The Next Gen of Marketing Leaders
NU Medill student smiling
NU Medill student smiling
The Next Gen of Marketing Leaders

Master Integrated Marketing Communications at Medill

To cut through the noise for today’s consumers, great marketing isn’t optional—it’s essential. Guided by the industry experts who lead Medill’s Professional Master of Science in Integrated Marketing Communications program, you will learn how major brands achieve results using a customer centric, data-driven approach. As you come to recognize what motivates consumer choices, you will have all the tools necessary to reach the executive-level marketing positions you crave.

IMC Program Introduction - Danielle Robinson Bell

Video Transcript

Danielle Bell:

The thing that sets Medill IMC apart from other graduate programs in this space is this idea of real-world, real-time application and value. Students come into our program and whatever day of the week they decide to take a class, so they're in class on a Monday evening, and they're able to then leave that class and go right into work on Tuesday with their team, with their leadership and apply what they learned just the night before. My name is Danielle Robinson-Bell, I am an Assistant Professor and Director of the Medill IMC Professional Master's Program. The faculty at Medill IMC is a wonderful mix of scholars and researchers in the field, as well as practitioners and leaders in the industry. These are people who have been in this work in the field for a number of years across a variety of industries and global organizations. We have people on faculty who were former CMOs of Fortune 100 companies, senior executives of some of the world's biggest technology information firms, and they're bringing all of that expertise, all of that leadership into the classroom for our students. When you're working in a group or a team environment, diversity is key.

The reason is because you want different perspectives, you want different voices. Today, it's really hard to grow as an organization without being culturally relevant and tapping into inclusive marketing principles, it is a priority. And at every touch-point through a student's journey at Medill, they are with various students of various backgrounds, professional backgrounds, personal backgrounds, cultural identities, lived experiences among themselves as students, and also with faculty and staff, and it creates this really rich and meaningful and powerful actually dynamic that they can apply to the real world. When it comes to courses, there are a couple of courses I think students would really be excited about exploring. The first one we call Marketing Metrics, and this is all about how to use metrics to solve business problems but also to communicate as business leaders. Even though you may graduate from the program and go into a field, let's say, strategic communications or brand management, one thing that all graduates have in common is this language around the metrics and data. You may not be a data scientist, but you know how to speak the language, and that is what sets our graduates apart in the field.

The other course that I think students would be excited to explore is called Innovation Processes, students come together every week in teams, and yes online, to work through this real-business problem with the real client in a way that mimics the real innovation process in an organization. This program is for marketers who wants what's next, too. They come in and they're ready to get skills to get the networks to up-skill, to re-skill to sharpen their toolbox, so that they are prepared to go out and get what's next for them in their careers and even in their personal lives. For students who are thinking about entering our program, but one thing I'd like to point out is that, "Yes, at Medill IMC you're learning from people who are leaders in the field, but the other thing that's true about our program is that you're also learning from people who created the field."

Program Details

  • 13 units
    • Three core courses
    • 10 electives
  • Four quarters per year
  • Program can be completed in less than two years
  • Hybrid program: complete coursework online or include on-site classes in your curriculum
  • Two opportunities to start per year: January and September
  • A STEM-designated program
  • Three years post-graduate professional work experience required

Powerful Resources to Propel Your Career

Specialized From the Start

Medill conducted the first studies and launched the first IMC master’s program in 1991. Since then, we’ve led the industry as the premier program in the country.

Make Experts Your Mentors

Surround yourself with a diverse group of intellectually curious and motivated peers and faculty from around the world.

Your Degree, Your Way

Create a master’s program that works for you. Take classes at home, attend in person, or use a hybrid approach to build connections and accelerate your schedule.

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This program is for marketers with three or more years of professional experience.

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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.

Why IMC at Medill?

As the first-of-its-kind program, the Medill Integrated Marketing Communications master’s has been synonymous with marketing excellence and innovation since the degree was created in 1991. Today, we continue to bridge industry-changing research with real-world knowledge to change the way you think about the field for the better.

The legacy of Northwestern University and the Medill School help us recruit not only the best marketing faculty, but also students who share their wealth of knowledge with each other. Upon graduating, you will join the influential, tight-knit network of 18,000 Medill alumni whose accomplishments and commitment to your success match the quality of the experience you all share.

