When you spend the time, money and hard work to earn a master’s degree in marketing, you want to know that your school is reputable and your degree will have value. If you’re earning your degree online rather than on campus, it’s even more important to make sure your school is legitimate.
Age of School
Some of the institutions that currently offer highly-ranked online master’s in marketing degree programs have been educating students since before the Internet even existed. South University was founded in 1899, meaning that it has well over a century of experience educating students. Tiffin University is even older, established in 1888, which gives the school a 128-year history.
A school doesn’t need to have a century of teaching experience to be legitimate, but seeing that your school has been around for some time and has a reputation to uphold can help you be certain that it’s a legitimate, established institution and not some shady scam.
Age of Program
Even online studies have been around for longer than many students think. If your school has a longstanding history of offering a distance learning education – in conjunction with the Internet or without it – then there’s a good chance that its distance learning programs will be not just legitimate, but effective. However, that doesn’t mean that schools that are just launching their online options won’t provide a solid online education, either.
Perhaps the most important factor you can look at to determine if an online master’s in marketing or Master of Business Administration (MBA) in marketing program is reputable is accreditation. Accredited colleges and degree programs meet standards set by outside agencies that are not associated with the school. There are two types of accreditation: institutional and specialized.
Institutional accreditation is schoolwide. While some agencies award national institutional accreditation, the most reputable schools are typically those that are institutionally accredited by one of the six regional accreditation bodies recognized by the Council for Higher Education Association (CHEA) in the United States:
- Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges (ACCJC) Western Association of Schools and Colleges
- Higher Learning Commission (HLC)
- Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE)
- New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC-CIHE) Commission on Institutions of Higher Education
- Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC)
- WASC Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC)
There is also specialized or programmatic accreditation, which applies to the specific degree program or subject area. The CHEA recognizes three programmatic accrediting bodies in the field of business:
- AACSB International–The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB)
- Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP)
- International Assembly for Collegiate Business Education (IACBE)
Some of the best online master’s in marketing degrees have earned accreditation from these agencies. For example, the University of St. Mary is accredited by the IACBE.