- Departments and Programs
- Department of Marketing
- Online Master of Science in Digital Marketing (MSDM)
Online Master of Science in Digital Marketing (MSDM)
Marketing is about creating, communicating and delivering value to customers and society at large. As digital technologies evolve, organizations are able to identify, connect and engage with consumers in new, cutting-edge ways. However, many organizations lack a clearly defined digital marketing strategy and struggle to find employees with digital marketing skills. You can acquire these in-demand skills and prepare for a bright future by enrolling in our AACSB-accredited Master of Science in Digital Marketing (MSDM) program.
Fully Online Program
Our program is 100 percent online to give you the flexibility you need to earn an advanced degree while balancing work and family life. Sign in to access course materials, participate in discussions with professors and fellow students, and complete and submit assignments anywhere and at any time convenient for you. You can enroll on a full- or part-time basis.
- Eight- and five-week online courses
- Full- or part-time enrollment options
- Program admission available fall, spring and summer semesters
- One-on-one admission and advising guidance
- Technology support when needed
- Microsoft Excel - analyzing and visualizing data
- Facebook Blueprint
- Google AdWords and Analytics
- HubSpot Inbound Marketing
- HubSpot Social Media Marketing
- Qualtrics Research Core
- Salesforce Specialist
- Twitter Flight School
- Allow for more engagement with faculty and peers
- Utilize cutting-edge technologies
Tim Aurand, Ph.D. is the James E. Thompson Professor of Marketing at NIU, whose business marketing experience includes stints with General Motors, Caterpillar Tractor, Honeywell and as a speaker at the University of Wisconsin’s Center for Professional and Executive Development. The recipient of multiple teaching awards, Aurand’s research areas include branding, sports marketing and the marketing of higher education. He teaches at the undergraduate and graduate levels, including courses for NIU’s MBA program, and is special section editor for Marketing Management Journal.
Carla Bendeich teaches master’s level marketing classes and is a full-time consultant whose focal points are organizational change, social collaboration and communications. With experience across a broad spectrum of industries, Bendeich has managed multiple cross-functional, global service teams through transformational journeys that featured adopting new mobile applications and platforms. Her communications campaign philosophy centers around leading technologies and behavioral economics. She has been teaching for NIU since 2009.
James Bossert is vice president of marketing solutions at Acxiom Corporation, where his focus is omnichannel marketing solutions. Bossert and his teams of digital experts enable marketers around the world to recognize, understand and deliver relevant, personalized messaging to consumers, on any channel or device. Bossert holds an MBA from DePaul University and a B.S in Applied Computer Science from NIU. Bossert also volunteers as a member of the board for the Wayne-DuPage Hunt, Wayne Area Conservancy Foundation and NIU College of Business board of executive advisors. Bossert will be teaching MKTG 679, Database Marketing for the MSDM program.
R.C. Dirkes is president and founder of the strategic communications ﬁrm R.Clement.Creative Inc. Dirkes’ consulting practice focuses on project management, message development and content creation services. He favors a modular structure to content campaigns that strikes a balance between standardization and customization, and rises above the noise of today’s digital media channels. A speaker, podcaster and novelist, Dirkes earned recognition from technology journalists responding to PRSourceCode’s annual “Top Tech Communicators” survey in 2007. He holds B.S. and M.S. degrees from Northwestern's Medill School of Journalism and teaches Content Marketing and Reputation Management for the MSDM program.
Alex Eddy has taught in the Department of Marketing in the College of Business for more than ﬁve years. As manager for strategic marketing for BMO Harris Bank, Eddy provides marketing and operational support to the ﬁrm’s U.S. wealth management marketing team. In a prior role for the logistics group at RR Donnelley, he served as a marketing analyst. Eddy holds two degrees from NIU – a B.S. in Marketing and an M.S. in Management Information Systems – and has worked as a Graduate Assistant and Northern Ambassador.
