Data Marketing Communications M.S.

August 21, 2019
Next Start Date
Per Credit Hour


The Reed College of Media offers an online Master of Science in Data Marketing Communications (DMC) to give students the practical skills they need to gather, sort and process data that their organization can rely on to make key marketing communications decisions. Data Marketing Communications bridges the gap between communicators and data scientists to help develop the data-driven marketing campaigns that are rapidly becoming the industry standard. The DMC program seeks to produce boundary-spanning graduates who are literate in both data analysis and marketing communications to enable them to help steer their organizations to success by making data-driven marketing decisions. DMC students study under a diverse faculty of academics, entrepreneurs and professionals who are all recognized leaders in their fields.


West Virginia University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.


Admission to the program is based on a holistic, case-by-case analysis of the applicant’s WVU Graduate Application for Admission, academic record (undergraduate transcript), years of relevant professional experience (resume), and writing ability and intent (personal statement).

Application Requirements

Applicant must:

  • Apply with the online Graduate Application
  • Pay graduate application fee
  • Submit 300-500 word personal statement about your interest in the DMC degree and how it will meet your career objectives
  • Submit resume that illustrates relevant and professional experience
  • Letters of Recommendation (optional)
  • GRE or GMAT scores (optional)
  • TOEFL or IELTS Scores for International Students
  • Request official transcripts from all institutions attended (other than WVU) and send to:
    WVU Office of Graduate Admissions
    One Waterfront Place
    PO Box 6510
    Morgantown, WV 26506-6510


    electronically sent to

Application Deadlines

Early Fall Deadline
August 1, 2018


Early Spring Deadline
December 1, 2018


Residents Non-Residents
Tuition and Fees

for academic year 2018-2019


Per Credit Hour


Per Credit Hour

Financial aid is available. Students are encouraged to file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form to determine their eligibility for federal and state funds as well as scholarships. WVU’s FAFSA Code is 003827.


*Student must pay for all credits taken



The 33-credit hour program is offered online. Students are admitted for the fall term. Courses are 8 weeks long.


View Curriculum



The curriculum consists of the following courses:


Introductory Course (3 Credits)


Introduction to Data Marketing Communications (Intro Course)


An overview of the program with a focus on upcoming curriculum and industry trends at large and an overview of campaign management systems available in the market. Course will include specific units on privacy, law, and ethics and will focus on the many uses of data and the ramifications of misuse. The course will include a quantitative “boot camp” to ensure students are ready to progress on to other courses within the sequence. This “boot camp” will consist of a series of modules students must complete concurrently with their other coursework to ensure that students have a solid understanding of the quantitative terms and concepts they will need to succeed in future Data Marketing Communications courses.


Core Courses (24 Credits)


The pairing of core courses into thematic blocks allows students to examine the relationship between quantitative data, Data Marketing Communications, and the decisions informed by that data. The four blocks of core courses represent the fundamental characteristics of the program: Audience, Data, Platforms, and Assessment.


Audience Block


Audience Segmentation


A potential customer demands to be seen as more than simply a face in the crowd, but reaching specific target markets can be an increasingly difficult process. Whether an organization can achieve its goals can hinge on how effectively it can target receptive clients in an overcrowded market. This course is an analytical exploration of how data can be used to break down mass markets into specific, reachable target markets and how that can impact addressable advertising initiatives. Students will closely examine what demographic data and other key indicators are essential to developing successful campaigns. Students will focus on what data best serves as lines of demarcation in the development of unique market segments to support specific marketing communications goals.


Message Customization


Communicating to a mass audience is a tricky proposition as consumers demand a more personalized approach. Can you reach a mass audience while still ensuring that each potential consumer feels like you’re communicating directly to them? This course offers an exploration of how data can allow marketing communicators to customize messages to target audiences as small as a single consumer. Students will examine how different messaging strategies impact different advertising and marketing goals and which data can most influence potential messaging strategies. This course will focus on which data can be most effective in developing unique messaging strategies.


Data Block


Brand Data Collection and Visualization


With more being created every day, the world is drowning in data it doesn’t know what to do with. What we know is no longer as important as how that information can be presented in a succinct and impactful way to key stakeholders. This course offers an exploration of the benefits of mining your own brand for insights that could influence marketing communications decisions with an emphasis on how that data can be presented visually to key stakeholders for maximum impact. Students will examine the relevant merits of internal versus external data collection and the proper times, sources, and processes to engage in either.


