Leverage the Full Power of Integrated Marketing Communications
Immerse yourself in the art and science of marketing
Medill’s Master of Science in Integrated Marketing Communications (IMC) Professional program is designed for innovators who want to be challenged. Here, you’ll think bigger and dig deeper to find what makes people tick and spur action for your brand. With the guidance and network of our influential faculty and alumni behind you, you’ll be more than ready to move to the next level in your marketing career.
Claim your place in Northwestern’s storied history and rise to new heights.
Count on the strength of our numbers.
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Are you a working professional looking to take your career to the next level?
Earn your master’s degree online, in-person or a combination with Northwestern University. Our Integrated Marketing Communications Professional program, offered through the Medill School of Journalism, Media, Integrated Marketing Communications helps you build your expertise in consumer understanding through a rigorous and immersive curriculum.
Complete the form to download a program brochure for more information on the IMC Professional program.
Medill IMC alumni and faculty have made their name in marketing leadership with these innovative companies:
What is IMC?
Integrated marketing communications (noun):
A marketing approach that aims to coordinate and align all communication instruments, channels and messages of an organization to ensure good customer relations.2
The Medill Master’s in Integrated Marketing Communications Professional program at Northwestern University was created by marketers, for marketers. Our deep marketplace knowledge, backed by the latest insights and data, will help you make strategic decisions and adapt to an industry that seems to evolve every week. In collaboration with a diverse professional cohort, you will become adept at creating innovative marketing communications strategies and engaging consumers in the digital age.
Where other degrees may rely on third-party case studies and research, our Integrated Marketing Communications Professional program draws from the first-hand, real-world experiences of world-renowned scholars, executives and industry authorities: our faculty. Their unique customer-centric approach turns the tables on traditional marketing and shows you how to balance qualitative and quantitative data to achieve your goals. With a solid foundation from which to work, you’ll start to reach audiences in the right way, at the right time, with the right messages to drive powerful results.
Medill, The Integrated Marketing Communications Pioneer
The IMC approach was named and codified by Don Schultz, a pioneer in the field and one of the most cited marketing communications thought-leaders in the world. Schultz had a global influence on how businesses approach marketing, with more than 150 academic, professional and trade articles. Commonly referred to as the “father of IMC,” Schultz joined the Medill faculty in 1977 and later became department chair and associate dean.
When Schultz began his work at Northwestern University, his descriptions of IMC were an entirely new philosophy for the time: look at the whole of marketing communications, rather than concentrating on each of the parts separately. Schultz dedicated much of his career to IMC research and implementation, including publishing the first textbook dedicated to the subject in 1993 and the first graduate-level integrated marketing program in the United States.3,4
Now, IMC strategies are standard for marketing organizations, agencies and the academic community and the Medill IMC Professional program continues to pave the way in research, theory and practice.
MBA vs. MS in Integrated Marketing Communications
When it comes to deciding which master’s degree to pursue, know that an MBA will give you a broad understanding of different parts of a business and can benefit many professionals. The Medill Master of Science in Integrated Marketing Communications degree, on the other hand, is made especially for those seeking an executive future in marketing. You’ll gain marketing-centric leadership skills and learn how to collaborate with other business departments to achieve your goals.
- Teaches many facets of business (finance, human resources, marketing, etc.)
- Focus can be more theoretical with less real-world knowledge
- Available at hundreds of universities nationwide
- Varying lengths depending on course load
- Applies a marketing leadership lens to all business functions (finance, investor relations, technology, etc.)
- Grounded in real-world knowledge and experiential learning philosophy
- Can be completed in less than two years
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“This is not just about a degree or an achievement you put in a resume, but a lifelong investment in yourself that will pay for itself in dividends—through the people you meet, the projects you are better equipped to tackle, and the brand-new lens through which you will see the world.”
Blazing New Trails
Since we launched the world’s first master’s in integrated marketing communications program in 1991, Medill has become synonymous with marketing excellence and innovation. As the training ground for some of the world’s best storytellers, we provide in-depth, unsurpassed education that’s as strong as our reputation.
It's All in the Name: Northwestern University
Northwestern is one of the leading private research universities in the world. Our esteemed faculty and world-class education put us on the map, and our connections are deep-rooted in Chicago and beyond.
Join the rest of our Medill alumni in an exclusive network of industry trailblazers, thought leaders and market influencers.
Events & Webinars
True marketing leaders never stop learning. Stay up-to-date and connected with the latest best practices, faculty research and Medill events.
- Retrieved on October 31, 2023, from usnews.com/best-colleges/northwestern-university-1739
- Retrieved on August 26, 2022, from Kitchen, Philip & Kim, Ilchul & SCHULTZ, DON. (2008). Integrated Marketing Communications: Practice Leads Theory. Journal of Advertising Research - JAR. 48. 10.2501/S0021849908080513.
- Retrieved on August 26, 2022, from Schultz, D. E., Tannenbaum, S.I. and Lauterborn, R.F. Integrated Marketing Communications: Putting It Together and Making It Work. Lincolnwood: NTC Business Books, 1993.
- Retrieved on August 26, 2022, from Percy, L. Strategic Integrated Marketing Communication. Oxford: Butterworth-Heinemann, 2008.