1. Skip to content

Field of Study: Marketing


Marketing programs teach people how to promote and sell goods and services.



Marketing programs include topics such as:

  • Buyer behavior
  • Pricing theory
  • Importing and exporting
  • Statistical and research methods

In this program, students study profiles of both consumers and the goods and services they buy. They learn to use this information to more effectively develop promotional and advertising concepts.

In marketing programs, students may be able to specialize in:

  • International marketing
  • Special products marketing
  • Tourism and travel services marketing
  • Financial services marketing

Marketing programs are available at several levels. Many community colleges offer associate degrees in marketing. An associate degree prepares students for work as a sales representative or a retail sales manager and usually takes two years to complete.

Many colleges and universities offer bachelor's degrees in marketing. A bachelor degree prepares people for work as a management trainee or in a marketing research department. A bachelor's degree usually takes about four years of full-time study.

Many universities also offer graduate degrees in marketing. One option is to focus on marketing while earning a Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree. A master's degree typically requires two years of study beyond a bachelor's degree. Doctoral (PhD) degree programs usually require two or more years of study beyond the master's degree.


College preparation

You can prepare for this program by taking courses in high school that prepare you for college. This typically includes four years of English, three years of math, three years of social studies, and two years of science. Some colleges also require two years of a second language.

  • Economics
  • Psychology
  • Introduction to Business
  • Business Computer Applications
  • Public Speaking


Graduate admissions

Admission to graduate programs is competitive. You need a bachelor's degree, good grades, and good test scores. Your undergraduate major should be business-related. Otherwise, some courses or work experience in business is very helpful. Course work in psychology is also good preparation.

Additional requirements at some schools include:

  • Graduate Management Admissions Test (GMAT)
  • Letters of recommendation
  • Interview

If you are interested in a leadership position in this field, you may consider getting a master's in business administration (MBA). A large number of schools let you specialize in marketing during the two years typically required for this degree. Some people pursue the MBA after getting a bachelor's in a non-business field. It helps to have some business course work or business work experience.


Typical course work

A bachelor's program in this field typically includes courses in the following subjects:

  • Accounting Principles
  • Business Finance
  • Business Law
  • Consumer and Buyer Behavior
  • Contracts and Sales
  • Integrated Marketing Communications
  • International Marketing
  • Introduction to Accounting
  • Introduction to Management Information Systems
  • Introduction to Marketing
  • Introduction to Psychology
  • Management Principles
  • Marketing Research Methods
  • Marketing Strategy
  • Oral Communication
  • Presentation Graphics
  • Principles of Advertising
  • Principles of Macroeconomics
  • Principles of Management and Organization
  • Principles of Microeconomics
  • Statistical Methods and Concepts
  • Writing

Electives may include sports marketing, recreation marketing, and travel and tourism, among others.

An associate degree program typically requires a smaller selection of these courses.

The MBA commonly also has these requirements:

  • Required courses
  • Internship
  • Thesis (may not be required)


Things to know

People who work in this field need a good understanding of the broader culture in which consumers make buying decisions. For that reason, you should take a wide selection of courses in non-business subjects. Good skills in writing, speaking, and critical thinking are needed for advancement in the business world.

Business courses in high school can be useful preparation for a career in marketing. You should take only a few, especially if you intend to earn an MBA, so that your high school transcript shows that you are preparing for a demanding college-level program.


Similar fields of study

Careers you may qualify for

Advertising Sales Agents
Advertising and Promotions Managers
College Business Teachers
Counter and Rental Clerks
Door-To-Door Sales Workers
Hotel, Motel, and Resort Desk Clerks
Lodging Managers
Market Research Analysts
Marketing Managers
Meeting, Convention, and Event Planners
Parts Salespersons
Purchasing Agents
Reservation and Transportation Ticket Agents
Retail Salespersons
Sales Engineers
Sales Managers
Securities, Commodities, and Financial Services Sales Agents
Supervisors of Non-Retail Sales Workers
Supervisors of Retail Sales Workers
Travel Agents
Wholesale and Manufacturing Sales Representatives
Wholesale and Manufacturing Sales Representatives of Technical or Scientific Products
Wholesale and Retail Buyers



All Business Schools

American Advertising Federation


No schools' programs are being reported at this time.