the MBA in Advertising degree program instead of an MA or MS degree in Advertising, you should consider an online MBA in Marketing program. It covers advertising as one of the main components of marketing.

Looking at marketing from an advertising point of view, we can see that marketing is the main subject or process while advertising is just one of its many components.

That said, it wouldn’t be strange to know that in the absence of an online MBA in Advertising degree program, some students would take an online MBA in Marketing program instead.

An online MBA in Marketing is a postgraduate program that focuses on vital areas of marketing such as advertising, international marketing, branding, market research, consumer behavior, and marketing management. It also exposes online students to courses in business fundamentals like accounting, finance, management, and economics.

MBA in Marketing online programs are designed for working professionals looking to make an academic and career break. With relevant experience and above-average performance, graduates of online marketing MBA programs will have the chance to earn management roles in their organization such as marketing manager, advertising manager, promotions manager, market research analyst, brand manager, or chief marketing officer.

An MBA in Marketing degree may be similar to a master’s in marketing degree in certain aspects. One distinctive feature that separates an online MBA in marketing from its MA or MS counterparts is its goal to provide students with business-centered education. It’s one of the main reasons why many large US corporations seek MBA in Marketing graduates for manager-level positions especially in their marketing department.

Choosing schools that offer online MBA in Marketing programs requires research and due diligence. It’s the only way you have to avoid enrolling in a program that doesn’t fit your schedule and academic goals. It’s because not all online MBA programs are the same.

Some online schools offer asynchronous coursework, while other schools offer synchronous or pre-scheduled classes for all online students of the program. Additionally, there are schools that combine online and on-campus classes.

Hybrid programs offer courses that require students to attend online and on-campus classes. That said, you must make sure that the program you choose will allow you to pursue an MBA in Marketing degree without sacrificing your work, family, and other commitments and obligations.

As you proceed with your online MBA in Marketing curriculum, you’ll see that it will immerse you in industry-specific topics such as advertising, strategic planning, market research, modeling, forecasting, digital marketing, branding, communication, social media management, data analysis, and sales force management. The courses can vary from school to school but these are some of the most common.

Many prospective MBA students get confused between advertising, marketing, and sales as they all point to the disposal, trading, or vending of products. Before deciding to take an online MBA program in marketing, advertising, or sales, you should know and understand their differences, first and foremost.

Sales – as its name suggests, sales refers to the disposal or release of a product or commodity in exchange for money. It employs a “push” strategy to persuade people to buy.

Advertising – refers to the act or process of delivering messages to consumers about the uses and benefits of a particular product through billboards, broadcast and print media, and social media platforms.

Marketing – while it refers to the act of attracting potential customers, modern products and services marketing is a process businesses use to provide customers with the best experience. It creates the demand for sales to fulfill.

Most online MBA in Marketing programs allow online students to select elective courses that suit their interests, desired career paths, and academic objectives. The electives in typical online MBA in Marketing programs include:

  • Advertising Management
  • Marketing Research
  • Salesforce Management
  • Integrated Marketing Communications
  • New Product Development and Marketing
  • Business Marketing Operations, and
  • International Marketing

The Best Skills for an Advertising Major

Many people think that advertising is all about creating ads, but there are many more things about it than promoting products, services, or events. Attaining excellence in advertising as a college major and later as a profession requires certain skills.

Here are some of the most useful skills that can help you stand out as an advertising student or professional.

  • Communication skills. First and foremost, advertising is about the ability to convey one’s feelings, emotions, and thoughts to an audience through different mediums such as radio and television, newspapers and magazines, or the internet.
  • Creativity. If you have a knack for conceiving ideas and finding uncommon ways to present them, you are on the right track. You’ll be able to prove this in your classes as your ability to formulate and execute ideas will be tested.
  • Open to criticisms. Advertising is a market of opinions, information, and data. It requires someone with the ability to take feedback because there are chances that their ideas could be tweaked or rejected. As an advertising major, you need to have backup ideas and plans as your work is placed under the lens of an authority on the subject.
  • Analytical/quantitative skills. As we have revealed earlier, advertising isn’t just about making interesting ads or eye-catching graphics. It’s also about analyzing and interpreting data to measure how marketing and advertising campaigns fared in the market and understand what customers want.  
  • Problem-solving skills. In advertising, you will encounter several challenges, but it presents only two perennial questions that you need to answer
    • What are you going to tell your audience, and how will that message support or oppose your audience’s desires 
    • How can you tweak or adjust your ideas based on the results of your campaign?

Over the years, advertising majors have spent long hours discussing solutions to these problems. There are a plethora of answers to these questions depending on the message you convey to your audience. If you love tackling challenges like these, you’re good to go as an online student in a master’s in advertising degree program.

Frequently Asked Questions

What makes Advertising different from Marketing?

Marketing and advertising are two related activities but they are not the same because marketing is a main process while advertising is a specialty. It is only one of the many facets of marketing.

These are their main differences:

Marketing is the overall process which includes product research and development and brand alignment. Advertising focuses on the promotion of a product, service, or brand.

Marketing focuses on identifying target audiences, recognizing consumer requirements, and using market data to produce goods or deliver services that meet those requirements. Advertising, on the other hand, involves hiring another entity or firm to place a message or an ad on specific platforms such as television, radio, newspaper or magazine, social media, or billboard.

In essence, marketing is an invitation to buy while advertising is the act of making people aware of the availability, use, and benefits of a product or service.

Which is better – MBA or Master’s in Advertising?

The “better” degree depends on the skills you want to develop and the ultimate career you are aiming for.

If you want to gain cross-functional leadership skills, an MBA degree would be a perfect choice. But since online MBA in Advertising programs are virtually unavailable in the U.S., you have to take its closest alternative, the online Master’s in Advertising program. You may enroll in an online MBA in Marketing later if you want to learn business operations and management skills and qualify for key positions in your organization.

An illustrative example for this comparison would be: An MS in Advertising is the senior level specialist who prepares the reports and makes analysis and recommendations, while the MBA degree holder would be the executive who uses those insights as bases for making decisions.

What skills do graduates learn from their online master’s degree in Advertising? 

The common skills you’ll learn from business schools offering an online Master’s in Advertising program include: 

  • Product placement
  • Marketing analytics
  • Global marketing
  • Advertising laws and regulations
  • Public communication campaigns
  • Ethics
  • Business administration
  • Concept development
  • Visualization
  • Copywriting
  • Editing
  • Preparing storyboards
  • Editing video
  • Directing video

What jobs are available to online Master’s in Advertising graduates?

Graduates of online MBA or master’s degree in advertising often find work in the entertainment, telecommunications, retail, advertising companies, and social media platforms.

Advertising Degree Jobs

  • Advertising and Promotions Manager
    • Average Annual Salary: $133,380
  • Brand Manager
    • Average Annual Salary: $93,656
  • Creative/Art Director
    • Average Annual Salary: $100,890
  • Media Planner
    • Average Annual Salary: $53,259
  • Marketing Analyst.
    • Average Annual Salary: $63,920
  • Public Relations Manager
    • Average Annual Salary: $118,490
  • Social Media Specialist
    • Average Annual Salary: $56,770

Can online students qualify for financial aid?

Yes. Students in online graduate programs are also allowed to avail of some form of financial aid like grants, scholarships, and loans. To avail of these privileges, follow these steps: 

  • See to it that the school is accredited
  • Complete and submit the FAFSA to qualify for the federal student aid and work-study program
  • Apply early
  • Talk to the school’s financial aid counselor to learn more about financial assistance options.

Before you go, see the following: