Skip to main content
Student listening to a speaker in a full lecture hall.


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 Management

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 2018

Consumer Insight

Financial Accounting

IMC I: Marketing Management

Marketing Research

Winter 2019

Brand Strategy Foundations

Data Management and Visualization

Data Science Foundations

IMC II: IMC Strategic Process

IMC Law, Policy and Ethics

Media Foundations

Strategic Communications Foundations

Social Media

Spring 2019

  • Brand Communication Decisions
  • Building Brands with Creative Ideas
  • Content Strategy
  • Cultural Insight Methods for Consumer Research
  • Data Governance
  • Global Perspectives - Brand Innovation (Chile)
  • Internal Communications
  • Machine Learning
  • Managing Integration
  • Marketing Models
  • Marketing Public Relations
  • Media Insight Strategy
  • Media Marketplaces
  • Shopper Marketing
  • Sports Marketing

Summer 2019

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

Fall 2019

  • Consumer Insight for Digital Experiences (San Francisco)
  • Crisis Communications
  • Customer Value Innovation
  • Digital Strategy
  • Digital, Social, Mobile
  • Entertainment Marketing and Analytics
  • Global Perspectives - Global Branding (London)
  • Global Perspectives (Asia)
  • IMC Leadership
  • Introduction to Martech
  • Investor Relations
  • Machine Learning 2
  • Managing Integration
  • Marketing Mix Analysis
  • Marketing Models 2
  • Media and Technology (San Francisco)
  • Media Decisions
  • Shopper Marketing
  • Strategic Planning in E-Commerce Environment
  • Technology and Innovation (San Francisco)