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The integrated marketing communications (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 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.

It's important to note that the course schedule is subject to change based on new topics/areas of study that emerge, student interest and, where applicable, ability to travel based on guidance from Northwestern's Office of Global Safety and Security.

Medill’s IMC degree is a STEM degree. Our CIP code is 09.0702.

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 Strategic Process

Marketing Research

Marketing Strategy

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.