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Best MBA programs in Marketing

Many Indians (specially engineers) who’ve spent several years in technical roles dream of getting into a more business oriented role. While a few manage to get into sales jobs without the experience or relevant degree, most aren’t able to make the switch.

An MBA in Marketing can be a great way to move out of the shadows and be right at the forefront of business – to work on marketing strategies, fine-tune the product positioning, optimise the pricing, drive sales, make deals and grow the company.

The rewards, terms of the salary and variable pay (commissions) can be huge. Several top business schools offer a specialisation in marketing. We cover the best ones.

Top 10 Ranking MBA Programs with Marketing Specialization

In this digital world, marketing is no longer a simplified concept as it used to be a few decades ago. Big data has given insights into information which can be used by marketing professionals to enhance the customer experience.

Organisations need to be able to connect with their customers and this can be done by means of data and analytics to optimise the user experience. An MBA in marketing helps you get a complete perspective of this changing trend and helps you develop skills to keep pace with it.

In this post, we have covered the various top MBA programs that help you specialise in marketing as per the rankings provided by U.S. News.

1. Northwestern University – Kellogg School of Management

Kellogg ranks at the top for an MBA in marketing. The marketing curriculum is designed to provide a thorough understanding of various marketing concepts, strategies, quantitative methods, consumer behaviour and other areas needed to be a successful marketing professional.

You would be able to study the tools of modern marketing as well as its application. You can opt for a major in Marketing or Marketing Management.

The Marketing major would suit those seeking a post-MBA career in investment banking, management consulting, high technology companies, general management and not necessarily a pure marketing role. The Marketing Management major revolves around a marketing focused role. You may choose a career in any area including technology, advertising, not-for-profit and business-to-business.


2. University of Pennsylvania (Wharton)

At Wharton, you can opt for Marketing Management major or Marketing and Operations Management (joint) major. The Marketing major prepares you to pursue your career and handle jobs related to advertising, sales, strategic marketing planning, e-business, product management and retailing.

Marketing and operations management major trains you in both (operations and marketing) these areas. The nature of job include among others those needing a co-ordination between the marketing and manufacturing of a product like brand manager or manager in the service sector (where you’re managing and marketing new services).

If you decide not to opt for a Marketing major, you can instead make a choice of marketing electives that suit your interest or career goals. The more popular ones for marketing professionals include New Product Development, Advertising Management, Pricing Policy, the Marketing Research course, and the Marketing Strategy course.


3. Stanford Graduate School of Business

At Stanford, the faculty is involved in research to get newer insights on various marketing related aspects including consumer behaviour, firm behaviour and the latest innovative ways that can be introduced to improve and manage marketing resources.

You can opt for an elective in marketing in the second year. You’ll be able to get new perspectives based on the research methods and thus prepare yourself to face the tough competitive market.


4. Harvard Business School

At Harvard, the faculty channelizes its effort towards addressing a variety of topics so that you’re able to get a complete picture of consumer behaviour, their choices and how these factors affect the company’s strategy for new products including branding, pricing, distribution and other marketing efforts.

In the first year of the MBA program, a few marketing concepts are covered. In the second year, those pursuing marketing can expect a more focussed approach by opting for the various marketing related electives. The choices are many so as to cater to those aspiring for a marketing career in a specific industry.

These specialised options include agribusiness, luxury marketing, retailing, strategic marketing in creative industries, entrepreneurial management, consumers, corporation and public health.

In addition to these, the more commonly available options include finance and general management, big data in marketing and digital marketing strategy.


5. Duke University – The Fuqua School of Business

The marketing concentration is designed to provide valuable insights and prepare you to take a plunge into a marketing-related career. You may seek a marketing career in a wide variety of industries including high technology, consumer goods, health-care or consulting.

However, in order to manage competition, you need to have a thorough understanding of the concepts of modern marketing.

The MBA program offers the following two concentrations: Product Management, Market Analysis and Strategy. Each of these concentrations offers numerous choices of electives catered to suit your career requirement.


6. University of Michigan – Ross School of Business

At Ross, you’ll be able to grasp the various concepts of marketing like retailing, internet commerce, brand management, big data/analytics, social media as well as consumer behaviour.