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Now Seeking: Career Climbers

If your five-year plan has the word “promotion” in it, then you’re in the right place. This program is ideal for marketing professionals who want to become senior-level employees, strategists, executives or CMOs.

The Medill MS in IMC can help secure your path to these job titles:

  • Digital Marketing Manager
  • Chief Marketing Officer
  • Chief Brand Officer
  • Executive Creative Director
  • Product Marketing Manager

Explore Career Options

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With unparalleled quality, a Medill education sets you apart and puts you ahead.

Forward-Thinking Faculty

There’s no better way to learn the latest marketing best practices than from people who live, research and experience it themselves every day. Our faculty include former C-suite executives and senior leaders with Deloitte, McDonald’s, Leo Burnett/Arc Worldwide, and other global companies; authors in world-renowned publications such as the International Journal of Advertising and The Wall Street Journal; and the creators of leading research centers including the Medill Spiegel Research Center and the Retail Analytics Council.

Danielle Robinson

Danielle Robinson Bell
Professor & Director of IMC Professional Program

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Jonathan Copulsky
Senior Lecturer & Former CMO, Deloitte

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Candy Lee
Professor & Former VP of Marketing, The Washington Post

Impressive Credentials. Extensive Connections.

The Medill name tends to show up in bios for executive leadership, advisory boards and experts panels across the country. Every day, our faculty and alumni are leading the charge at some of the most well-known companies in marketing and advertising:

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Mondelez International logo

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Christopher Isit
"I have quickly leveraged class learning into career growth. Since beginning the IMC program, I have received two big promotions and expanded my team."
Christopher I., IMC22
Marketing Director, The Heico Companies LLC.

What You’ll Learn

Medill students build a powerful combination of technical capabilities and soft skills to solve complex marketing challenges. You’ll gain deep marketplace knowledge, comprised of insights and data, to help you make strategic decisions and adapt to a changing industry. By combining high-level theory with real-world examples, you’ll become an expert in the principles, objectives, channels and consumer psychology that built some of the world’s biggest brands—and, most importantly, how to apply them in your own organization.

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Program Takeaways:

  • Strategic communications
  • Digital marketing
  • Customer-centric marketing
  • Consumer behavior & psychology
  • Marketing technology (MarTech)
  • Public relations
  • Shopper marketing
  • Media planning
  • Financial accounting
  • Marketing research
  • Marketing law & ethics
  • Leadership strategies

Course Highlight

Advanced Brand Management
Students will practice their skills on a real-time, multi-week case project with a corporate partner. The course will incorporate insights, sales, field marketing, media and consulting, helping students learn how different functions contribute to strong brands.

View the Curriculum

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How You Learn is How You Excel. We Help You Do Both.

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Hybrid Model

Students can choose to attend classes online or in-person, depending on their preference.

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Class Structure & Methodology

Customize your path with compelling elective choices and core courses. Interactive projects and assignments will test your skills and keep you engaged.

Broaden Your Perspective

We believe in the power of learning in new contexts and locations.

In the Medill IMC master’s program, you have the unique opportunity to take immersive short courses onsite across the country and around the globe upon completion of the program's core courses. Recently, we’ve offered courses in:

  • Chicago
  • New York City
  • San Francisco
  • London

In doing so, you will deepen your understanding of diverse consumers and marketplaces. Our priority is always the health and safety of our students, so we may make adjustments to planned travel based on guidance from Northwestern’s Office of Global Safety and Security.

Explore the World

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Beyond Northwestern

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Worldwide Network

Join the rest of our Medill alumni in an exclusive network of industry trailblazers, thought leaders and market influencers.

Meet our Alumni

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Career Support

We’re here for you beyond graduation day. Receive one-on-one mentorship and support, as well as post-graduate learning opportunities.

Explore Career Possibilities

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Events & Webinars

True marketing leaders never stop learning. Stay up-to-date and connected with the latest best practices, faculty research and Medill events.

Find Upcoming Events

Admissions Deadlines
Next Fall 2024 Deadline
Fall 2024 Quarter
First Day of Class
Fall 2024 Quarter