Donald Forti is a senior web strategist in the Office of Web and Internal Communications at NIU, where he coordinates web training program and creates responsive websites. Forti also has managed websites for the Association for Black Culture Centers (ABCC) and KTTC-TV/KXLT-TV in Minnesota. In addition, he produced newscasts for TV stations in Wisconsin. He holds a B.A. from Knox College and an M.S. from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where he earned a Carnegie Fellowship with ABC News in New York. Forti will be teaching MKTG 677, Building and Managing Responsive Websites, for the MSDM program.
Elisa Fredericks, Ph.D. is a product development guru with expertise ranging from small to midsize businesses (SMBs) to Fortune 500 ﬁrms, who has served as an associate professor in Department of Marketing for NIU’s College of Business for more than 17 years. Fredericks’ research interests include innovation and the challenges facing teams. Her published works appear in Industrial Marketing Management; the Journal of Product Innovation Management; the Journal of Nonproﬁt and Public Sector Marketing; Group and Organization Management; The Journal of Qualitative Market Research; and The Journal of Small Business Strategy. She will teach MKTG 664, New Product and Service Innovation for the MSDM program.
Brian Gillet is a data-driven professional whose focal points are data analysis and visualization, process improvement, product management, operations management and marketing intelligence. Gillet leads an analytics team for Northwestern Medicine that drives the clinical analytics product development cycle, which creates scalable, secure, reliable and accurate solutions. In a previous role at OTR Global, he oversaw the budget, strategy, personnel and competitive intelligence process for the technology, telecommunications, media and semiconductor equity research division. In 2017, Gillet earned NIU’s Department of Marketing Distinguished Marketing Alumnus Award, adding to prior accolades from the College of Business as an “Outstanding Young Alumnus.”
Geoffrey Gordon, Ph.D. is executive director, College of Business online programs at NIU. He is former chair of the Department of Marketing and has served on the university’s marketing faculty for more than 25 years. Gordon’s teaching responsibilities include MBA courses in marketing management and contemporary topics in marketing, MSDM courses in marketing management and undergraduate marketing strategy courses. Among his research interests are investment research, marketing strategy and sales management. Author and co-author of more than 60 research articles, Gordon co-founded OTR Global, a leading provider of ongoing marketplace research for the investment community.
Mya Pronschinske Groza, Ph.D. is a Dean’s Distinguished Junior Professor of Digital Marketing and director of the Master of Science in Digital Marketing (MSDM) program. As an academician, Groza applies quantitative and qualitative methods to study topics such as marketing strategy, branding and social media engagement. Her research has appeared in peer-reviewed publications such as the Journal of Business Research, the Journal of Business Ethics, Sport Marketing Quarterly and Marketing Management Journal. Groza teaches marketing research to undergraduate and graduate students. She will teach Marketing Research and Analysis and oversee the Capstone Application in Digital Marketing course for the MSDM program.
Will Johnson is a data solution architect at Microsoft working with customers on analytics in the cloud. In previous roles, Johnson managed a team of analysts as a database manager and led advanced analytics projects at a B2B supplier. His corporate marketing credits include online advertising, digital and direct marketing analytics, and predictive analytics. Johnson holds an M.S. in Predictive Analytics from DePaul University and a BS in Marketing from NIU, with a certiﬁcate in Interactive Marketing. He will teach MKTG 674, Digital Marketing Campaign Measurement for the MSDM program.
Denise Schoenbachler, Ph.D. is the Douglas and Cynthia Crocker Endowed Professor in Business at NIU’s College of Business and has served on the marketing faculty for more than 25 years, at one time holding the dean of the College of Business position for 10 years. An award-winning teacher and scholar, Schoenbachler’s research interests include women’s leadership issues, marketing strategy and privacy issues in marketing. She developed the interactive marketing area of study for NIU, the precursor to the current digital marketing area of study. Schoenbachler is the director of the Women’s Leadership Institute in NIU’s College of Business. Schoenbachler will be teaching MKTG 654, Marketing Management, for the MSDM program.
Ursula Sullivan, Ph.D. is an associate professor in the Department of Marketing in the College of Business at NIU. Sullivan’s research focuses on global marketing strategy with published works covering global distribution and supply chain alliances, sales channel strategy, and branding. Her corporate and consulting experience is in the consumer-packaged goods, grocery wholesaling and foodservice industries. She sits on the board of the Marketing Management Association (MMA) and currently serves as the program chair for MMA’s Fall Educators’ Conference (through 2020). Sullivan teaches Global Marketing Strategy at the undergraduate and graduate levels and the marketing core course to Executive students. Sullivan will be teaching MKTG 656, Global Marketing Strategy, for the MSDM program.
The program's strategy foundation courses make connections relevant to the digital marketplace, while digital foundation electives enable you to focus on the specific skills you need to gain a competitive advantage. You'll also be prepared to earn certifications in the latest digital marketing technologies. The MSDM program follows Quality Matters guidelines, ensuring quality in design and instruction.
Digital spending is increasing as more companies put their dollars toward digital marketing efforts. Forrester Research (2017) has projected that digital marketing spending will be near $120 billion and account for 46 percent of all advertising spending by 2021. Burning Glass Technologies (2017) has reported that 39 percent of all marketing job openings called for digital marketing skills and that possession of digital marketing skills carries a $7,000 salary premium over other marketing roles.
In addition, digital marketing jobs take 16 percent longer to fill. A survey of 400 marketing and advertising executives conducted by Nanji (2017) found that web design and market research roles are the most difficult creative positions to fill.
The Master of Science in Digital Marketing (MSDM) consists of two phases. Phase One is designed to address deficiencies in undergraduate course work considered to be prerequisite for the Phase Two (30 credits) graduate course work. Students with significant undergraduate course work in business may be waived from some, or all, of the Phase One requirements.
Phase Two consists of 12 courses. Five courses are required from Marketing Strategy Foundation (15 credits) and six courses are required from Digital Marketing Foundation (12-13) credits). You can complete either a capstone application on a digital marketing topic or a capstone project in collaboration with an organization (three credits).
Admission to the MSDM program is competitive. To apply, you must have successfully completed a bachelor's degree from an accredited institution in the U.S. or have the equivalent level of education from a university outside the U.S.
Application materials include:
- NIU Graduate School online application
- $60 nonrefundable application fee
- Official transcripts from all undergraduate institutions attended
- A one-page personal statement describing your preparation for graduate study in digital marketing, your career goals and how our program can best help you meet those goals
- Two letters of recommendation
- Professional resume
Some of these courses may be waived with significant equivalent undergraduate course work or Excel certification. Phase one coursework is only available for fall/spring semesters.
- MKTG 505 Graduate Survey of Marketing
- OMIS 507 Business Information Systems
- MKTG 515 Marketing Metrics or Statistical Analysis Tools (or OMIS 524 Business Statistics)
Marketing Strategy Foundation
Required courses (eight weeks, three credits):
- MKTG 603 Marketing Research and Analysis
- MKTG 654 Marketing Management
- MKTG 670 Digital Marketing Strategy
Two of the following (eight weeks, three credits):
- MKTG 626 Brand Strategy
- MKTG 630 Services Marketing
- MKTG 640 Digital Selling Strategy
- MKTG 656 Global Marketing Strategy
- MKTG 664 New Product and Service Innovation
Digital Marketing Foundation
Six of the following (five weeks, two credits):
- MGMT 627 Entrepreneurial Creativity and Innovation
- MKTG 671 Digital Marketing and Search Engine Optimization
- MKTG 672 Mobile Marketing
- MKTG 673 Social Media Marketing and Advertising
- MKTG 674 Digital Marketing Campaign Measurement
- MKTG 675 Content Marketing
- MKTG 677 Building and Managing Responsive Websites
- MKTG 678 Marketing Data Visualization
- MKTG 679 Database Marketing
- MKTG 680 Digital Marketing Metrics
- MKTG 682 Online Reputation Management
(Eight weeks, three credits):
MKTG 684 Capstone Application in Digital Marketing or MKTG 686 Capstone Digital Marketing Project
Total hours: 30-39 credits
Contact UsDepartment of Marketing
740 Garden Road
DeKalb, IL 60115