The business school website lists several top companies that have hired Ross MBA grads for marketing positions in diverse industries like retail, consumer packaged goods, healthcare and pharmaceutical, technology and service.

The Annual Marketing Symposium organised by The Ross Marketing Club is another event to look forward to where students, faculty and professionals come together under one roof and hold discussions and exchange knowledge on the latest developments in marketing.

7. Columbia Business School

Located in the New York City, this b school enjoys the geographical advantage of being in the midst of leading companies in different sectors including media, consumer products, retail and financial services among others.

You can also benefit from interactions with top marketing executives who are invited as speakers to the college on a frequent basis.

8. University of Chicago – Booth

The Functions, Management, and Business Environment courses cover the basics of various business functions including marketing strategy. Under the electives, you can choose among 13 concentrations; marketing management is one of them. According to information officially provided, one in five students opts for this concentration.

Using data derived by means of analysis and the use of economics, user psychology and statistics, the curriculum equips you to step beyond traditional marketing and explore the various marketing concepts through practical learning by means of real business situations.

9. New York University – Stern

The Stern MBA program allows you to make a choice of upto three specialisations. Marketing, luxury marketing, digital marketing, product management, entertainment, media and technology are some of the specialisations that train you in the area of your choice and prepare you with the required marketing and managerial skills to meet the industry needs.


10. University of California – Haas

At Haas, the marketing curriculum is designed so that you are able to plan the right way to position your marketing strategy in the competitive market.

At the same time, by means of quantitative analysis, you would be in a position to analyse data for making strategic decisions. You would also learn how innovative ways can be employed to evolve a company’s existing financial model.

Also read,
MS and Best Universities in Luxury Brand Management
Masters in Marketing
Masters/MBA in Digital Marketing
Best online courses in Marketing

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About Swati
After working for over a decade in technical and managerial roles in the corporate world, Swati now works as a freelancer and writes on a variety of topics including education, career guidance and self-improvement.

7 thoughts on “Best MBA programs in Marketing”

  1. Hello Swati/MBA Crystal Ball,

    All the schools/programmes mentioned above are situated in US.I would like to know about the Business Schools which are good for marketing in Canda or other parts of the world.



  2. Shubham, the methodology of ranking specialisations isn’t as robust (if you can call it that) as the regular general MBA programs.

    Don’t let that give you the impression that all the good options are concentrated in the U.S. If you attend any good program in other countries, you can target marketing roles in those geographies too. Many offer a range of electives for you to specialise in the popular areas.

    As you’ve taken the example of Canada, if you attend Rotman (which is the top brand there), you can knock on the doors of companies there. If your CV has the skills they are looking for, you have a shot at those market jobs.

    However, one caveat to keep in mind is that it can be quite difficult for international students to get marketing jobs in any country (including USA), since many employers would prefer locals who have a better understanding of the culture and customs. Very important to form a connection with potential customers.

  3. Respected sir
    I have secured 81% in 10th, 73% in 12th, 7.4 in my graduation and completed it in 2016
    I have also secured 92ile in cmat so I want to know which all college I could apply for my mba
    Thank you

  4. Thanks for sharing this insight, very helpful for aspiring MBA candidates. As an MBA graduate from one of the top schools in USA, I must forewarn the potential candidate about specializing in Marketing – you would need to work harder than the domestic candidates (forget about all the visa issues, and all). The domestic candidates grew up in that market, they already know the customers and market very well, and international candidates would need to burn mid night oil to learn about the different customer segments.

    • I’m glad you mentioned about this point, Vaibhav. Most MBA students are unwilling to talk about the shortcomings and challenges.

      If you’d be willing to share a more detailed account of your experiences and of those who were aiming for marketing jobs, please drop us a line: info [at] mbacrystalball [dot] com

  5.  Sameer Kamat  hi, i am 37 years, 13 years of experience. Working in LIC as development officer.

    Want to do MBA or executive MBA from abroad…having very average profile.

    Bsc: 55%
    Mba: 73%

    Please suggest me on this.


    Sujeet S.


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