Columbia College Chicago

Marketing, BA

Behind every successful venture in the arts and entertainment industry is a team of savvy marketers. In Columbia’s marketing program, you’ll learn how to harness the power of digital and social media as well as data and analytics to make strategic decisions about how to identify and develop the right audience. Our faculty includes marketing professionals who bring their real-world experience and perceptive guidance into the classroom.

You’ll cover topics such as brand management, social media platforms, market research, digital media strategy and data analytics. You’ll interact with real clients to research, develop and pitch marketing strategies to meet their unique needs. You’ll also connect with our vibrant community of artists, designers, creators and innovators to develop strategies to promote their work. If you’re an artist or entrepreneur, this major will prepare you to market your own work or creative entity by making strategic decisions about the audiences you target.

What to Expect Your First Year

In your first year, you’ll gain foundational knowledge that will be vital to your success in the industry. You’ll take core business courses in topics such as marketing, management and economics. But these aren’t your average business courses. We tailor them to the arts and media fields, so each example and scenario will make sense for the unique landscape of the creative industries.

You’ll also take a jam-packed survey course called Introduction to Marketing. This course will give you the lay of the land: current trends, opportunities, threats and themes emerging in the field. You’ll gain an introduction to the fundamentals of marketing: product, promotion, pricing, distribution, and the impact of consumer and market research, technology and globalization.

What to Expect Your Last Year

By your last year at Columbia, you’ll be honing your skill set and building a resume. You’ll put your knowledge to work in courses like Marketing Yourself, in which you’ll learn best practices for job interviewing and how to craft a standout resume. You’ll also meet industry guest speakers who will give you inside knowledge on how to job hunt in their particular fields.

You’ll also have the chance to participate in a practicum focused on developing real campaigns for actual clients in Chicago. You’ll meet with the client to identify and research their marketing goals and work with a team to develop a targeted, creative and data-driven marketing strategy.

You’ll also work closely with our highly connected network of faculty and alumni and Columbia’s Career Center to identify internship opportunities across the marketing field.

Detailed Program Information

Download a Four-Year Plan

For More Degree Requirements and Transfer Plans, Visit the Catalog

Real-world Opportunities

What experience will I get outside the classroom?

At Columbia, we know that you want to experience the industry, not just talk about it. We’re constantly building partnerships with companies like Google for Entrepreneurs, Universal Music and TEDx. We bring professionals and artists to campus for master classes and other events so you can ask questions and test ideas. You’ll also be part of teams planning and marketing such events.

Columbia is home to a rich community of designers, makers and creatives. Your peers will be graphic and web designers, journalists, filmmakers, podcasters, game designers, photographers, musicians and media artists. You’ll have the opportunity to join teams and support the work of others as you help foster a creative culture and promote other students’ work—or your own—using the skills you gain in the classroom.

What are my internship options?

We encourage students to intern in the field. Chicago has an array of creative agencies, performance venues and cultural organizations all requiring marketing expertise. Gaining a behind-the-scenes perspective will help you know what to expect as you seek a job post-graduation. The hands-on experience you gain through internships will give you a decided edge as you enter the marketplace.

Our students have interned at a wide array of organizations, such as the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events, the global management consultant firm A.T. Kearney, the promotional collective Silver Wrapper, and Allegro Dance Boutique, a niche dance apparel shop.


Ready to Apply?

We’re happy you’re thinking of joining our creative community. We work hard to make our application process as simple and fast as possible, but should you run into any concerns, we're here to help at any time.

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