Ranking The Top Schools for A Career in Marketing

The University of Wisconsin-Madison is the top school for a marketing degree in a newly released ranking. Courtesy photo

The University of Wisconsin at Madison is the best place to get an undergraduate education in marketing according to a new ranking from BookYourData.com. The ranking, which chiefly assesses the highest career outcomes for marketing majors, named Wisconsin the top school among nine others listed. Other metrics in the ranking include course materials and education expenses.

Marketing is a popular career route for business school students, notes BookYourData’s CEO Baris Zeren. The marketing industry has flourished over the last decade as businesses continue to focus on driving traffic to their websites and converting online leads. Bookyourdata, a business-to-business service that sells email lists, says it considered all the U.S. schools that provide marketing courses while using data to analyze and suggest the best performers.


Number-one ranked Wisconsin garnered 62.62 of 1oo points in bookyourdata scoring. The marketing department at Wisconsin's undergraduate School of Business was ranked 8th by U.S. News & World Report, while the university overall ranked #20 by P&Qs and #38 overall by US News. The program reported a 88% completion rate. As far as careers go, marketers learn concepts and develop skills that apply to a wide variety of disciplines. Some career options include general marketing, advertising and PR, research/analyst, sales and business development, supply chain management, etc.

BookYourData says six courses in marketing are offered at Wisconsin, though that does not appear to be accurate. Additionally, some information disclosed in the rankings was not accurately labeled or offered without sufficient context.

In fact, Wisconsin's marketing concentration, under the umbrella of the undergraduate business school, requires students to complete at least one business core as a prerequisite to a plethora of marketing courses offered. In addition to three required courses, Consumer Behavior, Marketing Research and Marketing Strategy, students must take three electives in which upwards of 20 courses are offered.


Wisconsin scores very highly because its net price on average is around $17,234 a year, one of the cheaper programs among the ten schools ranked. The net price, according to bookyourdata, calculates additional expenses like books and supplies while subtracting grants and scholarships or other financial aid provided from the school, state or federal government to in-state students.

Coupled with its average annual income for its first-years grads at $73,247, bookyourdata contends Wisconsin offers the best career opportunity for price.

University of Southern California, ranked #3, reported the highest median earnings in the rankings at $113,473. For comparison, P&Q recently reported on record-breaking salaries for Emory University Goizueta Business School’s 2022 undergrad class that raked in an average base salary of $80,973 plus any signing bonuses. Meanwhile, Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business also achieved the highest salary average in the history of its undergrad program, jumping 14% the year prior to $96,916.

While the ranking assess the median and not average base salaries, Zeren calls the income made by marketing grads “impressive.”

“As the digital age evolves, so does the marketing industry, and it seems universities across the US are continuing to offer a wide range of comprehensive undergraduate courses to help students begin their marketing career journey,” he says in a news release.


As far as income, the University of Pennsylvania, ranking No. 2, also reports successful numbers. First-year marketing grads out of Wharton reportedly earned a median of $112,878 a year and around $106,756 during the second year. The average yearly cost clocks in a little more expensive than Wisconsin at $25,046, which includes the net price for federal loan receipts. Tuition and fees at Pennsylvania from 2022-23 come to $63,452. The ranking also doesn't include a metric for analyzing the average amount of debt students have after graduating.

But Pennsylvania touts an impressive completion rate at 96%, though it is contrasted to its awfully strict admissions process, an acceptance rate of mere 9%, which explains why fewer than 10,500 students are currently enrolled there. The acceptance rate is another contested figure from BookYourData rankings, P&Q has reported an even lower rate at 6%.


To assess what schools around the country performed best, the marketing platform reviewed the number of courses offered at universities and their admissions and completion rates.

BookYourData also used data collected from universities about costs related to housing, books, tuition and living expenses, using some information provided by collegescorecard.ed.gov. It’s no surprise that University of Southern California is on the a list of dealing a top marketing program. USC ranked #1 in P&Q's Best Undergrad Business Schools of 2023 for its truly balanced approach scoring all-round high in admissions standards, academic experience and career outcomes.

USC offers a marketing emphasis under its Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, as well as minors in Marketing, Consumer Behavior Mind and Customer Analytics. Any emphasis at USC requires students to pursue 12 credits in upper-level elective courses, which is typically three classes.


USC, Pennsylvania, Vanderbilt University and Kettering University, in that order, recorded the highest earnings for marketing grads one year after graduation.

The cheapest marketing program is by far CUNY Bernard M Baruch College. Placing tenth in the rankings, it has an average net price as low as $2,264. Though, being that the college is located in New York, low fees are offset by higher housing costs, estimated to be around $19,317 a year. CUNY Bernard offers a Marketing Management degree that requires students to take 24 credit hours. It presents a range of career tracks, some recently debuting during the summer of 2022, including digital marketing, general marketing, advertising, marketing analytics.

Ranking near the middle of the pack were marketing programs from Saint Joseph’s University, Texas A&M University and the University of Minnesota – each scoring in the low 80s in completion rates.

Texas A&M has the highest number of undergrad students of the 10 schools, with more than 54,000 students enrolled. Ranking ninth is Michigan State’s marketing degree. It requires students to take four core courses and to choose six elective credits.


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