Social Media Optimization


Successful organizations don’t wait for their audience to come to them, but instead take their message to where their audience can already be found. More and more, that means navigating a rapidly expanding and ever-shifting social media landscape. This course is an examination of how data from the social media sphere can be leveraged to ensure marketing communications reach their intended audiences efficiently and effectively. This course will focus on both gathering data from social media as well as customization of messages for maximum social media reach. Students will focus on how marketing communications initiatives succeed and fail in the social media sphere and which data sets can best inform their social media campaigns.


Platforms Block


User Experience Platforms


Carpenters couldn’t build a house if they didn’t know what their tools could do, and the same goes for marketing communicators. Knowing what tools are available and what their strengths and weaknesses are is a key component of leveraging big data for any organization. This course offers an exploration of the myriad of database platforms available and how data can be analyzed to develop specialized and highly targeted marketing communications. Students will examine the relative merits of various platforms based on their specific needs. Platforms such as R, Hadoop, Orange, Tableau, MongoDB and Apache Cassandra will be examined.

Campaign Planning and Programmatic Media Buying


Automation can make life easier – or much more difficult. As advertising agencies rely more and more on automated programs to place media buys it becomes increasingly important to understand how those tools operate and what costs and benefits are associated with their use. Students will focus on the development of a media plan that relies on automated buying tools. This course is a survey of the automated media buying landscape with a focus on the tools used, and the risks and rewards of automated media buys. Students will examine software platforms available for automated buying and understand the connection between how data input affects media buying output. Students will examine which data is best gathered to better inform mass media advertising decisions.


Assessment Block


Campaign Metrics and Assessment


At the end of the day, your client only wants to know one thing: was your campaign a winner or a loser? Success can be measured and planned for, and this course offers an exploration of how data can be used to assess success, failure, or need for modification in advertising and marketing communications campaigns. This course will have a specific focus on how metrics and assessment can rely on data for maximum benefit. The course will include a survey of available metrics and assessments platforms.


Messaging for Customer Relationship Management


The only thing more important that gaining new customers is keeping them. Sometimes that can be a much more difficult task than attracting them ever was. “How can I message current customers to ensure they’re retained for the long run?” is an essential question many firms are asking themselves daily. This course is an examination of how data is leveraged for communications intended to retain current customers and acquire new ones. Focus is on how to accurately assess per customer lifetime value and the best data-informed communications strategies to maximize and retain that value.


Elective Course (3 Credits)


Possible DMC elective course options include:

B2B Programmatic Marketing Communications
Creativity and Data
Data Communication and Visualization for the Client
Digital Marketing Communications Channels

Applicable cross-listed elective course options include:

Emergent Issues in Media Law and Ethics
Media Analysis
Consumer Sales Promotion
B2B Direct Marketing
Applied Public Relations
Mobile Marketing

Capstone Course (3 Credits)


Data Marketing Communications Campaigns


The capstone course brings everything together into one real-world project that will give DMC graduates an advantage over their competitors. No longer will students have to convince potential new employers to give them the opportunity to develop their first campaign—they’ll already have one in the bag by their graduation date! In this course students will develop a cohesive marketing communications campaign that demonstrates a conceptual mastery of data-driven marketing communications for a real-world client.

Career Information

Students who graduate from WVU Online with the Data Marketing Communications M.S. degree may be prepared for the following careers. These are only a few examples of some of the many opportunities that will be open to you with this degree. Advanced degrees or certifications may be required for some positions.


Marketing Strategist

Projected Growth: 5-9%

Market Research Analyst

Projected Growth: 15% or higher *Bright Outlook

Marketing Manager

Projected Growth: 10-14% *Bright Outlook

Business Intelligence Analyst

Projected Growth: 5-9%

Business Professor

Projected Growth: 15% or higher *Bright Outlook

Public Relations Specialist

Projected Growth: 5-9%

Clinical Data Manager

Projected Growth: 15% or higher *Bright Outlook

Public Relations and Fundraising Manager

Projected Growth: 10-14% *Bright Outlook
Information about careers on this list comes from the Occupational Information Network (O*NET) of the U.S. Department of Labor/Employment and Training Administration (USDOL/ETA).