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The IMC curriculum is designed for you to cultivate breadth and depth of expertise and strategic thinking in three core areas of integrated marketing communications:

Through the five core IMC courses, you gain a solid foundation in the principles of integrated marketing communications. You then have the opportunity to select elective courses that match your interests and career goals.

Many IMC electives are categorized into sequences that align with the three core areas of IMC listed above. Faculty have carefully developed these innovative sequences so you leave with rich, actionable knowledge and strategic planning skills for today’s rapidly evolving digital media landscape.

Several courses are also offered outside of the sequences to help you gain more breadth in various marketing communications topics as well as specialized knowledge in topic areas (e.g. innovation, entertainment marketing, e-commerce, etc.).

Because Medill IMC is a digitally oriented program, digital marketing is woven throughout the courses and sequences.

Your five quarters

  1. The first quarter (fall) focuses on Core Foundations
    Take core courses that help you gain a solid foundation in the principles of integrated marketing communications and consumer understanding.
  2. The second quarter (winter) focuses on Depth Foundations
    Dive into sequences to start building depth in specialized areas that match your interests and career goals.
  3. The third quarter (spring) focuses on Execution
    Continue taking electives and sequenced courses to learn how to execute marketing communications strategies to achieve goals and objectives.
  4. The fourth quarter (summer) focuses on Immersive Application
    Apply what you’ve learned in the previous three quarters by working on-site at a top company during Immersion Quarter.
  5. The fifth quarter (fall) focuses on Mastery, Leadership and Decision Making
    Take additional electives and sequenced courses. Hone and refine your skills and gain the confidence you need to join a company and implement and lead effective integrated marketing communications.

Earning the IMC degree

Eighteen graduate-level credits at Northwestern are required for the Full-Time Master of Science in Integrated Marketing Communications (MSIMC) degree:

  • Fifteen credits must be academic courses, including five required core courses and 10 elective courses. Three credits are team project credits to help you gain real-world work experience through Immersion Quarter.
  • At least five electives must be in the IMC department. One non-Medill credit may be applied toward the IMC degree and may be taken only in the third or fifth quarters (spring and fall).

Core courses

Consumer Insight

Financial Accounting

IMC I: Marketing Strategy

IMC II: IMC Strategic Process

Marketing Research

Course schedule

We often add new courses and revise course content to be in front of a rapidly changing marketing communications marketplace. As such, the courses listed below are subject to change.

Fall 2019

Consumer Insight

Financial Accounting

IMC I: Marketing Strategy

Marketing Research

Winter 2020

Brand Management Foundations

Data Management and Visualization

Data Science Foundations

IMC II: IMC Strategic Process

IMC Law, Policy and Ethics

Media Foundations

Strategic Communications Foundations

Spring 2020

Brand Communication Decisions

Building Brands with Creative Ideas

Content Strategy

Cultural Insight Methods for Consumer Research

Data Governance: Critical Issues in Digital Marketing Communications

Global Perspectives - Brand Innovation (Chile)

Internal Communications

Machine Learning I

Managing Integration

Marketing Models I

Marketing Public Relations

Media Insight Strategy

Media Marketplaces

Shopper Marketing

Social Networks

Strategic International Marketing

Summer 2020

During the summer quarter, you will participate in Immersion Quarter and work on a marketing communications consulting project at a top company.

Fall 2020

Building Brands with Creative Ideas

Consumer Insight for Digital Experiences (San Francisco)

Crisis Communications

Customer Value Innovation

Digital Analytics

Digital, Social and Mobile Marketing

Global Perspectives (Asia)

Leadership and Global Branding (London)

IMC Law, Policy and Ethics

Introduction to MarTech

Investor Relations

Leadership and Global Branding (London)

Machine Learning Techniques (San Francisco)

Machine Learning II

Marketing Mix Analysis

Marketing Models II

Media Decisions

Product Management

Seed, Launch, Scale: Building Effective Product Marketing Strategies (San Francisco)

Shopper Marketing

Strategic Planning in an E-Commerce Environment

Strategic Storytelling: Using Insights to Design Stories for Impact (San Francisco)