Marketing (BA)

Behind every successful venture in the arts and entertainment industries is a team of savvy marketers. In the Marketing bachelor’s degree program at Columbia College Chicago, you’ll learn how to harness the power of data, digital media, events, and storytelling to market products, services, and ideas. You’ll learn from Chicago-based marketing professionals and cross-train in a variety of communication disciplines. 

Columbia College Chicago Marketing program students working

You’ll cover topics like marketing research; planning and promotion; branding and sponsorship strategies; data analytics; and managerial economics. In hands-on practicum courses, you’ll work with clients to meet their needs by researching, developing, and pitching marketing strategies. If you’re an artist or entrepreneur, this major will prepare you to market your own work.


Within the Marketing program, you’ll choose a concentration that allows you to focus on your area of interest and gain relevant experience in your chosen field.

Digital Media

This concentration is designed for students who want to join a new wave of marketing professionals in fields such as analytics, integrated marketing, branded entertainment, web content strategy, and social media. You’ll learn how to use data and analytics to make strategic decisions and how to analyze audiences, platforms, and social media channels. You’ll also gain foundational knowledge that will help you adapt in an ever-changing industry.

Entertainment Industry

This concentration focuses on the creation of brand strategies and the production of branded entertainment across all forms of media. You’ll gain a full range of knowledge and skills for a career in an existing entertainment industry. For example, you’ll learn how to create branded entertainment, craft experiential marketing content, and launch your own entrepreneurial projects.

Sports Management

This concentration is designed for students who want to work in the sports industry as agents, marketing managers, athletic directors, merchandising and sponsorship executives, special events coordinators, and broadcasting/media managers. You’ll graduate with the knowledge and skills you’ll need to manage sports venues, plan promotional events, negotiate sponsorships, and operate ticketing services.

Real-World Experience

Columbia College Chicago Marketing program meeting with client

We know that you learn best by doing. In addition to reading case studies and marketing theory, you’ll take courses in which you’ll work with real clients. You and your team will meet with clients to identify their marketing goals and then develop a targeted, creative, and data-driven marketing strategy for them.

These hands-on classes will give you the kind of experience that you can discuss in job interviews and showcase in your resume and portfolio.


Columbia College Chicago faculty members have a mix of academic and professional backgrounds. They’ve worked in social media management, data analytics, and marketing consulting for some of Chicago’s premiere arts and entertainment organizations. They will mentor you as you chart your career path in marketing and will help you learn to foresee the next big development in the industry.


Chicago has many creative agencies, performance venues, and cultural organizations. All need marketing experts. An internship will give you industry experience, so you’ll know what to expect while looking for a job after graduation. The hands-on experience of an internship will make you a competetive candidate.

Our students have interned at several organizations, which include:

  • The Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events
  • The global management consultant firm A.T. Kearney
  • The promotional collective Silver Wrapper
  • Pitchfork Media
  • Facets Cinematheque
  • MTV
  • Chicago sports organizations including the Cubs, Bulls, Sox, and Bears

Interact with the Industry

Columbia College Chicago Marketing program class visiting speaker

While charting your career path, you need to experience the industry and build a network. We’re always building new partnerships with companies like Google for Entrepreneurs and Universal Music so that Columbia College Chicago students can gain an inside perspective. We bring artists and professionals to campus for master classes and other events so you can ask questions and test ideas.

Study Away Opportunities

Columbia offers many opportunities to study away for a week, a semester, or an entire year.

Semester in LA (SiLA) is a 15-week immersion program where you’ll intern 20 hours a week in the field and learn from industry professionals in classes taught on a historic Hollywood studio lot. Learn more about SiLA.

Other study-away opportunities include a week-long trip to the South-by-Southwest (SXSW) conference and festival in Austin; a global marketing trip to Prague; a creative industries trip to Miami; an exhibition management trip to Rome; and a number of international exchange programs all over the world. 

Alumni Success

Our alumni work at the forefront of traditional and digital marketing, holding jobs at arts and entertainment companies across the country.

  • Eddie Shilaita ’15 is a digital marketing specialist at UL, a global safety consulting and certification company.
  • Kyle Moran ’16 is a business development manager at Specialty's Cafe & Bakery.
  • Daniel Avery Campbell ’11 is a branding professional at Million Dollar Scholar, a company that helps keep students and parents informed about college scholarships. 

Jobs in Marketing

Wondering what you can do with a degree in marketing? Here are some of the professions our graduates are succeeding in:

  • Marketing Director 
  • Publicist 
  • Productions Manager 
  • Brand Manager
  • Search Engine Optimization Specialist 
  • Content Producer 
  • Email Marketing Manager 
  • Social Media Manager 
  • Media Buyer 
  • Market Analyst
  • Advertising Director 
  • Managing Editor

Check out other programs in Business and Entrepreneurship:

Many Marketing majors also pursue a minor. Popular minors include: