What Are the Prerequisites for a Master’s in Marketing

Successful marketing managers are some of the most highly compensated business professionals in today’s corporations, and many students who aspire to those positions investigate the prerequisites for a Master’s in Marketing.

Many of them know that the marketing career field is highly competitive, and very few people who hold undergraduate marketing degrees actually get to work as marketing professionals. These students may assume that acquiring advanced degrees in marketing will give them better opportunities to land their dream jobs instead of being forever stuck in entry level sales positions. Although they seem to be on the right track, they must carefully consider the type of marketing programs that are most likely to help them to achieve their career goals.

Academic program ranking matters to most employers of marketing professionals, and students who want to land marketing management jobs often apply to highly ranked academic programs at top tier schools like University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business or Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Business. Here are some of the prerequisites and admissions criteria that students can expect to encounter to gain entrance into top graduate marketing degree programs.

Admissions Eligibility for Graduate Marketing Programs

Students must have undergraduate degrees before they can apply for admission into graduate marketing programs in the United States. A few schools require previous study in business related topics during undergraduate years before they consider candidates’ admissions applications. Since some marketing specialties like strategic pricing and marketing research require extensive math skills, many schools have made probability, statistics and calculus to be prerequisite courses for their advanced level marketing programs.

Academic Record Evaluation

Students must submit their academic transcripts for review. Conducting an evaluation of the types of courses taken and the grades received for those classes allow school admissions officers to gauge candidates’ scholastic abilities, interests and potential. Students who gain entrance into top graduate level marketing programs have grade point averages of at least 3.5 out of 4.0.

Assessment of Professional Record

Previous work experience is desirable by both top universities and employers, and students are usually required to submit current resumes along with their application packages. Students who have industry experience are favored for admissions because they are expected to be able to provide more in depth contributions to class discussions and special projects. Most advanced marketing programs also ask students to submit two or three letters of recommendation from former managers, supervisors or professors.


Marketing combines elements of art and science, and students have opportunities to make their applications stand out by crafting outstanding essays. It used to be that students could only strive to convey their talents through written submissions. Since the marketing career field is now characterized by extensive use of multimedia, many specialty marketing programs allow video presentations to supplement or replace written essays. These written or digital essays help university admissions staff to prepare for personal interviews with candidates.


There are many specialty areas within the marketing career field today. Most universities allow students to focus their studies in areas like marketing research, brand management, social media and internet marketing or sports marketing. While one can find many graduate level marketing degree programs that only require students to have undergraduate degrees from accredited universities, the number and type of prerequisites for a Master’s in Marketing for well respected programs are often much greater than they are for standard programs.